LETTER: My grandfathers weren’t Nazis; for them, I wept

It occurred to me for the first time this year that I have never honoured my grandfathers (and grandmothers) for what they suffered

The poppy is a symbol of Remembrance Day.

The Editor,

Re: “I remember soldiers from all countries,” column by Tom Zillich, Nov. 10.

Thank you for writing what you wrote. Both of my grandfathers were soldiers in the German army during the Second World War. Both immigrated to Canada with their young families in the 1950s and eventually settled in Vancouver. I am first-generation Canadian. I remember observing Remembrance Day at school, reading (and identifying with) stories about German Resistance fighters and shunning the Nazis, but never feeling like Remembrance Day was “my” day, too, even though Canada has always been my home.

It occurred to me for the first time this year that I have never honoured my grandfathers (and grandmothers) for what they suffered. They were not Nazis. I would never honour what the Nazis did. They were simply ordinary German men and women who endured a brutal war and lost so much. For the first time, I wept for them – wept for what they sacrificed and lost, wept for the trauma they endured and subsequent PTSD and mental-health issues they lived with, wept that there was so much shame that these things could never be openly recognized anywhere.

Natasha Krause

 

Just Posted

Teen stabbed at Surrey’s Unwin Park

17 year old was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

North Delta teacher nominated for provincial award

Seaquam Secondary’s Michael Iachetta has been nominated for his work on social equity in schools

No WorkSafeBC orders issued after ruptured water main damaged White Rock theatre

Investigation confirms that the water line ruptured as a result of pressure testing

City offering relief for North Delta residents affected by Surrey townhouse fire

Delta will waive fees and expedite permits for those rebuilding from the July 5 blaze

3 ‘Dream Home’ lottery prizes located in South Surrey

Proceeds support BC Children’s Hospital

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

Porsche impounded for going 138 km/hr in 90 zone during charity rally

West Vancouver Police said wet roads and heavy rain made it extra dangerous

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Phase 2 of $1.35B Royal Columbian upgrades won’t be a public-private partnership

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix says it will be a design-build

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Most Read