I forgive the Nazis. My DNA was marked by the fear and hatred generated in Germany. Parts of my DNA were destroyed by those people. A book was written espousing why my father and grandmother and grandfather and cousins ought to be viewed as subhuman. People gained and maintain power and wealth from the insistence by the Nazis that to exterminate a peoples was plausible. But then where does that hate take me. I can run and hide, I can say the past has no tangible purpose and what exists is what is. But my DNA holds memory. And it is of so much greater ease to nurture the DNA stamped victim.
But what truth, what memory does the other strand hold. My mitochondrial strands hold the death of millions of Africans. It’s survived from the wealth those bodies generated. My people were able to live their lives because others were losing theirs. Algerians have a very tangible vision of those strands.
So someday I will go to Germany. And I will forgive the Nazis. Because all groups have done it. Study history sufficiently and no group grows a halo and wings. I where clothes made my children in conditions similar to what I decry of the Nazis. The prisons in proximity to me are earning profits just as stolen Nazi art did. My fear has been that in Germany it will be a visceral sensation. My DNA will tighten in fear, feel nauseous at subconscious prehistoric memories. A visceral reaction, the same that African Americans encounter, tensing up as police approach or as Indigenous tribes try to cope, trapped within imagined borders of real oppression. I will feel the same ill at ease that a Chinese woman feels when confused for Japanese. Why do I somehow get to avoid it? Proclaiming that I won’t go there. Just let my DNA be delicate, protected and babied.
Most people don’t get to escape their oppressors, who the fuck do I think I am to even try.