Transatlantic Experiences and Perspectives of Black Germans of the Post-War Generation
Edited By Marion Kraft
Unexpected Encounters with the Past (Roy Merz)
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Unexpected Encounters with the Past
23. Roy Merz. Private property.
After 40 years living and working in metropolitan Berlin, I felt drawn back to my Hessian homeland. Marburg, where I was born in 1957, with its huge university campus, seemed to be too large and hectic. I was longing for peacefulness, nature and remoteness. Thus, I bought a house in the north of Hesse, near Lake Edersee. I had some problems with the person who sold me the house, with the renovation and the amenities, but the idyllic, hillside landscape conveyed a feeling of home, and I was content ← 97 | 98 → with my decision. I had no idea that I had unwittingly settled on a historic site that, step by step, would direct my thoughts to a journey into my own personal past.
The house is situated on the outskirts of a village that was founded in the thirteenth century close Lake Eder. Today the village attracts tourists due to the Eder reservoir. The people of the village are friendly and polite, and I feel very welcome in this small neighborhood. However, I was irritated by the fact that, shortly after my arrival, I was asked frequently whether I had been “one of these children.” I related that to my skin color, thought that the questions referred to the so-called “colored occupation children”, and mostly ignored the question. But soon, by chance, I learned...
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