Next to this display there was a movie running with Benjamin B. Ferencz addressing Swiss law students on the history of the ICC. Ferencz is a very personable, compelling speaker. I found it quite upsetting to be at this place and be the citizen of a country which refuses visas to ICC judges.
Ferencz mentioned in his lecture that he thought the mass rapes in the Balkans were instrumental in prompting the establishment of the ICC. I was reading Rebecca West’s book on Yugoslavia when I visited last year. I found it strange to see Kästner here. I stood and looked at him for a while.
It’s difficult to see Cronkite and not think of Vietnam. One wonders what memories surfaced for him when night after night he announced body counts and protective reaction strikes.
Den Opfern der Kriege
1914 bis 1918 + 1939 bis 1945
und der Gewaltherrschaft
1933 bis 1945
These inscriptions strike me sometimes as perverse. What I’ve been noticing in addition, and more interestingly, is that the dates 1933 and 1945 which were so blindingly obvious and made so much sense the majority of my life have in the last couple years diminished in significance.
Buses unload and tourists of various nationalities head in. Americans are loud as always and everywhere. The museum is carefully constructed with angles askew, giving the impression perhaps of visiting a ruin. It is an artful ruin, however. The advertising appears of a style which might as easily be used for any popular attraction, and listening to tourists one has the uneasy feeling that in a way that’s what this is: another popular attraction.
1994 was when the last Russian troops left Germany.
There is a dog show this morning. From the tribune where Nazi officials viewed Leni Riefenstal-filmed troop formations I can clearly hear down on the field an announcer calling the line-up of contestants. There is a constant barking of dogs, whistles of officials.
This is where Elisabeth von Dyck was killed.