Tuesday, 18 January 2011

A stain on the wall

Photo by Ayman Mohyeldin: “in govt office on the wall was a stain from picture that was recently removed Guess whose #tunisia”.

From Erich Kästner’s wartime diary, Notabene ’45, an excerpt (translated by Mr Verstappen) describing a town in Austria immediately after the Nazis’ defeat:
Everywhere the swastika was torn from the Hitler flag. Everywhere white bed sheets were cut up. Everywhere the farmers’ wives stitched the red and white bars trimly together on their sewing machines.

[...] Darker patches on the walls told us how easily wallpaper fades and how large Hitler’s portrait had been. In some living rooms the father of the family stood in front of the mirror, made strange faces and shaved, without any feelings of piety, his tertiary sex characteristic, the Hitler moustache, from his upper lip. [...] Now that the light shines out again, there is also light shining in.

Photo copyright © Ayman Mohyeldin 2011.


jams o donnell said...

Here's hoping the portrait will be replaced by something of beauty and not by another dictator.

The last time I was in Tunisia was just days before Habib Bourguiba was deposed

kellie said...

I've never been, but the neighbors were there over the Christmas holidays, completely unaware that anything was going on!

jams o donnell said...

The hotels in Monastir were in a Zone Touristique when I was there. If the same still applies then they are well away from the centres of unrest.

I hope the turn of events gives my friends in Iran some comfort

bob said...

I've just finished reading my son "Emil and the Detectives". It was good to re-read it after nearly three decades, and notice the anti-fascist sub-texts!

kellie said...

There are some bits in the sequel "Emil and the Three Twins" and also in "The Flying Classroom" which seem clearly anti-Nazi to me. Can't remember examples in "Emil and the Detectives" off the top of my head.

His adult novel from Weimar times, "Fabian", is also interesting if flawed, overtly anti-Nazi and also anti-Communist.

How about subtexts in the postwar children's book, "Lottie and Lisa", filmed as "The Parent Trap"? My theory is it's in part a metaphor for the partition of Germany.