The Wrong Dead People

The following essay about the lack of a national commemoration of the jihad attack on the Christmas market in Berlin is from Cicero Online, a monthly German magazine on political and cultural issues. Many thanks to Nash Montana for the translation:

The wrong dead people

by Alexander Kissler

In the heart of the capital city twelve people were murdered. An official commemoration is lacking. But a society that does not honor its dead will lose its humanity.

If it is true that the state of civilization is measured by how said civilization handles its dead, then we are looking into a grim future. We have unlearned how to grieve. Sure, there is no lack of public tears; the separation from a partner is sobbed over as much as the closing of a favorite club or an unjust dismissal from a job. Communal grief over bereavement, however, is being made taboo. Because they were all our dead, they shall be nobody’s dead. We shall not think of them, because all of us were intended: This sad chorus suppresses commemoration for the victims at the Berlin Breitscheidplatz.

On December 19th — one has to remember — 12 people were murdered by a previously convicted Tunisian Islamist who was living in Germany illegally. In addition to the dead, there were also 56 injured, of whom twelve were seriously injured victims. Their lives will never again be the same. They will carry heavy scars on body and soul. Even the outwardly uninjured witnesses of the attack are victims. Those who saw and heard and smelled how next to them bones broke, skin burst, blood sprayed — they, too, will be marked for the rest of their lives. And to them all the State and the Government say: Personally unfortunate, tragic, terrible; sure, but you’ll have to cope with it alone, on your own.

Empty words

How else can it be explained that the Government after the attack in the capitol city was unwilling to hold a public commemorative service? That they held a silent participation at a remembrance service at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Memorial Church on the 20th of December, and left it at that? There, in the first row, stood Norbert Lammert [president of the Bundestag], Angela Merkel [chancellor], and Joachim Gauck [president of the Bundesrepublik] holding hands, feigned dismay on their faces. And the same thing was done in the choir room a Catholic and an evangelical bishop, a rabbi and an imam. And that was all. To this day.

Rather not break wind

This enacted program of speechlessness was exceeded only by the silence after the Istanbul attack a year ago almost to the day. Eleven of the twelve victims of the attack were Germans; the injured and the witnesses don’t make much of a statistic, but they are victims of Islamism nonetheless. The fact that they were targeted because they were a Western group of tourists, that we have to speak of elimination of racism in concomitance with religious terrorism, that with those German tourists an almost immaculate representative sample of our society was killed, and that ultimately the larger We of the mobile, travel-loving, likable Germans were the target: nothing of that is spoken about. There’s an impression as if the official institutions were bashful about the violence incurred, as if the monstrosity of German victims embarrassed them: We’d rather not break wind.

The wrong victims?

In Berlin, the community of fate was mixed — until now, seven Germans and five foreigners found dead; and of them, as well as of the heavy and serious injured, we know almost no names, no faces. The silence is vociferous; empathy is dangerous. A bad suspicion pushes itself to the surface: In the end, were they the wrong victims? Was it the wrong perpetrator?

An official commemoration that lived up to its name would not leave it simply at empty phrases of solidarity, fellowship, and community reconciliation. It also would have to overcome the stale oratories in media and politics that twist an Islamist attack into a “tragedy”. A communal commemoration would have to find a language that would name the entanglement and connection without falling into polemics: People were murdered because Islamic fanatics see this as a divine sacrament.

A community that may not exist

A public commemoration also wouldn’t be able to get around the question what exactly the target was: A Christmas market? The right of consumption? A symbol of the customs of the Christian West? Germany? The target community would have to be named. We have no thoughts about that, because said community simply may not exist.

Time will change things. The federal minister of the interior attunes us to “difficult times” and “new threats”, even to “larger terrorist attacks”. Apparently need and necessity do not just make us pray, but they make us talk too. Ours we will have to commemorate.

9 thoughts on “The Wrong Dead People

  1. “How else can it be explained that the Government after the attack in the capitol city was unwilling to hold a public commemorative service?”

    Simple. It does not fit the narrative, that this is the new normal, like “spring rain”, terror attacks just happen!

  2. Remember the reaction to the attack on Charlie Hebdo? That time all the leaders of the Western world found it was their sacred duty to march in honour of several employees of a scatological сomic magazine and everyone was encouraged to publicly proclaim “Je suis Charlie”. From what was going on, one could think that this filthy rag was as important for the French (and, perhaps, the whole of Western) civilisation as Notre-Dame-de-Paris and Versailles put together. The rag, in fact, did not (unfortunately) ceased to exist but prospered: its print run skyrocketed and it has acquired the holy cow status – any criticism of it is now perceived as an attack on the sacrosanct ‘values’ of Laïcité.

    The victims of the Berlin attack, on the contrary, have been regarded as ‘undeserving’ victims. No wonder. They were just ordinary people, who had not made themselves famous by publishing filthy and cruel cartoons or by demonstrating naked [breasts] in cathedrals or vandalising statues of saints or any other actions which modern society (and especially modern ruling elites) consider praiseworthy or even heroic.

    The moral is: if you want the world sob over your coffin and rise to a status of secular saint and martyr immediately after death, do not waste your time: go and [defecate] in a church in the middle of a High Mass and, having finished that, the priest on the head and call the congregation effing idiots.

    But first make sure this is a church, and not a mosque, or you’ll be torn to pieces by the congregation physically and then morally by mainstream media for being Islamophobic, xenophobic, racist, intolerant, bigoted, reactionary and a few other things which should be rather left unsaid.

  3. Born an American in 1938, I have witnessed quite a bit of German infamy. But I will say this, the memory of Adolph Hitler in history will have been replaced by Angela Merkel, who has done far more damage to Germany and Europe than Adolph.

  4. WW2 was just another chapter in the ongoing war on Jews and Christians, civilisation, toward the caliphate. A 1 400 year old war. Will it ever end to the advantage of civilisation?

    When is the next reconquista?

  5. When buses full of Israelis were being blown up during the ‘intifada’ the government made the savvy decision to swiftly and expertly clean up the wreckage, ruthlessly hunt down the killers and go on with life without endless memorials etc. Very smart move, actually. Here in the U.S. some psycho shoots up a gay nightclub in Florida and Muslims get to see the American flag flown at half mast for a week. Do you think that makes the murderers feel bad? The more angst and grief the more they love it. I don’t trust the German government’s reasons but this is well worth keeping in mind.

    • Israelis can really teach us something. They are both emotional and clever. And when they see that it is practical measures that the situation requires, they get very businesslike and save public display of emotions for more suitable occasions.

      Post-Christian Westerners, on the contrary, wallow in recreational grieving, pile up flowers, teddy bears, light candles, proclaim “Je suis something” and leave it at that. When it comes to sentimental stuff, no one can beat them.

      As for practical measures, such measures are much talked about, but often fail to materialise. And their materialisations, when they do occur, are not infrequently less impressive than the sentimental component.

  6. .

    Berlin assassination: Once upon a time there was an ID card

    Berliner Attentat: Es war einmal ein Ausweis
    RT Deutsch



    Publicerades den 19+20 jan. 2017
    Experten äußern gegenüber RT Deutsch vehemente Zweifel an der offiziellen Darstellung zum Anschlag am Berliner Breitscheidplatz. Im Interview gehen der Kriminalist Jürgen Cain Külbel und der Terrorismus-Experte Rainer Rupp den zahlreichen Ungereimtheiten nach. Der erste Teil befasst sich mit den ersten Ermittlungen nach dem Anschlag, dem Auffinden der Ausweisdokumente Amris, hellsehende Journalisten und die sehr begrenzte Deutungshoheit über die Geschehnisse. Teil 2 folgt am Samstag.

    Im zweiten Teil des RT Deutsch-Interviews gehen der Kriminalist Jürgen Cain Külbel und der Terrorismus- und Geheimdienst-Experte Rainer Rupp weiteren Unstimmigkeiten rund um das Attentat am Berliner Breitscheidplatz nach. Thema sind dabei unter anderem schützende Hände, dubiose V-Männer, der NSU und politischer Maßnahmen-Aktionismus.

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