Friday, September 01, 2006

C for coincidence?

It just occurred to me that one interesting thing has happened to me since I've been wallowing in Copenhagen's delights. Perhaps it's just because I watched V for Vendetta and am in the throes of, admittedly pretty justified, paranoia but I don't think so.

The day before yesterday I went into a random bookshop, desperately attempting to do something with my mind, or at least try to convince myself to. After about ten seconds we both got bored and my mind, clearly trying to assert itself through the fog of decadence, grabbed a book from a display and so I bought it. The book, which was shortlisted for The Orange Prize, is called A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian by Marina Lewycka. I loved it, it's funny and sad and well-written, and quite exciting in a family drama kind of way. All that aside, because this is a book about family secrets they mention the war. And a labour camp in Germany, where Ukranians were sent.

The camp was called Drachensee. In Kiel.

I couldn't quite believe it when I came across the name. Mum told me there was one there, and I meant to follow it up and I didn't. It made me think: why didn't I follow it up? Why haven't any Kielers (people from Kiel) mentioned this to me? And even more importantly, if I am living in Germany, I need to confront this. I need to understand more than just the beautiful side of Schleswig-Holstein. Because if I don't it's a betrayal of myself.

So we'll see where that takes me.

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