a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness
Such people write themselves, I think, we meet them, in a way, for that purpose, or rather we as observers/listeners are compelled to invade into
their reality to extract a story that suits our characterisation of the encounter. Particuarly retrospectively. I wrote that 7 or so years ago, had
met her 4 or 5 years before that, may be more even. Great characters, however brief your time with them, real or imagined, live with you.
I was reviewing some notes last night, and this popped out from amongst them, it was written by Larissa Reissner in 1923 about the Schiffbeck in
Berlin, where anyone who was considered a "Communist" sympathiser could find themselves detained, and tortured, by the Freikorp...Elfriede is a young
woman detained there, and after having soldier after soldier scream at her that she is a "Communist slut", a "whore" and told that she is "not a
German woman but an animal", and all the while she hears the cries of pain of her male co-captives being beaten and tortured. Reissner wrote...
"Elfriede stood in that satanic corridor and cried out about Rosa Luxemburg until she was heard. When a girl arms herself with Rosa's name she is as
powerful and as dangerous as an armed man - she is a warrior and no one will touch her." (pages 224-227 The Weimar Republic Sourcebook. Kaes, Jay,
Rosa Luxemburg, the tiny little lame woman, her brain terrified them. I doubt they blew it out although that's the official story. Not the one I am
choosing to tell though.
Steinbeck I don't think I have ever read. I probably should - one day. My son's reading Of Mice and Men with school at the moment. I suspect it has
been added to the cirriculum again recently, getting the populace young and primed for austerity. Children today have very little second- let alone
first-hand knowledge of "going without" in the UK. Some do, recent immigrants I suppose who's parents may have fled famines or sought asylum here
from persecution, but most, have been adequately cushioned by the state, excepting abuse and neglect, to not have to go too long between meals. Or
indeed to know what life was like before all the trapping of technology. I barely know. Depression era literature is perhaps just the thing for
instilling a little perspective into what going without means to us, compared to what it meant, and still means, for others.