There was a sort of gathering of the clan at the weekend for the other half’s dad’s ninety-fifth birthday. The clan still gathered in Bad Wörishofen, but the old boy was lying in a hospital bed some ten kilometres down the road in Mindelheim, therefore, a wee visit there was the order of the day before we could join them.
Mindelheim is a pretty little medieval municipality, pretty mundane, it reeks of that sort of morbid Catholicism which can also be found in nearby Memmingen. Moreover, you can imagine that just as was the case in not too far away Memmingen, witches were also being burned here, in the not so long ago. Therefore, it came as no surprise that there was no WiFi connection in the cafe ego visited, while his missus visited her dad and that is why, coffee supped, cheese cake eaten, it was inevitable that there would be a stroll and saunter to see the sights in this very much the opposite of a slick city.
So, past this old building and this old church, this catholic endowment and this rather nondescript shop, a jesuit, or order of St.Francis, foundation, a man stuck on a cross with big nails through his hands and round the corner to this little square and another old church with another man stuck on a cross with big nails through his hands and then that is when it got interesting. There, sort of diagonally opposite the church, on a wall, was a list of those citizens of Mindelheim who died in World War II and a reminder that, when it comes to history, we don’t always need to read books.
Alright, alright, the shenanigans only just kicked off in September 1939 and maybe that is why there are only six names for that year. Still, not too many for 1940, while 1941 is also still relatively easy to read, and then …. well, it was all meant to be over before the winter, but it wasn’t and it soon came to a halt in front of Leningrad, while down on the Volga they were also getting stuck in the mud at Stalingrad and the number of names begin to make sense. The evidence would seem to suggest that for most Germans the real war began in the summer of 1941. It most definitely did for the citizens of the Soviet Union, 20 million of whom were to give their lives between June 1941 and May 1945.
Of course, what if that wall wasn’t there? Well, there are the cemeteries, but what if there weren’t any cemeteries and what about all the “missing” on the list and all the unmarked graves. Yes, sometimes you don’t always need books when it comes to history, but what if books are all we have? Well, that is a problem, because when we only have books, what happens when they re-write the books.
Well then we have some very strange revisionist views of history and that is why we come to Palestine. Now, forget about the “land without people lie, the so-called “Oslo Peace Process”, the “two state solution” absurdity, and welcome to a little compilation of maps which, apparently, only those of us who are at best unrealistic, but more probably mad, refer to. Now, it is not being suggested that we return to the 1946 map. However, what about the map from 1947 and in the meantime ,as a gesture of good faith, the apartheid wall, which makes any two-state solution impossible, could be dismantled and replaced by a very different wall …. a wall not too different from the one in Mindelheim.