On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. 30 years later, franceinfo went to meet Germans who tell their story, their history and their country. Hermann Lugan, 41, grandson of a Hitler submariner, is Franco-German and lives in Berlin.
Hermann Lugan was born in France from a French father and a German mother. More unexpected, Maryse, his companion, is Belgian and their two children have the triple nationality French, German and Belgian. Reflecting a little, it was therefore quite logical that Hermann meet us at a Russian restaurant in Berlin to tell each other.
Hermann was eleven years old when the Berlin wall fell in 1989. He was living in France then and the image that remained of the fall of the communist regime, it is the emotion of his mother, in tears in front of the television , not being sure to understand what was really happening. 30 years later, Hermann ended up living in Berlin and so it's not quite trivial. He has been working in the cultural services of the French Embassy for almost two years now, and he loves his life in the German capital, between East and West, between his apartment in Prenzlauer Berg and the Brandenburg Gate where his house is located. office. Hermann claims that this very European course is “chances of life”, but also explains that he always wanted to understand why his two grandfathers “could have killed each other during the Second World War“.
Jan, his 7-year-old son and Zélie, his 11-year-old daughter, both play football and go to school in a neighborhood you might think “made for childrenIn a country with a low birth rate, the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin has the highest density of children in Germany and it can be seen in the streets, so Hermann did not choose to support his family in East of the city for historical or political reasons: only for practical reasons. “Even though Prenzlauer Berg was in East Berlin, the neighborhood has been considerably 'gentrified' since the fall of the wall.In Paris, we would talk about neighborhood bobo.I wanted the whole family can feel good in our new life” . In other words, living in an extraordinary city, living in a neighborhood that is too.
Spend time atparadise“does not mean being disconnected from the more brutal realities of the city or the country.” In front of his beer and his plate of beef Strogonoff, Hermann explains that he considers himself a “cultural actor”. AT 41 years old, he saw his career as a choice and if he “Engaged” in culture, so that artists can “to express oneself and to propose an alternative vision of the world“.
Since his “bubble Berlin“As he likes to call it, Hermann remains an attentive observer of the city and Germany today: “In recent times there has been a lot of talk about the 30th anniversary of the fall of the wall, but I have the feeling that the Germans are not in a process of blatant celebration, we all have a very critical look at what these Last 30 years, especially for the East Germans, we analyze the effects that the capitalist steamroller has had. “
The West has almost 'bought' the whole of the East and today, the Germans are very much concerned about the future. Suddenly, we look a little less naively this liberation that could be … or appear the fall of the wall.at franceinfo
Hermann does not believe that the Germans want to rebuild a wall and divide the country again, but does not want to deny that some of his compatriots feel “Have-account” and therefore succumb to “rancid and fascist ideologies”. Recent results of the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, a far-right party) prove it, especially in the eastern Länder. Where unemployment rates are highest, the AfD has confirmed its status and it scares Hermann.
There is a lot of talk about the rise of the extreme Right, neo-Nazism, and it refers to a part of Hermann's family history: his maternal grandfather was a submariner during the Second World War. A Level 2 soldier on the Nazi responsibility ladder established by the Allies, just behind the SS. As a result, once the conflict ended, he had to spend three years in a sort of denazification camp in the north of England. He learned the language. When he talks about this grandfather, in the space of two seconds, Hermann becomes a child sitting on a chair too big. Hermann is no longer really his 1.93 m and his strong voice is naturally softer. “I wanted to study history to confront his story, he remains for me a model, an example of humanism, a man of great openness who, once returned to Germany, created the first German-Polish association, the purpose of which was to bring peoples together, not to challenge the frontiers inherited from the war. “
The waitress has just brought him his second beer Hermann goes on “Europeanness” of this grandfather who has worked hard for his children to travel and to learn languages (Russian, French or English). In time, his grandfather ended up not knowing how and why he had succumbed to Nazi ideology.
So yes, seeing this thought springing up again today is “a pain” for Hermann: “It is destabilizing and we realize, on this occasion, that in Europe, during 10 or 20 years, we were more anxious to fight the supposed danger of religious radicalization than to attack or understand the ultra-righteous, which was able to thrive, and we are feeling the repercussions in Germany today … and in a fairly strong way! “
During the whole meal, Hermann tried to rationalize, not to be overwhelmed by his emotions, to talk about his family in the most neutral way possible, to talk about his happiness to live in Berlin in a “world city ” and “opened”but at the time of the dessert with apples, he was still let fall by his fears to see his Germany fall back into chaos.