The two things about Germany, as a country, that intrigue me the most are the language and the history.
The language, unlike most throughout Central Europe, cannot be typically described as beautiful, like French, nor does it share the same musical quality of Italian. Instead, partly due to its abrupt phonetics, the German language can come across to some as quite harsh and dominating in its structure, both written and spoken – although the latter characteristic may be attributed to certain aspects of German history.
German, as it stands, is one of only two foreign languages I would ever consider undertaking to learn (the other being Russian, conveniently similar – if only slightly – in sound and phonetics) and I feel the most appropriate environment for me to learn would be the country itself. All I would bring with me to assist in this regard is a simple phrase book.
‘History’ is, fortunately, a broad term in this context and encompasses all topics, from architecture to agriculture. How Germany came into being and continues to thrive, despite however many hindrances it has suffered and endured in between, is of great interest to me.
I have, and have always had, a particular fascination with the Second World War and I am curious to discover, firsthand if possible, how the people of Germany coped – or didn’t cope – with the political machinations of their fuhrer, and the ensuing war machine, throughout that unforgettable period.
It is an intention of mine to make an extended visit to Germany, or several short ones, and hopefully earn a position with a local historical society, so that I may freely research the intriguing country and compile my findings with two possible goals in mind:
1. A non-fiction biography of the country as a whole throughout the 20th century;
2. A more personal fiction about a family through the generations as they endure and survive, and lament and celebrate all that Germany has been and perhaps will be.