Ellen Kositza

Ellen Kositza, born 1973 in West Germany, mother of seven children, publicist, was awarded, jointly with Peter Scholl-Latour, the Gerhard Löwenthal prize in 2008. Editor of the journal 'Sezession.'

Source: shutterstock Would all have courageously remained seated, surely: primary school class

A German diary:Rosa Parks in the Advent calendar

Not everyone is a hero

December 12: Our youngest daughter is unable to explain what this Advent calendar is about. She’s a primary school pupil. Apparently, every day a new hero or heroine is revealed in the school and his or her ‘story’ is read out. Not in religious education, where ‘moral education’ would be justifiable in my mind, but in the main class. Thus ‘on the side’ and as general instruction at the same time.

The whole thing is too . . . normal for me to scandalize it and confront the nice teacher with critical questions. What's the point? I don't live under a rock. I know what's going on. I just always find it interesting to see what this ‘does to my children.’

Before today, personalities such as Martin Luther King and Albert Schweitzer had their turn. Then my daughter comes home, rolling her eyes: “Today it was Rosa Parks.” So what?

“I was seething.” It's funny to imagine our dear little one 'seething'! – “But why?”

“So, the story is that this Ms Parks, apparently a black American, didn't get up in a bus to give a white person her seat.” – “So what? Maybe that was really a little heroic in the 1950s in the US?”

Daughter: “Yeah, maybe so. A type like Anne of Green Gables. Rebellious and all that. I know what you mean. Hey, you know what I mean, too.” – “Hm. What exactly?”

“Sometimes you just don't want to understand. It makes me mad! Sure, maybe it was super brave. And everyone in the class said they'd have remained seated too. But that's not true. I know for sure that A. and L. and W. would have got up immediately. They would NEVER have been like that! They would NEVER have been like that then, and they would NEVER be like that now! And that's the reason why I am seething. Never mind. Whatever. You don't understand what I mean.”

Oh yes, I do.

Extracts from the original online diary here (17/Dec/2019) at sezession.de translated and republished with permission from Ellen Kositza.

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