After the grief for the victims of Hanau, fear remains in everyday life. Our author suddenly realizes how his family's life has changed in Germany.
February 26, 2020, 6:31 p.m.
Khesrau Behroz, born in 1987, lives in Berlin, he is the editor-in-chief and co-editor of the ROM community magazine. After the racially motivated attack in Hanau, he wonders how terror will change his everyday life and his family's life in Germany.
It is the day after Hanau. It's a day after a disaster. My mother calls me from Kassel. The first seconds are always the same, the first words are always in Farsi: how is your body, how is your mind? We pronounce it at the same time, nobody expects an honest answer from the other, thank you, I'm fine.
But this time she says something else afterwards: she has a strange feeling, I'm always out and about in Berlin when she calls. I should take care of myself, not go out as much anymore. She talks about the boy who shot and the boy who died, he was 22, right? I don't know, mom. The killer should have been intelligent. Abi and so, she heard that. The father is still alive, right? He's still alive, I say.
Khesrau Behroz © Valentina von Klencke
I was strangely untouched by the news from Hanau on Thursday, maybe because the rituals are so tiring, the good words, the right sentences, the tweets and Instagram stories. I don't know what to do with myself. How should I react to this? It is not as if the attack came as a surprise. The mood is poor in this country. I have not been feeling well for weeks, but I am repressing it very well.
But then my mother calls me, like back when I was younger, 15, 16, 17, maybe when she still had every right to ask for caution when I had other things told me. She speaks to me as if I were back15, all those formulas from back then. This parent-child game of "take care" and "yes, I take care of myself" and "don't drink so much" and I'm coming home drunk and she just shakes her head and, well, nothing happened , nothing happens.
"Back then it was just the carelessness that my mother wanted to protect me from. And today?" Khesrau Behroz
I am now in my early 30s. I haven't heard my mother say such sentences in years. Now she starts again. And like the child that I am, that I will always be, on that day after Hanau I speak those calming formulas that I already spoke on the phone back then, when it was just being a child, the carelessness that my mother wanted to protect me from. And today?
Terror changes our everyday lives, changes our lives in public space: It systematically spreads fear and terror. My mother, who never talks about politics, who only traces her days on the phone, sometimes asks for help with the formulation of German sentences, which asks me if I know how my brother is doing if he doesn't call back immediately Mother is suddenly afraid because she hears on the news that foreigners are being shot again in Germany.