A few days after the assassination attempt in Hanau, our reader Trung Hoàng Lê sent us diary notes. He actually wants to write a letter to his child who has not yet been born, but two events cause him to pause: The first part of his notes comes from February 5, the day on which the FDP candidate Thomas Kemmerich in the Thuringian state parliament with the help of votes from the AfD was elected Prime Minister. He wrote the second part on February 20, a day after a racist perpetrator shot nine people in Hanau and then killed himself and his mother.

February 5, 2020

I'll be a father in a month. I have been writing a letter to my child for several months. But today it was impossible to continue the letter. Because every time I sit down at the table, I see myself standing motionless in a valley. In the distance there is a dam. I know it will break sooner or later because the water is already up to my knees. I would have to flee. But where?

In the Thuringian state parliament, the FDP candidate Thomas Kemmerich was elected prime minister - with the help of AfD votes.

Trung Hoàng Lê © private

My child's mother is white. I am not. When we talk about the child's name, we cannot avoid the question of whether a German or Vietnamese name would be cheaper. Yes, cheaper. I can't think of a better word for this weighing process. Which name will it use to win people's favor? Vietnamese or German origin?

Will he encounter hate if it bears my name? If his facial features are perceived as strange - isn't it better that he at least had a recognizable German name? I am not comfortable thinking these thoughts and writing these lines. I am ashamed to think so.

I am also ashamed when the young man in the tram keeps staring at me and contemptuously lifts the corner of his mouth. At least he doesn't have a butterfly knife with him like the other man on the train who plays ostentatiously with it. Fortunately, it is still bright.

It is bright and the Democrats are awake. But are they really? For a long time I thought that the democratic majority would not shy away from social and political efforts to stem the waves of hatred. But the election in Thuringia exposes my hopes as naive.

More than a quarter of the dam is ailing. In the Thuringian parliament, there were no young people on the margins of society that I encounter in the course of my therapeutic work. They were people from the social and political center. Then the middle joined forces with those who ridicule democracy, who willingly use the anger of others for their purposes. A depressing day when the exception threatens to prove to be the rule. Something yields that can be vital for those who live in the valley.

Am I dramatizing too much? May be. But what kind of a father would I be if I didn't recognize the danger and do my utmost to keep it away from my child?