Mittwoch, 13. März 2019

Time to say 'Ich bin Deutscher'

Lucky link – Britain and Bavaria

‘I solemnly declare that I will respect and observe the Basic Law and the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany, and that I will refrain from any activity which might cause it harm.’ 

In less than ninety seconds it’s taken to render the third and final verse of Deutschland über alles, and swear this oath of citizenship, I’ve suddenly become German. Climbing onto the rostrum, a photographer from the Mittelboar snaps me receiving my Einbürgerungszertifikat from the County Commissioner. Listening to each one called up almost feels like voting time at the Eurovision Song Contest – Croatia, Turkey, Poland, Lithuania, Bosnia-Herzegovina....

No points for any one today though. In fact, only one single nationality seems to interest the local press. Clicking his camera from different angles, the reporter asks for my take on the Brexit vote. I hesitate, wondering whether it’s wise to answer at all. How much time has he got? Stepping down from the podium, I pass two other Brits. It’s their turn too to take the oath only a fortnight before Britain bows out of Europe.

Na, Glück gehabt,’ – hey, that was lucky – quips the Commissioner a little later, as we mingle and mix over Kaffee and Gebäck. Was he too referring to the ‘B’ word? 

Standing for the all-pervading Catholic state party of Bavaria, our local member of parliament appears to personify the quintessential German politician: stern, solemn and straight-faced to a tea. Yet, face-to-face, just inches away from the Freistaat flag, I can’t help noticing a tiny twinkle in his eye.

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