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November 22, 2005

Ich Bin Berliner

Today I got my German citizenship back. Tomorrow I'll ask for a German passport. This is a strange day in my life. To think that I'm asking for citizenship of a country that just 60 years ago wanted to kill me. And 60 years ago Venezuela received us with open arms and now they don't want to give us equal rights. The world is weird, truly weird!

Deep down I never forgot where I was born even if I have never visited the place since. When asked where I was from I always replied: "Soy un caraqueño nacido en Berlín. (I'm a Caraqueño born in Berlin.)"

Our world moves two steps forward and one step back. In the 18th and 19th century Germany was the center of the cultural and scientific world. Bach, Beethoven, and Brahmas represent for me the best of Germany. But in the 20th century this once leading light fell into the depth of Dante's Hell. "How could it happen?" many people ask. Sixty years after the German surrender, Germany is back on the road to virtue.

On the contrary, Venezuela, once a most liberal state, is now on the way to the depths of Dante's Hell. The remarkable similarity is that the process was leaderized in both cases by one charismatic megalomaniac. The similarities are remarkable: Both were in the military. Both failed in a coup to overthrow the constituted government. Both languished in prison. Both were democratically elected. Both turned into vile dictators.

My next step in this adventure will be to visit my birthplace. I have already found on a city map of Berlin the place where I was born as well as the place where my dad and uncle had their factory.

What a wonderful adventure life is despite the terrible tragic moments.

Enjoy it. You live only once!

Denny Schlesinger
Caracas - Venezuela

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Last updated June 22, 2003