Delta Moon had a sellout show last night at Thorndal Guitars in Thiersheim, Germany. I’m impressed and pleased that Dagmar and Gregor seem to be making a success of the place. Since a year and a half ago, when we last played there to a much smaller crowd, they have installed a new PA system and have remodeled several rooms of the old inn. They say most of their audience comes from 30 kilometers around, but last night I met people who had traveled from as far away as Munich and Pilzen.
Thiersheim is a small town near the corner of what was once West Germany, East Germany and Czechoslavakia. Dagmar and Greg are fascinated by the East.
“For my generation,” Dagmar said, “when we were growing up, the East did not exist. The DDR was not a real place to us. The Iron Curtain was only 12 kilometers from here, but we knew nothing of what lay on the other side.”
Greg told us how at the end of World War II his mother’s family was in Czechoslavakia. “The Communists took the concentration camp where the Germans had imprisoned the Jews and put all the Germans in it. Then they said, “Get out of our country,’ and held a death march — many people died — to the German border, where they let everyone go, with nothing. My mother was seven years old when she made this march. But the people in the area held strong Protestant views that they should help their neighbors. They helped my mother’s father find work and a place to live.
“Today there are some people, really,” Greg said, “who say that Germany is for Germans; the Turks should leave; the Lebanese should leave.”
“But Germany is a crossroads,” Dagmar said. “People come and go from everywhere. What is a real German?”
“I am lucky,” Greg said. “I can eat Turkish food. I can go to a Thai restaurant. These people have enriched my life in many ways. I tell them I am the son of immigrants, too.”