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Pausing to honor memory on ANZAC Day in Germany

 

THE 25TH OF APRIL has been described by some as the birth of two nations: Australia and New Zealand. When the ANZACs were sent onto the beach at Gallipoli, no one foresaw the nationalism that would arise in the Antipodes. Those that had emigrated from Great Britain—whether forced or otherwise—saw that perhaps Britain wasn’t so great after all. This established national identities of loyalty, self determination, egalitarianism and hard work. 97 years later, ANZAC Day is a time when Australians and New Zealanders pause to reflect on those who fought on foreign lands, believing that they were leaving a legacy for the generations after them.

With four New Zealanders and an Australian as part of the TGS community, it seemed like a good idea to attend the ANZAC Day service, this year hosted by the New Zealand Embassy at the 1939-45 War Cemetery in Berlin. Furthermore, they have been studying legacy and memory in World Literature class, and it was an opportunity to integrate the two curricula. Students were asked to reflect on the service and how it is observed in Germany where there has to be a degree of political sensitivity.

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