Dietrich and I have had many profound conversations over the years. We have a lot in common, but from opposite sides of the river. We both had fathers who were born in Germany. Mine was born to Jewish parents and escaped the external Holocaust by the skin of his teeth but was never able to escape the fear of annihilation that marked him for life. I grew up breathing the second hand smoke of the Holocaust through my father. By contrast Dietrich’s father participated directly in Adolph Hitler’s vision to create a super race for the purpose of world domination.
Dietrich Seidel is the German brother God put on my path in my search for innocence that is stronger than murder and genocide. I have had hundreds of conversations with brothers who were interested in restoration between Germans and Jews. My conversations with Dietrich, however, were different than any of those. What made them different was that Dietrich, like myself, had never lost the connection to being a boy who needed the encouragement, understanding and blessing of his father. When we talked, we transcended history and political correctness, because we spoke from that place of need that lives inside the boy who lives inside the adult and is at his mercy. My German brother understood the need for mercy, compassion and empathy from the inside out. What Dietrich and I discovered together is that there is a Holocaust that occurs every day in the microcosm of individual men, who decide whether or not they will listen to the inner cry love inside of themselves. It’s that simple. And in spite of all Dietrich intellectual accomplishments he was a simple, beautiful man. I love you, Dietrich and I am so grateful for the deep work of restoration that you and I did from that ironically powerful place of vulnerability and innocence. Be proud, my dear brother. You and I disentangled a piece of the Holocaust together and in so doing we freed our fathers in profound ways from the troubled world they were born into and the crazy impossible paths they were forced to walk.