“Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand”

February 28th, 2011

It’s been over a week since my last Gaddafi-related post, and things have moved on since then; largely in the right direction in the eyes of most people. A large proportion of news reports over the past week have naturally dealt with the effort to evacuate non-Libyans, among them Canadians and Irish, from what appears to be a rather epic endgame. Operation G.T.F.O. is well underway.

One of the stories coming out of Ireland is the case of a German pilot taking a group of Irish teachers from the horror of Tripoli airport (and having been there, I can vouch for its dreadfulness) to relative sanctuary in Istanbul. Every news report seems to lead with his nationality as if his very Germanness led him to indulge in these wonderful acts like a latter-day Moses. Whatever the case, the story reminded me of when I was three years hold and lost on a packed Killiney Beach in South County Dublin on one of those hot mid-summer days where everyone within two hours’ drive of the coast (i.e. everyone in the country) seems to load up the car and hit the sea. I walked, crying and semi-naked, up and down the beach searching for my Dad’s unique gait or the distinctive pitch of my Mother’s voice.

The Germans rescued me. Two of them, female and goddess-like. I have been told since that they were teenagers but to me at the time – in the way that when you’re three everyone over the age of six is ancient – they were grown ups. One of them put me on her shoulders and we strolled around between rock and sand searching for my family. We found them in the end.

Germans, I salute you.

  • tadhg

    Great article in the Times yesterday Hugo. Good work and well done. Tadhg O’Brien.

    • Hugo

      Thanks Tadhg. I was in Toronto last week with two of your sibs and your mum.