June 15, 2022 There are those days when nothing works anymore. Today is definitely one of those – I wake up and can’t get up. It’s good that I don’t have to go anywhere and can stay in bed for the time being – this is happening to me for the first time in weeks. My body seems to feel it and clearly shows: I have no more strength. Okay, then I’ll switch to standby for a moment.
I find my phone by the bed and read news from Ukraine. What happened that night? Since February 24, I’ve barely been able to watch a movie, haven’t been able to finish a book yet, but I absolutely must read the news before and after sleep. To make sure what’s happening is true. And it’s not over yet. Still not. Not even today.
The other day a neighbor asked me in the stairwell what the situation was like in my hometown. My answer was probably much too long for him, I saw in his eyes that he couldn’t follow me. Although he seemed very worried, he had never been to Kharkiv or Ukraine, so it must be difficult for him to visualize what I am telling him.
If he were to ask me again at some point, I would perhaps say to him: “Imagine that we in Berlin have been bombed every day for three months. Spandau is almost completely destroyed and Köpenick no longer exists. The Red Town Hall is in ruins, the Friedrichstadtpalast has burned down. And on social media, you keep seeing new pictures of people dying every day. people you know, good friends. Worse, their children. Your pretty children who graduated from school a few years ago.”
Among dozens of messages that I have received in the past few days but haven’t read yet, there is one with fresh pictures from Kharkiv. One shows a destroyed prefabricated building, I look at it for a long time. When I was 13, my parents, my sister and I moved to the Oleksiivka district, where we lived until 1995.
The house looked the same, a typical Soviet prefabricated building with two entrances and 128 apartments. Could that be our house in the photo? Black and gray balconies, glassless windows… We lived right here, on the 16th floor, at the top right, apartment no. 128.
When I visited Kharkiv two years ago, I was there with a photographer to have my picture taken in front of my house. In the computer I find the folder with the photos from the day. I still can’t tell if it’s the same building.
The day before yesterday, Eva Mair from Trikont wrote to me that I’ve only just got around to reading her email. In 2016 Trikont, the oldest indie record label in Germany, released Borsh Division – Future Sound Of Ukraine, a compilation of contemporary Ukrainian music I put together. I was very proud of this compilation, it was my honor to introduce the new Ukrainian bands to the European audience. Curiously, the German journalists found the trident drawn on the album cover threatening and refused to review the CD. Our borscht smells too strongly of nationalism, they wrote to us privately.
Your opinion on this has obviously changed, I see today. In the meantime, I’ve been asked about “Borsh Division” in every interview, and the songs from it are played on German radio. Three months ago, Trikont announced that all proceeds from the sale of the CD will be donated.
Eva writes that the compilation has meanwhile brought in 4600 euros, good news. Six years after its release, the “Future Sound Of Ukraine” has arrived here, while some of the musicians featured on the album are struggling in Ukraine right now, such as Ivan Lenyo from Kozak System or Alexandr Remez from the Band Ruki v Bryuki. I read a few days ago that he was injured.
Read more parts of the war diary here: