Heimat /Home is a trilogy: three texts by three authors meet on our blog for three consecutive weeks and inspire each other. They all revolve around the question: What does home /Heimat mean to me?

Judith Albrecht

Translated by Joanna Mitchell

It is a coincidence where we are born
Whether we stay or go, is either a decision or fate

Home can be something we choose, or something eternally missed.
Some don‘t even think about it at all
Home can be friends or family
Home is something we try to preserve
We can lose our homeland
Or suddenly feel foreign in our own home
Home can be a burden, or the memory of warming words and tender embraces
Home can be the language in which we describe our inner worlds.
Home can be the feeling of being understood and accepted.
Home can mean security, although many homelands are insecure
Home can be the stories of our ancestors, a smell, a sound, a movement
The stroll through familiar streets and neighbourhoods, the same road that we always walk
Home cannot be enforced, and there can be more than one home
Home is always simultaneously past and present,
to have it, to lose it, to search for it has an impact on our future
sometimes we are closer, sometimes more distant
It seems to be important….

My uncle and granduncle after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Both had not seen each other for years due to the construction of the wall.

*Translator’s note: how do you translate the word Heimat?
In German, the term Heimat is used synonymously for the concept of ‘home’ or ‘homeland’,
i.e. the place one feels native to. For the English translation of this text, we used the words
‘home’ and ‘homeland’ alternatingly to reflect this dual meaning.