“sirus-the story of a little dog who almost changed history”
By Jonathan crown.
“A new law comes into force ,forbidding Jews from keeping pets.They are instructed to immediately put their dogs or cats to sleep.Germans are also forbidden from keeping Jewish pets.”
“Jewish pets?Erwin wrinkels his brow.How do you recognize a Jewish pet?Does it hang its head sadly when it trots past a burnt down synagogue?Is it particularly lazy on saturdays?Is its nose a different shape?”
“No one can differentiate a German dog from a Jewish dog better than the Reichsmarshall.”(Hermann Göring)
“The breed was reared by Prince Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfels,a noble Hessian family that goes back to the 12th century.The lion is its heraldic animal.”
“Hansi,” he calls approvingly,”the blue blood of the count Palatine runs in your veins.The stately castles of noble knights are your kennels.”
“Even his testicles don’t escape an appraisal.Göring comes to his ceremonious conclusion:
“Hansi,you are a good dog.”
A conversation with his tree helps the dog once Levi then Sirus then Hansi make up his mind;
“You’re unsure?”asks the tree.
“So i see,” says the tree.”You no longer know where home is.”
“I’m going to tell you something”, says the tree .”Home is there wherever your heart is.”
“My heart?” asks Sirus.
“Yes”, says the tree.”where is your heart at home?”
“With the people I lovr,” says Sirus.
“So there you have it”, says the tree.”You have found your home ,after all.Now your home just has to find you.”
“I don’t understand,” says Sirus.
“Just wait,” says the tree.”
Yann Martel spoke about his interest in the holocaust in a recent talk in Zürich.He said he was facinated with the topic of the holocaust even though he is not Jewish because it was a unique war where the citizens of a country were declared enemies of their own people.
I find myself disagreeing with that observation ,i feel that the holocaust was more the way Jonathan Crown described it,a war of racism ,it was a war against people considered inferior because of reasons that has nothing to do with their life choices but the circumstances of their birth.
Too many people are obsessed with their family origin and pedigree and it goes as far as choosing a dog.
There are too many dogs murdered every day in shelters all over the world because they have no home and the animal shelters are overcrowded and have no budget to feed and keep dogs .
Why do human beings insist on pure bred dogs when there is so much evidence to prove they are less healthy than mixed breeds?
Why are human beings obsessed with pedigree and origin?
And how can any human being elect a racist leader?
The novel illuminates historical facts through the point of view of a dog who survives a killing of his siblings ,dogs given Hebrew names,by pretending to be a cushion.
The dog born Levi is then raised by jews in Berlin at the time of the rise of the fascist Nazis and learns to pretend to be Aryan ,changing names,sirus,then he becomes a movie star in Hollywood and Hansi,beloved by Hitler where he picks up military secrets from beneath the table and provides the information to the German underground by playing a code on the Piano.
The novel paints not only a picture of Berlin during the war but provides facts;there were 160,000
Jews living in Berlin and 15,000 hidden.
The dog hides his identity easily but the following questions come up:
What is an identity?
Where is home?
What is the meaning of race?
What is fate?
Jonathan Crown has written a magnificant novel honoring his family who had lived in Berlin during the war , to which he dedicates the novel .
The novel not only describes Berlin during the war,it describes the exodus of German speaking jews from Germany and Austria;Billy wilder and many others ,to Hollywood.
This human need of escaping reality kept hollywood busy during those years when millions were being killed all over occupied Europe.
The novel can change one’s way of looking at life and strengthen the need to be more human as taught by dogs.
It is translated from German and purchasing it in Germany made it even more poignant and timely.
Please do not vote for a fascist leader ever again,the book reminds us why.
And on another matter of no less importance,it has occured to me that there ought to be memorial day for animals who had died in wars and through acts of terror.
Once a year we should remember the animals who had given their lives in the service of mankind and who sadly failed to teach humanity to be more humane.