Home as a gut feeling

What is home, where is home? We asked three people who moved out into the world from Germany.

Walter J. Lindner is German Ambassador to India.
Walter J. Lindner is German Ambassador to India. picture alliance/dpa

Home is where I sense my roots

Since my daughter moved out, my parents and my brother died, and my 14th transcontinental move, I’m tempted to say that my home is where my furniture is. But another feeling is gradually creeping up on me too: feeling at home, sensing cultural roots. These sensations can be triggered by a crispy butter pretzel, a Bach concert in the Church of St Thomas, or a morning walk in the whimsical neighbourhood of Friedrichshain. This gut feeling of home occurs very rarely when I’m in far-away places. So, my feeling of home equates with a tolerant and multi-coloured Germany, combined with a generous helping of journeys to distant lands.”

Walter J. Lindner
Walter J. Lindner, 62, comes from Munich. In 1988 he entered the diplomatic service. Since April 2019 he has represented the Federal Republic of Germany in India. And he is a passionate musician.

Home is where my family lives

For me, home isn’t a place, but more of a feeling. I spent my childhood and youth in Trier, and I associate it with family, my time at school and the friends that shaped me. Brussels only became my home after I founded a family. We only put down roots through the children. In a nutshell: home is the family, no matter where it lives.”

 Gina Braun-Friderici
Gina Braun-Friderici, 41, grew up in Trier. She studied in Saarbrücken and France and has been working for the European Parliament in Brussels since 2003.

Home is where I come from

For me, home is where I come from, and where my roots are – in Heppenheim. That’s where I gathered my most important experiences, made friends and collected memories during my youth and my school years – and they have endured to this day. That’s where I feel the urge to return, time and again. I feel very much at ease in Shanghai, where I also have many social and professional contacts. But for me, ‘second home’ is an empty phrase. There’s only one home for me.”

Dietmar Winter
Dietmar Winter, 55, grew up in Heppenheim. In the 1990s he studied in China, and since 2000 he has lived in Shanghai where he heads a German company.

Reports: Martin Orth

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