my name is lisa kalvelage

by pete seeger

my name is lisa kalvelage, i was born in nuremberg
and when the trials were held there 19 years ago
it seemed to me ridiculous to hold a nation all to blame
for the horrors that the world did undergo

a short while later when i applied to be a gi bride
an american councilor official questioned me
he refused my exit permit, said my answer did not show
that i learned my lesson about responsibility

then suddenly i was forced to start thinking on this theme
and later when i was permitted to immigrate
i must have been asked a 100 times where i was, what i did 
in those years when hitler ruled our state

i said i was a child, or at most a teenager
but that only continued the questioning
they'd ask where were my parents, my father, my mother
and to this i could not answer a thing

a seed planted there in neurenberg '47
started to sprout and grow
gradually i understood what that verdict meant to me
when there are crimes that i can see and know

and now i also know what it is to be charged with mass guilt
once in a life time is enough for me
no i couldn't take it for a second time 
and that's why i'm here today

the events of may 25th, the day of our protest
put a small balance weight on the other side
and hopefully some day my contribution to peace
will help just a bit to turn the tide

perhaps i can tell it to my children 6
and later on, their own children
and at least in the future they need not be silent 
when they're asked, where was your mother when

my name is lisa kalvelage
(i wonder, where was my mother then)

Ani DiFranco Lyrics brought to you by danah boyd since 1995