Med arie som fødselsdagssang

Fødselsdagen min den 13 august – 69 år, ikke noe å skjule, det – feiret Mari (datteren min, som er på besøk i anledning fødselsdagen) og jeg på litteraturhuset i Berlin. Det er nok det absolutte favorittstedet mitt, men jeg spiser ikke daglig der, til det er det for dyrt.

Litteraturhuset er verdt et besøk, anbefales. Det ligger i Fasanenstrasse i bydelen Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, i et skal vi kalle det høyklassestrøk, litt á la Frogner i Oslo. Litteraturhusets kafé frekventeres av det som i Norge ofte kalles kultureliten.

Bildet nedenfor er fra den ytterste delen av kafeen, som kalles vinterhagen. Med vakkert smijernsinnrammet glasstak og interessant kunst på veggene. Også selve bygningen er interessant og fredet, et av de siste patrisierhusene i Berlin. Det var en gang eid av en velstående familie – for igjen å sammenligne med Oslo: omtrent som villaene i Homansbyen. Ved siden av litteraturhuset ligger enda en slik villa, Käthe Kollwitz-museet. Mellom villaene en stor, parklignende hage. I hagen har kafeen utendørs servering, svært populært og nesten alltid fullt. Da er det helt greit å spørre om lov til å sette seg ved et bord som allerede er opptatt. Slik gjør vi det her i Berlin. Og så kommer man ofte i snakk og lærer mye nytt.

Café im Literaturhaus

Mari og jeg kom også denne kvelden i snakk med en annen gjest, i dette tilfellet en eldre herre ved nabobordet. Også det skjer ofte i Berlin, at man utveksler noen ord med dem man sitter rett ved siden av, ofte ganske tett sammen når det er fullt av gjester. Du kan lære mer om land og folk på denne måten enn på de fleste andre måter, i alle fall raskere. Herren ved nabobordet – for dette var virkelig en herre, en distingvert, velkledd eldre mann, høflig selvsagt, det er tyskere alltid – spurte oss om det var svensk vi snakket. Tyskerne kan som regel høre at det er et skandinavisk språk, men selvsagt ikke hvilket. Slik kom vi altså i snakk. Herren – Efraim Habermann – er en kjent fotokunstner, viste det seg. Han skaper fotokunst av minimalistisk karakter i svart-hvitt og gråtoner, helt nydelig. Kafeen i litteraturhuset har en samlebok med Habermanns bilder, og kelnerne hentet boken til oss. Nedenfor er to lenker til Habermanns bildekunst.

Habermann er jøde og unnslapp så vidt Holocaust. En ganske vanlig historie i denne byen, hvor det igjen bor nesten like mange jøder som før krigen. Antallet er grundig fylt opp av russiske jøder, som har kommet etter die Wende, altså gjenforeningen av de tyske statene i 1990, og av mange som har kommet tilbake fra Israel. Habermann hører til sistnevnte kategori. Han er en av de opprinnelige Berlin-jødene. Faren hans klarte så vidt å få familien ut og til Palestina før de store jødedeportasjonene startet. Da var Efraim 6 år, han er altså nå 84. I 1957 kom Efraim Habermann tilbake til Berlin. Da hadde han gjort ferdig militærtjenesten i Israel og hadde lært teknisk tegning i militæret.

I Berlin arbeidet han først som grafisk tegner, men etter hvert ble fotokunsten hans kjent og benyttet av aviser og tidsskrifter. Bildene hans er også kjøpt inn av flere av Berlins kunstmuseer.

Nå bor han i nabolaget til litteraturhuset – der har han bodd i 40 år – og er stamgjest på litteraturhusets kafé. Hver kveld sitter han der med sin kaffe og fører ”hoff” – en mengde mennesker kommer bort og snakker med ham. Mange av dem er åpenbart også kunstnere, kanskje også kunstprofessorer eller -kritikere, det er mange slike på litteraturhuset. Kelnerne, særlig de kvinnelige, svermer rundt Habermann. De sier ”du” til ham, det er ikke vanlig.

I boken kelnerne kom med, som vi straks leste i, sto det at Habermann ikke gjerne snakker om fortiden, altså barndommen i nazi-Berlin og hvorfor han vendte tilbake. Det spurte vi ham altså ikke om.

Det viste seg at Habermann ikke bare er fotokunstner, han er også amatør-operasanger. Da han fikk vite at det var min fødselsdag, sa han: Det er verdt en arie. Så reiste han seg, bredte armene ut og sang en opera-arie! Fra Rigoletto, viste det seg. Med kraftfull stemme. Vidunderlig at en så gammel, tynn mann kan ha en slik stemme. Han sang hele arien – i alle fall virket det slik for meg, jeg er ikke operakjenner. Alle gjestene i restauranten klappet. Dette er kanskje det snodigste som har hendt meg på en fødselsdag – og jeg har fått et minne for livet.

Nedenfor er det bildet jeg tok av Habermann da han forlot kafeen. I sin sedvanlige lyse kappe selv om det er sommer – den bærer han visstnok til alle årstider. Jeg burde selvsagt hatt et bilde av ham fra sangseansen – men da var jeg for overveldet til å summe meg til å fotografere.

Her er lenke til noe av fotokunsten til Efraim Habermann – ”Berlin Stilleben”.

http://lehmstedt.de/habermann.htm

Og her er det også akvareller: http://www.f-37.bar/efraim-habermann-i-aquarelle-und-fotografien/

Jeg i porten til litteraturhuset

90 thoughts on “Med arie som fødselsdagssang”

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