It's pretty simple, really. If you have seen and lived through the horror of war, you wouldn't even need to ask...
As we recently reported here, German citizens have been so welcoming to the refugees fleeing Syria that local police had to actually tell them to stop bringing more aid. Just four hours after local authorities in Munich first asked people to donate much-needed goods to those arriving in the country, the only items that were still required were sim cards for cellphones. The generosity shown by the German public has been overwhelming, and puts Britain to shame.
In this very touching Channel 4 video report, a journalist asks an elderly lady in Munich why she is helping asylum seekers. A confused look crosses her face. “Why?” She asks incredulously, before giving an answer that is both simple and heart-wrenching at the same time. Shaking her head at the (stupid) question, she replies: “This is normally” [sic]. “I live here in a very rich country. We don’t have war here.” Then the woman seems to become emotional before saying, “We had war here. The second [world] war. I come from this generation and I know what it means.” At this point she stops talking and looks at the reporter. “I know,” she repeats emphatically.
And while there were a minority of Neo-Nazis determined to gatecrash the welcome party, according to a report this week, our sources in Germany say this kind lady’s attitude is by no means the exception.
If you have suffered, you cultivate empathy. And while that’s not surprising, it’s a shame that some people are unable to comprehend the horror of war without having to go through it themselves. We all have imaginations, don’t we?
Another lady, waiting at a German railway station to hand out teddy bears and candy to Syrian children, had this to say: “I really appreciate how Germany is able to welcome these people. There are some countries like Hungary and Great Britain that I don’t quite understand, because this is a crisis concerning all Europe, or all the world. I’m quite sad about the fact Europe is not able to find an agreement altogether.”
Watch this feel-good video to see the relief and gratitude on the faces of the Syrian people who arrived today in Germany, and please share in solidarity!
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