Five years after the “refugee crisis”, Germany discusses the Chancellor’s three words: “We can do it”. Wouldn’t we have better things to do? But.
Uncontrolled immigration like 2015 shouldn’t happen again – that would tear Germany and Europe apart. The events brought Pegida a handbreadth of water under its keel and washed the AfD in all parliaments. Brexit followed, right-wing extremists ascended the governments in Austria and Italy, right-wing conservative nationalists settled in Hungary and Poland, for example.
There can be no total isolation, as the völkisch nationalists dream – neither for economic reasons (even among nursing staff, unemployment rose during the Corona crisis), nor for moral reasons (people at the gates and gates of Europe die miserable or miserable vegetate away).
Why don’t you care what the Minister of Development Cooperation does?
It is the task of politicians to find a balance here. There is only a reason. This includes actually seriously addressing the common causes of flight in terms of foreign policy. A minister in the federal government has been campaigning for this for years. Unfortunately, he is hardly heard: Dr. Gerd Müller of the CSU. The Federal Minister for Development Cooperation is doing a great job, only often under the surface of public perception.
Why doesn’t anyone care what they do? But when there are refugees for you again, the nagging is great. Domestically, Germany should make the issue much more prominent. This includes the creation of a federal ministry for immigration and integration after next year’s federal election. As a leading authority, it could bundle the issues of foreign and domestic policy.
Three empty words
That’s what the country should be discussing, not three words from the Chancellor. The hysterical debate over Angela Merkel’s “ We can do it ” statement, which she first said five years ago on August 31, 2015, was fueled in the country mainly by AfD, Pegida and their willing aides in the public opinion forming process, who were pleased that others emphasize the nationalist element, imposed. This ‘we can do it’ debate is constructed and unfair. If it were fair, it should be clear to everyone what is actually meant by “creating”.
What do you have to achieve? When was which task completed successfully? AfD voters are likely to give a different answer than supporters of the Greens, leftists a different answer than liberals, people with a migration history a different answer than those without.
This what, the description that some would probably build around the word “deportation” and most others around the word “living together,” should be central to the debate. The phrase “We can do it” is nothing more than an object that refugee policy critics and “Merkel-must-go” callers have been working on for years.
There are three empty words that the CDU leader spoke at the time during a summer press conference.
“Success in immigration will only be measured after years”
They were not a programmatic statement. Not the title of a political program. They were simply an attempt at encouragement that was totally over-interpreted. What else should the Chancellor have said in the exceptional situation of 2015? For example: “Germany is going under! Save yourself, who can!”?
The success of immigration, whatever it becomes, can only be measured after years, rather decades. Arriving abroad is usually a problem for generations. As always, Germany is too impatient with this question. A hundred years of Polish immigration passed before names like Nowak, Kaminski, Podolski and Ziemiak became “unremarkable”. This will be similar for other names. In any case, five years is not a time frame for such questions.
This week I met a refugee who has lived in Dortmund for five years. Let’s call him Abu Badr. He is from Aleppo. In 2014 he had a traumatic experience. In panic, the brave man jumped on his only child, who was playing peacefully on a playground in the now-bombed eastern part of the Syrian metropolis. What happened?
Will Refugees Ever Be Germans?
A soldier of the Syrian army ran across the playground. Several rebels rushed after him. Without paying attention to the boy playing, they opened fire on the soldier. Shocked, Abu Badr threw his stocky body at his son to protect him from ricochets. Today he is in an apartment in the north of Dortmund. “I never want to experience something like that again,” he says, “Syria has done itself for me. I’m not going back. I want my only child to grow up in safety.”
Abu Badr has chosen Germany. But will he ever be German? Want to be German? What is German actually? His son will grow up here and probably become German and also have children who are still German. Abu Badr did it? Will his son make it first? Or even his grandchildren?
Measuring the success or failure of the phrase ‘we can do it’ is equally ideologically glorified. For some the glass is half full, for others it is half empty. The assessment is usually based on political attitudes: left or right.
Germany welcomed both good and bad people
Germany has taken in hundreds of thousands of people, both good and bad. Some refugees have exploited and betrayed the willingness of Germany and Europe to help in the most disgusting way. They had their fingers involved in the worst crimes: in terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels, Berlin or Ansbach, in rape and murders such as in Freiburg, on New Year’s Eve in Cologne 2015/2016. All these terrible events and others are well known to most people.
What they are less aware of is how bitter it is for many refugees: an Afghan between the ages of 20 and 30 is gunned down at the Bulgarian border; a 30-year-old Iraqi freezes over there; a three-year-old boy washed up dead on the beach; In Idomeni, a desperate refugee sets himself on fire; Minors see themselves forced into prostitution; “Rescuers” from the Libyan Mediterranean Coast Guard hit refugees with a rope and drive away at full speed, although one person is still hanging from the outer ladder; Refugees who cannot pay are executed in Libyan camps to make way for other, more affluent “clients”, others are raped, tortured and blackmailed. 71 people choking on a truck, their bodies, drowned and trapped, are discovered in Austria.
11,000 people with a refugee background are registered at universities
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), at least 13,572 men, women and children drowned in the Mediterranean between 2014 and last Tuesday. and were in Germany since 2015, 10,937 attacks on refugees and their housing have been recorded, including 1,895 physical attacks and 277 arson attacks.
In addition to such dire numbers and reports, there are countless positive stories to be told by refugees – by good students, talented interns, hard-working students and hard-working professionals. Nesar Ahmad Aliyar came to Geldern in the Lower Rhine five years ago without any knowledge of the language and has now obtained his Abitur with 0.8. Adulkeriem Alhanafi from Leinzell is Germany’s best glazier.
Since the winter semester 2015/2016 10,087 young people with a refugee background are enrolled at German universities. On average, about 40 percent of the refugees have found work. What do these numbers mean now? Are those good grades? Is the glass half full? Did “we” make it? I personally find these developments encouraging, but I see no reason to abandon efforts now.
Other questions are essential
Therefore, I would like the media and politics to blow up less empty sentences in iconographic motifs, similar to what they did with the phrase “Islam belongs to Germany”. Statements like “We can do it” are important because of their symbolic power, but we can only move forward if we discuss the content.
What has Angela Merkel brought about politically in five years and how should that be judged? Has enough been done for integration? Was the agreement between the EU and Turkey correct? Was your opposition to some EU countries’ refusal to distribute refugees enough? If not, how would it have been better?
Five years of “We Can Do It” is a chimera. The essential questions are different. They don’t look to the past. But above all, they are focused on the future …