Europe from then to now - facing new challenges due to the refugee crisis

What do you think about the topic of this seminar - refugees?

Johannes: I think it’s very controversial, it’s very important for us to deal with this topic, learn something about it, hear different  opinions from people from other countries.  Currently in Europe  we  have the crisis and we are the young people who will form and shape this continent and the coming decade and that’s why we have to deal with  topics of such importance. 

Tanja: Well, I believe that talking about refugees is important because this crisis shows Europe has a serious problem planning what to do next and we, as  the youth of Europe,  should think about it. Maybe in a few years’ time we will be the ones who'll  be discussing such political and social situations, so I think  it's crucial that all of us are aware of the difficulties Europe has to deal with  now.

 

 

And what is the general attitude towards the refugees in your country?

Johannes: That’s hard to describe. There was some time, like in 2014, when there were  loads of people welcoming refugees and helping a lot. In Germany we had a real movement of volunteers helping or trying to help. It had never happened before and I guess it won’t happen again, but that was quite great, so the country really helped and everyone was engaged. Now the mood has just changed completely. We witness  a lot of violence,  attacs on refugees, not only with any kind of a weapon but also with bare hands, knives, stones and some accomodation being burnt. The police have captured some people who are accused of being agressive towards  refugees. The situation divides Germany in two or three parts, those who are trying to help and those who are completely against. We have a strong right party, which is, in my opinion, an extreme right party. For example the woman who  acts like its leader claims that if refugees appear on the German border and cross it without a permission, we  have to shoot them...

Tanja: I was really surprised, because all of us had expected something light and entertaining but it was a movie with a really deep and complex plot, quite hard to understand at times, representing a completely different point of view. So I'm truly thankful, because while watching I could see refugees with all of their problems and dilemmas and I believe it's really important for all of us to watch such films.

 

What do you think about the film we have watched „ For a Moment, Freedom“?

Johannes: It was a very emotional film, I really liked it. It made me really angry, to be honest, I think it was a good film but  it was  hard  as there were a lot of emotions but  you just could see how much European policy affects people’s lives – how people have to die because of it. It’s important for us  to realize how our policy and politicians standing in our names  actually influence our countries  and what the significance of their decisions is for other people.

Tanja: In my country we don't actually have refugees. They just pass my country by heading for France, Germany or Sweden. That’s why  in my country there is nothing like a general attitude, because politicians or citizens do not really think much about refugees. There were some projects and citizens have created camps for them but nobody has arrived so far.

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