Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Refugees Welcomed in Germany

For the past month, German news has been primarily devoted to the refugee crisis. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have streamed into Europe, and Germany's response to the crisis has been surprising. Unlike Hungary, Greece and Italy, Germany is welcoming the refugees by donating food, clothes, shelter, medical care and money. The public mood in Germany is emphatically pro-refugee.

The last time there was a spike in immigration into Germany, in the 90s, refugees were left to their own devices. Only the radical left and churches offered organized help. Back then, the neo-Nazis demonstrated in front of refugee shelters and protested in the streets.  Even right-wing politicians spouted anti-immigrant rhetoric and called for mass deportations. Today, it's a different story. Angela Merkel has made it clear that the refugees are welcome and the sentiment is the same across the political spectrum. (Contrast this with the USA's response to immigration.) How will German society deal with this new wave of refugees in the long-term is unclear, but they seem on the right road toward assimilating these new arrivals.

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