In supposedly xenophobic Brandenburg, near the Polish border, a few Syrian kids save a famous village school from imminent closure, winning over locals’ acceptance and affection. Are the new “Kinder von Golzow” a Merkel refugee integration dream come true? We checked the reality of it.
Picture this: it’s a dark, chilly evening in October 2015. In a small village in eastern Brandenburg, concerned citizens are heatedly arguing against their beloved recreational centre being converted into an emergency refugee shelter. Amidst the angry crowd fearing for their “women and children”, some uttering clearly disparaging comments such as “Muslims have no respect for women” (including a particularly vehement NPD member), one person stands out: a young Muslim woman wrapped in a long coat, her headscarf closely tied around her neck. She came to the meeting to show her solidarity with the villagers, voicing in shaky German her own concerns for her children. Her name is Halima Taha. She’s a refugee from Syria, turned proud Golzower.
EX-Berliner: Welcome to Golzow