Unless you've been living under a rock, you know by now that there is an ongoing refugee crisis with thousands upon thousands of people fleeing a collapsing Syria (and Libya and Iraq and other regions) to any country that will admit them. This has become particularly divisive in certain European countries with a perfect storm of Islamophobia and proximity to the problem. Lots of people are campaigning against admitting refugees, while others are literally opening their doors to them. One such German Samaritan was Dirk Voltz, who had 24 Syrian guests stay with him and his partner, Mario. He wrote a post about the experience that has gone viral:
Here's what he wrote (as translated by BuzzFeed, not the insane automatic Facebook translator):
In bad times, one should consider their own balance sheet. Mine looks like this: Since July my partner and I have hosted approximately 24 people from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq in our place in Berlin. Our knives are still in the kitchen, precisely where I left them on the board. Before our guests from Syria and Iraq arrived. We never needed a key for our bedroom, except for one time a dear guest from Afghanistan needed it to play with our cats. Our four fat, old cats had as much fun as the young man.
But back to the knives: All that was stabbed with them in the weeks we hosted refugees in our home were onions, garlic and a looooot of meat.
Mario and I are still alive. Perhaps, even more intensively than before. Whether we´ll ever return to a “normal,” we do not know. How can I care about the luxury chatter from yesterday? Really, what the hell is happening here?
No Muslim who was there wanted to kill us in our sleep. No one insulted us because we are two men and share one bed. No one, by any means, said they prefer Sharia law over German Law. We did not meet one person who did not regret leaving their home. The only bad experience I can recall is that our new friends used a lot sugar and salt. So we bought it at the market and that was that.
Where is this Islamization that people in Germany have been so worried about past weeks? Maybe its stuck on the Balkan route somewhere. It’s there if you ask the so called “concerned citizens” of Germany… definitely. If not by now, then 2016, 2017, 2018…
The real disappointment that happened to us came in the form of ordinary text messages, death threats on the street, or insulting letters at the front door. Or simply by school friends, that rather cry and quote the AfD [Germany’s right-wing political party].
Instead of tackling the crisis, we act as if there is no tomorrow. Wake up finally!
As if one could stop this migration of people. As if we could personally influence which war will break out. As if we all don’t have a responsibility in the world’s happenings.
It may be that Islam does not belong to Germany. It’s also possible that the devil is part of every religion. Maybe I have to fight for my rights as a homosexual in ten years, more intensely than I have to do it now. It’s also possible that I realize at some point, I made mistakes. Everything is possible, nothing has to happen for sure!
Who knows? I mean, who knows what will be someday? Certainly I know that what happened this past summer and this fall have changed our lives. You can be there for other people. Or you can be scared. And if that happens, I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for those who live in fear.
Basically, Dirk had a great experience with all his Syrian guests, except for having to buy extra salt and sugar. Head-fake! It was a twist that played off headlines employed by xenophobic Germans trying to convince their countrymen 2015 should be the year hating people because of their religion makes its big comeback in Germany. In reality, the bad stuff was coming from people in his own country. Hopefully, Dirk's message will reach the people sending him hate mail. Even if they won't open up their doors, they can step the hell away from his.