Watching the Refugee Crisis from my Living Room Window

Americans are probably familiar with the hot-button issue that is going on in Germany – the Syrian Refugee Crisis.  They were hit right in the feels a few weeks ago as the haunting photo of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi’s body washed on the shores of Turkey made its rounds all over the world.  It was then so many Americans cried out to do something about the crisis.

But Germany had already started to get the ball rolling.  You see, the photo of little Aylan was not the first photo of a drowned child that I had come a crossed concerning this crisis. There were many others before him (I do not suggest looking for these photos – if seeing Aylan’s made you depressed then seeing more will not make you feel any better).

Personally I feel the turning point for Germany wasn’t JUST the images of drowned children – it was also the news of a truck filled with 71 people found abandoned on the side of the Austrian Autobahn heading for Germany.  It is believed that these poor souls had suffocated while being crammed into a small refrigerated truck.  No offense but these smugglers were idiots.  To regulate temperature in an enclosed fridge – it MUST be sealed off.  This means that cramming over 70 people in a sealed room means that they will run out of oxygen real quick!  But these monsters didn’t care about the lives of these people – they already had their money.  All 71 (including 4 children) were found so decomposed that identifying them was initially deemed impossible.  Almost immediately (following a paper trail), six people were brought into custody and of those six, three were arrested (including the driver of the truck).

I remember hearing it on the radio one morning (our alarm is set to an Austrian radio station where they sing “Guten Morgen Österreich!” or “Good Morning Austria” every five bloody minutes!).  There was a lot of dialogue about this topic between me and some coworkers.  How horrifying it must have been and how monstrous these smugglers were to treat these people that way.  Personally I was not surprised because it is the same situation for the Latin Immigrants who try to make their way to the US. But I digress….

Germany decided to take action. They knew it needed to be done and all other countries in the EU were simply turning their backs on these people and literally saying “not my problem.”  There are plenty of people out there who cannot believe that Germany would do this (including Germans like the ones who set fire to a refugee camp in Wertheim over the weekend as well as the infamous Islamist hate group PEGIDA).  A lot of Americans are also saying that by letting in these refugees, they are leaving themselves vulnerable to a potential ISIS attack (because to a lot of Americans, browned skinned Muslim = terrorist, see story about Ahmed and the Clock Bomb).  There are those out there who see these Refugees coming into Germany just to leech off the socialist programs and never have to work.

But that’s where they are wrong.  While Germans are SUPER generous – they are also not stupid.  There is method to this madness…

You see, Germany has a negative birth rate.  This means that more people are dying than being born.  These younger generations of Germans are just not having kids.  The German baby-boomer generation is dying out and/or retiring soon and suddenly there will be many MANY more jobs and not enough Germans from the younger generations to take their place.  That’s where the Syrians come in.  Many who are or have been coming are well educated – with the ability to fill this employment hole that will come to Germany in the near future.  These are people who could do the jobs that Germany needs.

Of course they have to learn the language first and that does take time – but the end goal will be to integrate these people into German society where they will be contributing members.  But then again not even all the Germans see it this way but only time will tell to see which side is right.

While the plan is considered a win-win situation for both parties – I still feel like Germany can’t win.  After the first few weekends of Refugees flooding into a country at a rate they had not prepared for – they closed their borders temporarily.  They want to get through the people they have before even more flood in.  Unfortunately parts of the world do not see it that way.  They complain that Germany is no longer helping these people and yet no other country in the EU (or even the States) have opened their borders to help these people.

It’s like that scene in Titanic when all the victims try to get into the lifeboat and it almost capsizes (actually I believe one or two do flip).  This is what Germany is trying to avoid.  They want to help the people and to help as many as their country can.  But you have to remember that Germany already has 85 million people in a country the size of Montana and they are expecting about 1 million refugees to come in in this year alone.  There is only so much that this country can do.

Anyway, the issue is never-ending and very complicated and there is more I can write about the subject but for now I will leave you with the video of the first wave of Refugee’s welcome to Germany

Bis nächste Woche!

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