Berlin’s history of welcome

POSTCARDS FROM EUROPE

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Photo: Ruby Pratka

The Franzözische Dom (French Cathedral) in Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt was built in the late 1600s to accommodate thousands of French Protestant refugees.

In 2015, Germany found itself at the centre of a storm unprecedented in recent history, when tens of thousands of refugees from the Middle East, mostly from war-ravaged Syria, streamed into the country. Chancellor Angela Merkel famously told Germany and the world, “Wir schaffen das!” (We can do this!) For Merkel, integrating the refugees was a “national duty.”