Since I started in August 2015 to welcome refugees in Munich, 2016 in Idomeni camp and from 2017 on in Thessaloniki I have been writing texts to inform about the situation.
Sometimes also as a kind of therapy for myself.
I have been invited to read from my texts, speak about my experiences and give seminars.
In the years 2018-2022 I got €36.237,39 donations from friends and people in solidarity from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, France, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Spain, Romania. In 2023 I already got €1200
For our activities to fight against climate change we also need donations, as Greece needs a lot of sensibilisation for the issue and there is no money. Stay here informed about our activities.
IBAN: DE14701500000903121812 / BIC: SSKMDEMM
Ελληνικός λογαριασμός: GR8602602060000100201430994 / BIC: ERBKGRAA
In Griechenland brennen wie jedes Jahr die Wälder.
In den Städten werden (meist gesunde) Bäume abgeholzt, in Thessaloniki - sowieso schon mit der schlechtesten Luftqualität Europas - ist es nun im Sommer bei andauernden 36-42 Grad kaum mehr auszuhalten (und dennoch geht das Fällen weiter).
Eine LNG Station soll im Golf vor der Stadt ankern, Umweltschutz ist der Regierung egal, somit auch einen Großteil der Bevölkerung.
Das Greenwave Festival findet dieses Jahr das 11.Mal statt - wenn wir es wagen wieder alles aufzubauen, einige neue Zelte zu kaufen, Gäste für die Veranstaltungen aus Griechenland und Europa einzuladen um uns über grüne Ideen, Kämpfe und Erfolge zu berichten etc…
Unsere finanzielle Situation ist schlechter denn je, bitte teilt das Crowdfunding wild, wilder am wildesten!
Just Green it!!
Wir haben es so nötig hier
„Ok, no Food. This?“, she asked and pointed at a poster with clothes we have on our door.
It was difficult to explain her that we don’t do any distributions anymore.
„Tomorrow? Next week open?“
It was difficult to tell her that we don’t provide help anymore for the basic needs of the people. Locals, migrants, refugees.
This chat made it even worse.
I feel guilty that the only feeling I have now is relief.
Relief that we stopped the distributions after all these years when we supported hundreds and maybe thousands of people in that small place run by a couple of volunteers.
We have to tell the people this week that we will stop the distributions.
„Why“, one women who knows English, asked me and I explained. „That’s very bad news“, she said. „It was so helpful“.
I am expecting the next days and the coming week many people as everyone in the camp will learn it now and will try to get whatever is possible.
I feel bad because we don’t try anymore to find a way to continue.
I feel relieved when I think that we will stop after so many years finally.
To get a new passport was this time a bit more tricky. But still. There is the German consulate in Thessaloniki and I have a new passport for the next ten years.
For me it is every time like a little wonder that it is so easy, as I see so many people since so many years who cannot go anywhere because they don’t have the “right” passport.
Before I left the consulate, I had a conversation with the guy at the reception about passports, refugees in general, that his grandparents are refugees from Minor Asia, that his parents went for work to Germany and that he went there for studying but wanted to come back immediately afterwards.
And he said what we were saying so often the last period: “our grandparents refugees, our parents migrants and our generation fascists”. People have a short memory…
To get your passport easily is not because you are a better person but because you are randomly born somewhere. And we never know if we suddenly also will become refugees.
World Refugee Day.
How many years do we write something on that day.
Every year we have fewer words.
We have more sadness and anger.
Refugees around the world. War and poverty in so many countries.
On the borders of the EU, on the borders of Greece, crimes every day.
Every year I have fewer words.
I have more sadness for those people who have to leave their homes, who have to leave their relatives behind.
I have more anger at the lack of humanity, at the lack of information in Europe.
World Refugee Day 2023
Injustice knows no holidays.
Postcard from Lemnos island.
("We are swimming in the sea, the refugees are drowning."
"Enough! It's time to change migration politics in Greece and in the EU.")
I remember my professor in dramatics who corrected me during a presentation and told me "never use the word tragedy outside of the context of theatre."
This happened 30 years ago (and I did not have any connection to Greece except the ancient theatre and its pieces), but I remember like yesterday.
Neither Tempe, the train collision, nor Pelos, nor anything that happened before - and that will for sure happen again.
These are no tragedies. Tragedies we are writing for theatre. This what is happening are crimes from people who are doing what they are doing for their good, for their power and for themselves. From people who don't know what humanity means.
Banner: made by me: "We are asking for humanity" | picture: during a demonstration yesterday, 15/06/23 in Thessaloniki
There is this young man that I met 7,5 years ago in a camp in Munich. We became friends, kind of family, with him and another friend from the same town in Syria where they had to flee from due to the war.
Today was a rough day for humanity, for refugees and for us in Greece.
When I came home from the demonstration he sent me the picture of his certificate. He finished his studies today.
I am so so so so happy for him and can’t stop smiling now.
I will never get used to the "no rice/tomatoes/flour...?" instead of "thank you".
After seven years Europe still did not work on a solution. The Greek government worked - and will work - on fences and illegal „push-backs“ and inhumane conditions in camps and on difficulties in general for people on the flee.
Seven years ago police came before dawn to "evacuate" the 8500 people from Idomeni camp and to end a "humanitarian disaster", as they said.
Actually they evicted the camp and brought people in other camps and in a not ending humanitarian disaster. I remember that day like yesterday and that we knew that this was only the beginning.
I still see refugees every day when they come for food or clothes or anything they need for their daily life. I am so sick of it. For them, but also for us who are doing that work voluntarily since more than seven years while the European Union… well… let’s stop thinking about it.
Picture: Idomeni camp, 20/05/2016
She wanted to register.
As she spoke English I explained her that there is no registration, that we are helping everyone, that we are volunteers and what we have is from donations, so we never know what we can give when she will come every two weeks.
Where she lives and with whom I asked her.
By her own. In a house by a program. “But when this program ends all the Ukrainian people don’t have houses anymore and have to go back to Ukraine”, she said. Yes, as so many refugees from so many war zones in the world before, who had to flee and had less support than Ukrainian refugees have.
“The war began 8 years ago”, she wanted to share with me “but we did not care because it was far away from my hometown”. She cannot know that I know about what happened during the last decade in Ukraine, but I agreed.
I am so sad for all the people who have to flee their places. I am so sad for the Ukrainian people who don’t identify themselves as refugees, who cannot accept that they are in the same situation as people from Afghanistan, Irak, Syria, Somalia, Kongo…. are.
There are no “better” refugees and I could be a refugee. We never know. What a mess with all these wars in the world…
„No one is guilty.“ she said „Even an angel could not make it. No one is guilty, not the people who are seeking help, nor you. It is not not only about tiredness, about you don’t have the energy, it is in the nature of distributions that people are coming to take stuff, they are leaving, they don’t care about you“.
As we had different times it is difficult for me to accept it, but yes - I think these are wise words.
I will try to ignore during the next months the lack of „thank you“, of „good afternoon“ or all the indifference people are showing us every day. To ignore that they don’t respect the place nor us. That the majority only cares about themselves.
No one is guilty.
I felt bad that I had begun suddenly to speak about these bad feelings. I was thankful that we had this exchange of thoughts.
Today I have been an archaeologists. I removed one layer after the other. 4 layers of labels for a box. Years of clothes (and other) distributions.
“They don’t see us”, I expressed my feelings when we had a little later a discussion how to proceed this year.
Since a while now we are thinking how and if to continue our distributions. People are coming like in a supermarket. They don’t see us. They just take what they can get and leave.
Do we want it this way? Is this solidarity?
Actually, I want to be seen. Not only because I am not payed for that, but also because this is my understanding of solidarity: that we recognise each other. Solidarity it isn’t a one way road.
Well. I took al labels off. Somehow it has been a liberating feeling.