Refugee crisis: German man takes in 24 asylum-seekers and describes his 'disappointing' experience

Dirk Voltz invited a group of people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to stay with him

A German man who decided to open up his home to 24 refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan has written an account of his 'disappointing' experience, but it's not quite what you might expect.

And before rushing in to condemn his choice of phrasing, it's worth reading what he meant by 'disappointing' - and what exactly he was referring to. 

For Dirk Voltz - who invited the large group to stay with him and his partner, Mario, at their home in Berlin - the only disenchantment came from the realisation that stories about migrants being responsible for theft and violence were simply... scaremongering.

Instead, Mr Voltz quips that he was astounded to discover that his knives were "still in the kitchen", precisely where he left them; that they "never needed a key for the bedroom" and that all that was "stabbed" in the weeks the couple hosted the desperate migrants in their home were "onions, garlic and a looooot of meat". 

Gerade in schlechten Zeiten sollte man die eigene Bilanz prüfen. Meine schaut so aus: Seit Juli rund 24 Leute aus...

Posted by Dirk Voltz on Monday, 2 November 2015

The clever, funny account appeared in a Facebook post that has swiftly gone viral, thanks to its poignant yet sarcastic tone. 

In the post, which has been translated by BuzzFeed, Mr Voltz writes: "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."

He also reflects on the way it has changed himself and his partner - and how accepted they felt in turn, by the people they took in.

dirkvoltz-web.jpg
Dirk Voltz shared a tongue-in-cheek account of his experience hosting refugees

"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."

He also joked that the only bad experience that really occurred was running out of salt and sugar. 

"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…"

And he said that it was the reactions from those around him - not from the actions of refugees - that disappointed him most. 

"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."

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