The lead actor of German Cold War drama Deutschland 83 has said Germans and Europeans have an “obligation” to help refugees.
In the subtitled thriller, which has been broadcast in the UK on Channel 4, Jonas Nay plays Martin Rauch: a young border guard from East Germany who is recruited by his Aunt, who also happens to be high up in the Stasi, to go undercover and spy on operations in West Germany.
Speaking to Matt Frei for Channel 4 News, Nay said he believes the standpoint Chancellor Angela Merkel has taken in regards to refugees is “very, very good” and he is “proud” to be German but it’s not just because of Merkel.
“I am very proud to be German. That’s not down to Angela Merkel or our policies. We have a certain obligation towards humanity as a democratic country,” which he believes transcends to helping those fleeing conflict.
“My generation has less of a connection to that part of more recent German history which is really dark,” the 25-year-old said, “In spite of this - perhaps because of this - we have an obligation to help people. This is asked of us in particular as Germans, that’s asked of all we Europeans. And I find our standpoint very good.”
Nay then went on to address the refugee crisis, of which his country has received the highest number of asylum applications. According to the BBC, German officials predict over a million refugees have entered the country.
“We shouldn’t ever forget that the refugee situation that we have in Europe is in actual fact only a symptom of a much bigger problem which we should look at politically,” Nay said, “The countries which people are fleeing, be it Syria or African countries, they are structurally weak, we have exploited them for decades.
“It’s simply… I think people should be talking about this. And more work should be done on this. Rather than focus on the symptom that we now have in refugees.”
Asked by Frei if we owe refugees something, Nay replied: “Definitely”.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies