14 Sep 2015 — 0 Comments — — Estimated reading time: 3 minutes read
Last year, I was in Jerusalem during at Yom Ha’atzmaut — the Israeli independence day. I had a great experience in this wonderful city with real nice people. It was a very peaceful, open and friendly celebration in the heart of modern Jerusalem.
After being in some other bars, we got to The Voice of free Jerusalem where I had a really great experience. They where playing Habiluim what I really liked. So I asked the bartender (whose name I unfortunately don’t remember) which band was playing. So it was Habiluim and he asked where I came from and why I was in Israel.
So I told him, that I was from Cologne so from Germany — I reckon this is the typical order I answer this question — and that I was in Israel for business. Immediately he switched language and we were talking in German. He told me that he had lived in Berlin for five years and just recently got back home to open the bar. We had a really nice chat and after some time we were standing in front of the bar.
We were still chatting. Then suddenly some guys in their beginning twenties came to us and asked us why we were talking German — and for sure they asked us in German. Those guys were in Jerusalem with some jewish American organisation. And amazingly crazy they were all eager to talk German with me. It was a really great situation that showed me how positive young people from Israel see Germany — despite our history.
When I saw the pictures of people welcoming refugees with applause over in Munich, I became really proud about how many Germans react to these huge challenges. I’m proud that a big majority is aiming to help them. And I’m also really proud, that Germany has become the place to be for many people around the world. That refugees choose Germany as their destination. I really love the picture that we send around. Sure, big efforts have to be taken and it will be tough. For both, Germans and refugees. But there is absolutely no doubt for me that this will enrich our lifes.
Disclaimer: the German government decided to close down the borders yesterday — but I still believe, that Willkommenskultur will be one of the new foundations of the German culture.