Saturday, September 12, 2015

The 800,000 versus the 10,000

There's really something to be said for German efficiency in a millennial refugee crisis. Obama says he can only let in 10,000 and gee, isn't he generous. Those Germans are out there with welcome signs in English and Syrian, handing out apples, water, home-baked yummies, and medical care to the 800,000 who are here or on the way, including 40,000 children. Future Lehramt (teaching) students, this is great for you! You'll all get jobs. When the Neo-Nazis tried to horn in at the Dortmund main station, the good guys drowned them out with smiles and balloons and slogans and friendly remarks. At the Munich main station, a big banner flew: No Place for Neo-Nazis. The bad guys are in a minority here in Germany--Idaho has more Aryan Nation types than Germany--but Germany is trying so hard to live down its dark days that it will use its natural efficiency to the good. Not to ship people to their deaths but to build housing and get them medical care. Germany still carries the burden of its enormous guilt.
"But can we take a whole nation into Germany?" asked one of my students.
"Oh, why not? Ever since masses of people walked across the Bering Strait eons ago, migration has been happening. Nations are so temporary. Each private home can help."
"Yes, I see," said my student, who seemed dazed, and did not wish to disagree with the teacher. I'd rather she not question my assertions or use the critical thinking skills I've been insisting on because in this particular instance she, like most Germans, is anxious. Anxious Germans look to a leader. Let's go for a good one: "Let 'em all in! Help them! They need friendly moments, good food, medical and emotional care, and a laugh--and some music." All of which I hope to offer to the five or six Syrians who will grace our dinner table next weekend. Stay tuned.


  1. I want to hear about that dinner! Also want to talk to you soon. Let me know a good time to call.

  2. Anytime, given the six hour time difference. Mornings are best, but that's too early for you . . . early afternoon? Try anytime. Up until 4:00 p.m. your time. After that, we conk.