Foto: Peter Käser
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"I came to Germany from the Bosnia-Herzegovina war zone in 1992, with my three small kids."
"In Sarajevo, the situation was very bad with snipers, grenade droppings etc. So I was very glad to be in a safe place with my children. It was nonetheless very difficult for me, because my parents and relatives were still in Bosnia and I had to leave my whole life behind me. Although I was happy to be safe, I was haunted by my war memories."
"I have strong organizational skills, a lot of confidence and I was not worried about doing something wrong just because I didn't know the laws here. So I achieved a lot of things."
"They said a refugee with a tolerated refugee status could not start an association, but I founded an association and also became its president. They also said that a refugee with a tolerated refugee status was not allowed to leave the municipality. However, I traveled back to the war zone hundreds of times and brought all the collected aid items there. I thought to myself, I am neither a prisoner nor a criminal. The German citizens gave me so much for my country, my people and children – I have to bring them what I receive. I said to myself, the police can arrest me when I come back – but they did not arrest me."
"The refugees arriving at the moment are not here because Mrs. Merkel said that, but because they want a safe life for their children. Every normal person would do the same in that situation. You go to the place offering safety and hope for the children."
"For me, it is important that we quickly start with integration efforts so that the refugees learn German and understand the way of life here. It's also important that they mingle quickly with the German population."
This is a story by Peter Käser, www.peterkaeser.ch