The Integration Puzzle What a Million Refugees Mean for Everyday Life
More than a million refugees are now living in Germany. The next task is to integrate them. SPIEGEL spoke with dozens of experts and people working in the field about the everyday challenges the influx means for the country.
As Germany attempts to integrate hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East and Africa, SPIEGEL met with people around the country and posed some simple questions about its new residents, their integration and general challenges for German society.
What's working? What isn't? How much will it cost? Why go to all this trouble? And how do we expect things will turn out in the end? We spoke to 22 men and women who face these questions every day and asked them about their experiences, perspectives and the challenges they face.
Michael Schürks, 54, teaches self-defense classes in Berlin.
Why do you teach women how to hit, Mr. Schürks?
SPIEGEL: How's business?
Schürks: I've been doing this for eight years, but the demand for my courses has never been higher due to the New Year's attacks in Cologne. That really changed the world.
SPIEGEL: What are the women who come to you afraid of?
Schürks: They're afraid of being raped and injured. There was a lot of that in Cologne, as there often is when you have a large number of men and a small number of women and the alcohol is flowing. It doesn't matter where the men are from.
SPIEGEL: What do you teach women?
Schürks: Highly effective physical self-defense. I show them how to hit an attacker where he is most vulnerable, regardless of how strong he is.
SPIEGEL: Pepper spray sales are up too.
Schürks: I would advise against that. With weapons, you're constantly moving them back and forth in your bag, so you're always reminded of violence. That's toxic for your quality of life.
- Part 1: What a Million Refugees Mean for Everyday Life
- Part 2: Integration 101
- Part 3: Are Refugees More Violent?
- Part 4: Frustration and a Lack of Resources
- Part 5: Teaching Refugees to Swim
- Part 6: 'A Challenge Like No Other'
- Part 7: The Doctor's Advice: Learn German and Be Patient
- Part 8: A 1.5 Billion Burden for the Healthcare System?
- Part 9: Dancing Away Stereotypes and Prejudice
- Part 10: The Midwife's Migraine
- Part 11: Germany Will Need 20,000 New Teachers for Refugees
- Part 12: 'We Need Time'
- Part 13: 'We Will Only Manage This If We Have the Infrastructure'
- Part 14: 'We Will Undergo a Multicultural Transformation'
- Part 15: Refugees at Our Doorsteps
- Part 16: 1.09 Million Refugees Registered in 2015
- Part 17: Policing the Refugee Camps
- Part 18: The Refugee Bill
- Part 19: Integration Will Be a Task for Decades to Come
- Part 20: 'An Open Economy Would Be Unimaginable without Immigration'
- Part 21: BMW Courts Refugees
- Part 22: A Michelin Star and Refugees
- Part 23: 'What Is a Petroleum Technician?'