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.