I live in Westerkappeln, a small village nearby Osnabruck. Berlin is far away. But my friends and my relatives got concerned about me when they read about Berlin attack. Nine deads (so far), many injured. Everyone remembered what happened in Nice five mounths ago, everyone observed shocked the vidoes recording that camion killing innocents. A similar scheme has just been followed in Berlin. Now, I do appreciate the care shown by my beloved people and I hope the number of deads will not be rising along these days. Attacking Berlin means several things: attacking the capital of the country leader in Europe, attacking Angela Merkel and her policy of "refugees welcome", attacking Christian festivity choosing a Christmas market as target. Moreover, Christmas markets are a beloved tradition here in Germany, thousands of people- Christians, Muslims, Budhists, atheists, everyone- attend them every year, charmed by the spell of Christmas lights and by the smell of super tasty food.
I must admit this has been a very intensive week all around the world: first the massacres in Aleppo, than the murder of Russian ambassador in Turkey by a man shouting "This is for Aleppo" and now the Berlin attack. It seems that the 1914 is come back and is leading slowly us towards a never returning point. Germany was not expecting to be found under attack, I always felt safe here and this feeling was not related to a good quality of police controls. It was due to the feeling that in Germany everyone can find at home, even in a village. Berlin is the multicultural city par excellence. It is the city that inspired many great artists. To quote my loved David Bowie: "I couldn't have written things like 'Low' and 'Heroes,' those particular albums, if it hadn't have been for Berlin and the kind of atmosphere I felt there". It is the city where you can find a hippie village and immediately next a reggae pub. It is the city where you can hear five different languages along your way. The terrorists did not attack only an European capital: they attacked a place where everyone can feel at home. They attacked my home.
I am aware that fear will spread over Germany soon. Fear of migrants living just around our corner, fear of every Muslim. They will be targeted as possible threats to our personal security. Political parties and moviments will target them as threats to the national security and blame over Merkel's decision to not close German borders as other national leaders (e.g. Orban) did and over European Union (because it is always EU's fault). They will lie on migrants and refugees, telling that they are invading our lands, stealing our jobs and changing our culture. Next year there will be national elections and parties like Pegida and AfD will be playing on people's fear in order to get votes as much as they can. I hope German government will be wise enough to maintain the calm and not overreacting as French government did at the time of Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan attacks. They must make a good use of law. Justice must not be turned into a way to send migrants and refugees away just because citizens are scared.
I am sorry for them, but I will not be afraid. I choose to live, I choose to embrace European values of multicultural diversity, equality, freedom. I stand up against the fear, fully aware of who is standing in front of me everyday at work: kids who took days and days to arrive in Germany, escaping from the atrocities committed in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. I refuse to not smile at their parents, talking with them, hug their kids who were the first ones to welcome me when I arrived. And I refuse to pray for Berlin, because praying will not bring dead people back. Instead of praying, I prefer acting in order to avoid that misinformation will increase racism and xenophobia in Germany and will cause sorrows to unarmed people. I still clearly have in mind what happened nearby Dresden, where migrants where cowardly attacked by Pegida members. After Berlin attack, we urge to educate even more adults and youngs to open their minds towards people who have been get thorugh evil since 2011 or even more.