Berlin hiking trip: Connections between Assad’s Syria and Nazi Germany

Two Syrian brothers variety a strolling concert tour in Berlin with an endeavor to inform Germans by what this means getting a Syrian fleeing Assad, and how close truly toward Nazi routine in pre-World War II Germany.

Two Syrian brothers, Mohammad and Nebras, tend to be refugees in Berlin.

In their free time they grab group on taking walks tours of the urban area’s ancient landmarks, attracting contrasting between the Nazi-era past and just what Syrians are currently suffering beneath the routine of Bashar al Assad.

The brothers in addition stay abreast of additional worldwide reports. While the refugee crisis on the Poland-Belarus line ruled the news headlines period the other day, Nebras and Mohammed could relate solely to the down sides faced by 1000s of stranded refugees amid the harsh weather.

In 2013, these were among a group of refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict. After gaining asylum in Germany, they made a decision to inform their own facts. They desired to inform neighbors in Berlin concerning the situation that obligated them to abandon anything they had in Damascus and start to become refugees in a different area.

Ever since then, every Saturday afternoon, they lead taking walks tours of Berlin’s once-wartorn neighbourhoods. Through private stories and tales, the 2 brothers suck parallels amongst the Syria today in addition to 1940s Germany.

Refugee Voice trips in Berlin supplies a historic insight into the criminal activities of Assad regime, frequently attracting parallels with Germany’s dark colored past. ()


Those older Berlin neighbourhoods have been reconditioned, nevertheless government has made an aware work maintain the remains of the past as a note. There’s a word with this kind of remembrance in German, ‘Vergangenheitbewaltigung’. They is the continual battle of coming to terms and conditions with an extremely challenging last. This can include visiting conditions together with the widespread peoples legal rights violations perpetrated because of the Nazi Party, which governed Germany when you look at the years resulting in the 2nd community battle.

It’s an original walking tour that attracts besides 1000s of visitors exactly who go to Berlin yearly, but also Germans and regional Berliners. For a number of of those residents, Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans become their new neighbours.

The walking concert tour begins on Platz diverses Volkaufstandes, based out of front side of the Finance Ministry. Their term translates as ?the host to the popular uprising.? This is the website of just one associated with the earliest protests against the East German Communist Government in June 1953, in which nearly 70 people were shot dead. For the wake, around 15,000 happened to be arrested and considering long-term prison phrases.

Platz des Volkaufstandes will be the first stop from the hiking tour appropriate near the existing loans Ministry. ()

Mohammed pulls parallels between that incident in Germany as well as the recent political uprisings against President Bashar Al-Assad of Syria. He additionally sees a link into the uprisings for the 1980s during rule of Hafez Al-Assad, the daddy associated with current President of Syria.

“On the tour, we jokingly consider Syria as Assad household company,” Mohammed quips.

The 30-year-old Mohammed comes from a small city outside Damascus, “I happened to be learning math at college whenever the first signs of the larger Syrian civil conflict began. We kept institution in 2012 and very quickly the Syrian army emerged slamming to write me. I experienced to exit Syria to not fight for Assad,” says Mohammed.

He found its way to Germany in 2013 and began volunteering as a tour guidelines immediately after. This hiking trip was personal to him, and he’s curated it with worthwhile speaking guidelines, both historical and relevant.

“I try to describe how Syria gone from several peaceful protests to a worldwide proxy conflict,” says Mohammed.

Given that concert tour moves on we arrive at a strengthening aptly known as the Topography of horror. It’s a major vacationer hotspot, right beside the remains of older Berlin Wall.

The 2nd prevent regarding the walking trip: geography of horror. ()

Here the Nazis catalogued men and women – mainly Jews – and delivered them to concentration camps. One of many architects of the program was one also known as Alois Brunner.

The storyline of Brunner’s advancement to electricity when you look at the Nazi program is actually interesting – but exactly how they links with modern-day Syria try much more compelling.

Brunner worked in the office accountable for the required deportation of Jews from Vienna. As a reward once and for all task efficiency, the Nazis transported your to Berlin. Around the guy worked at SS Reich Security Main company, and is today the geography of horror and section of Mohammed’s hiking concert tour.

Brunner is noted for their brutal torture means. Relating to some records, the guy physically conducted interrogations thus intense that their company walls had been sealed in bloodstream spatter and round holes. Following Second World War ended Brunner been able to evade capture. In 1954 the guy escaped Germany, basic to Rome following Egypt before winding up in Syria, where he or she is said to has died in 2001.

In accordance with Mohammed, it’s believed that Brunner hit up an union together with the Syrian authorities and helped these with their particular cleverness. Supposedly he put his torture techniques with your from Germany, which Syrian regimes subsequently familiar with quash several governmental uprisings.

There are a few sightings of Brunner in Damascus through the decades. He appeared to enjoy life in town while he seen accommodation plus dined with acquaintances in public areas.

Most on Mohammad’s hiking trip were dumbstruck by thought of an old high-ranking Nazi officer enjoying existence in exile according to the safeguards of Syria’s national. This’s maybe not well known in Germany is equally as baffling for them.

Almost 20 anyone regarding the go this Saturday are surprised by connections involving the Nazis and Assad routine in Syria. ()

Felix, who life and works in Berlin, is found on this journey together with his sweetheart as well as their dog. “I’d no idea of all this. I am shocked. This is certainly absolutely appalling information,” according to him.

“We understand that the Syrian program is actually well-respected and brutal in quashing protests, nevertheless getting straight connected with the previous Nazi routine, and exactly how its links return back several many years, was unbelievable,” he brings.

Mohammad describes to his audience how the Syrian regimen, mirroring both Nazis and Stasi in eastern Germany, at first permitted protests but reported those in attendance. Then they gone in arresting folks – often inside the lots. Most were never ever read from again.

Refugee sound Tours in Berlin provides a historical perspective to the crimes associated dating a straight girl with the Assad regimen, typically drawing parallels with Germany’s dark colored history. To date, they usually have bought out 10,000 people from almost 85 various nations on walking trips. How big the Saturday tour groups boosts merely somewhat each week, but as Mohammad places it, for people who do sign up for, “their views and comprehension broadens far more.”

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