Fluchthilfe is not a crime
When Lilia, a Syrian friend of ours, told us what difficulties and harassment she had to face when leaving her crisis-ridden home, it became clear to us that action ought to be taken.
While Europeans can travel to almost every country in the world without problems this is not the case for most people coming to Europe. When they have to flee for a reason whatsoever the European Union forces them to risk their lives on small boats or under the spindles of trucks. But even if they manage to climb the walls of fortress Europe, there is no freedom of movement for them. The Dublin III regulation prevents them from leaving the country they enter the EU.
But how could we possibly help? Well, simply by providing aid when crossing borders. The so called “Fluchthelfer” who helped people quit the former GDR were being decorated after the fall of the Iron curtain. So why should helping people cross borders be less honorable these days.
Give refugees a lift!
We decided to launch a campaign that would promote the idea of helping refugees cross the EU borders e.g. by giving refugees a lift on your way back from holidays. And guess what? The response to it was overwhelming! On our website fluchthelfer.in we provided people with some basic information on how to proceed in order to become a Fluchthelfer.in. Nationwide there were posters popping up in the streets and even in front of the authority for non-residents in Berlin. GDR-Fluchthelfer have been decorated with the order of merit of the FRG back in the 1990s. So why shouldn’t today’s Fluchthelfer be honoured in the same way? We decided to award the European Order of Merit to those who helped people cross borders recently. And since legislation doesn’t recognize the honourability of Fluchthilfe, we started a crowdfunding campaign that would helping Fluchthelfer when facing legal consequences – and collected some 17.000 euros!
By the way: Unsurprisingly, a large number of people weren’t fond of our campaign. Some of them even carried out some sophisticated research on our collective and developed a conspiracy theory. What an honour!