SOMETIME IN THE 2000S, a group of mostly Turkish women from an immigrant group called Neighborhood Mothers began meeting in the Neukölln district of Berlin to learn about the Holocaust. Their history lessons were part of a program facilitated by members of the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace, a Christian organization dedicated to German atonement for the Shoah. The Neighborhood Mothers were terrified by what they learned in these sessions. “How could a society turn so fanatical?” a group member named Nazmiye later recalled thinking. “We began to ask ourselves if they could do such a thing to us as well . . . whether we would find ourselves in the same position as the Jews.” But when they expressed this fear on a church visit organized by the program, their German hosts became apoplectic. “They told us to go back to our countries if this is how we think,” Nazmiye said. The session was abruptly ended and the women were asked to leave.

Bad Memory

This is a core fear of migrants in Germany and Europe and it’s not at all unjustified.

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