Source: Abby d’Arcy, BBC World Service
Hilde Schramm – aged 79 – has spent a life campaigning for peace, fighting racism, and supporting Germany’s green movement. This year she decided to help two Syrian refugees, but they have ended up helping her in return.
Admiring the apple, peach and pear trees flanking her beautiful Berlin villa, Hilde Schramm suddenly stops me. She’s spotted a stranger inside her home. She guesses he’s Syrian, and chuckles. “That’s really nice,” she says, genuinely pleased. “My Syrian lodgers bring friends. They always know people coming from Syria. They stay here while they decide what to do next.”
Schramm has been sharing her home, her kitchen and bathroom for eight months now with two Syrian refugees, Nizar and Ahmad. For Schramm it seemed the logical thing to do, as the country’s reception centres struggle to cope with the influx of refugees and migrants.
“Whoever has space for a refugee, should take one home,” she says, batting away my suggestion that this takes a certain amount of courage. “The decision was very simple,” she tells me. “We had space here and everyone agreed to it.”