Refugees at a Germany Concert

We got to spend time in Germany with refugees from Syria, Eritrea and Iran. 

Karin and Wilfried Rauscher, the organizers of the Balinger Rock Festival, not only invited 150 refugees to the festival but gave the ones that came backstage VIP access.  This display of hospitality was the most impactful part of my trip to Germany.  Their entrance to the event was free from the suspicion and uninformed bias that they might be used to – rather, they were greeted as the guests of honor. 

Philip and I had the privilege of spending some time in their company.  We ate.  We talked about food from the mid-east, soccer and rap music. 

And then we listened to the heartbreaking stories of families having to flee for their lives from war torn regions.  Of plastic rafts and mass drownings in the Mediterranean Sea.  We listened to the stories of the immense hardship these displaced people must go through in order to eventually find safe harbor and sanctuary among the German people – a nation that is sacrificing so much to literally save the lives of people that would die without a place to go. 

And there – sitting in the south of Germany with Muslims and Christians, Germans, Americans, Syrians, Persians and Eritreans – I couldn’t help but think how the very thing we were engaged in was, in a way, a silent protest against the dark powers that would try to prevent this integration. 

Reichs come and go. 

As do Caliphates, borders, walls, prejudice, terror, democracies and demagogues. 

On the other hand 

Das Reich des Königs hält ewig. 

The King’s Kingdom lasts forever. 

I feel like Karin and Wilfried’s actions represented the King’s Kingdom.  And those actions will last forever.  As will the actions of so many hospitable German people impacting the lives of these precious people that have been through so much.  “I was a stranger and you took me in”. 

We won’t stop playing concerts because of Bataclan in Paris.  We won’t stop flying overseas because of what happened in Brussels or Turkey this week.   We won’t stop using our voice to speak for those that can’t speak for themselves, to plead the cause of the oppressed and the displaced.  Hope’s not giving up.



David Zach - March 2016

2 comments

  • Arthur Klassen

    Arthur Klassen Coquitlam, BC (Greater Vancouver)

    You wrote: "And there – sitting in the south of Germany with Muslims and Christians, Germans, Americans, Syrians, Persians and Eritreans – I couldn’t help but think how the very thing we were engaged in was, in a way, a silent protest against the dark powers that would try to prevent this integration." There's nothing silent about your "protest". It wasn't as noisy as a single barrel bomb or AK round, but it was one more echo of the thunderclap heard early one Sunday morning as the seals on a rock over a tomb snapped and gravity, like death worked backward for once. Like this long-haired blonde dude from my side of the continent, your side of the 49th, once sang: "they should have known you can't keep a good man down." (or was that "Good Man"?)

    You wrote: "And there – sitting in the south of Germany with Muslims and Christians, Germans, Americans, Syrians, Persians and Eritreans – I couldn’t help but think how the very thing we were engaged in was, in a way, a silent protest against the dark powers that would try to prevent this integration."

    There's nothing silent about your "protest". It wasn't as noisy as a single barrel bomb or AK round, but it was one more echo of the thunderclap heard early one Sunday morning as the seals on a rock over a tomb snapped and gravity, like death worked backward for once. Like this long-haired blonde dude from my side of the continent, your side of the 49th, once sang: "they should have known you can't keep a good man down." (or was that "Good Man"?)

  • David Zach

    David Zach Nashville

    Arthur - beautiful words man!

    Arthur - beautiful words man!

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