Germans raise a glass to love in anti-Isis message
Tom Barfield · 23 Mar 2016, 10:03
Published: 23 Mar 2016 10:03 GMT+01:00
- Terror suspects driving from Belgium arrested in Bavaria (23 Mar 16)
- Berlin calls for Europe-wide data control to fight terrorism (23 Mar 16)
- 'Strength in unity': Germany responds to Brussels terror (22 Mar 16)
Germany shares with neighbouring Belgium a love for a well-brewed beer and the warmth of a dim pub room full of friends, laughter and conversation.
And while the tragedy of the bombings on the Belgian and European capital's airport and metro was heartbreakingly close to home for Belgians, in Germany many people were determined to show that life would go on in response to the attacks.
The "here's to love" hashtag was launched by Kathrin Weßling, social media editor at Spiegel Online, who posted a picture of herself on Facebook holding a glass with the caption "Here's to love, listening to one another, respecting oneself and others, being honest, shouting, screaming, talking about everything and drinking, to kissing and confetti, to life and freedom."
"The post came from my feeling that I had already had after Paris and all the other attacks in recent months when I came back to my empty flat: this feeling that I've seen pain and hate and terror all day and that now I want exactly the opposite," Weßling told Wired Germany.
"I don't accept that this should poison me and everyone else. Because that's exactly what Isis wants: that we're afraid, we isolate ourselves, don't feel any joy or love for anything any more."
As fellow journalists picked up on the idea it quickly spread across social networks on Tuesday evening, with the hashtag #aufdieliebe (here's to love) becoming a trending topic on Twitter.
People posted photos alone, like Weßling's colleague at Spiegel Online Torsten Beeck, who wrote "No fear. No hate. No Terror. Here's to love"...
Others posted photos in couples...
Or from crowded bars...
With their children...
Or at the busy Pariser Platz in front of the Brandenburg Gate, lit up in the colours of the Belgian flag.
Muslim organizations joined in the trend, replacing the alcohol with a glass of tea...
...one of them as far away as Tunisia.
good morning Tunisia ❤Imagine all the peopleLiving life in peace❤#aufdieLiebeSHARE FOR PEACE❤TEILEN FÜR DEN FRIEDEN❤PARTAGEZ POUR LA PAIX❤ photocredit Dar HayetPosted by Tunisia,Tunisie,Tunesien,Тунис,Tunísia,تونس,Túnez,Tunisko,Τυνησία,Tunezja on Wednesday, March 23, 2016
"Of course you don't stop a terrorist attack [with a hashtag]," Weßling told wired. "No-one as an individual person can achieve something like that... [but] when people show solidarity - and it doesn't matter how - we show that we won't accept this. That we're watching. That we are taking part.
"It can't do more than that. But I already think that's a lot."