• Germany's news in English

Expats in Berlin walk Wall for refugees

The Local · 2 Oct 2014, 12:08

Published: 02 Oct 2014 12:08 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The English-speaking expats, who have raised €700 so far for the UN refugee agency UNHCR, will walk in two groups, with one starting south of the capital and one to the north.

The walk on October 3rd ties in with the first anniversary of the Lampedusa tragedy and German Unity Day, which commemorates German reunification in 1990.

Organizer David Gordon Smith, 42, said: “For years I've been interested in the plight of migrants and refugees who try to enter Europe illegally, by crossing the Mediterranean.

“Like many people, I was especially shocked and saddened by the shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa in October 2013, where over 360 people died."

“I felt I wanted to do something to mark the event and to help in some small way," the translator added.

The two groups will walk around 20 kilometres each to eventually meet at the Brandenburg Gate. 

David, who moved to Berlin in 1998 from Glenlivet, Scotland, added: “Obviously the Wall is a symbol of a barrier that separated people for decades and which claimed many lives. The idea seemed to find resonance with other expats when I told them about it.

“I think that, having left our own countries, we are perhaps especially sensitive to the plight of migrants less fortunate than ourselves, who have been forced into desperate measures because of, for example, crises in the country where they happen to live, or who are just seeking a better life for themselves and their families.”

Story continues below…

Around 160 kilometres of the former Berlin Wall has been turned into a walking route and is signposted as the "Berliner Mauerweg".

You can sponsor the group and raise money for the UNHCR here.

Do you have a story for The Local? Email news@thelocal.de

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Eurowings braces as cabin crew union proclaims strike
Photo: DPA

A union representing cabin crew for Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings announced that strikes could take place at any time over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.

Mysterious German U-boat wreckage found off Scotland
Photo: ScottishPower

First World War U-boat "attacked by sea monster” thought to be found off Scottish coast.

Supermarket Edeka warns of exploding apple juice bottles
Photo: DPA

"Risk of injury" from "Gut und Günstig" sparkling apple juice bottles has forced Germany's largest supermarket to recall the product.

By wheelchair from Syria to Germany: teen's story of hope
Nujeen Mustafa. Photo: HarperCollins-William Collins Publicity/Private

She tackled the gruelling 2,000-kilometre migrant trail in a wheelchair, translating along the way for other refugees using English she learned from a US soap opera. Now this teen is living in Germany and hoping to inspire others with a newly published memoir.

Berlin Zoo to have a pair of pandas by next summer
A recently born panda pair at Vienna Zoo. Photo: DPA

The giant bamboo-eating bears will move into a brand new 5,000 square-metre enclosure in the capital's Zoologischer Garten.

Two new spider species discovered in Munich
Zoropsis spinimana. Photo: rankingranqueen / Wikimedia Commons

It's news every arachnophobe in Munich is no doubt thrilled to hear: two types of spider new to the region have been discovered in the Bavarian capital - and one of them bites!

After woman's body found in barrel, husband may walk free
Franziska S., who went missing 24 years ago. Photo: Hanover police.

A woman disappeared in Hanover 24 years ago, but no one reported her missing. Although her husband has now confessed to her murder, he still may not step foot in jail.

Two injured after army tank falls 50 metres in Alps
A Bundeswehr Puma tank. File photo: DPA

A Bundeswehr (German army) soldier has been severely injured after the tank he was riding in crashed 50 metres down an embankment after going off course in bad weather.

Teen girl stands trial for 'Isis' police stabbing in Hanover
Police guard the courthouse in Celle. Photo: DPA

A teenage girl stands trial from Thursday in Germany for stabbing a police officer, an assault allegedly "ordered" by Isis but which was not claimed by the jihadist group.

Merkel threatens Putin with more sanctions on Berlin visit
Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel created a united front with French President Francois Hollande in Berlin on Thursday to denounce Russia’s “war crimes” in Syria.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd