Maurice de Flaminck, The bridge (detail, s.d., 1890s). From the great Impressionist exhibition of Potsdam
We are having lunch in Neukölln, in a Turkish kebab house, with the Berlin sightseeing group. Twenty people are too many for the small canteen, we must join others at their tables. A meek little man is dining with his son, he opens up slowly, he speaks good English. They came from Aleppo, a life-threatening journey, crossing many borders. There is no wife and mother, it is not known where she was left, we do not dare to ask. The little boy is going to go to school, to refugee school, he already knows a few words in German, he proudly plays with the colored pencils received in advance. And then the inevitable: “And where are you from?” It is hard to speak the words, we do not know what memories they might bring with them from one of the many borders. “From Hungary.” The father translates it to his little son. The boy’s face brightens up, he lifts his colored pencil: “Hungary is friend!” Blessed be the name of the nameless one who gave him this impression of us.