A German Writer Confronts the Refugee Crisis, Face To Face

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If you want to see how tensions are playing out between East and West, look at Europe. Millions of refugees continue to pour across borders, risking their lives to find new homes. The crisis is front and center in Germany. So when German novelist Jenny Erpenbeck met a group of African refugees camping out in Berlin, she started asking questions about the lives they were forced to leave behind.

The answers to those questions inspired Jenny Erpenbeck’s new novel “Go, Went, Gone,” which is now getting rave reviews. It’s the story of a German man’s encounter with the African refugees he meets in Berlin — and it draws deeply from Jenny’s own experience. She told Steve Paulson that the refugee problem is “the central moral question of our time.”

The music of Saleh Bacha is mentioned in this interview—you can listen to a bit of it at this German-language link.