“Refugees Welcome”: The theme of attitude to refugees in Germany in L. Hübner’s play “Willkommen”

Abstract: 

The paper deals with the play “Wilkommen”, written by one of the most successful modern German playwrights, L. Hübner, in collaboration with S. Nemits. The comedy reflects the current situation in the country: A few years ago the Germans declared “the culture of hospitality” (“Willkommennskultur”), which was meant to demonstrate a tolerant attitude towards migrants and financial and non-material support of refugees. In practice, the local population is critical of the people who have unexpectedly settled in their cities, threatening a peaceful burgher life. The characters of the play, inspired by the idea to show their tolerance and generosity and let the refugees from the Middle East have one of the rooms in their apartment, reveal fears and discontent with the situation in their country. The typified characters of the Germans - the owners of the apartment - are contrasted with the figure of Ahmed, an emigrant in the second generation, who really shows tolerance of the refugees. Thus, the play makes a kind of diagnosis on modern society: people talk a lot about humanitarian values, but do not really follow them. In addition, society is static and does not accept changes, despite its external activity.

Key words: 

modern German play, Hübner, Nemitz, tolerance, refugees, Willkommennskultur.

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