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Refugee Voices from Germany


A Million Stories

A Million Stories - Refugee Lives

In Germany:

A Million Stories is a project operated by German, Swedish, Greece and Danish libraries. It is an online platform that contains refugee narratives from refugees that have fled to the EU in recent years.

The formats on this platform are drawings, video or audio. Stories are available in many languages, though some of them are automatically translated.


View a presentation about the project on Vimeo:

Samples with annotations from

(Please click on the title to read the whole story)

R. - My sons would have had to join the military

Syrian refugee R. fled from her country due to the ongoing war and to avoid that her two sons were drawn into the military. R. is a widow with three children. She had to leave her mother behind in Syria. R. lived in Damascus and used to work in a bank.


Mohammad Al Katli - The crying stones

Mohammad is 26 years old and comes from Zabadani, Syria. He talks about how the city got occupied by the regime and the consequences that followed for him. Mohammad fell in love in Zabadani but due to the bad living conditions, he had to flee to Lebanon. When he was later able to return to Syria, he and his girlfriend finally became a couple and studied at the same university. Later, Mohammad had to flee again without his partner. He came to Germany via the Balkan route -- it was an exhausting journey and the initial feeling of relief was replaced by worries about his girlfriend and family who still lived in Syria, near Damaskus. In 2015, Mohammed's girlfriend and family were able to flee to Germany with the help of smugglers. Reunited, they now live in an apartment in Cologne. They took language classes and they both got accepted at University. Mohammed seeks to become an architect and his wife wants to study civil engineering.


Anonymous - I saw death

Anonymus, is a 45 year old secretary from Aleppo. Because her house got destroyed, she had to stay with friends in Aleppo. She finally left -- her family had already left the country. Anonymous remembers explosions and seeing friends die in front of her eyes. In Germany, she has been attending German classes for 1.5 years. She enjoys cooking, reading and crafts.


Omar al-Matroud - Old walls, new thoughts

This is the detailed story of Omar who was born in 1995 in Damaskus, Syria. He grew up in a middle class family. He lived in Yarmuk until he had to flee with his brother due to the war in 2015. Omar describes in detail the route of his flight over Turkey to Greece, Serbia, Croatia, Austria, Germany. When he wasn't allowed to stay in Germany he and his brother had to go back to Austria and they made it finally back to Germany. Omar now lives in Leverkusen, Germany and works as a social worker.


Anonymous - We had to stick together

This female, 23 year old refugee talks about how her life changed in Bagram, Afghanistan when her father died when she was eight years old. Her family had to stick together and finally came to Germany in 2015. The family always had a difficult life in Bagram because the father was politically active.


Anonymous - I am from one of the poorest countries in Africa

This male storyteller is 21 years old an comes from Niger, Africa. He talks about the bad living conditions in Niger. Because his parents died, Anonymous had to live with his uncle who did not treat him well. He left his country to find better living conditions elsewhere. Anonymous is currently an apprentice and seeks to continue his education.


Anonymous - Just like any normal person

This storyteller is 27 years old and grew up in Algeria. He talks about the struggle of living in Algeria. The constant pressure caused him to become addicted to drugs and alcohol. He left Algeria to live a better life with less stress. Anonymous has tried to receive a permanent permission to stay but his chances are low. He just says he just wants to live a normal life with a good job and a family. He does not want to go back to Algeria because of the pressure, the work, drugs and alcohol.


Anonymous -  I lived under great stress

This male, 30 year old refugee is originally from Eritrea but his family left his home country to Sudan when he was very young because it was safer. Life was still difficult in Sudan - he left in 2017 for political reasons. In Germany it was very stressful to life in a refugee camp - he could not focus on learning German while he lived there.