Wolfgang Bauer

Crossing the Sea

Why Refugees’ Fate Concerns All of Us

A twofold catastrophe is taking place before our eyes: the Syrian civil war is still claiming countless human lives. Millions of Syrians are fleeing from their homes. Some of them risk the crossing from Egypt to Europe. Each year, hundreds of people die in the course of this endeavour; the Mediterranean is thus the world’s most perilous maritime border.

"Zeit" reporter Wolfgang Bauer has accompanied Syrian refugees. In their hideouts in Egypt, on the boats, on the streets of Europe. He describes the fates concealed behind the abstract figures, and the dramatic circumstances of flight. An authentic document and at the same time a passionate appeal for a more humanitarian refugee policy.
“I’m a journalist, not an activist,” says Wolfgang Bauer. “I’m a story teller and I try to tell these stories so precisely, and if you will, so authentically that readers can empathise with my protagonists, that they really believe that they have been thrust into these people’s bodies, into their minds. It’s important to portray these individual cases, make the reasons why people flee understandable, and what they hope for here. In journalism this is only possible in the form of reportage. And as a reporter one has to be on location to do this. When I am looking for topics I rarely start with hypotheses, but instead with the stories of individual people.”

Wolfgang Bauer in Boston / impressions

  • Wolfgang Bauer Boston © Goethe-Institut/Rebecca Walpuski
  • Wolfgang Bauer und Florence George Graves © Goethe-Institut/Christoph Mücher
  • Wolfgang Bauer © Goethe-Institut/Christoph Mücher