The Sigmund-Jähn Elementary School in Fürstenwalde (Brandenburg, Germany) used to be notoriously bad. Then several refugee children came along – and a teacher from Syria. Today, the school is considered exemplary. Yet, not all parents are happy about this. A story about the integration of refugees, and about why people support right wing parties.

By Björn Stephan

It was the war that swept her to this unlikely place, a forgotten school in an ailing working-class district in east Germany. From the moment she arrived, she often wondered about the Germans. The Germans, she says, have faces like lions, blonde and proud. The Germans have pale skin and love tattoos. They give their children strange names like Jason-Lee or Kimberley-Sun. They are always on time, but never have time. And they celebrate Carnival.