Nakba in Berlin

Palestinian film advert. Berlin, May 2017.

Berlin is a thriving centre of the Palestinian Diaspora. This isn’t surprising and is a result of several important trends, including the large-scale migration (and business success) of Arabic speakers in Europe, and the uniquely friendly atmosphere that the German capital provides for Palestinian culture and politics. Berlin has become another “home” in which Palestinians can organise to return to their ancestral homeland.

Obviously, the city’s association with Nazism adds another layer of complexity. Germany is indirectly complicit in the mass expulsion of Palestinians during the Nakba, through the Holocaust.

Palestinian immigration to Berlin, and organising within it, should be understood in the context of that history.

The two flyers in this article (top and below) were photographed on Karl-Marx-Straße, in the immigrant-heavy borough of Neukölln, using an iPhone. The latter promotes a demonstration in front of Brandenburg Gate, marking the anniversary of the Nakba, as well as the Balfour Declaration, boasting of the largest Palestinian flag in Europe.

The first flyer describes a Palestinian film festival that focuses on ‘martyrs’ and their mothers. It may not be a demonstration, but in the context of Palestine, and the Nakba, it serves the same purpose of maintaining political consciousness in exile.

The European Palestinian Diaspora Assembly

The Palestinian Assembly and Flag Unites Us 

The European Palestinian Diaspora Assembly will hold a demonstration for national action and advancement.

Red Text: The largest Palestinian flag in Europe, more than 100 meters.

Marking the 100th anniversary of the ominous Balfour Declaration, the 69th anniversary of the Nakba, and maintaining the right of our people to return, as well as our brave prisoners not to be held in occupation prisons.

Sunday at 7 PM until 9 PM in front of Berlin’s historic Brandenburg Gate.


Day of Earth, Day of Woman, Day of Palestine (top)

This festival celebrates the mothers of martyrs, as well the excellence of our Palestinian sons, and those who feel the Palestinian struggle.

[Various Arabic language films on the bottom]

Translated from the Arabic by Bilal Ahmed. Photographs courtesy of Joel Schalit.