Refugees do not leave their home country willingly. They seek protection from political persecution, violence, war, hatred and discrimination, natural disasters, and poverty. If they make it to Germany and are admitted, their path from then on is still uncertain: Will they be allowed to stay? For a short time or permanently?

In 2012 a number of people spoke for the first time about how they fled, their arrival in Berlin, their hopes and dreams. Five years later they stood in front of the camera again and described how they managed the challenges of a fresh start: learning the language, looking for an apartment and work, creating a new home. After another five years they updated their report. What had changed? Are they finally settled?

Four personal stories of the long road to a new life were created over the course of ten years.

Berlin-Marienfelde, a place of refuge

All of the people portrayed here first came to the temporary housing facility for refugees in southwestern Berlin after they fled their respective homeland in 2011–12. The refugee center has been operated since 2010 by the Internationaler Bund. But people were already taken in at this location much earlier: refugees and emigrants from East Germany from 1953 until 1990, and emigrants of German descent from Eastern Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union from 1964 until 2010. For more than six decades, Marienfelde was the site of historical and continuing stories of migration.

For more about the history of this site