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When I was 7 years old, for the first time in my life I heard window panes shaking because of explosions. At that time my parents saved me and my brother from a war by moving to Ukraine.

Transnistria War

And now, more than 20 years later, I saved my son by fleeing from Ukraine to Germany. We learned so much along the journey, and mostly about what humanity means.

At the train station in Kyiv, I saw people saying goodbye to each other. Some were never to see each other again.

I will never forget the tears and pain from my mother as she saw us off to the new, unknown life. I will also never forget how brave my father was. Thanks to him we managed to get on the train through masses of people. There, the emotions of other fugitives enveloped us: fear, anxiety, terror, sadness, despair... Then, when we got to the border and were 2 km away from Poland, we couldn't imagine what we would have to endure for the next 13 hours.

Outside it was bitterly cold, children were crying and mothers would faint from fatigue. We formed a line of 300 people. In front of us and behind us were similar rows. On the command "Move on!" we moved. It was not allowed to lower bags and backpacks. It was not allowed to leave the line. Strangers have turned to relatives, who kept close to one another in order to stay warm.

My son and I tried to maintain our humanity, despite the fatigue and physical pain: we helped the children and mothers, carried their luggage, and sometimes held the frightened toddlers.

The situation of the refugees during spring 2022

We made it across the border. We were warmed up, cared for, fed, and sent on.

We arrived in Germany and stayed with my friends first. I can remember standing in their bathroom looking at the large wounds on my back left by several backpacks. I looked at my fingers which had turned blue.

But the tears didn't come for a few days until I realised that all of these injuries are a testament to my experience and love for life. I know now that I can do anything. And my son can do anything as well.

Voice acting: Inga Baiier


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