A German Newspaper Printed Names Of All 33,293 Refugees Who Have Died Trying To Reach Europe

The list was 47 pages long.

With an issue as overwhelming as the refugee crisis in Europe, it can be hard to imagine the scope of the problem. In an effort to humanize a crisis that is often reduced to statistics, a newspaper in Germany dedicated 47 pages of its issue Thursday to listing the names of everyone who died trying to seek refuge in Europe. The list contains more than 33,000 names. 


Printed in German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, the project was envisioned by Turkish artist Banu Cennetoglu and orchestrated with the help of over 500 groups and individuals, Metro reports. It includes the name, age, gender, country of origin and cause of death of 33,293 migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. While "The List," as the piece is known, dates back to 1993, more than 5,000 people died while trying to reach Europe just last year. Cennetolglu told the paper that this is "the tip of the iceberg."

Under Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany has maintained what is sometimes referred to as an "open border" policy on immigration. While some have celebrated the 1 million refugees the country accepted in 2015 as the moral imperative, the refugee crisis has also seen a rise in nationalist and isolationist policies across Europe. The date "The List" was published ā€” Nov. 9 ā€” is remembered in Germany as both the date of intense targeted violence against the Jews in 1938 that came to be known as Kristallnacht as well as the day the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. Part of the decision to publish the project was "an obligation to keep doing justice to this gift of history," Der Tagesspiegel wrote. 

The List is available online, but many users on social media noted that it's more striking to see the complete project in print. 

The refugee crisis has been called the world's worst humanitarian crisis by activists and organizations. Those looking to help in some way in can make a donation to a nonprofit working to relocate and assist refugees, support legislation that supports refugees or even send a letter to a Syrian child. 

"We want to honor them, on the one hand, and at the same time make it clear that each line also tells a story," Der Tagesspiegel Stephan-Andreas Casdorff and Lorenz Maroldt wrote of "The List." "We have to get involved with them, especially Germans with our history, in order to act properly for the future and in the future. Because: The list is growing day by day."

Cover image via Nicolas Economou / Shutterstock


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