n Stellenbosch Theological Journal - One only needs an island/Alone in a vast sea : “We refugees” – the waves of refugees of 2015/16

Volume 5 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0028-2006
  • E-ISSN: 2226-2385



The article will demonstrate by a close reading of Hannah Arendt’s article “We Refugees” published 1943 in New York City that Germany in particular has a responsibility towards refugees seeking to reach Europe by boat. By listening to the voice of a female refugee, the article will formulate four categories clarifying Arendt’s request to welcome newcomers. Furthermore, this article highlights how Arendt’s testimony can be transformed to act accordingly for today’s so-called refugee crisis and it challenges the concepts of “volk”, nations, and the efficiency of human rights.

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