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Hello Refugees!, Tuvia Tenenbom’s new book: how 1.5 million Refugees saved 82 million Germans


The Germans, we discover in Tuvia Tenenbom’s new book, hold on tightly to the refugees as their last chance of redemption from History.

As my friend prof. Richard Landes puts it, it’s their “get-out-of-the-holocaust-guilt-free-card”. The outcome of the pro-migrant hysteria and their hatred for Pegida and the AfD feeds from their fear of letting this unique chance of equating their heart to their arms spin between their fingers. Their posture says “Please accept the antisemitism in our hearts because it is erased with our arms wide opened to the refugees”. But it’s not, quite the opposite: it shows that Germans don’t mind being anti-semitics, what they mind is being caught and shamed for hating the Jews.

As usual, Tenenbom’s book is candid and fun while depicting the dark side of human nature: hypocrisy, hatred, lies. 


  • “I’ve postponing my flight to Germany because where I am, the food is extraordinary”.
  • “Part of my brain is inside my iPad. If I lose this iPad, I’ll lose half of my IQ. I’m not kidding (understand: he is kidding)
  • “There should be a Geneva convention on fliers for customers fundamental rights such as legroom: “every one has the right to enjoy their flight and have the capacity to move their leg inboxed a human manner.”
  • Hamburg, My first refugees says: “In Syria, people kill each other, slaughter each other, but in Germany, people are nice, very nice. The Germans are civilized people, they don’t kill”.

Don’t kill? Do you know what happened here, in beautiful Hamburg, seventy or eighty years ago? Do you know what Germans did?

They stare at me. Silent.

  • Berlin, a Queer muslim refugees meeting organized by the Green party. Two to three hundred people. Two gay muslim “refugees”.

I’m swallowing chapter four. Tenenbom is taking me thru a journey in the refugee business. Looks a lot like the pro-Palestinian NGO’s business in Ramallah: people have a good life, they mingle in trendy clubs and good restaurants, and they receive money and white Ranger Rovers from EU to badmouth the Jews and ignore the Palestinians.

Tenenbom doesn’t let the “refugee attitude” erase the nazi past as the Germans wishes. See Tempelhof new refugee camp, near the airport? It used to be a concentration camp and a forced labor camp. But this year, the Tempelhof refugee center was opened for up to 7000 refugees. What is going on inside is despicable. “History. This is what Berlin is really about” says Tenenbom.

Strange world

Tenenbom: “I had to fly thousands of miles to meet Syrians in Germany, even though they live right next door to where I was just days ago” (Israel).

Tenenbom is not talking about the abstract refugee who makes the headlines. He actually met with real humans, with real characters, real lives, backgrounds and families, and that is what makes Tenenbom’s book so powerful, so unique, so indispensable and so important.

And at the same time, he never forgets about the geopolitical dimension.

Never judgmental or telling clichés to squeeze a tear from you to make you fall for the supreme cause, Tuvia’s migrants did not cross the sea on inflatables. Most of them took a cab to the airport, they flew coach, they had a drink on the plane. Still. They ran for their lives… and left the wives, grandma and the kids behind.

On Page 30, Tenenbom writes Kossai didn’t strike me as a car thief”. Reminder: if there was a special profile for car thieves, police work would be much easier. And Tenenbom says on page 20 that in Syria people make $40 a week. And Kossai paid the smugglers $1200 (1000€). “Either he is very wealthy or a very talented thief” concludes Tenenbom.

Everyone tells a lie

  • A German mayor says that refugees and Germans meet each other, communicate with each other. It turns out that the refugees speak Arabic only and the Germans don’t.
  • The Mayor says the people of small town of Beelitz are in favor of the influx of refugees, but the people of Beelitz Tenenbom met are against.
  • The first Syrian refugee Tenenbom meet in that small town says that he is a Palestinian for “Akka” in Palestine – But Akka is Akko, and Arabs from Akko are Israeli arabs and they don’t go to Berlin as refugees.
  • Tenenbom himself has to lie to extract the truth: he says he is 50 per cent Jordanian, 50 per cent german when he actually is 50 per cent jewish plus 50 per cent Israeli plus 100 per cent brillant.

Interestingly, even if the stories they tell to Tenenbom are not real, from all the lies emerges a real picture: every story correspond to a small piece of the big refugee picture I learned in newspapers and news reports over time. As a journalist, I am over-informed and every story Tenenbom tells echoes something I read about. But you have to piece things together and separate the lies from the truth. And Tenenbom does it in the most funny and elegant way one can imagine.

Tenenbom: “I want to enter a refugee house. But there is a guard outside and he won’t let me in. The surest way to get into this secure building is to dig a tunnel underneath the way Palestinians do in Gaza. But it’s too costly, too time consuming and no one will finance it.”

I laughed out loud. But if you scratch the surface underneath the smart joke, you understand another drama here. Tunnels are what Hamas dig to attack Israel. Tunnels are expensive and Palestinian, we are told, are desperate, they have no money no food. Who pays for the costly tunnels? Who decide that the money has to go to the tunnels instead of humanitarian relief? That’s the cosy way Tenenbom underscores darkness. That’s talent in writing.

So far in the journey with Tenenbom, a pattern start taking shape: Germany invite refugees, they are all excited and all human rights heroes, and great people and better people than everyone else, and then, they get bored. They don’t know what to do with the refugees. Or to be more accurate: they don’t care. They drop the refugees in shit holes anywhere they can find lodging for them, like a spoiled kid throws his new toy in the trashcan when he has had enough with it. The distressed refugees complains and cry and scream, they all want to leave Germany. More than one tell Tenenbom: “Germans treat us worse than dogs. I want to go back to Syria. Today, not tomorrow”. But the Germans don’t want to hear it: after all, they the Germans are already the better people, why would they need to act as such? Further in the book, I will discover, it’s actually worst than that.

Tuvia Tenenbom, are refugees really in danger back home? If so, I guess, why did they leave wives and children and elders behind? Who knows? Is it a lie?

– You guess you get it?

Yeah, I guess, I guess. What?

-You guess you get it?

Yes. Well, yes, I guess, I get it.

…A pause.

In the book, …


… you catch everybody lying. Everybody is lying. You have the guy who says he is from Akka in Israel, which is Akko. And we know Akko, and it is not under the bombs. You have the people of Beelitz, I don’t know how you pronounce it…

– Belitz


…Who, the mayor said, are in favor of refugees and when you talk to them, they are against. A question came to me. The refugees you met, they said their house was bombarded, some of them. They said the ‘women’ are raped, they are beheaded there, everyone. Are refugees really in immediate danger over there? Because if so, why did they leave the wives, the kids, the grand-parents behind and left? Did you ask?…

 – Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not true but, when further questioning, when I asked a Yezidi if they rape the children: ‘Did you see it? No. Well, how do you know it?’, he admitted he knows it from TV. He has not experienced that. So I caught some of them lie but some of the refugees “clarified themselves” so to speak. For example, the refugees I have seen in Hamburg, you know, the parents lies, but the children, they don’t lie. The children said ‘We had no problems, we were in Lebanon, I was crying when I left’, you know. So, you see already, that the more questions you ask, you can come to the truth on the following questioning.

And the same goes with the Germans. They lie in the beginnings, they say all the bullshit, but when you put it to the test, and I will say this in their favors, they don’t continue to lie. The moment I caught them in a lie they do not continue to lie. But there are some refugees who went through the process. Did they leave the family behind, yes they did, some of them did, because they could not take all of the family. It was too expensive. It is mostly the middle class who made it [to Europe]. The poor stays in Syria and in Iraq. They couldn’t pay the smugglers, they couldn’t pay the flights.

So the question was ‘Should all of us die or … or some of us survive?’. But many of them admitted they just came because “Angela Merkel said we can do it, and Germany is good, and Germany gives everybody everything”. So they came. Between you and me, I would do the same. Sometimes I’ve been thinking, maybe I should go to Syria and return as a refugee. And I’l get everything for free. But the price is huge because they are putting you a year or two in the camps, in which your humanity is taken away from you, so for that perspective alone, I would say, I would rather not go to Syria and come back as a refugee.

Chapter 6 – Tenenbom meet with far right activists and politicians. AfD people. He shakes everything the same way he shakes the Palestinian from Akka narrative. No one is spared. Big lie uncovered from all sides. No stone left unturned.

At this point in the book, Tenenbom assembles the whole refugee human drama in a sequence of unique stories that creates a multifaceted painting where the truth has several sides, where the good human right activists are not necessarily as good as one could think, and the bad ones on the right wing may not be as bad as one would want us to believe.

Page 54 in Leipzig: “Strangers are not allowed and journalists are never to enter the camps”. How so?

Here is the answer that you won’t find anywhere in your newspaper:

In the camps, it’s bad: no privacy, horrible food, nothing to do, and many diseases. Thawanni, the charming young mother he met, has to take her children to the hospital every day.

And at night, there are fights. With knives. “Imagine that the man sleeping in the bed above you just so happened to be the brother of the man who raped your sister and killed your father.”

The toilets are “dirty and broken. Most with no doors, no paper. Faucets in the restrooms don’t work, no water to clean oneself.”

At the beginning of chapter 8, there is fascinating moment. I call that great writing. We have two characters. The victim: Thawanni the charming and delicate Syrian young mother of four Tenenbom met in the horrible camp and who hugged him when he left, and the hangman: Frauke Petry, one of the most hatted person in Germany, the heartless leader of the AfD who wants Thawanni and all the refugees out.

Petry the “young version of Marine Le Pen”. Petry, the well dressed, well spoken german anti-muslim politician who wants Thawanni out.

But suddenly, Petry is also a victim. Journalists don’t interview her, they “brutally publicly shame her” instead. Her children are bullied at school and she receives death threat letters everyday.

This is the moment in the book where Tenenbom makes you touch the human side of things and you start to doubt your own beliefs. This is life, pure emotion, the real stuff. And Tenenbom tells it like nobody does.

What is the right solution to this refugee problem?

Below the surface of the easy reading, the humour, the style and the lightness, or because of it, the impossible question start to haunt me the reader: You don’t want to let them die under the bombs, you don’t want to let them rape your daughter, you don’t want to let them rot in the horrible german camps, you certainly don’t want them in your home, and how many refugees is too many? You cannot take them all.

This is the moment in the book where hopefully no one is sitting next to you asking you: “what would you do?”.

This is the moment in the book where me the journalist want to ask Tenenbom the writer:

“What is for you an acceptable solution to the refugee issue”– so I can avoid to ask myself the difficult question.

– I would say two things, first of all I am like you I am a journalist, I am an author. This is not my job to answer this kind of questions. I did not run for office saying I could do that. My job is just to observe and report on what is happening and not to solve them like so many other journalists want to solve things. It’s not our job as a journalist to solve them. As human being, an observer I can tell you, once we started to get into the refugee issue, we started to get into the war issue because of one thing: America and Europe got involved into the Middle East. They bombarded the Middle East. The West knows nothing about Eastern cultures. America and Europe should never have got involved in deposing Muammar Gaddafi, nor in deposing Saddam Hussein. If we didn’t do that, if we, smart western civilisations, were not so supremacist to think that our culture is the best, if we didn’t think we can impose our culture all over the world, especially on these brown people, if we were not so racists and supremacists, we would never have this problem. So, the best solution is: let the West get out of there. My observations: Every day we are still there, we are creating more problems.

Through the journey Tenenbom takes us in the horrible refugee camps, the lack of hygiene, the boredom, the fights at night among ennemis tribes or groups, he drops a bomb on Germany at the bottom of page 105: “Germany might have saved the refugees bodies, but it is killing their souls”. I’m speechless, this is superior thinking, this is genius.

I’m surprised that half way to the end of the book, I know more about the refugee than after having read hundred of reports, review, analysis and news. Bravo Tenenbom, how do you do the magic?

– The magic is very simple. You don’t trust everything you read, you don’t trust everything you have seen on TV, you take your body and you go to the places to see for yourself. You take the risks, sometimes it’s very risky what you are doing, you sneak into the camps. You can be arrested. It’s illegal what I did, but you have to do it. If you want to find the truth, you have to see the people and talk to the people, see how they live and meet with them, see their living conditions and meet the Germans, meet the politicians, face to face, you know, and not rely on anything you read.

Why Tenenbom, didn’t you close your eyes and do what everybody else does: German are better than any other people for they opened their arms to millions of refugees. Why did you look beyond the curtain? Did you suspect anything like this before starting to investigate for the book?

– Personally I did not expect. You keep seeing on TV all the beautiful images of the great German people and … you say to yourself: “wow! that’s great what the Germans are doing”, but then the journalist in me says … throw everything you know, as I have said, and start from fresh. You have not seen any of those, go see what’s happening, and when you see what’s happening and compare it to what you have seen in the news or in the papers, it’s totally different.

What you expose, the situation in the camps, it’s horrible, it’s heartbreaking, it’s terrible, and … and I guess the Left must love you for having revealed, discovered and exposed what you saw, the bad treatment the refugees receives.

– I wish, but it is not the case because there are actually upset at me, because it shows the hypocrisy of them. They have shown to the world a beautiful image of the human rights activists and its ambitions of rights activism, but when the TV cameras goes off, when the refugees are already in Germany, they are already in the camps, in the dark of night and day, look what the good people are doing, the good people are absolutely very bad people.

OK, you are taking me too far here. You are bulshitting me. I don’t believe you. There are sincere, honest people, people with big heart among the Left and the Human right NGOs. What did they say?

– Let me ask you a very simple question. For this you don’t need me. They believe that you have to bring all the refugees into Germany to save human life in Syria and Iraq, it’s very nice. Then Angela Merkel, the good mummy, makes a deal, in the name of the EU of course, with Erdogan, to keep all this people right there in Turkey and in Syria, over there at the borders, and make sure that what, that they die over there. Where are the good people? Where are the good people who say we have to help this people in need? Where are the lefties in Germany? Why aren’t they demonstrating in the street against this deal? This deal, this is a covenant with the Devil, the Devil with Faust… keep all the refugees at bay. They don’t allow them to cross the wires. That means that they will stay there and they will die there. Why? And I posed this question to the leader of Die Linke [The Left] and the Green Party. They tried to bullshit me, they try to tell me that they did something in the Bundestag. When I asked for the exact resolution, they couldn’t come up with it. Guess why: They didn’t do it. All the good people said “let them die over there”. These are not good persons, are they good persons? I mean, the hypocrisies is right there you don’t need me to show it for you. And I posed this question to the leaders. No answer.

You have a point. They didn’t demonstrate in the street. That is the proof.

– They should have put a no confidence vote to Angela Merkel in the Bundestag. Why didn’t Die Linke do that? Why didn’t the Green Party do that? Why didn’t the Social democrats do it? They want only to look good, but they ain’t not good.

That answer part on my next question which is: on chapter 15 of the book, Tenenbom drops a bomb.

You said Germans take refugees because they want the people of the world to love them, but in camps, in Germany, refugees want help. Why don’t they get real help from Germany? Because they don’t do it to help, but to be loved?

– Exactly. That’s why they did it, to be loved. To be loved and to make the people think – I mean… I’m sorry to say it, but the nazis said that Germany is above all, the Germans are above all of us. They want that. They told me upfront. Not that the Germans are good, but that they are better than anybody else. And they are bringing more refugees than anybody else. That’s racism by itself. And of course they have to lace it with antisemitism by saying ‘we are not like Israel which is inhumane society’. Some things never change.

Who needs who more? The refugees the germans or the germans the refugees?

– The Germans the refugees, of course. The Germans need the refugees.

That’s why they hate so much AfD and Pegida who threaten to destroy their road to heaven?

– Something like that, yes. The AfD exposed them for what they are.

I see, which is why they say AfD are the nazis.

– Yes, but you know, the nazi ideas are still there.

Tenenbom drops another bomb. About the Jews. Tell me you ordered the book already or I don’t tell you about the bomb.

Of course Tenenbom is in Germany, and of course the Germans are anti-semitics – 80% of them according to his previous book, “I sleep in Hitler’s bedroom”.

So Tenenbom, in his journey, come accros anti-Semitism. You know, the new kind: anti-Israel. And he goes deep into it, and he says: “how come the Germans are such a good people who care so much about the refugees and they are unable to view the Jews as human?”

Yes Tenenbom, how come?

– Because by the end of the day they are not such a good people and like the rest of them [German population], for one reason or another, they have this 2000 years old belief that Jews killed Christ. Jews murdered Christ even if they don’t believe in Christ. It’s not logical hate, it’s not something that you can explain with logic, it’s deep into the European continent.

You met muslims, Turks who migrate to Germany years ago. They are hostile to migrants. You say they don’t have guilt feeling. When you don’t have guilt feeling and you are muslim, what do they see that is so bad they want migrants out?

– That’s a nature of the person: one doesn’t want to share his resources with others. It’s very simple. By the way, the Turkish, they are far from being integrated. They are there for decades. Angela Merkel admitted before the refugee issue “multicultural did not work in Germany”. Even she admitted it.

I think that normal nature of the person means: you take their main resources. Limited resources, especially when it comes to social help: free medical, free house care, free help, free this and free that. There is a limit. So if millions comes, they are going to take it from them. The Germans also think that, but they are not going to say that. But the Turks, they have no problem saying that. They don’t care! You see that the eastern Germans are much more opened against the refugees because they don’t have as much guilt feelings as the western Germans, because they went through process of decades of communism. So the nazi was the westerns.

And the communism was never exposes as genocidal.

– Communism was great, of course. Come on. We all know that.


– They built beautiful buildings in communist time and skyscrapers…

And one hundred million people were killed for the greater good of course.

– Of course, of course.

It makes sense. Ask the French intellectuals.

Chapter 26. The last chapter standing. No more humour, no more jokes. Tenenbom is somber. The journey affected him. He met beautiful souls and not so beautiful ones. Germans, Afghans, Syrians, a Palestinian from “Akka”. He has regrets. “It is the fate of the Jew to love those who hate him”. Not quite Tenenbom, not quite.


Tenenbom’s Hello Refugees! is a voyage into the belly of the refugee beast that will leave you with answers to questions you didn’t have, and questions you did not want to have. Tuvia Tenenbom very unique investigating style and sharpness is pointing a finger toward the hidden hypocrisy, more often on the left than on the right.

Hello Refugee! is the book to buy before the refugees wave reach the American continent. I say buy it and buy it now!

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