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"I only know about life in a war that reduces entire cities to rubble from my grandmother's stories from the Second World War. I recognize the despair and existential fear I know from her stories in the accounts of Ukrainians. It shocks me.

Young Ukrainians, who like me have most of their lives ahead of them, are being robbed of their future or even their lives by the war, while their past and their homeland are being destroyed - what they are losing, I also have to lose.

Since 24 February, I have often thought about whether and how I would have to defend my country and the existence I am trying to build in it in the event of an attack. I am stunned and angry that a state is evoking such thoughts in Europe again and forcing the people of Ukraine to make these incredibly difficult decisions."


Lennart K., 23 years old, studies art and design science

"Since the end of February, I have experienced a contradictory life. On the one hand, there is war, suffering, and death, which establish themselves in everyday life, and on the other hand, it is "the same procedure as every year". Everyday life has changed greatly as a result of the war, but it remains everyday life. So this absurdity and perversity of tyranny suddenly become normal, but at the same time always remains a moment of shock."

Samuel R., 19 years old, studies music education

"I had not thought that writing this text would cause me such difficulties. Nor had I thought that I would have no one to encounter in the process. What surprised me while writing was not only the sometimes expected complete speechlessness, was also not an inappropriate excess of words, but rather a comprehensive uncertainty. Actually, I know what I think about the war, how I feel about it. But what can I say about it when I'm here, sitting here, struggling to write about it, where others are dying right now. And there again I don't know how to endure what one can still feel about it. The war is not far away, but it is not close either. At least not spatially, only when I think about it. When I see refugees or am suddenly very close to them through friends, when I try to get involved and somehow understand what is happening. That alone is an almost impossible attempt, given the inconceivability of the horror. And it's difficult to find one's way between this distance and proximity. What can such a text bring then? When has one said enough, contributed something? When has one done enough as a human being here to at least somehow help, to do something good? I can say for sure that my solidarity with Ukraine remains unbroken, my hope unbroken, even though sometimes I am still troubled by the unknown."

Thomas D., 21 years old, studies history and philosophy


"It feels incredibly surreal, waking up and going through your life as if nothing has changed. I plan events in my life, study, meet up with my friends, celebrate birthdays and go to concerts.

On my way to uni, I don’t face missiles, I don’t stumble upon torn limbs and bodies. I walk through a city in which I actually have a home I can return to. But just miles away, and for so long already, none of this is being taken for granted. 


Reading through every single text made me feel unexplainably uneasy. I had a gut-wrenching realization that what these students experience are not just stories, but more peers telling you about their literal everyday life. I had a gnawing feeling that this could have been me or my friends. I couldn’t help but think of losing my own mother, of having my own future torn down. In the end, we’re all just young adults. We want to study, to see the world, and most importantly, to live."

Lisa G., 18 years old, studies psychology

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