Here’s the top-center photograph of NYTimes.com:
Yeah, I know; but how many other NYT readers do you think will get the photo editor’s joke?
From the New York Times:
As Germany Welcomes Migrants, Some Wonder How to Make Acceptance Last
By MELISSA EDDY SEPT. 5, 2015
BERLIN — .. While the prospect of accepting an expected 800,000 new residents this year offers Germany an opportunity to rejuvenate its aging demographics and ensure its economic prosperity, it also challenges a prevailing cultural consensus of what it means to be German.
“The refugees are synonymous with formidable change,” Thomas de Maizière, Germany’s interior minister, said recently in an interview with the German weekly Die Zeit. “We must get used to the thought that our country is changing.”
That change is at the doorstep. When thousands of migrants were allowed to leave Hungary late Friday and were put on buses to the Austrian border, many were brandishing posters of Chancellor Angela Merkel. In their days of near internment in the inhospitable Hungarian capital, some of the exhausted and desperate travelers broke into chants of “Germany, Germany” and “Merkel, Merkel,” demanding to be allowed to continue their journey west. …
Among the strongest voices urging tolerance toward immigrants have been the German news media, from the mass-circulation Bild to the public television stations. Experts point to the news media’s positive stance as crucial in helping the public shift its perception of more foreigners coming to the country.
Recalling Nazi racial laws that singled out the Germanic, or Aryan, people as superior to other ethnicities, leading to the Holocaust and the atrocities of World War II, President Joachim Gauck recently urged Germans to embrace the diversity that has since grown up around them.
Until “even more people can part with the image of a nation that is very homogeneous and in which nearly all people speak German as their mother tongue, are fair-skinned and largely Christian,” he said, their perception of German society will not reflect the reality of who lives here.
“In reality, life as we live it here is already far more diverse,” Mr. Gauck said. “In our heads we know this, but the spirit sometimes lags behind. We as a nation must redefine ourselves, as a collective of different people, but who all accept common values.”
Many, including Ms. Merkel, have compared the challenge facing Germany to the historic decisions after the breach of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, when the leaders of West Germany swiftly enacted measures aimed at ensuring the peaceful merger of what for decades had been two separate states.
Even as the country prepares to mark a quarter-century of German reunification this fall, a spate of violent anti-immigrant protests in the eastern state of Saxony has led to accusations that differences between the two regions still exist, revealing just how difficult it can be even for two peoples who share a language and heritage to feel as one.