With War Janne Teller once again undertakes a haunting thought experiment: she drives home what it means to be a war refugee - simply by shifting perspective.
Imagine there was a war - not someplace far away, in Iraq or Afghanistan, but here, in Europe, in our midst. The democratic states have collapsed and been replaced by fascist dictatorships. France, Germany, Italy and Greece have been at war with each other for years. All the towns are in ruins, the economy has ground to a halt, and nowhere is safe. Fear,cold and hunger hold sway in Europe. Those who have the chance escape to the Middle East, like the 14-year-old boy from Germany in this story. He and his family try to start a new life in an Egyptian refugee camp, but there aren't enough supplies to go round, life in the camp is gruelling, and he is bullied by refugee children from other countries. Because his family has no residence permit, he can neither go to school, learn Arabic, nor find work. He feels like a third-class citizen, experiences isolation and xenophobia. Every day he longs to go back, back to his home. But where is that? In impressively simple and concise language, Janne Teller describes the horror that is war, flight and banishment,as well as what it means to survive in foreign land.