German theatre gives glimpse of migrant hardship

  • 03/09/2015
Truck (iStock)
Truck (iStock)

A German theatre troupe has invited punters to pack into a refrigerated truck to give them a glimpse of the hardships experienced by refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe.

Organised by the Schauspielhaus Bochum theatre, the event was billed as a memorial to the 71 people, four of them children, who were found dead inside an abandoned lorry in Austria last week.

Around 200 people took part on Wednesday, entering a 7.5 tonne refrigerated truck which was similar in size to the one found in Austria.

Hired for the occasion, the truck was parked outside the theatre.

Next to it on the ground a rectangle measuring 2.5 metres by six metres was marked out, which represented the size of the original truck's interior.

Seventy-one volunteers first tried to stand inside the rectangle, before trying to cram inside the lorry.

When they did, the truck's doors could not be closed.

"The lorry was completely full, the people were squeezed right up against each other," explained Olaf Kroek, the theatre's artistic adviser.

"This action is not disrespectful.

"What is disrespectful is the political reality in Europe that people suffering so greatly hand over thousands of euros and must take such unsafe routes while for the rest of us Europeans it is so easy.. to travel in the other direction."

Germany is leading the way in allowing migrants into Europe with some 800,000 expected to arrive this year.

On Wednesday, Germany, France and Italy issued a joint call for an overhaul of the 28-member bloc's laws on the asylum rights to ensure a fairer distribution of migrants throughout the European Union.