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Child’s painting brings home the tragedy of refugee crisis

6 October 20150 comments
The painting a young refugee girl presented German Police Officers

The painting a young refugee girl presented to German Police Officers

Another haunting image of the global refugee crisis that is emblematic of the human tragedy has gone viral across the globe.

Just weeks after the picture of three-year-old Syrian boy named Alan Kurdi who drowned in the Mediterranean broke hearts across the world, another image has captured hearts and minds globally.

The image is a painting reportedly produced by a Syrian child and given to a German policeman in thanks for the help he afforded her family.

When the police department in southern Germany tweeted a photo of the  painting, it immediately went viral.

“A present of a Syrian child to the police authorities in Passau. #speechless,” the police department’s tweet read.

The image has been shared by more than 12,000 people.

In the painting, an orange line divides two markedly different scenes.

On the left-hand side the horrors of the Syrian civil war are graphically depicted. There is a woman who has lost a leg walking on crutches. Next to her, a child holds his arms above his head.

Dead Syrians lie in the streets, next to destroyed buildings. At the top of the painting is a skull, and ravens fly in the sky above victims.

On the right-hand side, there are no destroyed homes and people seem to be coming home from shopping. The child’s illustration of refugee life in Germany is decorated with hearts thanking the German police.

Police officer Michael Piltz told the German news site Spiegel Online that a refugee girl had presented the painting to him and two of his colleagues.

He said they did not ask the girl for her name or nationality but assumed that she must be Syrian, given that she painted the country’s flag and detailed the horror there.

Police media spokesman Werner Straubinger discovered the image and asked whether he could take it, but his request was declined.

His colleagues told him that “it had been given to them as a present and that it was worth a lot to them,” Mr Straubinger said the Spiegel Online interview. Instead of taking the painting, he posted it on Twitter.

Sarah Gilmour
AMES Australia Staff Writer