German Refugee Volunteer Speaks at Forum

Susanne Wentzler, who has been on the front lines of the refugee crisis in Germany, will be the fourth speaker for the 70th season of the Amos Fortune Forum. Her talk is entitled: “The German refugee crisis, a threat or an opportunity? Reflections from an engaged volunteer” and will be presented on Friday, July 29th at 8pm at the historic Meetinghouse in Jaffrey, New Hampshire.


Susanne Wentzler speaks about her personal experiences when 180 refugees arrived in her small Bavarian village just before Christmas in 2015. She discusses the refugees’ daily struggles to cope with everyday life and the many prejudices they face. She also looks at the larger picture as Germany welcomes the influx of people from different cultures under Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policy of “We will manage.”


For Merkel, Germany has a moral, legal, and humanitarian duty to help provide shelter and security to those seeking asylum. They took in over a million refugees in 2015 alone. The small towns of Bavaria have each received an influx, causing a strain on local resources and a tremendous backlash from conservative politicians and many citizens, including people within her own party. For their part, the refugees are trying to fit in: the children are in school and the parents are trying to learn German and to find work. It is volunteer organizations such as the one Wentzler works for, that are shouldering the burden of helping these refugees find their feet.


The Amos Fortune Forum is presented at the Meetinghouse, built in 1755  in historic Jaffrey Center, New Hampshire, 2.5 miles west of downtown Jaffrey and 75 miles from downtown Boston.  Speakers are presented at 8pm sharp each Friday during the summer. As is the custom of the Forum, no admission is charged, however, donations are accepted. After each forum, a brief reception is held with each speaker at The First Church in Jaffrey Parish Hall, directly across from the Meetinghouse. Information for the Forum can be found at, Facebook ( or at Twitter (@amosforum). The telephone number is (641) 715-3900 Extension 742251.


The next Amos Fortune Forum speaker is sustainable energy expert and University of New Hampshire faculty member, Clay Mitchell. Dr. Mitchell will discuss renewable energy in his talk entitled: “Renewing Energy: a Clear and New Vision.”  He will speak on Friday, August 5th at 8pm.
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