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Foreigners Get Out This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Mrs. Muller looked down at us through her horn-rimmed glasses and scowled.

"What's the matter?" I leaned over and whispered to my host sister.

"She is very angry. The boys there have not done their homework, and she does not like it," Tanja replied, in her thick German accent.

I nodded as my eyes followed her pointed finger to the three boys seated in front of us. "The work was not difficult," Tanja went on to explain. "They did not do it because they went away for the weekend to a protest, and did not come back until late yesterday evening."

"A protest?" I repeated.

Tanja pursed her lips and angrily whispered, "They hate anyone who is not German. They have too much nationalistic pride for Germany, and believe only Germans should live here. They think that the foreign people take our jobs away, and ruin our culture. Those boys are Neo-Nazis." My eyes widened, and I began to stare at them. I hadn't noticed it before, but the three of them wore camouflage clothing and army boots. Tied tightly around their shaven heads were black, red, and yellow bandannas. I felt alone and unsafe. Don't the boys realize all the horrible things the Nazis did? Why would anyone want to become one? Besides, hadn't the party left after World War II? My mind raced. Was I in danger?

I turned to ask Tanja, but she was gone. Suddenly my eyes grew wider, as I noticed jackknives nestled in two of the boys' back pockets. I felt my eyes water and my cheeks flush. I couldn't swallow, or even breathe. Tanja's words echoed in my mind, They hate anyone who is not German ... What's to stop them from hurting me? They have knives, they have motives, they have opportunity ...

Tanja tugged at my shirt. "Alles gut?" I bit my lip and shook my head no, everything wasn't good. "You told me those boys hate foreign people," I whispered. "Do they hate me?" Tanja noticed my teary eyes and smiled. "No, you needn't worry. Your blond hair and blue eyes make you look like a German."

I smiled and sighed, feeling a nervous sense of relief. But my ears were still burning. What if I hadn't looked German? If my heritage was Turkish, would they care that I was also an American? I thought about life back in the United States. I often heard about acts of discrimination against black people. I always felt sympathy toward them, but I never understood how it felt. Now, for the first time in my life, I got a taste of being on the receiving end of racial hatred. I clenched my fists and wished I were home. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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