When humans become migrants

A blog containing Marie-Bénédicte Dembour's 30 episode podcast to support her book.

Episode nine: When my father’s family fled their home

What you would you do if you and your loved ones were at risk?


In this episode I recall some of the stories of migration that I grew up with as a child in Belgium. In 1940, my father’s family, which included 10 children, felt they had no choice but to flee their home in order to avoid the death and destruction of World War II.

They took to the road with just one suitcase each and were fortunate to arrive in a village full of strangers who were generous enough to house them and keep them safe for an entire Summer.

When thinking of migrants’ rights, I think it is important to remember the human beings behind the cases we discuss. If we close our borders to refugees and asylum seekers, we are failing to treat people in the same way we would hope to be treated if we were ever forced to flee our own country.

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Belgiumpersonal stories of migrationworld war II

Marie-Benedicte Dembour • March 9, 2015

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