We are shocked by the current humanitarian crisis in Europe, by the plight of refugees from war and persecution at the borders and shorelines of the EU. Simultaneously we are upset by the harsh and antagonistic attitudes by some of our fellow citizens and elected leaders who deny help and assistance to fellow humans in distress and life threatening danger.
At this crucial moment, we want as historians to highlight the importance of the knowledge that migrants, regardless if they have escaped persecution or war, or are just looking for a better future for themselves and their children, have brought with them to Europe in the past. How that knowledge helped building our societies and creating the current wealth we enjoy in Europe. Migration and mobility have been and is fundamental part of our society, to highlight this we are adding to this statement a continuously updated list containing examples of the knowledge transferred by immigrants to underline our point.
Although migration and migrants were beneficial to Europe in the past, we know that the potential usefulness of a person to society should not be the reason why we help fellow humans. We must help people in need because they need help. It was that simple in the past, and so it is today.
The 20th century taught us to accept and embrace our diversities. In this very moment we Europeans must stand for our values.