An act of cowardice will not change Berlin. I am sure of this.
This city has endured worse wounds than this one for half a century, it has welcomed refugees from all over the world (even from Berlin to Berlin). Its inhabitants are among the most tolerant people I know of.
Deep inside, I believe that any of us Berliners, either by birth or by residence, knew that something was eventually going to happen. Over the years, every major capital city in Europe was attacked: London, Madrid, Paris and, now, Berlin. As an Italian, I’m still relieved that Rome has been relatively safe even though the Vatican would probably be the most prestigious target for these terrorists. At least one good thing has come out of our political irrelevance.
Berlin will stay Berlin, nonetheless. Maybe the rest of Germany will change. But Berlin won’t. Even though right-wing jackals are in all likelihood circle-jerking on the Bild’s first page, already thinking of the 2017 elections, it won’t change how the real Berliners will feel towards immigrants and refugees.
Are we going to be scared? Probably. There’s no shame in that. But courage comes out of people who know fear, and decide to go against it.
I’m sure Berlin will choose courage, and I will stand by my fellow citizens’ decision.