In the course of the so-called refugee crisis, millions of German citizens began volunteering for refugees. What emerged was a broad movement quite different from previous solidarity movements. The focus on humanitarian help and on integration measures and the lack of ideological coherence suggest that we cannot speak of this as a social movement in the conventional sense. However, the newly emerged volunteerism for refugees is far from being unpolitical, as an analysis of survey data, semi-narrative interviews, and group discussions with volunteers reveal. For the majority of volunteers, helping refugees is a symbolic form of political articulation, particularly against mobilization efforts from right-wing extremists at the local level.

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