At 2:45 a.m. I was awoken by a loud bang and the smell of smoke. In a haze of confusion, I quickly realized that something was wrong. After a few knocks on my door, I jumped out of bed, woke up my roomate and evacuated the building.
Anarchists had lit two cars on fire in front of the building next to house – which housed the rest of my fellow NYU classmates. Anarchism, a political philosophy that considers the government to be unnecessary and thus harmful is quite popular amongst the youth movement of Berlin. Although typically strong amongst the eastern section of the country, acts of the Anarchist nature do occur throughout the city. Fortunately, they rarely aim toward people but rather deface and destroy property. Their actions, although serious, resulted in no harm to anyone and were not aimed at the NYU students.
Although at first disturbed and concerned for my own safety, the experience will stick with me forever. I have learned that I am capable in a “crisis” situation (although local Germans felt little unrest) but more importantly I have been reminded that anything can happen at any time; life is short and sweet and one must always put themselves in the best possible situation when possible.