A German fashion startup called off an event because Berlin wants to use the venue to house refugees
TSGT Jose Lopez Jr., US Air Force/Wikimedia Commons
Zalando had planned to host Bread & Butter, a trade show it saved from insolvency in June, at the site of the now-defunct Tempelhof Airport, which ceased operations in 2008.
But the escalating European refugee crisis has meant that the Berlin Senate is looking into the possibility of using the building (along with other venues) to house refugees, prompting Zalando to put the event on ice. (We first saw the news via Tech.eu.)
The ongoing conflict in Syria and Iraq has produced a growing stream of desperate refugees pouring into Europe - the largest since the Second World War. The issue has taken on a new urgency in recent days after 71 people were found dead inside a smuggler's van in Austria, and yesterday photos of a dead child on a Turkish beach sparked horrified headlines across the continent.
The company is now considering the possibility of an alternative event, "a little bit like Band Aid," Radke says, the proceeds of which would go to charity. It is also sending a support truck to Sicily, where there are large numbers of refugees, as well as making donations to those already in Berlin.
It's just one small symptom of the ongoing tragedy, to which no immediate end is in sight.