Serpil Temiz Unvar

(born in Turkey, lives in Hanau)

"When children are born, they are ready to live and learn together. No one decides what nationality they are born with. Hatred and racism are not innate, but rather passed on."

Serpil Temiz-Unvar’s son was murdered by a right-wing extremist in Hanau—as a result, she founded the Bildungsinitiative Ferhat Unvar (Ferhat Unvar Education Initiative) that bears his name.  

Born in southern Turkey, Serpil Temiz-Unvar resettled in France with her parents as a child. Later, she and her husband moved to Hanau, where they raised four children together. One of these, her son Ferhat, was murdered by a right-wing extremist in the terrorist attack in Hanau in 2020, along with eight other people. To counter the murderous racism to which her son fell victim, Serpil Temiz-Unvar founded a political education initiative. Children, adolescents, young adults and parents who are affected by racial discrimination thus find a contact point where they can seek advice and access assistance in processing traumatic experiences. The initiative also supports teachers in integrating and addressing the issue of racism within the curriculum.  

Today, Temiz-Unvar lives on with the pain of loss and fights the hatred to which her son fell victim. 

* Temiz-Unvar, S., Rede, Bochum, 19.2.2022, (17.11.2022). 

Credits: Fotograf Thomas Lohne