Wolfgang Bauer

Across the Sea - With Syrians on Their Escape to Europe

(German title: Über das Meer)
ca. 133 pages
Wolfgang Bauer
Foto: Wolfgang Bauer
© Heinz Heiss

Wolfgang Bauer, born 1970, works for the weekly German newspaper DIE ZEIT. For his reportages he has been awarded the Katholischer Medienpreis (Catholic Media Prize) and the Prix Bayeux-Calvados des Correspondants de Guerre. Stolen Girls was awarded the Nannen Prize 2016 for Best Documentary.

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English world rights (And Other Stories), Spanish world rights (Capitán Swing), Chinese complex rights (Ye-ren), Arabic world rights (Al-Arabi), French world rights (Lux Éditeur), Italy (La Nuova Frontiera), Poland (Czarne), Czech Republic (Grada), Croatia (Sandorf), Turkey (Ayrinti)


There is a humanitarian catastrophe happening in front of our eyes: The Syrian civil war continues to claim hundreds of lives. Millions of Syrians are fleeing, some of them risk the transit from Egypt to Europe by boat. Each year, hundreds of people die during this endeavour, making the Mediterranean the most dangerous sea boarder in the world.

The journalist Wolfgang Bauer accompanied Syrian refugees: in their hideouts in Egypt, on the boat, on the streets of Europe. He depicts the fates that hide behind the abstract numbers, as well as the dramatic circumstances of their escape. Across the Sea. With Syrians on Their Escape to Europe is an authentic document and at the same time a passionate plea for a more humanitarian refugee policy.


»A breathtaking reportage. [...] Wolfgang Bauer’s slender book is startling, because on the one hand, it’s a grippingly written reportage that creates a close connection to the people and their fates. And on the other, it’s an accusation: Bauer regards Europe and [Germany’s] federal government complicit with the suffering, since their principle of refusing to intervene has made matters worse. [...] ›Have mercy‹ - those are the book’s closing words. Nothing more has to be said. Wolfgang Bauer’s commanding, unsparing depiction of the refugees’ fates speaks for itself.« Tagesspiegel

»But the dead of the Mediterranean accompany us between the lines, and we can sense that this reportage can only be told because the main protagonists succeed. We so want them so succeed – as readers we do, at least. And as citizens? Here, in this anxious question, is where the political brisance of this brilliantly written, upsetting reportage lies.« Deutschland Radio Kultur

»An authentic document and a passionate plea for humanitarian refugee politics simultaneously.« Südwest Presse

»These books show that which is being blanked out by the media and politicians …« ORF

»Bauer impressively describes the obstacles and the insecurity that people have to struggle with until they even reach the ships to Europe.« Aachener Zeitung

»In his book, he describes fates that are hidden behind the abstract refugee statistics as well as the dramatic circumstances of the escape.« radiobremen.de

» ... an impressive book ... « SWR.de

»[Bauer’s] report takes a look at the fates that hide behind the abstract numbers.« Moritz Pfeifer, ParisBerlin

Other publications

Bruchzone/Fracture Zones (2018)

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Poland (Czarne)

Die geraubten Mädchen/Stolen Girls (2016)

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English world rights (The New Press; English audiobook sublicense: Recorded Books), Arabic world rights (Al-Arabi), Italy (La Nuova Frontiera), Netherlands (Walburg Pers), Poland (Czarne), Czech Republic (Grada), Turkey (Ginko)