Europe as home – Berlin as start

Arturo Bjørklund Winters

As the son of a German father and a Swedish mother, who grew up in France, I was born in Italy. Visiting my family has always taken me all over Europe: my uncle is currently living with his Spanish wife in England (Durham), my Danish aunts in Copenhagen, while my grandfather lived in Paris.

I received my Italian and German Abitur in 2015 at the German Encounter School in Milan (German School Milan), after I lived for about 2 months with one of my aunts in Copenhagen during my school years and went to the local German School.

After my graduation, I decided to move to Berlin to study. Today, as then, I understand this city as one of the European capitals, as well as the cultural and political avant-garde of our continent. At the TU I received my Bachelor of Science in “Physical Engineering” in September and started my Master in the same subject area.Over the course of three years at the university, I had the opportunity not only to expand my professional knowledge and to learn a structured way of working, but also to teach as a student assistant Calculus 1. My study specialization is thermodynamics or “energy theory” and computational mathematics. As part of my studies, I also worked in an energy management company. A job, which now I continue to do part-time.

Even before graduation, my passion for politics led me to the social-democratic family: in Italy, I was active in the “PD” (Italian Social Democratic Party) and was able to represent them in the school committee of my commune. At the moment I am the chairman of a local SPD association in Berlin (department 70 in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf), member of the board of the PD local association Berlin-Brandenburg and the Berliner-SPD replacement candidate for Gabriele Bischoff for the elections of the Europian Parliament 2019.

As long as I can remember, I was asked where I came from and what nationality I belong to. For a long time I could not really give the answer: I had to describe my whole family history and my life again and again. Secretly, I envied those who could safely and quickly respond by stating their nationality. Those who knew where they were at home. However, one day I understood that my statement could be short and concise: “I am European.” The need to protect our “House of Europe” against the revival of right-wing and national ideologies has moved me to stand up for this ideal.