Recently on the Berlin S-Bahn: A woman gets on and starts asking the passengers for money.

She looks like someone who doesn't want to be noticed, wearing jeans and a dark jacket and her hair tied in a ponytail.

The woman speaks in a low voice and, unlike many others who beg, has nothing to offer: no cute dog, no tale of her journey into poverty, no saxophone to play "Hit The Road Jack."

The woman walks through the car asking left and right, "Would you have some money for me?" Some say, "I'm sorry," others shake their heads, most don't even look up.

After walking through the cart without getting anything, the woman stops.

"You've probably all donated to Ukraine, haven't you," she calls out, suddenly loud, and at first it sounds as if she wants to excuse the indifference of the passengers by assuming on their behalf that she's just showing her willingness to help steer more important things.

But then the woman continues.

"You'd better donate to the Tafel," she demands, because food is getting scarce there, "or to Africa," where twenty thousand children starved to death every day.

Some passengers look up in irritation.

The woman gets off at the next station.

Germans donate as much as never before

What should the passengers have said?

Of course you should help people who are suffering from hunger.

Maybe the woman was one of them.

But the attention of those who can help is never evenly distributed among those who need help.

She follows rules.

One is: The closer someone is to someone else's need, the more likely they are to help.

And many Germans are very concerned about the war against Ukraine.

This is shown, for example, by the amount of money they donate.

Some organizations report all-time records, such as the disaster relief action alliance.

In the first two weeks of the war alone, 76 million euros were received there, more than ever before in such a short time.

The question, however, is what comes next.

The great solidarity will be a little bit smaller.

The Germans will cook asparagus, grill sausages and go on vacation, and they will complain that everything has become so expensive.

So even more expensive than now.

How solidary the Germans will then be with the Ukrainians is currently the great unknown.

That makes things difficult for the federal government, for example when it has to decide on an energy embargo against Russia.

A lot of people are asking for this right now.

In recent polls, a majority of Germans were in favour.

But how many would be willing to pay the price for months, maybe years, to save on grilled sausages and vacations, to be depressed to hear which restaurant and which medium-sized company is now broke,

maybe become unemployed yourself?

Especially when other things hit the mood, for example the thirty-second Corona wave.

Arguing isn't a bad thing

Nobody knows how the Germans will think in a few months.

But there are indications of which direction it could go.

One thing is clear: there will be arguments.

Not because some people show solidarity and others don't.

But because solidarity clashes.

This is often the case in crises.

This could also be observed in the corona pandemic.

Some wanted to relax the measures to give the children freedom back, while others wanted to tighten the measures to protect the elderly, the sick and exhausted caregivers.

And then there were the lateral thinkers, they just didn't care about anything at all.

It has stayed that way.

In their world, the opposite of what government and mainstream media say is always true.

The first lateral thinkers are already beginning to demonstrate for Putin,