If you don’t know by now that you should always Google the subject matter of a meme before re-posting it, then you are either (a) too young to use a computer yet, or (b) hopeless. That said, it is now becoming clear that you shouldn’t always trust a debunking of a meme.
A series of images making their way around the web show huge numbers of people piling onto some rusty, rickety ships. The description often accompanying the image suggests that these are Syrian (or Libyan) refugees headed for Europe, with sinister suggestions for what that implies…
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that these are not Syrian refugees trying to escape en masse to Europe. So who are they?
These aren’t Syrians; they are Europeans trying to get to North Africa during the world war… So next time you think of closing the borders you might want to check with your grandparents…
That’s an interesting explanation, but something still didn’t quite seem right… I did some Googling, and found the same caption on a picture on Imgur. A commenter noted that the picture is not from World War II, but actually from 1991. Another Imgur album from almost a year ago (i.e. before the current refugee crisis) shows the same pictures.
So now we have an initial incorrect use of these photos, and an incorrect (albeit well-intentioned, perhaps) rebuttal. These are not Syrian refugees going to Europe, nor are they European refugees escaping from Europe. These are European refugees going to a different part of Europe. Specifically, these are Albanians fleeing Albania for Italy during the collapse of Albania’s communist regime in 1991.
I wish I understood why people feel the need to make sh!t up. Be wary, kids.