Since fleeing Ukraine with her daughter, Iryna Khomich has made a home of a tiny space in a village of prefabricated units in southwestern Germany.
A full tour of its single room takes only a few moments: an iron bunk bed and a wardrobe, shoes scattered near the door, clothes drying on radiators.
On one recent afternoon, her cat, Dimka, walked in and out, while her daughter, Sofiia, 8, read a German textbook at a desk.
But like other displaced Ukrainians who fled west to wait out the war against Russia, Ms. Khomich, 37, lives each day wrestling with an agonizing choice: Should she return home to Ukraine, where the fighting drags on interminably, or put down roots in Germany, effectively turning a temporary separation into something more lasting?
And they are debating it in places like Freiburg, a city nestled on the edge of the Black Forest close to the French border that has offered open arms, an extensive social safety net and the attractive promise of a life without war.
Iryna Khomich, Sofiia, Khomich
Ukraine, Germany, Russia, Europe, Freiburg