Heads of state don't usually comfort audience members, especially those suffering from their government's actions.
A high school Q&A session led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel took a sudden emotional turn after a Palestinian girl began asking about Merkel's deportation policies, which may lead to the student's deportation, according to The Guardian.
During the discussion, entitled "Good life in Germany", Reem, a Palestinian, told Merkel in fluent German that she and her family, who arrived in Rostock from a Lebanese refugee camp four years ago, are soon to face deportation.
She said: "I have goals like anyone else. I want to study like them ... it's very unpleasant to see how others can enjoy life, and I can't myself."
Merkel responded by saying she understood, but that "politics is sometimes hard. You're right in front of me now and you're an extremely sympathetic person. But you also know in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are thousands and thousands and if we were to say you can all come ... we just can't manage it."
The heartbreaking video is watchable here. It's in German, but it's not hard to figure out what's happening.
The Guardian adds further context to the deeply complicated issue:
[T]he German chancellor rubs the shoulder of a sobbing teenager after telling her she was one of "thousands and thousands" of refugees that her country was unable to help.
As the number of refugees arriving in Germany rises by the month – and already this year the number of asylum applications, at 450,000, is more than twice the total for the whole of 2014 – the issue is one of the most keenly debated topics in the country.
In Germany, partly out of disagreement with Merkel's politics, possibly partly from a coping mechanism and definitely partly from Internet boredom, the Chancellor's actions have become a meme. It has been promoted using the hashtag #merkelstreichlt which means 'Merkel strokes'.