Once an underclass, always an underclass: Why advancement is so difficult

Growing up in poverty is a constant burden and can lead to mental illness. One who knows all this is Olivier David. His story is about why many young people do not manage to climb the social ladder.


Helena Ott

He walks the district in Hamburg’s Altona district like a tourist guide. Stops, sometimes here, sometimes there, shows and tells. Now the 33-year-old is pointing to a carelessly renovated old building in pastel yellow: “A dealer also lived up there in the attic,” says Olivier David. Dark-brown wool coat, striped scarf, that’s how he walks to the other side of the street, towards a massive brick building.


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