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120 refugees are supposed to leave Berlin, but they don’t get on the bus

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The Berlin Senate failed on Monday in an attempt to collect refugees from a Berlin shelter for distribution to other cities. 120 Ukrainian women, men and children had to leave the “Generator” hostel on the border between the Lichtenberg and Pankow districts in the morning. The State Office for Refugee Affairs (LAF) sent a BVG bus and translators. But the refugees did not go up.

Instead, they headed to the hall of a free church community on Allee der Kosmonauten, using a minibus rented from the church, regular bus and train connections, and sometimes on foot. The congregation wants to accommodate them in their hall.

According to the will of the LAF, the Ukrainians should have been taken to the arrivals center at the old Tegel airport to be sent from there. An LAF spokesman said the refugees should be taken to Regensburg and Salzburg, and that their registration would also give them a work permit. Currently only on the basis of the 90-day visa-free stay for Ukrainians in Berlin.

Berlin’s ruling mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) had announced such distribution campaigns in recent weeks in consultation with the responsible integration senator Katja Kipping (left). The CDU in Lichtenberg criticized the Senate for its alleged coldness towards Ukrainian refugees.

The Petitions Committee voted to keep the Ukrainians

The Christian Democrats in the East Berlin district are outraged. Affected Ukrainians are networked in Berlin, CDU deputy district chief Danny Freymark said, Lichtenberger Freikirche is also the church partner community to which many Ukrainians belonged in their homeland.

Ukrainian refugees on Monday morning in front of the “Generator” hostel, where buses were supposed to pick them up.Photo: Robert Klages

“The behavior of the Senate administration angers me. Almost 120 Ukrainian refugees are said to have had to leave the city against their express will, despite staying in Berlin-Lichtenberg for weeks and being well integrated through the free church local,” Freymark said. , who is also a member of the House of Representatives .

[Lichtenberg und die Flüchtlinge: Jeden Montag berichtet unser Autor Robert Klages im Tagesspiegel-Bezirksnewsletter über die Folgen des Ukraine-Kriegs für den Bezirk. Hier kostenlos bestellen: leute.tagesspiegel.de]

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Freymark points out that so many refugees are still expected from the war zone that accommodation in other federal states is filling up quickly anyway: “Those affected have been living in Lichtenberg for two or three weeks, have adapted to everyday life, they are about the church and associations networked and registered with the social welfare office some of them will have jobs soon why should they leave now?

After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Berlin in particular has become a destination for refugees within Germany. Recently, up to 10,000 Ukrainians arrived in the capital every day, often women and children.

[Alle aktuellen Nachrichten zum russischen Angriff auf die Ukraine bekommen Sie mit der Tagesspiegel-App live auf ihr Handy. Hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen.]

Senate leader Giffey had said that Berlin was trying to accommodate everyone, but that other federal states would also have to help provide large numbers of refugees soon.

“We have proposed through the Committee on Petitions of the House of Representatives that the 120 affected be registered in Berlin and thus ensure their stay permanently,” Freymark said earlier. “The Petitions Committee had agreed to this request across party lines.” So far there have been no consequences.

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