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Friday, January 27, 2023

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


The Berlin Senate failed on Monday in an attempt to collect refugees from a shelter for distribution to other cities. Almost 120 women, men and children from Ukraine had to leave the “Generator” shelter 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 made their way to a free church congregation hall on Cosmonaut Avenue, in a church-rented car, regular buses and trains, and some on foot. The congregation wants to accommodate them in their hall.

People come from different cities and towns in Ukraine and are connected through their free church community. “We all know each other here and we feel at home. The Lichtenberg community takes care of us. We have already found work, but we are still waiting for the documents from the office,” says Viktoria Katnova, who fled kyiv with her family.

This Ukrainian family would like to stay in Berlin. Photo: Robert Klages

They don’t want to get on the bus because they wouldn’t know what would happen to them or where they would be taken. “In any case, we will not leave. We want to stay here in Berlin.”

LAF wants to bring refugees to Tegel for redistribution

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. The distribution of refugees who cannot prove living space for 6 weeks in Berlin takes place on a national level: “We don’t know in advance which way it goes. That can be Regensburg or Stuttgart, but also Düsseldorf,” a spokesman said. of the LAF.

“Many of the refugees say that they want to work as quickly as possible, which is easily possible given the residence permit as a war refugee. Many people who are currently arriving in Berlin are not aware of the opportunities in other parts of the country; for Therefore, many refugees see Berlin as a place where their wishes and hopes are focused.

Currently they are only based on the 90-day visa-free stay for Ukrainians in Berlin.

According to Königstein’s key call, five percent of those who have fled to Germany should remain in Berlin. Therefore, the rest must be distributed to the other federal states. There are only exceptions for Ukrainians who have permanent accommodation or direct relatives in Berlin.

Teachers, students and a microbiologist.

People could, for example, work in commerce, said the LAF spokesman: A university degree is not absolutely necessary, many times it is enough to be able to get up at six in the morning. Many of the refugees arriving in Germany are farmers. “They are happy when their wives can find work in a pharmacy.”

According to Moritz Maier, a representative of the parish relief association, the shelter’s refugees have qualified qualifications: among them there are teachers, students and a microbiologist.

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 red-green-red Senate for its alleged coldness towards Ukrainian refugees.

The Petitions Committee voted to keep the Ukrainians

Christian Democrats are outraged that affected Ukrainians are already connected in Berlin, said CDU deputy district chief Danny Freymark. The Lichtenberger Freikirche is also the associated church congregation to which many of the Ukrainians already belonged in their homeland.

empty race. This bus was supposed to pick up the refugees and take them to the arrival center in Tegel. But they didn’t want to go.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?

Danny Freymark (left), CDU Member of Parliament, and Moritz Maier, representative of the church community and aid association. Photo: Robert Klages

In an interview on the rbb afternoon show on Monday night, Kipping defended the distribution of refugees to other federal states in general, saying it was a decision for the benefit of these people. “Not only can you make a decision that works morally today, but it must be a good decision four years from now,” the leftist politician said. “As soon as there is a registration as a war refugee, of course there is also a nationwide distribution. And that is also in the interests of the refugees.”

A large majority of people who arrive first decide on the federal capital. However, it is not only crucial to face the next few weeks well and find temporary solutions for the people here, Kipping said.

From good living space to daycare places to places in a retirement home, ultimately much must be available to them in the medium term. There are “really good opportunities” in many federal states and cities, Kipping emphasized. “We want people to get really good integration offers.”

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 chief Giffey had said that Berlin was trying to accommodate everyone. But soon other federal states would also have to participate in caring for masses of refugees.

“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. (with dpa)


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