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Refugees would not have found accommodation without private help – BZ Berlin

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The State Office for Refugees is completely overwhelmed with the care of the people of Ukraine. That’s amazing, because this agency is very well equipped, both financially and in terms of personnel, says Gunnar Schupelius.

More than 50,000 refugees have arrived in Berlin from Ukraine since the start of the war. They mostly arrived on special trains at the main station.
Authorities were overwhelmed by the onslaught from the start. Until yesterday, the Senate only managed to serve just over 8,000 people.

The fact that all the refugees can still be accommodated is solely due to the commitment of the population. Private accommodations have been and are provided everywhere, it is truly impressive.

But why wasn’t the Senate better prepared? Government Mayor Giffey (SPD) said yesterday in the House of Representatives that from the first day of the war it was expected “that there would be a large number of people fleeing”.

► Read all the columns of Gunnar Schupelius

Already the day after the attack on Ukraine, that is, on February 25, he had “established a crisis management system.”

However, it was not until March 8 that at least one large tent was erected on Washingtonplatz in front of the main train station, where arriving refugees could be served. When asked about criticism of his crisis management in the early days of March, Giffey responded somewhat contritely: “But we were not idle during this time.”

That’s certainly true, but you still don’t get it.

After the wave of refugees in 2015, Berlin created a new major authority, the State Office for Refugees (LAF), with headquarters in Wilmersdorf (Bundesallee), a branch in Charlottenburg (Darwinstraße) and an “arrival center” in Reinickendorf. .

This refugee agency is well funded and staffed and should be able to handle major emergencies like the current one. However, the LAF and its president Alexander Straßmeir were unsuccessful in this, so former THW chief Albrecht Broemme was again hired as coordinator, who also set up the vaccination centers and transformed exhibition hall 26 into a clinic. Crown.

It may have been incompetence on the part of the LAF. But it is also true that the refugee infrastructure in Berlin is already fully operational, if not overloaded.

Accommodations are full because recognized asylum seekers who should move are unable to move because they cannot find an apartment. Rejected asylum seekers who have to leave the country also stay there because the SPD, the Greens and the Left Party practically no longer deport anyone.

However, the new war forces us to make a decision: Do we want to continue welcoming all the people from all the countries who come to Berlin, even if they are not politically persecuted or have fled a war? Or do we have to give preference to women and children who now come from Ukraine?

More wars are possible, also in Europe. And then we have to be able to help again.

Is Gunnar Schupelius right? Phone: 030/2591 73153 or email: [email protected]

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