The Berlin Senate failed on Monday in an attempt to collect refugees from a hostel for distribution to other cities. Almost 120 Ukrainian women, men and children had to leave the “Generator” hostel on the border between the districts of Lichtenberg and Pankow in the morning. The State Refugee Office (LAF) sent a BVG bus and translators. But the refugees did not go up.
Instead, they headed to a free church congregation hall on Cosmonaut Avenue, with a car rented from the church, regular buses and trains, and some on foot. The congregation wants to host them in their hall.
The people come from different cities and villages in Ukraine and are connected through their free ecclesial 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 documents from the office,” says Viktoria Katnova, who fled Kiev with her family.
They don’t want to get on the bus because they wouldn’t know what would happen to them and where they would be taken. “In any case, we will not go. 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 of the old Tegel airport to be sent back from there. A spokesperson for the LAF said refugees should be taken to Regensburg and Salzburg, for example. By registering, they would also receive a work permit. Currently they are only based on the 90 day visa-free stay for Ukrainians in Berlin.
According to the so-called Königstein key, five percent of those who fled to Germany should remain in Berlin. The rest must then be distributed to the other federal states. There are only exceptions for Ukrainians who have permanent housing or direct relatives in Berlin.
Teachers, students and a microbiologist
Redeployment would happen nationwide, people could work in the industry, the LAF spokesperson said: “You don’t need a college degree there, you have to be able to get up at six in the morning. These are mostly farmers or farmers. who are happy when their wives get to work in a drugstore. “
According to Moritz Maier, a representative of the parish welfare association, the refugees have qualified qualifications: among them are teachers, students and a microbiologist.
Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) had announced such distribution campaigns in recent weeks in consultation with integration senator Katja Kipping (left). The Lichtenberg CDU 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 the affected Ukrainians are already linked to Berlin, said Danny Freymark, deputy district chief of the CDU. The Lichtenberger Freikirche is also the partner congregation of the church to which many of the Ukrainians already belonged in their homeland.
“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 having stayed in Berlin-Lichtenberg for weeks and are well integrated through the local free church,” said Freymark, who is also a member of the Chamber of Deputies.
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Freymark points out that so many refugees from the war zone are still expected that housing in other federal states is filling up quickly anyway: “Those affected have been living in Lichtenberg for two or three weeks, they have adapted to everyday life,” they are beyond the church and associations on the net and enrolled in the social welfare office. Some of them will soon have jobs – why should they leave now? “
After the Russian attack on Ukraine, Berlin in particular became a destination for refugees within Germany. Recently, up to 10,000 Ukrainians arrived in the capital every day, often women and children.
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Senate head Giffey said Berlin was trying to please everyone. But soon other federal states are also expected to take part in caring for the refugee masses.
“We have proposed through the Petitions Committee of the House of Representatives that the 120 affected be registered in Berlin and their permanence thus permanently ensured,” Freymark previously said. “The Petitions Committee had agreed to this request in all party lines.” There have been no consequences so far.