Dealing with refugees: tents and right-wing extremist attacks

The series of attacks against shelters for refugees continues. Meanwhile, in Freital, the district administration bans all actions around the asylum home.

Tent for asylum seekers in Munich: more refugees arrived in Germany in July than ever before in one month. Photo: dpa

The series of attacks against shelters for asylum seekers continues. In Luzenau near Chemnitz, an apartment building was pelted with Molotov cocktails on Friday night, and a hedge went up in flames. 50 refugees were supposed to move in there soon. And the attack is not the first: On Wednesday, the house had been flooded with water.

In Freital, Saxony, xenophobes are mobilizing again. "Make Freital a fortress!", calls a vigilante group on the Internet. For Friday afternoon, the refugee opponents expected anti-fascist groups to arrive from Leipzig. "The leftists want to lay waste to all the bars, banks and barbershops," they write on Facebook. And further: "Should they make even the slightest terror here, we let them dance."

Several events were announced for Friday in the vicinity of the asylum seeker shelter. The "Organization for Cosmopolitanism and Tolerance" planned a street party, at the same time a demonstration against racism was to lead to the home. Opponents of the shelter followed suit and announced a concert with the neo-Nazi band "A3stus" and a torchlight march. However, the district administration office issued a ban on all gatherings in the vicinity at short notice.

In view of the recent confrontations there and because of actions currently announced in social networks, renewed violent clashes could not be ruled out, it said in justification. The initiative of the refugee supporters examined legal means against the ban. They now want to celebrate with the refugees in a different place.

More tent cities for refugees spring up

Meanwhile, the accommodation of refugees remains the number one topic in other German states as well. According to figures from the Federal Office for Migration, 79,000 asylum seekers arrived in Germany in July. The president of the office spoke of an "all-time record."

The nationwide answer is tent cities. In Munich, Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) mobilized the fire department, technical relief organization and aid organizations on Thursday evening to pitch tents for about 300 refugees. A spokeswoman for the Upper Bavarian government said more than 750 refugees had arrived within 24 hours, and the central arrival center was completely overcrowded.

In Cologne, a camp for around 1,000 refugees is to be set up in a parking lot starting next week – as a temporary solution until containers can be delivered. Rudolf Seiters, president of the German Red Cross, warned that such camps could only be an emergency solution. "From October, tents as shelters are no longer possible."

In the Dresden camp, where refugees have been living for a week, there are also initial problems with hygiene. Dietrich Gokelmann, head of the Saxony state directorate, told the Sachsische Zeitung newspaper there have been difficulties with cleaning and waste disposal. When the decision was made for the camp, "all available mobile toilet houses would have been ordered." The market for toilets and shower containers had been swept clean.

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