FuGeeLa: Refugees in Berlin #15

Photo: Rasande Tyskar on Flickr

Every week we hear news about the situation of refugees in Berlin. Here’s a summary of what’s been happening in the last days and how you can help. This is the English version of an article in cooperation with Mit Vergnügen, hier kannst du ihn auf Deutsch lesen.

Number of the week

51.000 | sum of bribes an employee of LaGeSo is accused of taking. Taz reports he awarded contracts for shelters only if a certain security company was hired.

How’s the situation at the shelters?

Last week, several reports of violent conflicts in refugee shelters dominated the news – in Adlershof, 100 people got into a fight; and in Karlshorst, 40 people attacked securities with wooden slats, reported Tagesspiegel. In a Schöneberg shelter, a 19 year security staff member was attacked by a Syrian family, the motifs remain unclear.

However, research of Tagesspiegel revealed that the incident in Karlshorst was probably not like the police first reported, and blame the security company. Police is still investigating.

What’s the government of Berlin doing?

The expansion of the mass shelter at Tempelhof airport is progressing – Berlin based company Triad won the contract to build a temporary village inside of the hangars that will house a police station, registration facilities, food and clothing supply stations, a job center as well as payment offices and a BVG info point.

The senate only just decided to build 68 new container and modular shelters for refugees, but the criticism is ongoing. The green party not only question whether new shelters should be opened in Marzahn due to difficulties with the residents (and instantly are applauded by right wing parties), but also suggest a new idea to house refugees: wooden houses on rooftops. The so called “Wohnkuben” are faster built, and less expensive.

Many clubs and associations, among them the Berliner track and field club, the wrestling club and the VfL Tegel, are fighting against the confiscation of their gyms with a referendum. The Landessportbund Berlin also started an online petition to put more pressure onto the senate to find alternative housings. Currently, the athletes don’t have facilities to train.

On Thursday, trailer village residents of Kiefholzstraße 74 in Treptow started their protest against the planned refugee shelter, which threatens to replace their residence.

Any good news?

Sir Simon Rattle, Iván Fischer and Daniel Barenboim invited 2200 refugees and helpers to a joined concert at the Philharmonie yesterday night. Reports on social media describe an audience in awe, an enthusiastic orchestra and a wonderful atmosphere.

How can you help this week?

Today, Plattform Nachwuchsarchitekten is holding a round table talk on the topic of “Wohnen als Grundrecht für Alle – wie Integration gelingen kann”. Register at info@plattformnachwuchsarchitekten.de, more info here.

From Thursday to Saturday, Haus der Kulturen der Welt is holding an exhibition with the title “Zivilgesellschaft 4.0 – Geflüchtete und digitale Selbstorganisation” – all info here.

JACK is looking for a female German teacher in Neukölln.

The Carnival Al-Lajiìn, the Carnival of the Refugees, is looking for supporters, awareness and security teams for their event on March 20th. They’ll have a first meeting next Monday, more info here.

Art academy Weissensee establishes a foundation class for refugees who want to study art, the program is funded by the Berlin senate and starts in summer. More info here.

Multaka, who organizes guided tours for refugees in Berlin’s museums, is hoping for your donations to continue their program.

Get Involved

Information and links to initiatives in Berlin can be found on the websites of Flüchtlingsrat Berlin and at bürgeraktiv. Jule Müller compiled a very helpful document answering all your questions about how to help in Berlin. Until now, it’s only available in German.

This is what happened last week.


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  1. Beth Greenaway on


    Hey, not sure if you’ve seen this already, but Zalando is hosting a big event for refugees over the 18th-20th March at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. You can read more about the “Hello Festival”, including the TEDx talk and street football tournament, here http://www.hello-festival.com

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