Crowded Conditions for the Refugees at the former US Military Base in Giessen
Boots on the ground in Germany: Refugee Report; For the past week I have been in the old Bavarian city of Augsburg. There was so little evidence of anything unusual, not even the taxi drivers had noticed any refugees, that I began to doubt the propaganda I had been hearing. So I decided to cross Germany and go to the heart (Frankfurt) to see what I could see. The first sign of anything amiss was an announcement in the train outside of Frankfurt “would all police officers on the train please come to (train) car number 9” Before I had time to ask any questions it was time to get out at my end station, Giessen, a town half an hour outside of Frankfurt. This town also happens to have an abandoned US military base. As I stepped down onto the platform I could feel the atmosphere. Young men, definitely mid eastern looking were milling around, loud, jostling with each other and laughing, one playing a radio. I went to a sandwich stand and asked the lady behind the counter if there was any sign of refugees in the town (duh – dumb question – but I wanted to hear her reaction). She threw her hands in the air and rolled her eyes. “And how ! They don’t speak our language and don’t want to and sleep on the steps to the station. I am told this town is the Central Warehouse for them” I crossed the square with more loud young men and climbed onto my bus with a large mid eastern family, the mother looking uncomfortably at me. I noticed graffiti and garbage in places (most unusual for Germany) and in one window a handwritten sign basically saying, “foreigners, get out!” When I got to my destination, an even smaller town where I would spend the next two days I asked my host about my observations. “Yes, Giessen is indeed a Central Warehouse for refugees. They are shipped in to these places, each German State has one. Munich has a big one too. They live in the former US barracks and now in tents too. Even our little town has 200 people all in one tent with partitions between beds. It has heat, running water and toilets…but nevertheless…for at least 6 months this winter. You can go visit it. It is interesting, let me tell you.” This is a photo (not mine) of Giessen.
In the local paper stood “”Violence increasing at the Central Refugee Warehouse in Giessen: theft, attacks, rape – 9,760 people all crammed in together” – so it IS true!