• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Refugees can stay in occupied school

The Local · 3 Jul 2014, 10:30

Published: 03 Jul 2014 09:22 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Jul 2014 10:30 GMT+02:00

Hundreds of police officers put up a cordon last Tuesday around Ohlauer Straße while clearing around 200 refugees from the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule in Kreuzberg.

But around 40 people refused to leave the former school and the police barriers became a magnet for protesters.

PHOTO GALLERY: Police close off area around former school 

Kreuzberg’s ruling Green Party, which gave the initial order to clear the school and then dithered for days about their next move, also came under fire from both police and protesters.
 
District mayor Monika Hermann, who has supported granting the refugees residence rights for humanitarian reasons, pleaded for patience on Wednesday afternoon.
 
"It's the aim of all concerned parties to solve the situation in a peaceful way," she wrote in a press statement. 
 
Finally, at 9.30pm on Wednesday the refugees still in the school signed an agreement with local authorities confirming they could stay in the building.

Under the agreement, brokered with the help of left-leaning veteran Green politician Hans-Christian Ströbele, 75, the former school will be renovated.

The 40 remaining refugees will be given special passes to allow them to leave and re-enter the school at will. Their passes will be checked at the entrance by security staff to avoid an influx of new people.

While they stay in the school, authorities have pledged not to start any legal proceedings of any kind against the refugees. 

The renovation work, which according to the signed document will begin on Thursday morning, will start with the clearing out and securing the bottom floors of the school.

During the work the ground floor windows will be boarded up. 

Story continues below…

Police spokesman Stefan Redlich said he was relieved that the police had not had to use force to clear the school and that nobody had been hurt.

The nine day police operation, involving up to 1,700 police officers from Berlin, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia cost over €5 million, Bild newspaper said on Thursday, citing police sources. 

SEE ALSO: Berlin's refugee protest: 'This is a police siege'

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Hero' refugee hands in €150,000 he found in wardrobe
Muhannad and the secondhand wardrobe. Photo: Minden Police.

A refugee from Syria found a huge stash of money in a secondhand wardrobe he bought. But keeping it for himself would have been a betrayal of his religion, he said.

Istanbul airport bombing
Flights from Berlin to Istanbul cancelled after terror attack
Turkish police block the road after an suicide bomb attack at Atatürk Airport in Istanbul. Photo: EPA.

All flights from Berlin's Tegel airport to Istanbul have been cancelled after a suicide bomb attack killed at least 36 people in the city's major airport.

German extremist groups 'getting bigger, more brutal'
A violent demo in Frankfurt in 2015. Photo: DPA

Political extremism rose sharply in Germany last year - among far-right but also far-left and Islamist radical groups - the domestic intelligence agency said Tuesday.

Berlin puts spies on tighter leash after NSA scandal
An installation of the BND in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Germany on Tuesday approved new measures to rein in the activities of its foreign intelligence agency after a scandal over improper collusion with the US National Security Agency.

Brexit vote
There's no way back for Britain, says 'sad' Merkel
Angela Merkel (r) and David Cameron in Brussels. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the EU summit in Brussels late on Tuesday that she didn't see any way that the British decision to leave the EU could be reversed.

Brexit vote
British business owner in Germany: why I support Brexit
Alexander McWhinney, owner of The English Shops. Photo: Private.

Scottish business owner Alexander McWhinney tells The Local why he supported the vote for a Brexit despite being an expat - much to the surprise of employees at his stores in the Rhineland.

Germany seeks seat on UN security council
The United Nations Security Council. Photo: DPA

Berlin last had a seat at the highest table of international security in 2011-12. Now the Foreign Minister has announced that Germany wants the role again.

Brexit vote
Merkel: Britain can’t cherry-pick Brexit terms
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that the EU could survive a Brexit and warned Britain the union would not tolerate "cherry-picking" in upcoming negotiations on their future relations.

This film makes Darmstadt look more romantic than Paris
The Russian Orthodox Church in Darmstadt. Source: City, Light and Movement.

Not quite sure where Darmstadt is? A short film shot by a Syrian refugee will have you rushing to locate it on a map.

VW agrees to $14.7 bn payout in US emissions probe
Photo: DPA

Volkswagen has agreed to pay out $14.7 billion in a settlement with US authorities and car owners in the probe over its emissions-cheating diesel-powered cars, court documents showed Tuesday.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sport
How to sound like an expert on German football this summer
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
Society
How pictures of footballers on chocolates made Pegida really mad
Health
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
7,865
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd