Germany housing refugees in Nazi-era concentration camp

Migrants charge and use their mobile phones in a former newspaper printing house used as a refugee registration centre for the German state of Hesse in Neu-Isenburg. (File photo: Reuters)

Germany is housing asylum seekers in Nazi-era concentration camps, as Europe continues to deal with an unprecedented influx of refugees, the UK’s Daily Mail Online reported on Friday.

The 21 men are staying in a building that was used in 1937 as a barrack in the Buchenwald concentration camp. They will apparently remain there until their applications for refugee status are accepted, the report added.

“It is an emergency solution, but it is unavoidable,” the mayor of Berlin’s Mitte district, Christian Hanke, told the Mail Online.

“There is a lot of room in the hangars,” he added.

An estimated 56,000 people were killed in the Buchenwald concentration camp between 1937 and 1945.

Abdulrahman Massa, who travelled to Germany from Eritrea told the Daily Mail that what the building was used for in the past did not bother him.

“This is good for me,” he said.

An Algerian identified in the report as Diaoyre said: “It is good here. Many others don’t even have this.”

Some 450,000 migrants have arrived in Germany this year. The country is expecting at least 800,000 in 2015 - by far the most in the 28-nation EU.

Munich has been the main point of entry for migrants reaching Germany from Hungary and Austria. Mayor Dieter Reiter said the city was reaching the limits of its capacity and officials said it was considering putting up big tents to house some of the new arrivals.

The welcome mat for migrants in Germany contrasts sharply with the dangerous seas they faced to get to Greece, the tear gas from Macedonian police, the razor-wire fences, crude migrant camps and burly police in Hungary and, at times, train service shutdowns along the route.

[With AP]

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48