Lagervisit and Womencafé in Eisenhüttenstadt 05.11.21

We decided to visit and organise a “women café” in Eisenhüttenstadt after Barnim für Alle called for an action day in Eisenhüttenstadt. The protestant church was kind enough to offer us a space for this purpose.

It was not possible to enter the camp. Since the outbreak of the corona pandemic, the lager has been closed to visitors. The security at the gate, said we can only ring the people we wanted to visit to come outside.

This was not easy, but we managed to meet about 8 women who have been staying in the camp from 2 days, a few weeks and some for more than three months. A young woman from Afghanistan told us, she has been in camp for three months and is waiting for a transfer. She told us the camp is over filled. We saw tents through the fence and heard of the reopening of the former deportation prison for sleeping spaces. She told us more than 40 people were in quarantine, and after 14 days some of them are getting transfers to places like Bamberg or Munich. These are the Ankerzentren we visited in our Summer Bustour in 2016. So we can imagine the living conditions there.

Our meeting in the church was attended by 8 women from inside the camp, half of whom came through the new Belarus/Poland route. They were glad to now have a warm place to sleep and medical care. Most of them were traumatised on the way. They have been in prison in different countries, pushed back and forth, humiliated in many ways before they managed to reach Germany. Here they expect peace and dignity. They are not only healing the wounds but are also very worried about the future.

One woman told us she was sharing a room with two other women during quarantine. They stayed for three days, with a toilet but no bathroom. Then a woman with two children was brought into their room. After two days the authorities transferred them to the former deportation prison, with the explanation that they have been in contact with someone who had tested corona positive.  In the former deportation prison, they were the only women. Nobody paid attention to their needs. They had no toilet papers or pads and had to substitute towels for pads. After one week in this building, the Red-Cross workers came to supply shaving kits for men. This was the first time it was discovered that there are women too in the building, who lacked necessary items.

Why does this occur in a rich country like Germany? A country with all the resources to prevent such chaotic and unnecessary pain to those looking for refuge? These people were leaving their countries, because of problems which have been direct or indirectly created by the industrialist nations. Capitalism has plundered all the wealth of our earth. The governments of the rich industrial nations should take the responsibility of the consequences of their plundering.

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