Mai Lan

Mai Lan

Pavlo

Pavlo

Maryna

Maryna

Jürgen

Jürgen

Ismail

Ismail

Hubert

Hubert

Salaheldin

Salaheldin

Dimitrie

Dimitrie

Agnieszka

Agnieszka

Abdi

Abdi

Jürgen Opitz

Germany

The arrival of the first refugees in the Heidenau alternative accommodation is described by the mayor Jürgen Opitz as follows:

„Nobody seems to have expected it to escalate like this on that Friday. From further away, people were organized for the demonstrations. When the buses came, I wasn't there. No protection by the police was possible. There was a big whistling concert, Buses were attacked. The atmosphere for the refugees was frightening.“

The announcement from the State Directorate Saxony about the accommodation of several hundred refugees in his city reached Mayor Jürgen Opitz two days before their planned arrival. He did not see any possibility of adequately informing the population about the facts of the case in the short term. He declined the invitation to speak at a rally of the NPD.

As a result, he drew the ire of the protesters. They marched to his private house with shouts of traitor to the people, even before the asylum seekers were moved into the accommodation. Later, there were also attacks on police officers.

Jürgen Opitz is convinced:

„The refugees were the cause, but not the target. These were the state and its representatives. […] From my point of view, however, there has never been an attempt to storm the facility or throw incendiary devices.“

Amid insults, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the facility the following Wednesday. Jürgen Opitz sums up:

„Obviously, Mrs. Merkel realized that waving the refugees through would not work, so Heidenau was the time-changer.“


Information on the reception of asylum seekers

Angela Merkel in Heidenau

Following the sharp increase in the number of asylum seekers in the summer of 2015, the State Directorate of Saxony issued a press release on 19 August 2015 informing about the temporary reception of refugees in Heidenau. Mayor Jürgen Opitz was informed on the afternoon of 17.08.2015.

The arrival was initially planned for two days later. On Friday, August 21, 2015, the first bus with refugees arrived after a delay of several hours under police protection.

Email to Mayor Jürgen Opitz 2015
Email to Mayor Jürgen Opitz 2015
Email to Mayor Jürgen Opitz 2015

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