Germany: 150 migrants for small village of 150 in Saxony has citizens turning to conservative AfD party for help

AfD President Tino Chrupalla. (AfD)
By John Cody
5 Min Read

The village of Rosenthal in eastern Saxony has only 150 citizens, but its population may soon double if a planned migrant center with capacity for 150 is built in the vicinity of the village. Now, citizens are turning to the conservative Alternative for Germany (AfD) party for help.

The tranquil village is located in a little-known corner of Germany where a large number of ethnic Sorbs live, right on the border of Poland. The village’s obscurity may be exactly why the federal government and the state of Saxony may have thought they could relocate migrants there without much opposition.

None of the migrants headed there will be Ukrainians; instead, they will be Afghans, Syrians, Iranians, and Iraqis. Given that the move will change the culture and demographics of the village virtually overnight, residents are furious and actively fighting against the top-down measure with the help of the AfD.

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At the beginning of April, when Thomas Gampe, the head of the social affairs department of the district of Görlitz, presented plans for the construction of a migrant home in the village, he was met with boos. Citizens appealed to District Administrator Stephan Meyer (CDU) to block the project. Meyer is being accused of rushing to find new asylum accommodation with his plans to make migrant homes out of a former vocational school in Boxberg as well as a former apprentices’ dormitory in the Hirschfeld district of Rosenthal.

Now, the topic appears to be the only one the villagers want to talk about. The AfD has also forced the issue to the forefront. On Tuesday, the Görlitz district council will meet in a special session after the AfD requested the meeting to address asylum seekers being moved into the town.

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The AfD has gone even further and proposed that no asylum homes be built in the district of Görlitz. Although the district itself cannot make such a decision, the motion indicates that the federal government and the Saxon state should come to an agreement on the issue.

The influx of potential migrants in Rosenthal comes at a time when Germany is dealing with a spiraling migrant crisis. In cities and towns across the country, local governments are grappling with a problem that has seen politicians and administrators take extreme measures, including evicting elderly citizens from their homes to make way for migrants.

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The AfD is counting on growing frustration to get its motion passed in Görlitz, with AfD politicians aware that rival parties are under ample pressure due to the extreme popularity of the AfD in Saxony. In the Görlitz city council, the AfD holds 27 seats and the CDU only 23. Citizens are directly pressuring the CDU as well to support the measure, and if the CDU fails to deliver, it could end up costing the party even more political capital down the road.

AfD leader Timo Chrupalla is urging all county council members to vote in favor of the motion. He points to the country’s soaring deficit, which stands at €50 million in the last year alone. The AfD has long argued that the country’s exploding immigration population has resulted in billions in taxpayer money going into housing, education, social benefits, and unemployment benefits for millions of newcomers who have a notoriously bad record at integrating into German society.

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“We have completely different problems here. For example, we lack doctors, teachers and craftsmen; money for school lunches or the school bus,” Chrupalla said. Many of the rural villages in Germany feature little to no investment, and Chrupalla noted that there is no public infrastructure in the Hirschfelde district of Rosenthal. Now, citizens are asking why money is going into housing more migrants when it could have gone into improving their quality of life, schools, and infrastructure.

In March alone, 80,000 asylum seekers registered in Germany, according to the German Interior Ministry. If this trend continues, it is estimated that almost 1 million asylum seekers will apply to stay in Germany, which would exceed the record-breaking 750,000 asylum applications from 2016. As citizens increasingly turn against the left-wing government’s open borders immigration policy, the AfD party and anti-immigration sentiment are growing in popularity.

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