Refugee home: Minister on arson attack in Bautzen: perpetrators have to “pay”

refugee home
Minister on arson attack in Bautzen: Perpetrators must “pay”

Traces of fire and smashed windows can be seen on the facade of the planned asylum accommodation.  Photo: Paul Glaser/dpa

Traces of fire and smashed windows can be seen on the facade of the planned asylum accommodation. photo

© Paul Glaser/dpa

After a fire in a planned refugee home in Bautzen, it quickly became clear that it was an arson attack. Saxony’s interior minister described the act as worrying.

After the arson attack on a planned refugee home In Bautzen, Saxony, the Minister of the Interior, Armin Schuster, wants to find the perpetrators quickly and hold them accountable. “We want to get hold of these perpetrators because they are not part of our society. On the contrary: they have to pay for that,” said the CDU politician during a visit to the former hotel in Bautzen on Saturday.

The chief of the police terrorism– and extremism defense center (PTAZ) of the State Criminal Police Office, Dirk Münster, spoke of a “very good situation”.

The fire broke out in the building early Friday morning after unknown persons smashed windows. Four people who were in the former hotel were unharmed. According to the city, they were employees of the owner.

Last week there was accommodation for in Groß Strömkendorf in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania refugees burned down from Ukraine. The investigators suspect a political background.

Schuster got a picture of the scene of the fire on Saturday Bautzen – and condemned the act with clear words. “To refuse refuge in such an inhuman way at such a time is not only xenophobic, it is misanthropic,” he said. The damage caused by the fire was also visible from the outside. The aim of the perpetrators was to “completely reduce the former hotel to rubble,” the minister suspected.

Refugees should move in next week

The first refugees should move into the house next week. According to the district office, the families come from Syria, North Macedonia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Georgia and the Russian Federation. It is currently not clear whether the original plans will be followed. The act will not change the fact that refugees are accommodated in the Free State, said cobbler.

According to a spokeswoman for the district office, the former hotel, located outside of the city on a reservoir, is being made available by a private owner and operated by the Arbeiterwohlfahrt (Awo). There had already been an attempted arson attack on the “Spreehotel” in 2016 – refugees were also staying there at the time.

According to the State Criminal Police Office, after the fire on Friday, serious arson is being investigated. The police counter-terrorism and extremism center has taken over the investigation. An LKA spokesman said on Friday: “A political background cannot be ruled out.”

Kretschmer: Education has “top priority”

Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer spoke of a disgusting act on the day of the attack. The CDU politician announced that the clarification had “top priority”. Social Affairs Minister Petra Köpping (SPD), who is also responsible for social cohesion in Saxony, wrote on Twitter: “Attacks on refugee accommodation are completely unacceptable.”

According to the district office, last Tuesday there was a town meeting with residents and district representatives in the former hotel. “Of course there were also concerns and criticism from the residents, but this is usually the case with such appointments,” it said. In the course of the meeting, there was also a demo organized by the AfD in the immediate vicinity, the district office said.

The AfD district association announced on Friday: “We have exercised our democratic right to freedom of expression and criticism of the previous asylum policy and reject any form of violence.” The district chairman of the left in Bautzen, on the other hand, sees the AfD as responsible. “Anyone who spreads hate is complicit!” wrote Silvio Lang on Twitter.


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