Deportation detention in Germany: dusty, Bavarian and 100 years


Deportation detention in Germany

The deportation detention has been around for too long; it is a relic from the Weimar Republic. A retrospect for a birthday.

The courtyard of a detention center in Eichstätt, Bavaria

Not everything old is mature: a deportation prison in the Bavarian Eichstätt Photo: dpa

One should celebrate the festivals, as they fall, they say. Which is sometimes not so easy. There are festivals, anniversaries that are only too happy to fall under the table, which are often overlooked in the race for general attention. The Free State of Bavaria and the Bauhaus have just turned 100, and Lex Barker and Eva Perón were born 100 years ago.

Who remembers the hundredth anniversary of a woman celebrating her life, who never pushed herself into the foreground of her life, acted quietly and yet had a lot of effect: the deportation detention? At least those who got to know her better – and in the course of these 100 years thousands, probably tens of thousands – probably did not forget her so fast.

On May 25, 1919, she did her first scream. “Notice on residence and immigration restrictions” was the name at that time. Author: the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior. At that time, birth announcements were still rather wooden. Today's interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, would certainly come up with something more stylish.

The first crawling is done by the deportation detention then in the Weimar Republic, which was then still in the rompers. At this time she is mainly concerned with Jews from Eastern Europe, who wants to get her out of the country. Back then, they called these Jewish immigrants “Ostjuden” refugees from pogroms or poverty in their eastern European homelands – a term that has since been connoted in a thoroughly derogatory way.

A decree Himmler in the post-war period

The deportation detention is institutionalized in April 1920, when the deportation camp Fort Prinz Karl begins operations – and very close to Ingolstadt, where 29 years later, the most ardent admirer of the deportation detention is born: Horst Seehofer. A coincidence, of course. But Ingolstadt is in Bavaria, and that, of course, is no coincidence.

Because you have to deport especially where it's most beautiful. Where they all come, but do not belong. Seehofer liked to call this spot Germany the precursor to paradise, or paradise itself. And a paradise, says the Bavarian amateur theologian Gerhard Polt, “is always when there is one who takes care where nobody comes in”.

And if someone comes in? Then we have the deportation detention, which is of course no longer purely a Bavarian affair, despite the Bavarian migration background. As early as the beginning of the twenties, deportation camps for the Jewish refugees from the East were established in SPD-ruled Prussia.

Only after the war, the device receives a damper. In 1951, although a decree Heinrich Himmler, in which the imposition of the deportation detention was facilitated, one-to-one.

100 years too much

But despite all the unbroken commitments to the institution of deportation detention, there are sad times that are now approaching them. From 1965 onwards, it will eventually be governed by the Aliens Act, which may last up to a year. Only: She almost never tries. Until 1990 she sits, you have to say it, around and bored. Your old friends seem to turn away.

But then the turnaround: In 1990, the Aliens Act is again tightened, the maximum term of imprisonment increased to 18 months. The deportation is now taken seriously. In 1992, the first deportation prisons were built, and in 1993 a first peak was reached: 2,600 people in Germany were in to be deported. Of course, it's just superficially paradoxical: we're holding people to go. In reality, it corresponds to the Bavarian dialectic: Kimm, go now!

100 years – an eventful time. The Bavarian Refugee Council, the deportation detention even has its own issue of his magazine hinterland dedicated. Quite ungracious, he deals with her in it. 100 years, he writes, are 100 years too much, calling them a “racist special detention for an inhumane administrative act”. Do you congratulate such a jubilarian?

No question: the deportation detention is an inconvenient contemporary – especially for those who make their direct acquaintance. But even the anti-torture Committee of the Council of Europe comes up with something nicer than the German practice of deportation just criticized these days massively. The detainees are often informed only at the last minute about their deportation, they have no time to mentally deal with the situation, it is said.

Duplicate many imprisoned in Bavaria

The committee also visited the deportation prison in Eichstätt to get an idea of ​​themselves. The nasty conclusion of the visitors: The security guards are not specially trained, the detained men would be treated like prisoners, would need to wear prison clothes and have little access to multi-purpose rooms to pass the time.

More respect brings the birthday child there already the Free State of Bavaria. His gift: 350 new detention places, which are now to be built in Hof and Passau. Of course, Bayern are once again setting a trend. In the recent past, deportation detention – as far as available figures are concerned – is experiencing a boom: In Bavaria, the number of detentions more than doubled from 2016 to 2017. 925 were in 2017; In the deportation prison Eichstätt, which is designed for 96 inmates, were sometimes housed 120 inmates.

In other of the 13 German detention centers, the situation is not much different. In the same period, the number of detentions in Büren, North Rhine-Westphalia, increased from 878 to 1,172. A resident aid organization for deportation detainees calculates that about 60 percent of the detention decisions are unlawful, but you know that. Anti-deportation industry stops. On the other hand, even Chancellor Merkel called for a “national effort” for deportations two years ago.

And, of course, Federal Minister Seehofer also brought something to the birthday party: the Orderly Return Law. Orderly return! Does not that sound nice? Horst Seehofer understands it anyway very well to arrange things. In Bavaria, for example, he had long announced an orderly transfer of power as prime minister. When the order threatened to take too long, his party convinced him that it was time to make an orderly return to Berlin. So Seehofer proceeded with a shining example and preceded the deportation detention with a voluntary departure.

That Pro Asyl Seehofer's bill now disparages as a “down-the-law” – typical. It is not compatible with European legal norms, claims the human rights organization. Just because the Minister wants to accommodate deportation candidates in normal prisons and suspend the separation between convicts and deportees for three years. Anfeindungen from the usual corner. But Georg Restle, the head of the ARD magazine “Monitor”, Seehofer trusts almost francis abilities: “Seehofer,” he comments, “creates a new type of person: the lawless”.

Happy birthday, love deportation. And why do not you just take a break!

It is not easy to congratulate on all the crap making. Nevertheless: Happy birthday, love deportation. And why do not you just take a break!

(TagToTranslate) Immigration detention (t) Refugees (t) Horst Seehofer (t) Germany (t) Politics (t) taz (t) daily newspaper


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