These reports were initiated by the Break Isolation Group of International Women* Space - read their statement here. They are recording audio messages on their current situation in their different accommodations and invite other women to share their experiences too. The voices in uploaded recordings have been altered. If you would like to share a report, get in touch with us on iwspace@iwspace.de.

Report #3418.08.2020

Good afternoon women, I want to give a report from where I live in a Heim based in Finsterwalde. So far here we have not reported any cases of COVID-19 but we have been receiving people from Herzberg, brought here for quarantine, and then after two weeks they’re taken back to their Heims. We also have new transfers from different camps like Doberlug-Kirschain location, Wünsdorf and Frankfurt Oder. About the measurements here in this place it’s normal simply because we are very few, so there is not so much contact with other people. Visitors are also allowed, we don’t have a lockdown here, maybe even that the space here is big, people can have visitors and stay outside without even coming in our rooms so we allowed to bring visitors in our Heim. Another thing is police interviews, so many people have gone through the interview, the reason is because they say the figures are here regularly and people are given different Strafe some are given between 200 euro and 1200 euros and normally they ask people to pay like from 20 euro to 50 euro monthly until the money is over.

 

The other thing is racism and discrimination, when we’re traveling people are experiencing insults, maybe when you’re sitting next to some white people they tell black people to keep distance, some even walk out of the bus because they don’t want to see black people and we are grateful to some drivers who normally supported us and ask them to move to another to seat or they wait they for the next bus. Thank you and stay safe.

Folgt in Kürze

Report #3310.08.2020

Hi girls. There’s something strange which has been going on in the lagers. The police have been harassing people on the pay day and the day to renew your stay here. They have been claiming that some people have some fine or something to pay. They take them with them. The social workers either they don’t give you the money or they refuse to renew your stay here. This harassment has been going on so long that people are so afraid. And for those who are a little bit careful, you bring somebody along with you so that the other person will understand what’s going on. But they don’t give people really a reason why they are doing this. So far, three ladies have disappeared, we don’t know where they are. While they refuse to renew their stay here, they were claiming that they have to release their passports, which they refused and one of them brought her passport, claiming that her passport was sent from another country. They even refused to give her money and to renew her stay claiming that they want to see the envelope from which the passport has been… from which country and who sent her the passport.

 

So this harassment of police is making people so afraid. And they really wait for you, they know who to pick and who not to pick on the pay day, on the day that they renew your stay here. They’re taking advantage of this time, they know you need something from them, so they call the police, and the police tell her you have to answer something at the station and they take you with them. And three people have disappeared. Some came back and some people don’t say what they went through, it’s difficult, if somebody don’t want to explain. Yeah.

Folgt in Kürze

Report #3208.08.2020

Good morning ladies, this is… I’m reporting from Eisenhüttenstadt. But apparently I got a transfer to Doberlug two weeks ago. For now I’m going to give a report on Eisen. Everything has been OK.

 

Concerning Corona, there were no reported cases so far. The quarantine is still there for the new people who are joining in, and those who stay for more than 24 hours outside the camp, they’re still quarantined. But the dispenser for sanitizer, there is one at the cantine. So I find it a bit funny because it’s only at the cantine. It should be everywhere, the dispensers should be everywhere, especially in the buildings. Because there’s so many doors to open, so at least there should be one dispenser on each and every floor.

 

Now there’s some cases that happened before I left. There was one case of a lady who got sick and when I called, I’m the one actually who called the security, they were so reluctant. They didn’t even take much interest on the lady. The lady was in pain. They were just like, “You need to walk. Walk to the-” apparently they called the Krankenwagen. They forced her to walk to the ambulance, but she could not make it. She actually fell on the door near the stairs. That’s when they thought, “Ay, this is a serious case.” That’s when they just lifted her up. And this lady has a baby. And the security didn’t care much about the baby. Believe it or not, this baby spent the night in the men’s building because this girl, I don’t know, had a very close friend in B5. So the baby spent with that guy. And the guy complained the following morning. And the baby was taken to – I don’t know where they are taken when the mother is admitted in the hospital – they are taken somewhere – that’s where the Socials took the initiative to take the baby to that place.

 

So, that’s how it has been. By the time I was leaving, there were so many newcomers, especially from the Arabs. And mostly there were families, and since now I’m in Doberlug, I’m just hoping that I’ll keep on giving reports on Doberlug. Since … is now transferred, maybe I can be reporting on Doberlug.

 

So far, so good, especially in matters concerning Corona, I think I like the measures that they take. There are dispensers everywhere, the masks is a must when you are going to the Mensa. There’s washing hands which is a must to each and every one. They’re social distancing, but it’s only when we’re queueing for food, when we’re sitting on the tables, we mix up and we’re close to each other. The quarantine is still there.

 

I’m hoping that I will keep reporting for Doberlug. Concerning the bus, they said they’re going to return the bus on the first of September, which we are hoping it’s going to be. Because since I’ve been there for two weeks, it’s not easy walking for one hour when you have a need, maybe to the lawyer, to just go meet lawyers you have to walk, that is two hours. It’s not easy. So thanks guys and have yourself a blessed weekend.

Folgt in Kürze

Report #3108.08.2020

Hello Ladies, I want to give a brief report from DoKi because I already transferred from DoKi, and I go ahead and give you something about what’s been there. In DoKi, deportations are still there. The month of July, we had the deportations to Georgia and to the Netherlands, and then in terms of Corona prevention, we still have the isolation rooms, and people are being isolated when they are away from the system for after 48 hours they are going direct to isolation for two days. Though nowadays we don’t get so many people in the isolation, sometimes even the rooms are empty, sometimes you get one person per week.

 

The rules are a bit relaxed, not as before, but in the area of eating, that’s where the rules are being implemented. You have to wear masks before you go to the dining hall, and you keep distance.

 

Transfers are coming in from the month of May, and they’ve been happening every week. Transfers in from DoKi and Wünsdorf, they started happening during the month of July. Now, as for being transferred to Heims, they have introduced a rule whereby it is mandatory to do a Corona test before you are taken to the Heims, because some Heims, they don’t have facilities for isolation.

 

Now as for the transport system, still there is no bus, to take people to the Bahnhof [the train station]. So, those people who are getting transfers, are because there is no bus to take them to Bahnhof, they are being taken direct to their Heims by security. Direct.

 

And then, now we go to Fürstenberg. Fürstenberg/Hafel is a small Heim. It has two floors, it’s just one building with the two floors. The number of the residents are less than 40. And within the building they have the social office and the security offices situated within the building. They don’t have a place for isolation. They don’t allow visitors, because of Corona. So the people who are coming into Fürstenberg, they must have a report from the doctor that they have done a Corona test. Otherwise, the other rules for keeping distance still apply. Wearing a mask when necessary still applies, and you are supplied with those masks.

 

As for cleanliness, rooms, it’s your own responsibility, but the toilets and the kitchen areas are cleaned by the staff. And that we have soaps in the toilets. We have enough space in the kitchen, so at no time can you find people crowded in the kitchen. The other thing is that, although we are few, we have enough, each floor has two kitchens. So at least in terms of keeping distance, that one is OK.

 

Now, as for Strafe, I’ve only heard of one lady who got a Strafe. And this is because she was caught working as black [illegal], and her papers don’t allow her to work. So when they controlled her, they gave her a Strafe of 150 euros. She decided to pay them in cash, but before even she even paid this Strafe, they had already sent this report to Auslander, that she has been controlled working as black. So the Auslander denied her money. For about 5 months, she was not receiving any social money. So what she did is, she went to the Social to complain, and to say that she’s not receiving money for the last 5 months, and yet the Strafe, she had already cleared it. So the Social had to assist her by writing a letter to the Auslander requesting that she be paid back her money. And the Auslander also needed a proof that actually she’s not been receiving any money, by taking to them bank statements from the last year. Then later on, when she did all that, she was refunded all the money for the last 5 months.

 

About deportation, OK, they have not been happening regularly, but let me say: the month of June, there was a family that had been transferred from Doki. This was a lady with a husband and she had 5 children, I believe, she was also pregnant, she was from Chechnya. On the day of transfer, when she was assigned a room for herself, she was complaining that the room was too small, and that it was not good enough for her. So she needed another room. But they didn’t give her an answer yet. So, I think the next day, she was required to go and do her registration. During the process of registration, the car for deportation came for them and they were deported back to France. Their Dublin country, which is France. Other than that, there have not been any cases of deportation reported. I think that is all for now.

Folgt in Kürze

Report #3008.08.2020

Hello people. Good evening! This is ___ from Wünsdorf. I want to give a report on the corona-virus, since the last time. So far so good, because the last time we had a few cases of corona and now everybody has recovered and we have not encountered any new case. We hope that there will be no case at all. Secondly, we were not transferred, but now people have started going since this week on Wednesday. Ja. There have been several transfers and also next week there are more transfers. The other thing was about the time, we had that curfew for 6 hours, now it’s back to 48 hours but the checking of the temperature to and out of the gate and coming back is still there and also at the mensa, where we go to eat. They check the temperature every time we go to eat. So, Ja and then there is sanitizer when you enter in the gate and the wearing the mask full time when you are within the camp. So everything is ok so far – we thank God! Ja. Nice evening ladies!

Folgt in Kürze

Report #2907.08.2020

Hallo! Hi, everyone. This is ___ from Michendorf and I want to give the final report of the Corona-virus.
In my place we still don’t welcome any visitors. The visitors are still not welcome. But we have a bit of change. As you remember, the last time I told you we do not have the sanitizer dispensers, they weren’t full. So nowadays they are filling it. That’s after we complained to the social workers and the sanitizers are now being filled up. Since I came to my Heim, I have not experienced any deportation, because as I understand, most of the guys have been here for wrong. And they haven’t, they have never seen since they were in – ah I forgot the name – before they got transferred here. So there are no deportations.

 

But I have two women who were given Strafe. One is for being in Germany illegal, for entering. They said it’s for entering German premises illegal and they give her a Strafe of 1200€ which she pays every month. She pays that euro every month and the other one also is a Strafe for not being in the system for a very long time and I think she got 600€. Which she also pays per month. She told me she pays 50€ per month. And there is also another guy who got a Strafe of 250€. But that one came as a warning. He was also not in the System, so when he went back they give him a Strafe of 250 and they said it’s a warning, so as you can see the prices vary. I don’t know why. I don’t know what process they use to give someone a Strafe. Ja. But that’s it for now from Michendorf. Nothing much. Nothing much is happening but we are getting transfers, many people are coming from Wünsdorf and DoKi – mostly families. But last week, we got singles from Wünsdorf. So the transfers are still welcome but the visitors are not welcome and I did not experience any type of deportation. Thank you!

Folgt in Kürze

Report #2807.08.2020

Hi ladies, this is ___ reporting from Nauen, Havelland. The report here is that everything has become normal, but not so, because no visitors still allowed since the Corona. So they’re telling that if you have a visitor, go and meet the visitor outside because they are not allowed to come inside. So that is what is happening – if you have a visitor, go and meet them outside, and then when you’re done, just come inside alone.

 

And this thing about deportation, no deportations here still, but we’re hoping it will not happen. There’s a family that was deported last year December, and the reason as to why they were deported, we were told they had Dublin. So they had transferred them here so as to check them. Here now, that is what they are doing. They’re sending people to Heims who have Dublin, so they take the person in Heim, either when the person goes to registration, or when the person is there in Heim sleeping, or just inside. And it’s very challenging, yes, because you’re new, maybe you don’t know anybody who you could sleep at their room until Dublin is finished. So that’s a challenge.

 

Concerning cleanliness, it’s still a challenge to us, because they still clean when they want. They clean one day after two days. So it’s still a challenge, but now we can’t say anything to the Social. We’ve been complaining, until now it’s like we’re making noise. Well, now we’ve lived with that. So that’s a challenge to us.

 

Another thing, about this Strafe that they’re giving people. Yeah, mine was given last year June. They took it to my lawyer. My lawyer told me, “You’ve been given this Strafe because you came to Germany illegally.” I said, “OK.” I didn’t even ask anything. But recently I heard that some are given 600. I don’t know some are given this amount, but I don’t know why they’re giving people the Strafe like that. Maybe they have their own reason, but for me, they told me it’s because of coming to Germany illegally. Well, they sent me a letter, since I told them I’m not working, and I’m not in a position to pay the money, so they sent me a letter and I replied to them, I told them I will pay when I start work, or when I’m in a position to. So beginning of this year I thought about it, and I’m paying it, yeah. And they tell me, you say what amount you will pay. But me, they just sent me a letter that I should pay 30 euro every month. And that is what I’m paying now.

 

So far, we’re just keeping calm, keeping safe, and I hope you- and anyone who is being transferred, and you know you have a Dublin, just be careful. Because that is what is going on. Keep safe. Thanks.

Folgt in Kürze

Report #2707.08.2020

During the series of interviews at the reception at Eisenhüttenstadt, most of us, I think all of us, were given an interview with the Polizei. We had a choice to either do the one-to-one interview with them or do it in writing, explaining, giving details of how you came into Germany, from where. And this was applying to more of the Dublin cases, or who had come into Germany through another country and therefore after that some of us have already received a Strafe where they were supposed to be paying around 600. I’m not so sure whether this is a standard amount or we have others who have less or more- maybe my other colleagues will be able to clarify but the majority of the people who I have met who have been given a strafe of around 600 Euros and with negotiations, of course, through the courts or either through the social workers office in the different Heims where people are. People are able to negotiate or women are able to negotiate like how often you can be able to pay that amount putting into considerations that people are not working they are not having another social income and therefore they will not be able to pay that amount as a one time of payment. Therefore, it depends on what type of agreement each one or people have with the courts. I have not received the Strafe yet but I think this is a process and it’s something that really happens to almost everyone who has gone through the Dublin-Interview. I hope that because there are some of the people that I know who came way after I reported at Eisenhüttenstadt and they have been already given or they have already received the Strafe but for me I have not be able to receive it or I have not received the notification of like how much I need to pay.

Folgt in Kürze

Report #2607.08.2020

Hello and good evening women, this is the current report from an den Kopfweiden, Potsdam. This is a Heim that is in Potsdam that basically has a population of not more than 100 persons mainly who are large families and specifically from Chechnya and the rest of the other population are a few Africans, currently they are around six, and these large families are usually hosted in a different or separate building. So far in terms of the sanitation this place is okay because all of the rooms are self-contained as in everyone has their own kitchen and bathroom in their rooms so they are able to maintain a hygiene at their own levels in their rooms. In terms of Corona and the measures that they have put across for everyone to follow. Nothing much has changed in terms of what I have reported earlier in the last report, I think a month ago, they’re still not allowing visitors to come in, but if you have to have a visitor then you are required to register the names and the details of the visitor you’re having either with security or the social workers who are always here during the day, then in the evening we have at least one or two security who are usually just there for record but mainly they do not interfere with how we run our own businesses in the Heim.

In terms of the masks in the social worker’s offices, there are usually masks that are available for anyone if you want them, you are allowed to go and take at least one every day from the social worker’s office. As for the hand sanitizers, they have installed a hand sanitizer dispenser at the main entrance to the main building which is where the rest of us, that is the Africans and the smaller families are hosted, in the main building that also hosts the offices so at the entrance we have a hand sanitizer dispenser and it’s always refilled, I’ve never found it empty at any given time. So far since I arrived in this particular Heim I’ve not had any cases of deportation because mainly the majority of the people who are here have been here long enough, mostly some of them are already doing their Ausbildung and others are working so I’ve not had any case of deportations, I’ve not had any case of Corona being reported from this particular Heim. Everything seems to be in order and I believe this is what will continue.

I’m not so sure for how long the restrictions for the visitors will be reinforced but the last time I asked the social worker he said it shouldn’t be that strict but they are not allowing visitors to maybe spend the night or something. Probably they can allow a visitor if you really have to have a visitor, they will allow you to have a visitor, especially during the day when the social worker is around. So far so good but they said they’re going to keep us posted every time they have new rules and they always display them on the noticeboard that is near the social workers offices so you’re always able to get information, the offices are always open, they are very kind, very receptive, so I’ve not had any issues in regards to the management and how the Heim is being run by the living quarters, the place to be, of course that is what they call the Heim; living quarters, the place to be. So thank you so much and I wish you a good evening.

Folgt in Kürze