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Seven asylum seekers on one resident – many expected a catastrophe in the village of Sumte. Now the refugees are gone and with them the biggest generator of the region.

Sumte: D as were dear people

Seven asylum seekers on one resident – many expected a catastrophe in the village of Sumte. Now the refugees are gone and with them the biggest generator of the region.

Sumte:  D as were dear people
From series: Sumte: "These were dear people" seven asylum seekers to one resident – in village of Sumte many expected a catastrophe. Now refugees are gone and with m biggest generator of region. By Anna Sprockhoff November 29, 2017, 15:59 Uhr712 comments The former refugee accommodation in Sumte © Andreas Tamme content
  • Page 1 — "Those were dear people"
  • Page 2 — "Even from us, many feared worst"
  • Page 3 — "Everything has calmed down again."
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    This text belongs to our report. Seven local reporters report online from ir region for time. The series is part of our pop-up portfolio D17, in which we want to explain Germany Germany.

    More information about project D17

    Like a haze, clouds hang on this day over Sumte. It's raining. Christian fable hits jacket collar up, jumps out of car and hurries under canopy of former refugee shelter, former building complex of a debt collection company. There he stands now, as when he stood here almost daily in November 2015 and spoke with journalists. Back when Sumte was famous.

    Seven refugees on every inhabitant – this news had brought world public to remote village in Lüneburg district two years ago. Al-Jazeera reported, New York Times sent reporters, TV teams from England, Russia and China built ir cameras up. 750 people from 14 nations should live on edge of a community characterized by land exodus and lack of prospects. Some media reported rar astonishing, ors used Sumte for ir propaganda against Angela Merkel. But all expected a catastrophe.

    Almost everything as before

    But it stopped. There were no mass protests, no one lit home, no young men marodierten through streets. For a year, refugees lived here, n y disappeared. For a year now in Sumte, one is again among mselves: 102 inhabitants, among m not a single refugee. And everything is like before. Almost.

    Local head Christian Fable (CDU) © Andreas Tamme

    Fable, moustache, striped shirt, CDU member and entrepreneur, was a local head, when call came in October 2015, to which so many mayors remember vividly today. In hindsight, 57-year-old does not want to pretend that re have been no problems. He was frightened. "No one knew how that should work. But people needed a roof over ir heads. "

    Fable sat at beginning of day, later every week with management team of refugee shelter at a table, he said what is going on and what is not. When right-wingers called, Fable put on. "We didn't want to have anything to do with m." Fable also said at meetings, at Fire Brigade Festival, in pub. "Some may have thought differently, so that no one has been open." Only on internet re were rumors, of fts of refugees in supermarket, of brawls, of excessive demands of authorities.

    Time Online

    It is not far from former emergency to village interior, few hundred meters only. One runs past stately farmhouses, horse pastures and large gardens, in some flocking chickens behind zerschnittenem fence. Until 1989, Sumte belonged to GDR border barrier, inner German border was only a few kilometres away on riverside. Those who lived here were under constant observation. And those who were unliebsam to regime had to fear forced resettlement. Everyone in place knew someone who had met. So y kept to rules, so as not to lose house and court over night.

    Then came turnaround, three and a half years later reverse division. By state Treaty, countries of Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern decided that municipality will again belong to district of Lüneburg on or Elbe. Just like before 1945.

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