“The office manager decided to throw me out of the camp and put me on the streets, at night.” – Viviana, a Syrian refugee tells of her first few months in Germany (Audio)


I arrived in Germany on the 2nd of December, 2015. When I arrived in Germany, I went to Lübeck. It is a city in Germany. It is a very nice city. I lived in Lübeck for five days in a Camp and after five days, when I went to the office manager to do my paper, the office manager tells me that I must go back to Berlin because I had a transfer to Berlin. I accepted and went to take my bag and my everything and I am ready to go to Berlin. I arrived in Berlin at 4:30 pm and I don’t find any place to go because Lageso is closed. I ask in Lageso what can I do. Someone tells me I had to go to a Basketball Hall to stay the night in the Basketball Hall and in the morning you can come back to Lageso.

And I go the Basketball Hall and asked them to sleep there in this place. He tells me „yes, you can do it“ and I stay for the night, but actually it is so bad to sleep in this situation because we don’t have a good bed to sleep and the situation in the Basketball Hall is bad, because it is so dirty and there were rats in the Hall. I couldn’t sleep in the night. I stayed awake the whole night and at 6 in the morning, I went to Lageso to do my paper. At 8 in the morning I am waiting for a bus to take me to Lageso and I go to Lageso to finish my paper and when I get to Lageso and finish my paper, the translator woman tells me I must go to a city near Frankfurt Oder. She gave me a train ticket to go to Frankfurt Oder and I go to Frankfurt Oder. After six hours I arrive to this new place in Germany.

I am surprised when I arrive in the new place because everything is not good. The security office keeps all the people who arrive in the new place in the outside, in the cold weather. We asked please to the security, can we go inside because we asked the security, but they don’t accept, and I ask the security man, please I need water because I want to take my medicine and also he doesn’t accept to give me water to take my medicine. And after one hour, he takes me to the big room. I asked him if that was my room. He tells me: „No, this is for everybody here. If you don’t want to sleep here, you can go outside and go to any hotel, if you have 50 Euro.“ I don’t accept the situation, but I must wait for this night.

And I go to the room and see about 20 people in this room, men and women. Many from Afghanistan, Iran. Nobody speaks Arabic in this room. And also the mattress in the room is so dirty. You can’t imagine what happened with these mattresses… it is so dirty. Some people make…I am sorry about my words, pipi in the mattress and keep the mattress ….in this room and the toilet also is so, so dirty. I can’t go to the toilet.

I stay the night and at 7 in the morning I go the office and tell him I want to have my room, another room. When I go to the office and ask him please I need a room for me, he tells me “We don’t have enough place here, you must return to Berlin.” I accept to return to Berlin and ask the security, please can you give me a ticket to return to Berlin because I don’t have money. He tells me “It is not my responsibility. You must go out right now”. And me, I don’t have money. I tell it many times, please I don’t have money to return to Berlin, can you give me something? Ticket or anything to help me return to Berlin. He doesn’t accept to help me. I cry. I don’t know what to do. When I cry and shout, he tells me I can go to another office and ask for some help for me. I go to the other office and tell the woman inside, please help me, I don’t have money to return to Berlin. First they don’t accept to give me anything, any help for me, but after I cried and shouted, he accepted to give me water for me to take my medicine and to give me ticket to return to Berlin.

I come back to Berlin and go to another camp in Berlin, but I don’t find a place for me. I ask in another camp, please I need a place to stay because I don’t have a place to stay. The office manager tells me „We don’t have a place right now, you must wait“. I tell her, please I don’t have anywhere to go. I will live in the streets if you don’t accept me in this camp. She tells me “Maybe I can help you, and take you to my parents to stay for the weekend and on Monday you can come back to Lageso and wait.” I say thank you so much and I go with her to her parents and stay the weekend with her parents. And on the Monday I go back to Lageso and ask them about any place for me.

I stayed all the day in the Lageso, from 7.30am to 9.30pm. Finally, some bus arrived from Lageso and takes everybody to the camp, a new camp at the Wiesenstraße, which is a Basketball Hall, not a camp. We live together, men and women, in the same place. We don’t have anything in the middle (in between us), we just live together, men and women. I stayed there three days, sleeping with my clothes on and we don’t have places to take shower because we don’t have any privacy in the shower room to take a shower. And also we don’t have washing machine. I stayed like this for three days. After three days, some men from the security come to me and help me to make some cover around my bed, to have some privacy inside. It is ok. I got some privacy in my bed and I stayed about one month and twenty days in this camp.

I translate to women because most of the people in this camp don’t speak English, just Arabic and if anybody in this camp ask for something, for help or make an objection about anything, me I translate for the women in this camp. After one month, there were some big problems in our camp because of the shower and the bathroom, toilet room for the men was closed, we must use, men and women the same toilet, but there is a time for men and time for women. All the women in this camp don’t accept this situation. We go together, all together to the office manager and ask please we need a toilet only for women all the time because outside is so cold, we can’t go outside to use the toilet outside. And we also have pregnant women, old women. They can’t go outside in the night and use this toilet. The woman security guard doesn’t accept my word or anything. She tells us “you are in Germany, you are equal, you can use the toilet together. I can’t make a toilet only for women and ask the men to use the toilet outside. It is not legal.” And she made many rules in this camp. It is so aggressive. We can’t charge our phones any time we want. We have to wait until someone finishes and only afterwards we can charge our phones.

I ask the office please we need place for women and place for men. Everything is so bad in this camp. The food also is… we have insects in the food, the food is so bad. If you need to drink coffee or tea, you can only do it three times in the day. Just three times, when you eat breakfast or lunch or dinner, you can make a cup of coffee or tea afterwards.

One day, a woman needed to make milk for her child because he is crying and he is hungry. The security doesn’t accept to give this woman hot water to make the milk for this child. This woman is so angry. She takes the electricity from somebody in this camp, something to put hot water, to make hot water and when the hot water is ready, the woman makes a mistake… she burns the hand of her baby, she is crying when she goes to the office to tell them please help me because you didn’t accept to give me hot water, I did this mistake…

When this problem finished, I, with somebody from the camp, make a paper and write in this paper that we had something not so good with the woman security in this camp, please help us, so this woman don’t return to this camp and I ask to all the people who speak Arabic in this camp to write their name and sign this paper . When I finish it, I go to the office manager and show the paper and he doesn’t accept something like this. He tells me we do something against Germany’s government, against the people of Germany, that everything in the paper is not correct and that the people in the camp don’t understand why they wrote their names and signed the paper.

After the office manager decided to throw me out of the camp because I’ve done this paper against the security woman and the security woman wants do something at the police station, go to the court in Germany. I don’t know actually what she can do. Anything is not good for me. I am so scared about this woman. And after we had the Egyptian woman, security woman, in our camp. She works as a security woman in this camp and if you want some help translating from Arabic to German, she will do, but she does incorrect this translation because she is bad. She doesn’t want to help us in the camp. I don’t know what she tells the office manager about me because she translates for the office manager, because the office manager doesn’t understand very good the English language. After this day, the office manager decided to throw me out of the camp and put me on the streets, at night. I don’t know, it is really bad, but this is really the situation for most of the people in Germany.

Below a still from the video we took on the night Viviana was thrown out of the Basketball Hall at night. See the video here.

Viviana video still



2 thoughts on ““The office manager decided to throw me out of the camp and put me on the streets, at night.” – Viviana, a Syrian refugee tells of her first few months in Germany (Audio)

  1. Pingback: Carta desde Alemania: Calor y frío con los refugiados – Revista Alexia

  2. Pingback: Any Place For Me | aNtiDoTe

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