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German MP invites Eritrean asylum seekers to live in his house – The Telegraph

Martin Patzelt, a member of Angela Merkel’s CDU party, advocates more humane refugee policies amid increasing tensions in Germany over immigration. A German MP from Angela Merkel’s party has put his money where his mouth is

Martin Patzelt, a member of Angela Merkel’s CDU party, advocates more humane refugee policies amid increasing tensions in Germany over immigration.

A German MP from Angela Merkel’s party has put his money where his mouth is by welcoming two asylum seekers into his home – and urged fellow citizens to do the same.

Martin Patzelt, a member of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and advocate of more humane refugee policies, now shares his house with two men who have fled from Eritrea.

But the MP’s calls for Germans to take in refugees has seen him receive death threats amid increasing tensions in Germany over immigration.

The two new housemates, Haben, 19, and Awet, 24, live in the attic level of the home Mr Patzelt shares with his wife Katharina in the village of Briesen, Brandenburg.

Mr Patzelt and his wife started chatting with the two men at the local church and invited them to dinner. The two refugees later asked whether they could move in with them.

“We said yes,” Mr Patzelt told German newspaper Die Welt. “We want to give them a help start here, to help them learn German and to release them some day back into society, like our own children.”

It follows an open letter Mr Patzelt wrote to Green Party politician Hans-Christian Ströbele last year, after the Green MP had demanded more money for the public purse in order to achieve more humane refugee policies.

Mr Patzelt called on his fellow citizens to actively engage with the immigration crisis instead by taking in refugees, and challenged Mr Ströbele to do the same.

He wrote: “I propose that we both, you and I, personally take in one or two refugees to live with us, until they are offered a humane, individual accommodation instead of being quartered in mass accommodation.”

Mr Patzelt, who was mayor of Frankfurt on the Oder river for eight years before being elected as an MP for the CDU two years ago, didn’t receive an answer from Ströbele, but he did receive anonymous death threats from citizens.

“Many found it an imposition even to think of taking in a refugee,” said Mr Patzelt, adding that Germany ultimately has to find a solution.

Hostility over immigration has been rising in Germany, which receives the most asylum applications in Europe. The German government announced in May that it is expecting asylum applications to reach 400,000 in 2015, nearly double the 202,000 applications it received in 2014.

Haben and Awet, who have lived for a year and a half in Germany, both fled their countries and managed to reach Libya before sailing in a wooden boat to Europe.

Eritrea’s dictator Isaias Afewerki rules over a highly repressive regime. The country of six million people in the Horn of Africa provides about a quarter of all asylum applications in the European Union.

Mr Patzelt said that the pair “don’t represent a substantial burden for us”.

The family receives €100 (£71) per refugee each month from authorities for expenses, and the two men also receive money from the state for clothes and food.

It is cheaper for the state to house the refugees with the family than is would be to place them in a refugee home, which would cost around €2,000 a month.

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees is currently deciding on their residency status following their hearing.

Review overview
  • yonas Tewoldemedhin July 16, 2015

    God bless you. Can other eritrean who lives in Germany follow his example please if it is possible. All of as we will pass one day your good names we will be remembered forever. And also God he will pay.

  • weygud July 16, 2015

    Dear Sir, Martin Patzelt, you Good Samaritan. God bless you abundantly. You are better than those Eritreans who should help their fellow folks in troubles.

  • Ogbai Ghebremedhin July 17, 2015

    Ogbai Ghebremedhin on July 15, 2015 at 4:27 pm said:
    Mr. and Mrs. Patzelt are the best examples of German humaness, the light of hope in the dark life of Eritrean immigrants. I hope those who are reacting negatively to the humaness of Mr and Mrs Patzelt will dig deep into their soul and find their true nature of kindness. One day, the darkness that has engulfed Eritrea will fade and be replaced by the bright light of freedom and the tranquility of justice and peace. And God willing, we, the Eritrean people will be able to be worthy hosts to Mr and Mrs Patzelt and their likes on behalf of Haben and Awet and brothers and sisters of the same fate.
    Thank you Mr and Mrs Patzel; may the spark of hope you have ignited with your kindess spread through the kind hearts of the German people.

  • Genet-orginal July 17, 2015

    People thinks German are racists, but they are not. Most German have good judge of people’s character. Thank you Mr Patzel and family for your kindness. Our youth have been pushed out of their motherland by a dictator and misunderstood/ignored by the rest of the world. Your kindness is greatly appreciated.
    Thank You.

  • Mahta July 24, 2015

    oh my God GOD Bless your home and family…..this article brought tears into my eyes