After the devastating fire in a refugee accommodation near Wismar, around 150 people gathered on Friday for a vigil in the Hanseatic city's market. Among other things, the integration officer of the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Jana Michael, had called for this. Hatred and agitation should be countered, she had declared.
The refugee accommodation in a former hotel in Groß Strömkendorf near Wismar burned down on Wednesday evening. The 14 residents and three carers were not injured, but the building was largely destroyed. The cause of the fire is still unclear and investigations are ongoing. Samples from the scene of the fire would be examined in the laboratory and witnesses questioned, the police said. Results are expected early next week at the earliest. The police assume arson and suspect a political background. State security is in charge of the investigation.
Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) emphasized that there was serious suspicion that it could be arson that was aimed at the refugees. So this needs to be cleared up quickly. The Ministry of the Interior said that the police should patrol the refugee accommodation more intensively.
Police assume damage in the millions
The police in Groß Strömkendorf are assuming damage in the millions. A more accurate estimate is only possible when the fire report is available, said a spokeswoman for the police headquarters in Rostock on Friday.
Tino Schmidt (SPD), the mayor of the municipality of Blowatz, to which Groß Strömkendorf belongs, warned against hasty assessments and prejudices. "We resist being shorn over the right ridge," said Schmidt of the German Press Agency. We lived well with the 14 Ukrainian refugees, they were accepted in the villages.
Schwesig emphasized that regardless of the investigation results, it was a bad and terrible fire. "Refugees lived there who had fled to Germany before the war with their last belongings. There was a one-year-old child with them," stressed Schwesig. "It's really close." According to the Ministry of the Interior, there were around 22,000 Ukrainian war refugees in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania as of October 16.