“Understanding Germany – how does that work?”

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Project: “My new life in Germany: New home Bonn / Rhein-Sieg”

Information event: “Understanding Germany – How does it work?”

Saturday, September 14, 2019 in the course rooms of the AEF in Troisdorf

On Saturday, September 14, 2019, more than 20 migrants, volunteers and multipliers from the integration work met in the course rooms of the AEF -Spanische Weiterbildungsakademie e.V. in Troisdorf to jointly discuss important basics of living together in Germany.

Right at the beginning of the event it is stated that it is difficult to give a concrete answer to the question of how to understand Germany. It is rather a process of mutual exchange, getting to know each other and living together – and this event should give the starting signal for the beginning of this process.

The event was divided into two thematic blocks:

Block 1: The German Basic Law – the fundamental rights

George Rashmawi of the Palestinian community Germany-Bonn e.V. spoke about the close connection of the experiences of the National Socialism to the cornerstones of the Basic Law: “Those who try to understand the Basic Law detached from the historical background of the Nazi period, may not be able to understand it properly”, Rashmawi states. The first article “The dignity of man is inviolable” is according to Rashmawi the most important article of the Basic Law. The human being as it is is the focus of the law – regardless of possessions, social status, origin, gender, etc. At the same time, however, he also made clear that the Basic Law not only guarantees fundamental rights but also preserves obligations and commandments, such as the obligation to pay taxes and the commandment to participate in democratic participation processes.

Block 2: The subsidiary municipal administrative apparatus of the Rhein-Sieg district

The former Deputy Head of the Municipal Integration Center Rhein-Sieg, Dr. Peter Enzenberger, illustrated in an easy-to-understand way to the attendees the highly complex federal administrative structure of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Rhein-Sieg district. Dr. Enzenberger referred on the historical connection between the selection of a federal political structure of Germany with the experiences of the Nazi era. The rejection of a central regulatory power and the resulting centralist authority of a government has favoured the development of a decentralized (federal) administrative structure, according to Enzenberger. Finally, the speaker mentions important addresses in the Rhein-Sieg district, which offer a variety of orientation and counseling services, such as the Migration Department and the Youth Migration Service.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the city of Troisdorf, the participants had the opportunity to take part in a guided tour through the Troisdorf town hall. The town hall presents itself to the people as an open and citizen-close building. That the mayor Mr. Jablonski (CDU) had his office set up not on the top floor, but right on the ground floor is a symbolic gesture to demonstrate the citizen’s proximity, told us his assistants.

The response from the participants was very positive. The participants were particularly surprised by the openness of the town hall and the municipal election system, which foresees a direct election of the mayor by the people.

In order to understand Germany it is not done with a single information event, but hereby an important foundation was poured, on which the necessary process can grow.

The AEF – Spanische Weiterbildungsakademie e.V. invites all interested, volunteers, immigrants and dedicated institutions to follow the series of events and to cooperate. If you are interested, please contact:

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