The town of Schwerte, located in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany, is facing quite a bit of criticism after announcing their decision to repurpose an old WWII concentration camp to house 21 refugees.
Despite having been used to house refugees at a time 20 years ago, many believe it is in poor taste, including Birgit Naujocks, the Director of the North Rhine-Westphalian Refugee Council, who called the decision extremely “questionable” during a radio interview with Mitteldeutschen Rundfunk. “The plans recall bad memories and sinister pictures”, Naujocks commented.
A city spokesman came back explaining that the decision was more suitable than alternatives, including the use of shipping containers that other German cities have resorted to using for refugee housing. With a shortage of accommodation options for the hue influx of refugees, mainly from Syria and Iran, the town had to come up with a practical cost-effective solution.
Refugees would be staying in remaining barracks that housed SS guards during the locations use as a Buchenwald concentration camp outpost. None of the buildings that housed prisoners remain on the site.