Somehow this story brings to mind the residents of New York City who became disenchanted with the little pet alligators they had purchased, and flushed the unfortunate reptiles down the toilet. It happened often enough that a few such alligators survived their malodorous journey, giving rise to a host of urban legends that colonies of mutant alligators infest the sewers beneath New York City.
Many thanks to Hellequin GB for translating this article from the Austrian tabloid eXXpress:
Dozens of Swiss host families want to get rid of Ukrainians
After the wave of willingness to help, many helpful Swiss people are apparently faced with the rude awakening of living with Ukrainian war refugees: language barriers, cultural differences, a lack of privacy and the great financial burden are just a few reasons why some hosts want to get rid of their refugees again.
The war in Ukraine has already been going on for 39 days — 1.5 months of constant bombardment, unbelievable suffering, destruction and imminent death and one only way out for millions of Ukrainians: escape. More than ten million people have already fled Ukraine, and the number is growing every day. While Poland is currently still taking in the most Ukrainian refugees, countless other countries are also welcoming refugees from Ukraine — mostly women and children — with open arms.
Charity organizations as well as private individuals get involved, collect donations of money and goods, organize and provide shelter — some private individuals also take refugees into their homes — but this is not always without challenges. Ad hoc and indefinitely taking in refugees who come from a different culture, overcoming language barriers and, in addition to all the small and large challenges of an interpersonal and financial nature, also facing the massive trauma that war refugees inevitably carry with them is not an easy task. Our neighbors in Switzerland are now also noticing this.
According to the Campax association, countless Swiss people have changed their minds and no longer want to take in refugees. There are currently around 22,000 Ukrainian refugees in Switzerland, with 1,000 more entering the country every day. A wave of helpfulness engulfed them: at the Campax association alone, 30,000 hosts agreed to take in refugees. But as Campax has now revealed, 1,800 hosts have already withdrawn their offer of accommodation.
The reasons for this are diverse. Many helpers may have imagined living together to be easier, explains the Campax representative Christian Messikommer in the Swiss broadcast platform 20 minutes: “Solidarity is still unbroken, but when reality sets in, many become uncomfortable.”
Language barriers, different lifestyles and daily rhythms or eating habits, as well as a lack of privacy are just a few examples of friction that appears or persists after a few days and weeks of living together. Not to mention the huge financial burden: Buying food for several people in the household over a long period of time can put a heavy strain on one’s wallet.
However, problems arise on both sides, as explained in the 20 Minutes report. But what if hosts or the refugees no longer want to live together? Here, too, solutions are being sought and found in Switzerland: In this case, the refugees are housed in a cantonal facility, where the majority of the 22,000 Ukrainian refugees already are. Only around 5,000 people from Ukraine are currently staying in private houses or apartments in Switzerland.
Afterword from the translator:
“…but when reality sets in, many become uncomfortable”.
I ask myself, in which reality so they otherwise float — or were they just surprised that the population of Ukraine is consistently brown or black and doesn’t speak a word of Ukrainian? Or groups of Sinti and Roma, such as in Munich, where a small town is developing at the Riem exhibition center?
Roger Beckamp (AfD, MdB) also withdrew his offer of admission when he was informed of the non-Ukrainian names of the “refugees”.