From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Germany - 125 years of service to refugees

Date 01 Oct 1998 11:05:08

Hamburg's Evangelische Auslandsberatung as active as ever

GENEVA, 28 September 1998 (lwi) - This year the Evangelische
Auslandsberatung of Hamburg (EAH) marks 125 years of service to immigrants,
refugees and other migrating people in Germany. While its history goes back
to the last century, it distinguished itself particularly in the aftermath
of the Second World War in helping especially with the resettlement to the
United States of people from the Baltic countries and the Soviet Union.

The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service in the United States, set up
in 1939 as the Lutheran Refugee Service, came into its own in the post-war
period, working closely with the resettlement offices in Germany set up by
the newly formed Lutheran World Federation. Because of its pivotal
positions in the port city of Hamburg, the EAH played a crucial role in the
overall undertaking.

An affiliate of the Diakonisches Werk der Evangelischen Kirche in
Deutschland (Social Service Agency of the Evangelical Church in Germany),
the EAH continued throughout the Cold War to help in the resettlement of
thousands of people fleeing from the East as well as people from the Middle
East and from Africa. Since the end of the Cold War, refugee resettlement,
far from dwindling to a trickle, has increased, as economic and social
conditions of the former Soviet-block countries have continued to
deteriorate. Currently, the number of refugees passing through Germany to
resettlement in the United States exceeds that at the height of the Cold
War period.

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Lutheran World Information
Editorial Assistant: Janet Bond-Nash

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