The grand opening of the old American Arms Hotel in Wiesbaden into a refugee center....occurs tomorrow (the 23rd). (Reported via Wiesbaden Aktuell for a local news source)
The Wiesbaden mayor had a question and answer period today....which wasn't exactly a pleasant episode. Based on the description from the local news media.....some difficult questions were asked, and there simply weren't a lot of answers.
They did try to note that this is a two-year project and it will revert back into a student housing project with a super-market on the ground floor.
The anticipated period of stay for the refugees as they arrive? Between two and four months. After that.....they will be pushed out into local municipalities.
Locals and their questions? They wanted to know which refugees would be there.....which no one could really answer. They had concerns over safety, noise, traffic and lighting along the streets around the American Arms. Based on what the local reporters noted....the mayor probably wasn't prepared for these type questions and didn't have great answers.
The mayor did try to deflect the negative talk.....talking up displacement, poverty, and war....which probably helped to some degree with those who are simply worried about the impact on the neighborhood around the American Arms.
Oddly.....which I've come to note on numerous occasions....no one has yet to suggest renaming the facility. "American Arms Hotel" is still the expression used by the city and the mayor's staff. You'd think by this point that someone would use another phase or honor some German political figure from the Wiesbaden area.
I can just see some Syrian guy standing there in six weeks.....asking the Red Cross manager for the facility why the building is named the American Arms, and the Red Cross guy can only grin and say it used to be US Army's hotel in town. Eventually, as an insider joke.....it'll get renamed "Damascus Arms" by the visitors and the Germans will just sit and shake their heads. The humor won't play out well with the Germans.