The Story:" Help, we’re shrinking"–
Does Germany need immigration?

Length: 45 minutes (WDR, 22 Oct. 2000)
Today the town of Wilhelmshaven already shows the signs of what all of Germany is going to be facing in 25 years: The population there has shrunk by one fifth. The consequence: Thousands of vacant flats, schools and cinemas have to close, businesses are going bankrupt in droves and the town administration has a hard time making ends meet. In a study the UN recommends that Germany should bring 450,000 immigrants into the country each year. Yet at the same time, several hundred thousand refugees from Kosovo are being deported. People whose power as a workforce is frequently urgently needed in Germany. Which is why Hans-Josef Vogel, the mayor of Arnsberg, has announced a deportation stop for his town, thereby provoking a dispute with Fritz Behrens, the minister of the interior in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia. Classes of schoolchildren, entrepreneurs and colleagues from work are all getting involved so that skilled labourers from Kosovo and their families can stay here. The same is true of Qamil Hasaj’s boss. Qamil came from Kosovo 9 years ago and took courses in the evening to qualify himself as a specialist for air-conditioning systems. Several jobs held by Germans depend on Qamil being there. His boss, an entrepreneur, has done everything in his power to keep Qamil Hasaj here. But nothing has been decided yet. Notification from the authority for aliens to leave Germany can arrive any day.

A film by Valentin Thurn