Photo. Visitors at the opening of the exhibition, 'Drawings by Refugee Children,' August 29, 1953
&copy Landesarchiv Berlin - Willy Kiel

Station X: Emergency Reception Panel

The most important station in the process was the application hearing before the three-person emergency reception panel.

The members of the committee were appointed by what were at the time the three largest parties in the West German parliament (Bundestag): the CDU, the SPD and the FDP. Available to the committee was all of the information about the refugee collected during the reception process – in some cases, the committee also reviewed additional certificates of good character put forward by the applicant.

On the basis of this information and a thorough interrogation of the applicant, the members of the committee decided whether to grant the petition. In 1986, the admission committees were abolished; thereafter, a federal case manager decided whether or not to approve applications.

Next station: Transfer to West Germany