The sinti are not welcome in habfurt?

Johannes and petra goger no longer understand the world. The operators of the hotel goger in augsfeld were no longer allowed to accommodate the guests who had camped on their meadow in recent years and were conspicuous above all for one thing: their lack of attention. However, local residents are apparently bothered by the fact that the campers are sinti and roma.
"If those had been fat mobile homes of rich pensioners, no one had been upset", says hotel owner johannes goger and points to a pile of letters. The gogers have been in contact with the district administration about the "camping site affair" an exchange of letters took place, but the points of view seem to be completely irreconcilable: the landlords take the position that short-term camping on their meadow ("our ground") cannot be prohibited.

A tent camp?

The bavarian building code states: "tent camps that are erected occasionally, for a maximum of two months, according to their recognizable purpose, are always building projects that do not require a procedure – regardless of whether they are erected on an approved tent camp site or ‘on the green meadow’. A tent camp … Does not require building permission."
It’s a different story with a real camping site, and that’s what the caravan park around the hotel goger was, according to the district office, as andreas schmitt, the head of the building authority, says. "The stay of this group of people was unlike a youth camp or similar clearly designed for the long term." therefore the landratsamt had threatened the prohibition to the operator. However, this did not have to be pronounced, because after the exchange of letters in the fall of 2011, no one had camped there any more. "There were a number of inquiries, but we turned them all away", says goger.

Parking space on the gries

the hotel operators are at a loss at the moment. Whether they get legal help and the "campground" they leave it open, especially since the prospects are more than vague. In the case of a camping site, the district administration insists on a change in the development plan for the "special hotel area"; such a change had to be made by the city of habfurt, which, according to the information from the city hall, "has no interest whatsoever" at a camping site on the hotel-land has.
But this has nothing to do with the sinti and roma, says stephan schneider, the head of the organization, when asked. For the sinti and roma, the city also provides parking spaces at the gries. "There, we occasionally issue permits for camping, but quite restrictively, so that it does not get out of hand".


both schneider and schmitt drove the authorities’ crackdown after three years of "wild camping" in augsfeld on complaints of residents back. Even a signature list is supposed to exist, but none of the immediate residents, which our newspaper has interviewed, wants to know anything about it. Another argument for the district administration to apply the rules of the regulatory law very strictly in this case was, according to schmitt, the "repeated appearances of the police" on the hotel grounds, which at first sounds as if the crimes around the sinti and roma camp had piled up. According to police spokesman peter firsching, "there is no question of that". The police had often looked after the right, among other things because of the "considerable vehicle park", on the hotel grounds "but everything remained within normal bounds", he says. Firsching knows nothing about a series of crimes or criminal charges.

Always prejudice

this is in line with what erich schneeberger says. The spokesman for the national association of sinti and roma sees the members of his minority "confronted with prejudices and disadvantages. For sinti and roma, who are sweepingly referred to as "travelling people or "gypsies" have been vilified, it is often difficult or even impossible to be accepted on regular campsites. Behind closed doors and with "flimsy arguments" they have been kept away because the operators fear that other guests will stay away and sales will collapse.
"It does not matter that the sinti families in question behave in an exemplary manner", says schneeberger, who as representative of the 12,000 sinti and roma living in bavaria received the constitutional medal of the free state of bavaria in december 2011. " schneeberger advocates equal treatment in society and the preservation of the cultural independence of the sinti and roma … A", the president of the state parliament, barbara stamm (CSU), praised.


petra and johannes goger attest to exemplary behavior of their guests, who are now no longer allowed to come: "spotless" the campers had left the meadow, even voluntarily mowed the grass and behaved "as one could wish"." no one had to walk through the trenches and collect the mull. They understand the "paragrafenreiterei" all the less the authorities and the hostility from neighbors.
Legally interesting, although not directly comparable, is a case from wurzburg: there, asylum seekers from iran had camped out in the open to draw attention to their situation. The city of wurzburg banned this open-air action, but the bavarian supreme administrative court overturned the ban: the iranians’ camp was protected by the freedom of assembly, they argued. Maybe this would be a solution for the sinti and roma in augsfeld: a protest poster turns the illegal camping site into a permitted rally …

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