This is a story about how small cities likes Egedal municipality struggles to find place for the large number of refugees, migrants or asylum seekers from haft Africa and countries in the Middle East like Syria. The winter is coming and tents simply don’t cut it due to the intense cold Denmark experienced this year. People continued to wear their winter clothes until late May. To force families to sleep outside in tents without having been trained would be murder.

One of the places Egedal municipality found to house the migrants was the “Kindergarten of death” named after an incident in 2001 where a 3 year old boy died due the bacteria Escherichia coli 0157. The local population knows that the investigation was tampered with focusing on the food served in the Kindergarten. The real reason however was problems with a worn down sewer system allowing rats to run freely during the nights in sandpits where the children played during the day. Local trade union problems prevented the sandpits from being covered with nets because the local authorities would have been forced to pay the employee for an extra half hour of work every day.

The Kindergarten continued to exist until 2009 where it burned after some small boys played with matches near the worn-down buildings. Since the death of the 3 year old boy the children were forced to vaccinate against hepatitis if their parents let their children attend the kindergarten and they were not allowed to bring homemade birthday’s cakes to the kindergarten either. If they had something to celebrate they had to buy pre-fabricated food in supermarkets.

Now 20 migrants will be housed in the former Kindergarten left over from the fire. Paintjobs will be done and they will install a lock in the sewer into the houses so rats cannot enter inside the houses. However the sewer system in the area continues to remain in a standard close to collapse so it would not be wise to eat outside even during the short hot summers.

Denmark is close to collapse trying to house the massive number of migrants entering Denmark. Cities all over Denmark are questioning a city like Copenhagen to take in zero migrants. Copenhagen states that they have already exceeded their limit and tourists in Copenhagen recognize a growing number of homeless migrants from especially the eastern part of Europe where the schooling systems are very sub-standard compared to the Danish schooling system allowing migrants to the Eastern part of Europe to live of collecting empty bottles for recycling or working illegal in the restaurant business or as newspaper boys without paying taxes. 

Experience has shown the Danish population that you can house only that much people without allowing some of them to die. After World War II Denmark housed 200,000 refugee from the lost parts of Germany. Some 17,000 mostly children died from 1945 to 1947. At some point the healthcare system cannot be stretched anymore and the doctors and nurses back then stopped to treat patients when they judged that their limits morally and psychically had been exceeded. No official complaint from Germany has ever reached Denmark which meant that Germany understood our problem and the solutions we made back then. Tough times required tough solutions.

Is Denmark close to this limit by using places like “The kindergarten of Death”? How huge a percentage will Denmark judge as acceptable to lose while they are kept and fed in Denmark until they can move on? Only the future will tell.


Sources in Danish