19 years of helping foreigners in Oberrusel

There is a side to the Ausländerbeirat that, until now, has not been mentioned much on this site.

I have written about the committee meetings often enough, but someone who has hardly been mentioned in those articles is Peter Gröbler, the “Geschäftsführer” of the Ausländerbeirat.  He is the person who works in the town hall and looks after the day-to-day business as opposed to the elected members who meet every few weeks to discuss things like integration.

Peter Gröbler is the person that foreigners in the town can go to when they need help when they have problem making their way through the bureaucracy of the German state, if they have a problem getting a residence permit, or a work permit, need help applying for benefits, or – worst case – are being threatened with expulsion from the country.

At least, he was until recently.  He retired at the end of last month, but his retirement ceremony was only officially held at the end of last week.

Peter Gröbler (centre) with Treasurer Thorsten Schorr, Mayor Hans-Georg Brum, Jens Gessner and Alderman Christof Fink

Peter Gröbler (centre) with Treasurer Thorsten Schorr, Mayor Hans-Georg Brum, Jens Gessner and Alderman Christof Fink

At the ceremony, Mayor Hans-Georg Brum recalled some of the events of the past years, when he was called upon by Herr Gröbler to help find solutions to tricky problems involving foreign residents of the town.

But Peter Gröbler has seen other Mayors before him, as he has been helping foreigners in the town for the past 19 years.  Before that he worked for the town’s “Kinderhaus” in the Eschbachweg.  In total he has spent 34 years serving the local community in Oberursel.

Apparently one of his hobbies is mending things, so as a leaving present his colleagues decided to give him one of the old heavy typewriters that used to adorn the desks in the town hall.  It does not work at the moment, but he is confident that it will only be a matter of days before he has it up and running again.

Sadly, for the foreigners in the town, his position at the town hall has yet to be filled and it is going to take someone with a lot of enthusiasm and dedication to replace him.


About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Oberursel in 1993 and returned with his family to live there in 2003. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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