Translation: John Christensen
Punkt 11: District Authority
The district authority in Dornbirn was and still is, for many foreign workers, a place associated with fear. In former times they were particularly afraid of being deported if they were not issued a visa. That institution was the key to remaining in Dornbirn. It was decided there whether hopes and dreams were crushed or if life here could go on. Many of those who did not get a visa, due to a lack of work, were forced to go underground until they found a position. To communicate with the foreign workers, the district commission employed translators who, compared to the other migrants, spoke better German, since they were among the first who had moved to Vorarlberg. Initially, they resorted to using gestures and hand signs as well to communicate, but once their language skills improved they could earn good money. Their translations of legal documents were always eagerly awaited.