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SBV-Sitz 360°

Mürwiker Str. 28-30, 24944 Flensburg

At the end of World War II, tens of thousands of refugees and displaced persons arrived in Flensburg from Eastern Europe. The population rose from some 60,000 to more than 100,000 – within just a few months. Willi Sander, who was himself a displaced person, seized the initiative in 1949 against barrack accommodation and the lack of housing and founded the “Selbsthilfebauverein” (SBV), a self-help housing association.

Providing housing fit for humans for the refugees and displaced persons from the former German territories in the east who arrived in Flensburg from 1945 onwards – that was the idea that led to the establishment of SBV in Flensburg. On 21 July 1949, 36 men and women adopted SBV’s statutes.[1] All the members of the supervisory board and executive board originated from Silesia, Eastern Pomerania and Sudetenland[2] – notably the founder, initiator and former councillor Willi Sander.[3] The foundation stone for 300 SBV apartments was laid in Apenrader Strasse in the first half of 1950. Like 300 further apartments of other housing associations, they were built with funds from the “10,000 homes for refugees” program of the European Recovery Program (ERP).[4] In 1952, SBV received funds for 83 homes from the “barracks accommodation program”.[5] Even though nearly 3,400 homes were built by SBV and others, some 5,450 persons still lived in barrack camps at the end of 1955.[6] Fruerlund developed into SBV’s most important district for building and 1,150 homes were constructed there up to the end of 1959. The number of members of SBV’s cooperative grew steadily and also included local people. From 1,109 in 1954, the number had grown to around 10,200 members by 2017.[7] In the same year, SBV had more than 7,000 homes for more than 15,000 tenants in Flensburg. To this day, SBV’s doors are open to refugees and migrants. When thousands of migrants arrived from Syria, Afghanistan and other regions in 2015 and later, SBV supported the city of Flensburg by offering low-rent apartments, e.g. in the high-rise block at Travestrasse 28.[8] In 2018, about 150 new immigrants lived in SBV apartments.[9]


[1] SBV (publisher): 50 Jahre SBV. 1999, p. 1

[2] GFS (publisher): Fruerlund. Stadtumbau in Flensburg – Ein Quartier erfindet sich neu. 2016, p. 18

[3] SBV publisher): 50 Jahre SBV. 1999, p. 10

[4] https://arge-ev.de/arge-ev/ueber-uns/gruendung-und-geschichte/, 31.7.18

[5] SBV (publisher): 50 Jahre SBV. 1999, p. 11

[6] GFS (publisher): Flensburg – Geschichte einer Grenzstadt. 1966, p. 471

[7] Auskunft Frau Sandra Seemann, Vorstandssekretariat des SBV, 27.8.18

[8] SBV-Bote Nr. 136, Winter 2015, p. 12

[9] E-Mail v. Fr . Sandra Seemann, Vorstandssekretariat des SBV, 27.6.18