It’s no secret that many countries in the EU, especially the eastern most countries have been hit with an onslaught of immigration due to the refugee crisis in Syria and surrounding areas. The stories in the papers everyday are extremely tragic, one of the most recent ones that comes to mind is about the Syrian man that was the sole survivor of his family after his wife and two sons washed up on the coast of Turkey. It’s pretty gut-wrenching. On the other hand, governments are suddenly thrust into the spotlight and expected to expertly handle situations they’ve never dealt with before.* It’s pretty easy to chastise Hungary for their response to this all: talks of building a border fence, Orbán’s warnings of a “Muslim” threat, to a Christian state? I haven’t traveled extensively throughout Hungary, only to the capital of Budapest, but I do have a dear friend who grew up there and opened my eyes to the extremely anti-Semitic policies of the leading political powers there, so I wasn’t terribly surprised by these statements. But, fuck em’ and bravo to Austria and Germany!
After Angela Merkel and Werner Faymann’s announcement on Saturday that they would open their borders to refugees, thousands streamed in. The most moving response was the citizens’. In Austria people brought donations of food, water and clothes to train stations in Vienna and Salzburg, so much so that by Saturday afternoon, officials in Vienna had to ask people to stay away from the station, because it was heavily overcrowded with well-wishers bearing donations. Rail workers pledged to work overtime for free to drive special refugee trains. In Munich’s main train station crowds gathered to cheer and clap and welcome the new arrivals. Here’s a video of it in Frankfurt from Ruptly TV below.
Sometimes, people are pretty awesome. This is my perfect world.
* Merkel isn’t going to this blindly and all Mother T like. Check it.