Germany sets an example; Refugees get warm welcome

RSTV Bureau
Dortmund :  Volunteers sort donated clothes for arriving refugees in Dortmund, Germany, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. Thousands of migrants and refugees traveled to Dortmund by trains.  Photo - PTI/AP

Dortmund : Volunteers sort donated clothes for arriving refugees in Dortmund, Germany, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. Thousands of migrants and refugees traveled to Dortmund by trains.
Photo – PTI/AP

The much debated migrant crisis in Europe, triggered by the gradual influx of refugees from the Middle East who have been forced to flee their homes due to ISIS persecution, is slowly seeing a silver line of compassion. A batch of refugees landed in Germany to a warm welcome, even to the astonishment of the refugees themselves. The migrant issue assumed serious proportions off-late after some of the European Union nations shutting their doors for the refugees.

However, just a day ago Germany and Austria made it public that they will always keep their doors open for the refugees.

Hundreds of local residents and well-wishers assembled at the railway station in German cities of Munich and Dortmund holding balloons and snapping pictures with smartphones. The locals were also seen giving water, food and children’s toys sparking what many have been saying an unprecedented example of volunteer response.

“Say it loud… Say it clear… Refugees are welcome in Munich,” chanted people at the Frankfurt’s railway station overnight, as the trains arrived with refugees who had travelled from Hungary through Austria.

For those having to leave their homes after the massive bloodshed and war, relief coupled with and an excitement was clearly visible as they reached the safer land with their family and other survivors.

Nickelsdorf : An Austrian Police officer helps migrants to get to a bus in Nickelsdorf at the border between Hungary and Austria, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. Over 150,000 people seeking to enter Europe have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.  Photo - PTI

Nickelsdorf : An Austrian Police officer helps migrants to get to a bus in Nickelsdorf at the border between Hungary and Austria, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. Over 150,000 people seeking to enter Europe have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.
Photo – PTI

In the southern city of Munich, Germany’s main hub for arrivals, a 47-year-old local woman in the crowd on Sunday waved to a Syrian family arriving on the latest of dozens of special trains. When the family with three children neared the police barricade looking sceptical, the woman handed them a bag, with chocolates, toys and an envelope inside.

“There’s a bit of money inside,” said the woman in English as the Syrian family expressed their deep thanks while they were led on to be registered.

At the Munich railway station hall, large tables offered clothes and food to the new arrivals, staffed by some 90 helpers – including several Arabic speakers – working four-hour shifts.

“We have more than 1,000 volunteers who have signed up on lists and online and are ready to help,” said one of them, Colin Turner.

From the train station of the Bavarian state capital, the refugees have been taken by bus or local train to temporary shelters, including a school, a tennis centre and two halls of the Munich congress centre, which has room to house about 1,000 people.

Germany, which is also Europe’s biggest economy, has taken in by far the EU’s largest numbers of refugees amid the biggest migrant crisis in the region since the World War II. Meanwhile, Austrian authorities have said that they will not accommodate more than 12,000 refugees even as French President Hollande said that France would take in 24,000 refugees over the next two years.

(With inputs from the PTI/Agencies)