German police announced via Twitter on Tuesday that they were “overwhelmed” by public donations for migrants at Munich’s main train station, where hundreds of exhausted refugees, many Syrian, are seeking political asylum, but first they need life’s basics, such as food, water, clothing and medical aid.
Point of view
Thank you, Germany ... We love you, Germany
Over 1,500 refugees arrived in Munich from Hungary by train on Tuesday and the German public reached out, donating so many supplies that the police made a public request to not bring in any more items.
Please do not bring any more goods for the Moment.The donations at hand will be sufficient for the refugees present and arriving today.— Polizei München (@PolizeiMuenchen) 1 Septembre 2015
A spokesman for the Munich main station said that the atmosphere was somewhere between “calm” and “euphoric”, with many of the refugees calling “Thank you, Germany”, or “We love you, Germany,” as they arrived.
Germany is expecting 800,000 asylum applications this year, with a possible quarter of a million more. Manfred Schmidt, head of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), said, “There can be no upper limit set on the intake of people who are fleeing persecution and need protection.”
Hungarian authorities on Monday ended a police blockade that stopped people without a EU visa from boarding trains heading towards Austria and Germany from Budapest.
From the train station in Munich the refugees are sent to emergency accommodation in and around the city. More than 1,000 refugees are currently in Austria and up to 2,000 are waiting at Budapest’s Keleti railway station. Many say they are fleeing war, unrest and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Schmidt explained the rise in the numbers is primarily due to homeless Syrian refugees.
While Heidenau, Germany, this August was the scene of violent far-right protests in front of a planned refugee centre, the scene in Munich was more friendly, and many Germans are stepping in to help refugees in need.
We are thrilled by the myriad of relief supplies the citizens of #Munich provided for the refugees at the Central Station.— Polizei München (@PolizeiMuenchen) 1 Septembre 2015
Hundreds of migrants (pictured) demonstrated outside the main Eastern Railway station in Budapest. They demanded they be allowed to travel on to Germany, as the biggest ever influx of migrants into the European Union left Hungary’s asylum policies in tatters. Around 1,000 people waved tickets, clapping, booing and hissing, and shouting “Germany! Germany!” outside the station.
Picture credit: REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh