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Hundreds of Austrians and Germans Turn Out to Welcome Refugees Arriving From Hungary

Vienna, Austria. 1 September 2015 -- A banner is held up by a group welcoming refugees arriving from Syria and Afghanistan at Vienna Railway Station where they plan to stay overnight en route to Germany. Photo by Martin Juen. Copyright Demotix

Vienna, Austria. 1 September 2015 — A banner is held up by a group welcoming refugees arriving from Syria and Afghanistan at Vienna Railway Station where they plan to stay overnight en route to Germany. Photo by Martin Juen. Copyright Demotix

Austrian and German citizens gathered to welcome thousands of refugees who were arriving by trains coming from the Hungarian border on September 1.

The evening before, the Hungarian police at Budapest's train station suddenly allowed refugees to enter trains leaving towards the Austrian border. Previously, refugees were forced to stay at train stations and in temporary camps in Hungary.

Journalist Christoph Schattleitner describes how at Vienna's train station, by 10 p.m. on Monday evening hundreds of people had arrived with donations they bought at a nearby supermarket. The outpouring of water, food and sanitary products was overwhelming, forcing some platforms to be closed. Authorities eventually had to urge people to stop providing more donations.

When refugees reported to be from Afghanistan, Eritrea and Syria arrived in Vienna on their way to Germany, they were met with cheers and applause:

Thunderous applause. Austria says ‘Refugees Welcome’

Happiness at the West train station

Voulunteers organize donations at the train station in Vienna. Picture by Die Grünen Wienen. Used with permission

Voulunteers organize donations at the train station in Vienna. Photo by Die Grünen Wienen. Used with permission.

In Munich in southern Germany, more than 3,000 refugees arrived on Tuesday morning. Also in Germany, citizens gathered at the train station to help with donations and welcome the exhausted refugees. The hashtag #trainofhope was used to organize volunteers, advertise what supplies and products were needed and tell people how they can help.

#refugeeswelcome to the max: Refugee family is escorted [out of the train station]. Supporters line up with umbrellas, give away soft toys.

This was very impressive today

Supporters arrange the donations in front of the central station

At some point the police in Munich urged people to stop donating:

Other organizations urged people to offer their mobile wifi hotspots and shops in the central station to open their routers to the arriving refugees:

We want to install wifi at the central station in Munich. Are there any shops close to the station who would install a router?

Refugees arriving in Germany have heavily relied on the kindness of citizens until recently, when the government ramped up its own efforts. Last week, Germany announced that it will allow all Syrian refugees to stay and apply for asylum instead of deporting them to their first port of entry, in accordance with European Union regulations.

Europe is experiencing a tremendous influx of refugees due to conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq as well as violence and instability elsewhere in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. Dangerous crossings over the Mediterranean have also increased. Thus far, countries on the coast such as Greece and Italy have received a disproportionate number of refugees, while the Eastern European countries of Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland have resisted calls for a quota system to spread asylum-seekers out among the EU member states.

As European leaders bicker over how to deal with the crisis, people have lost their lives trying to reach the safety of the continent. Thousands have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean, according to the UN refugee agency. In late August, a truck with the bodies of 71 people was discovered on the side of an Austrian road; authorities say the victims, who are assumed to be refugees, suffocated.

As refugees made their way to Germany this week, many online users expressed their gratitude for and awe at the wave of solidarity among Germans and Austrians:

You cannot thank people for their support enough, those who are helping the refugees arriving at train stations or anywhere else. THANK YOU!

Something is working fundamentally right in this country. You overlook it often, but today it is impossible not to see it.

Read more of our special coverage: Streams of Refugees Seek Sanctuary in Europe

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  • Andrew

    the leftist scum is going to be the end of humanity as we know it!

    • Quyen

      OMG, What are you saying? Such a waste of space on this planet you are!

      • Andrew

        OMG, another leftist scum bag!

        • Quyen

          Karma will get you one day, when you are drowning in the water, WITH YOUR FAMILY, then you will think of this moment before you F-off from this world!

          • Andrew

            Karma will get you one day for being an ignorant fool!

    • Kay Harrington

      This pic is especially for you Andrew.

      • Andrew

        your clearly a brain dead woman that wants sharia law, so the only thing that is stopping you is you!, go on, go and move to a muslim country you traitor!

  • Panda Modium

    And Canada is doing nothing because…?…I could fit a family of four at my place in southern Alta. I’m so shamed to be human sometimes.
    Come on Canada, get your poop grouped. Do something !
    Kudos to Austria and Germany. You’re doing what I can’t.

    • southtpa

      you should probably get examined

      • Panda Modium

        HA….for what? Compassion, morals, ethics or rational?
        Sign me up, Trolly McTrollersons.
        Good day, to you.

        • Andrew

          for stupidity and ignorance!

          • Panda Modium

            Elaborate please, Troll.

          • Andrew

            hey you fuck tard leftist piece of shit, all you and you muslim breath en have is pathetic excuses, innuendo and crap to defend your retarded views on muslims!, you support them, your part of them, there is no sitting on the fence as you’d wish in your deluded and deranged mind!, it is not me that is the troll, it is you, and your leftist scum mates that are the trolls, you lot go around every where trolling attempting to persuade people to your one sided pathetic cause!, history will remember the flaws in your views, and in your pathetic fight, and your support for degradation of human rights, so fuck of and go live in a muslim country if you want your rights degraded!, oh, what was that!?, your going no where?

          • Panda Modium

            I’m sorry you feel that way Andrew. You must be a very busy boy waking up with that corroded attitude every day. Come back to me with your venomous vitriol when you find time to read a book.

          • Andrew

            It is not a corroded attitude, it is reality, i live in reality, you, on the other hand are a complete psychopathy that is living in a deluded deranged moron living in a false reality, it has just been said that isis now has thousands of fighters in europe!, so i am right, and you are wrong, but when it comes to being wrong the leftist scum such as you never admit it!, yet you always have time to stir people up and incite hatred! spread false information, get people to act in emotion rather than fact!, but what does such things as fact and information matter to a leftist scum such as you when your living in a deluded reality!, if the muslim scum takes over, you and those like you will be feed to them!

  • southtpa

    this is pretty funny. do these Germans and Austrians realize that according to the UN there are another hundred million of these migrant/refugees roaming the earth? we now know where to send them. charter older jumbo jets and you should be able to transport from any point A to any point B for a thousand dollars or less. it costs Australia that much to keep an illegal behind wire for a month. it’s still cheaper than letting them into their country but a thousand dollars and off the books forever? and up until now I thought Germans were smart. it looks like they’ve taken the Austrians with them on another road to disaster.

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  • J.

    September seems so long ago now, but It is still nice to read stories of positive human involvement!

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