By Anthony Faiola,
MUNICH — A stout Bavarian music teacher brought homemade blueberry crumble because she thought “the refugees must be hungry.” A young German mother coaxed smiles out of terrified children with balloons. But in the throng of well-wishers at the main train station here as streams of Syrians blocked for days in Hungary disembarked, perhaps a 69-year-old Munich janitor best summed up the message of this nation that more than any other in Europe is opening its doors.
“Willkommen!” yelled out the floor cleaner, Peter Schriever, as he held up a homemade sign that read: “Welcome Refugees!”
Just off their train, Syrians Abed Almoen Alalie, his wife, Rukaya, and their five small children could not quite believe what they saw. They blinked. They looked at each other. They held each other’s hands. After being shouted at and manhandled in Hungary — a country that did not want them and tried to stop their passage — Rukaya, 32, stared at the cheering crowd and broke down in tears.
“Germany is the only country that is welcoming us,” explained Alalie, a 37-year-old civil servant from Damascus who said his family was fleeing Syria’s civil war. “Look at them! I feel like we are back among family.”
Finland’s prime minister may have offered his private home to refugees. A couple of thousand Austrians may have banded together on social media to carpool refugees out of Hungary. But in a Europe bitterly divided over how to handle its largest wave of migrants since World War II, it is, this time, the Germans who are coming to the rescue.
Whether they are washing ashore in Greece, or landing first in Italy, the mother lode of migrants are aiming for Europe’s economic powerhouse, a nation that has laid out one of the region’s most generous and accepting asylum policies. After agreeing to take busloads of migrants off Hungary’s hands, for instance, more than 6,000 new arrivals arrived in this beer-loving Bavarian city over just the past 24 hours.
Nationwide, Germany recorded 100,000 migrants last month alone. By the end of the year, authorities are estimating at least 800,000 asylum seekers will come — a number almost equal to the population of South Dakota.
Observers call it part of the burdens of becoming the de facto leader …Read More
For refugees, it's destination Germany – Washington Post
By Anthony Faiola,