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Stateless, Not Hopeless

Aharon Granot, Serbia and Hungary

War, persecution, and man’s inhumanity to man has opened up a flow of refugees to Europe, where migrants —some of them likely Islamic militants — cross any and all borders in the hopes of resettling and rebuilding their tattered lives. But how does this bode for a Europe already saturated with Muslims as it struggles to maintain its Western identity? With the migrant crisis reaching a peak, Mishpacha’s Aharon Granot surfaced among them along the Serbian-Hungarian border.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The fields along the border of Serbia and Hungary appear pastoral and green, the nearby villages peaceful and quiet. But as you near the border for a closer look, human misfortune is unfurled in all its magnitude. The tall grass hides leftover food, abandoned clothes, and other signs of the human footprint. The rusting train tracks linking Serbia to Hungary these days conduct human freight, who march along the rails with their last ounce of energy. The marchers are among the growing hordes of migrants fleeing war and persecution, mainly in Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Eritrea, and Afghanistan. More than 350,000 refugees have braved the journey to Europe by sea in 2015, says the International Organization for Migration. And after some have tragically drowned at sea, thousands more are arriving via one of a half-dozen land routes that transit Greece, Turkey, and the Balkan nations of Europe. The migrants haul their meager possessions, packed in haste inside backpacks, while holding their children in their arms. Their long journey by foot, car, bus, or van has brought them to within reach of Roszke, Hungary, a southern city that abuts the Serbian border. Serbia and Austria have become the two main transit points on the road to Germany, a country that views the immigrants as a boost to their aging and shrinking population. The Serbian police, for their part, are happy to move the refugees along and guide them deeper into Europe. As they cross the border, some flash the “V” sign, although they lower it in the face of Hungarian border police, in their blue uniforms and maroon berets, who stop them and take them for registration in detainment camps. There, they will remain, fed and housed, until European nations decide their fates. The European Parliament overwhelmingly backed a 1 billion Euro plan to resettle some 160,000 refugees — half of them in Germany, France, and Spain. Germany has suggested it could absorb as many as 500,000 migrants annually for the next several years. The Roszke detainment center has turned into a tent city teeming with all walks of life, including migrants, police, and journalists. 

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