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VIDEO: Austrian gives refugees a ride - look what happened next!

8.9.2015 22:05
A man driving refugees from Hungary to Austria in September 2015 (Source:
A man driving refugees from Hungary to Austria in September 2015 (Source:

On Sunday, 6 September, approximately 100 Austrians announced they were undertaking a private initiative to assist refugees and drove to Hungary in their own cars from Vienna that same day. The aim of their trip was to deliver necessary items to refugees desperately waiting for a chance to reach their destinations - and to personally transport at least some of them to Austria.

The initiative expressed the conviction on its Facebook page that a new agreement between Austria and Hungary facilitated such an action and expressed the hope that border police would not arrest and imprison them. The Hungarian Government, after international protests against its inhumane approach to refugees, had ultimately succumbed to pressure and recently facilitated the removal of more than 10 000 refugees by special buses to the border with Austria.

Once on the Austrian side, the refugees continued their journeys by buses and trains arranged by the Austrian Government. More than 10 000 people eventually arrived in Germany, the target country for most refugees from Africa and Asia, with the Czech and Slovak governments offering rail corridors for the German trains.

Once the convoy of Austrian volunteers made it to Hungary, they split up and, thanks to information from their Hungarian coworkers, headed for towns where larger groups of refugees had been stuck for some time without transport options. It seems that an active civil society taking an interest in the fate of these refugees might contribute to solving this international crisis, with citizens providing their own cars for the effort.


Nevertheless, under pressure from law enforcement, the Facebook page of the initiative is no longer publicly accessible. None of these free-of-charge, volunteer "people smugglers" were ever arrested, according to those who organized the action.

Nevertheless, organizers are warning that according to Hungarian law, these "smugglers" could be sentenced to up to eight years in prison. Anyone who wants to join this call to action should be aware of that.

Markus Pape, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Aktivismus, Občanská společnost, Austria, refugee


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