Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has criticized Austria’s attitude in dealing with refugees on the Greek islands. “I am disappointed with the attitude of our Austrian neighbors not to take part in accepting a manageable number of people in need of protection from Greece,” said the CSU politician Spiegel. “In such a situation, Europe has to show its unity. If we do nothing, we will strengthen the political margins.”
After the fire in the Moria refugee camp on Lesvos, Germany agreed to take in another 1,553 people, especially families with children, after up to 150 unaccompanied young people.
In the foreseeable future, all EU states would have to participate in a solution to the refugee issue, demanded Seehofer: “Anyone who does not show solidarity in migration policy cannot claim solidarity elsewhere either.”
According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, a total of ten EU countries and Switzerland are taking part in the admission of a total of 400 unaccompanied young people. In addition, only Germany has so far agreed to take in more people.
The ÖVP of Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, which is clearly tending to the right in foreigner policy, has been the government in Vienna with the Greens since the beginning of 2020. While the smaller green coalition partner has spoken out in favor of accepting refugee children from Moria, Kurz categorically rejects such a step. The government in Vienna, however, sent an airplane with 55 tons of relief supplies for Moria to Athens. Kurz ‘ÖVP is part of the European People’s Party, which also includes the CDU and Seehofer’s CSU.
Holocaust survivors demand the admission of Moria refugees
Previously, Holocaust survivors had asked the “Dachau camp community” to accept refugees from the burned down camp in Moria. You should be allowed to leave for Germany immediately, the board of directors around the former concentration camp inmate Ernst Grube said on Thursday.
Since 1993, more than 40,000 people have died fleeing war, persecution and threats to their lives. They all tried to find a safe haven in Europe. But the EU and the federal government did “nothing essential” to remedy the situation, said Grube.
The contemporary witness, born in Munich in 1932, was persecuted in Nazi Germany because of his Jewish mother and liberated from the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1945.
The Dachau camp community now also demanded the closure of the camps on the EU’s external border and in Greece as well as decentralized accommodation and care for the refugees. Germany in particular must take responsibility and accept those seeking protection.
Remembering 1938 when it came to Jews from Germany and Austria
The camp community also remembered the Évian conference in 1938, at which representatives from 32 countries and 24 aid organizations discussed the problem of the rapidly increasing refugee numbers of Jews from Germany and Austria, which was already incorporated into the “Third Reich”. “The result was almost zero. Tenor of the states: We are not a country of immigration, we could be confronted with problems,” said Grube, according to the announcement.
The arguments of then and now politicians were alike. Hundreds of thousands of people could have been saved during the Nazi era. “Instead, most of the people who dared to flee were arrested at the borders and sent back to the Nazi regime. The path to the Holocaust also has this prehistory.”