From 1961 to 1989, there was the Berlin wall. It is estimated it cost 137 human lives. There was much celebration when that terrible wall fell. Along with, in the same year, a barbed wire fence along the Hungarian border.
Today, there are much higher and more lethal barbed wires fences along the Hungarian border than in 1989.
This video says about itself:
28 August 2015
Screaming in agony, a young migrant girl gets her hair tangled in barbed wire as her family scramble through mud seeking a better life in Europe.
But as she wriggles through the dirt, her hair becomes caught and she lets out a cry of pain.
A woman, believed to be her mother, who is carrying a baby in one arm, uses her other hand to untangle her and the family rush to safety.
There are much longer and more lethal walls now than the Berlin wall used to be, at various places: from the Mexico-United States border to the borders of ‘Fortress Europe’. Costing thousands and more thousands of human lives within one year.
When one listened to radio in West Germany (Federal German Republic) in the 1980s, people bringing people from East Germany (German Democratic Republic) to West Germany were called ‘Fluchthelfer’, people helping refugees.
When one listened to radio in East Germany, the same persons were called ‘Menschenhändler’ (human traffickers, people smugglers).
In practice, there were transport providers who genuinely cared about fellow human beings, others who cared only about money, and yet others somewhere in between.
The overwhelming majority of people now helping or welcoming refugees do that out of human solidarity. On the other hand, there is a hard core of criminal businessmen, charging desperate refugees extortionate prices; not caring about their lives, sending them across dangerous seas in overcrowded small ships or inflatable rubber boats.
And there are cases in between. A Libyan fisherman, unable to continue in business because of the ever continuing war in his country, may start as a kind helper of refugees with his boat. However, the laws of making a profit in business may push that fisherman more and more to asking more and more money, and getting too many people on board.
‘People smugglers’ are sometimes depicted in corporate media as the root cause of millions of refugees trying to reach Europe. In fact, the root cause is the wars started by George W. Bush, Tony Blair, and other United States and European politicians. In fact, the Australian government, one of the participants in Bush’s Iraq war, hard line refugee haters, turns out to collude with people smugglers.
Here is an example of how the hysteria of seeing ‘human traffickers’ everywhere, also where is only solidarity, causes pain.
Translated from daily Metro in the Netherlands:
Samaritan arrested after helping sick little refugee boy
October 19, 2015, 15:19
Elena van Doorn
Mohamed Araab wanted to help a sick little refugee boy and his father. The nurse met the boy suffering from leukemia when he was for one week on the Greek island Lesvos to provide assistance to incoming refugees. When he learned that the two were in Dutch Limburg province, without transportation, he decided to pick them up himself and to bring them to the refugee shelter in Ter Apel.
The boy, the 11-year-old Khalid, was traveling with his father from Syria to Europe. Because of the civil war in their homeland Khalid had for months not had treatment for cancer. There was not enough money for his mother and two other children to come as well. They stayed behind.
After Mohamed met the two in Lesvos, where he cared for and interpreted for people, the image of the sick kid stayed in his mind. Via WhatsApp and Facebook he kept in touch with the two. When Mohamed heard that the two had arrived in Venlo and had missed the train, he did not have to think twice. In his work clothes, he jumped into the car. In Venlo, he met the 11-year-old to, puking and with diarrhea. “He was very ill,” said Mohamed to the Algemeen Dagblad daily.
A good action, you might think. But once in Venlo Mohamed was arrested. He was suspected of smuggling, he was told. “I thought, I need to explain all and then I will be free again within an hour.” But Mohamed was detained overnight.
What makes him particularly angry is that Khalid and his father according to him were also jailed for one night. … “Khalid might have dried out. The military police would not listen.”
Taking refugees home
The nurse has now been released. Khalid and his father were sent to the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA). But according to Mohamed, things are not well for the boy. “He needs a real doctor, an oncologist. Not the Red Cross.” That’s why he wants to get the boy and his father to Vleuten, where he lives. “Our house is big enough.” It is still unknown whether Mohamed and his family will be allowed to house the two refugees at home.
1,000 MILES IN THEIR SHOES “The WorldPost’s Sophia Jones and Syrian-American journalist Hiba Dlewati traveled with refugees — mostly Syrians — for three weeks in August as they made their way from Turkey through Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary, Austria and Germany. What they found was a modern-day underground railroad of sorts, made up of dedicated people defying the inaction of their governments by lending a helping hand to the men, women and children risking death for a better tomorrow. Here are the stories of a people in exodus — and those who guide them to safety.” And take a look at the story behind the story, as Sophia Jones shares what it was like to travel and report among the refugees. [Sophia Jones, HuffPost]