Letter: A First-Hand Perspective on Europe’s Immigration Crisis


My wife and I have just returned from a two week vacation that I had planned long ago to Hungary, Austria, and a bit of Germany. I’m not sure how great the coverage of this was in the U.S., but I would like to give the readers a briefing.

Upon arriving in Vienna, we discovered that our train to Budapest had been cancelled. One look around the Westbahnhof train station revealed literally thousands of immigrants. Rail officials could do little to offer suggestions as to what to do. It was up to us to find our way out. We finally located a private bus to get us to Budapest. Upon crossing the Austro-Hungarian border, we passed a tent camp put up by Austria. Again, thousands visible as the bus rolled by. Budapest’s Keleti railway station had become a immigrant camp. That was closed to rail traffic. After almost a week in Budapest, the rail line to Austria was opened on a limited scale. We were able to arrive into the Salzburg rail station. We were met by several hundred police and military.

By the third week of September, law and order was kicking in. Migrants were being escorted through rail stations by groups of police, to older coach train cars bound for Germany. Trains leaving for other cities had police walk-throughs, and so forth. By then, Germany had cancelled any inter-country rail service. Bus, cars, or flights were only way in. A great thing to remember is that bus transportation is cheap, air is not cheap, and renting a car or a driver in a foreign country has a lot of challenges!

Three points that I want to cover:

1. The Europeans: Europeans all refers to this as the “situation”. While the “situation” was surging north towards Germany, Hungary closed its Serbian border. Clashes with police were always on the news. Then Croatia said: “We’ll open our border to help”, and within a day they were so overwhelmed with people and they again closed their border! The prevailing attitude by most countries was to get them to Germany and then that’s their problem. Europe has a good heart, but they were both so overwhelmed and unprepared at the sheer numbers. So they shut themselves off essentially from their E.U. responsibilities. As an aside, nationalism seems alive and well, although they are wary of being too open. The Hungarian leader, Viktor Orban, certainly wasn’t going to be quiet!

2. The “Immigrants”: Before we left in early September, the American news was full of the Syrians leaving. Let me tell you, our media is lying on this one. Of the hundreds of thousands already in Europe, there are (yes) Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans, North Africans, and Kurds and more. Also our news, BBC, SkyNews etc., always seem to show kids, families, old and handicapped, etc. But the vast majority of people we encountered were men. Young men. Mostly ages 15 to 30. A few families, but near 90% were young, single men. Always in clusters, keeping among themselves. Yet at the borders that were closed, they were all but quiet. Rock and bottles thrown, yelling “Allah Akbar!” Clashing with police and being tear-gassed. Both television reports and newspapers quote them as only wanting a better life, not wanting to be a burden or unlawful. Willing to go anywhere. After a week some news reports stated that the immigrants who made it to Finland were bored! No bars, no cars, cold, and nothing to do–so they left! Early on, entitlement was already rearing its head!

3. Us. Here is what I can share for a potential travelers. Be prepared! Have trust in God and use the talents he bestowed upon you! Cash is king, carry some snacks, learn a bit of the local language and culture. BE SITUATIONALLY AWARE of your surroundings. Stay together. Most countries all sell “souvenir” blades of some sort. If you didn’t pack a discreet one, then buy one. Have a flashlight. We carried what would be a bug-out backpack. Leave the luggage, but always have you key stuff together. We all read about a SHTF scenario, well for a while, it was as close as I want to be to one! My wife and I love traveling to Europe, but we will think long and hard about going again anytime soon.

So for Europe, this “open borders” thing sounded good until it happened. Then they wrung their hands, razor wire went up and then the “hunker down” mentality set in. The same can happen here in the States. But it won’t be just agricultural workers and dishwashers from Mexico coming. It will be the Golden Horde.

God Bless the USA! – J.J. in Wisconsin