European refugee crisis: “A narrow river is nothing for us.” – Photo report

September 18, 2015

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Three days after Hungary closed its border with Serbia to asylum seekers, it became apparent they would try to enter Austria via Croatia and Slovenia, thereby circumventing Hungary.  The first group boarded trains for Austria in Zagreb Thursday evening, even though nobody knew at the time whether Slovenia would admit those who, for the most part, had registered themselves in Croatia.   More than a hundred had hoped to make it as far as Vienna.  In the end most of them ended up spending the night out in the open on the Croatian-Slovenian border.

A young boy studies a map of Zagreb as his parents buy tickets to Vienna  Photo: D. András Hajdú
A young boy studies a map of Zagreb as his parents buy tickets to Vienna Photo: D. András Hajdú
A family from Aleppó camps outside a Zagreb hotel turned into a temporary shelter for refugees. Photo: D. András Hajdú
A family from Aleppó camps outside a Zagreb hotel turned into a temporary shelter for refugees. Photo: D. András Hajdú
Finally at around 9 pm they board the train destined for Munich.  Most could only buy tickets as far as Vienna. Photo: D. András Hajdú
Finally at around 9 pm they board the train destined for Munich. Most could only buy tickets as far as Vienna. Photo: D. András Hajdú
"Everybody wants to go to Germany.  We're afraid there's no more room for us on the train.  Vienna is fine, just so long as we can sleep in peace" says this Syrian mother.  Photo:  D. András Hajdú
“Everybody wants to go to Germany. We’re afraid there’s no more room for us on the train to Munich. Vienna is fine, just so long as we can sleep in peace,” says this Syrian mother. Photo: D. András Hajdú
Told they will be no inspection on the Croatian leg of the journey, the refugees board the train for Vienna.  Photo:  D. András Hajdú
Assured there will be no inspection on the Croatian leg of the journey, the refugees board the train for Vienna. Photo: D. András Hajdú
News reaches the refugees that Slovenia, insisting on the Dublin agreement may not admit them.  Photo: D. András Hajdú
News reaches the refugees that Slovenia, insisting on the Dublin agreement, may not admit them. Photo: D. András Hajdú
45 minutes after the train was scheduled to depart, it remains in the station, filled with refugees as well as tourists.  Photo: D. András Hajdú
45 minutes after its scheduled departure, the train remains in the station, filled with refugees as well as tourists. Photo: D. András Hajdú
The trains never leave the station as Croatia and Slovenia close their borders to asylum seekers arriving from Serbia. Photo: D. András Hajdú
The train never leaves the station as Croatia and Slovenia close their borders to asylum seekers arriving from Serbia. Photo: D. András Hajdú
Most of the refugees on the train were from Syrian and Iraq, including a large number of small children.  Photo: D. András Hadjú
Most of the refugees waiting for the train to leave are from Syria and Iraq, including a large number of small children. Photo: D. András Hadjú
Informed at 10 pm that the train will not depart because Slovenia has closed the border, the refugees board a local train for the Slovene border.  Photo: D. András Hajdú
Told at 10pm the train will not depart because Slovenia has closed the border, refugees board a local train for the border Photo: D. András Hajdú
Upon arriving to a small village on the Croatian-Slovenian boarder, Croatian  police inform them that Slovenia will not admit them.  Photo: D. András Hajdu
Upon arriving to a small village on the Croatian-Slovenian boarder, they learn from Croatian police that  Slovenia will not admit them. Photo: D. András Hajdu

 

Forced to sleep out in the cold, a group of 20-30 women and children bed down for the night in a clearing.  Photo: D. András Hajdú
Forced to sleep out in the cold, a group of 20-30 women and children bed down for the night in a nearby clearing. Photo: D. András Hajdú

 

Croatian border guards advise refugees where they can cross into Slovenia.  Photo: D. András Hajdú
Croatian border guards advise refugees where they can cross into Slovenia. Photo: D. András Hajdú
" We crossed the sea, mountains.  The narrow river between here and Slovenia is nothing for us!" Photo: D. András Hajdú
” We crossed the sea and the mountains. A narrow river between here and Slovenia is nothing for us!” Photo: D. András Hajdú