Whilst standing at a traffic light in downtown Budapest today (Sept 6th) , I saw a most shocking site. I was on my way for a coffee at the well known Cafe New York. (New York Kávéház)
It all started with the honking of horns at the Blaha Luzja Ter intersection as cars from all directions applied their brakes. Then there was yelling and screaming and yelping and shouting and the sound of people running or is it a stampede? What is making so much noise?
And right into the intersection they ran , limped and hobbled….thousands of women and children and men and infants with absolutely nothing….I looked in their eyes and saw hell. I gasped for breath and my eyes filled with tears.
Across Blaha junction they streamed as the locals looked on with anger, fear, disgust or compassion and detachment.
It was too much: the juxtaposed reality of civilized Budapest, thousands of Syrian refugees flowing thru right next to Cafe New York and all this less than a mile from where the Jews of Hungary were deported to Auschwitz or killed and thrown into the Danube. Was that a few decades ago..or yesterday?
It really does not matter how this problem came to be, it is a massive system problem that needs to be addressed. In terms of OD, the refugees are a powerless constituency used as a football which can be kicked around. And indeed this is what is happening.
Coffee and cake at the New York Cafe in Budapest are highly recommended.