Driving back to Budapest after a long day at the Serbian border. Things are not good. We found the remnants of Roszke camp, eerily deserted; just a row of portaloos and a couple of Doctors without Borders tents full of diarrhoea medication, antibiotics and open bottles of hand sanitiser as if people had left in a real hurry. Piles of rubbish encompassing tent remnants and a few items of clothing and kids toys littered the floor. The atmosphere was bleak and military helicopters flew overhead.
What has happened to the people who were here? A volunteer from Austria described horrific scenes from the past week. Thousands of people with no food or water, he told us about a mother, close to collapse, who had given her baby to another volunteer, only for it to die in his arms.
Everyone in the camp has since been taken, in buses, to the Austrian border, and the border with Serbia has been well and truly closed.
We tried to cross it, only to be met with HUNDREDS of police cars lining the streets. I’ve never seen anything like it.
We met some Swedes who had also been volunteering for the last few days. They said they could write a book about what has happened to them during those days. They told us about the desperation of the people on the Serbian side of the border and how there was no aid reaching them at all. They also knew about a secret place to cross into Serbia that was closing at 7 (it was about 6pm by this point) so we embarked on a CRAZY drive following them in a massive rush to try and make it across.
We lost them…our automatic rental car couldn’t take the car chase and the swedes were pretty hellbent on making the crossing.
The whole situation was so strange. The deserted camp, the closed border, the desperate need on the other side of it and nothing that we could do about any of it.
It’s only day one so we’ll see what tomorrow has in store…