The Long Walk
In 2014 the security situation in countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan deteriorated dramatically prompting thousands of their citizens to seek refuge in Europe. By July 2015 dozens of small, overcrowded inflatable boats arrived daily on the shores of Greek islands in the Aegean sea, the first point of entry in Europe for refugees seeking safety. From there they would traverse the European continent towards Germany, the destination of choice for the majority of them. A tweet by the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, that went live on August 25, 2015 stating that “#Dublin - proceedings of the Syrian nationals are, as a matter of fact, not yet pursued further by us at present” followed by a statement from the German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a press briefing on August 31, 2015 saying “I put it simply, Germany is a strong country … we have managed so many things - We can do this.” triggered what became one of the biggest population movements Europe had seen since the end of World War II. During the following months more than 1.4 million refugees, primarily from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan crossed the Mediterranean sea and trekked towards Central & Northern Europe using what came to be known as the Balkan Migration Corridor.