Austria and Germany threw open their borders on Saturday to thousands of exhausted migrants from the east, bussed to the frontier by a right-wing Hungarian government that had tried to stop them, but was overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people.
Left to walk the final stretch into Austria, rain-soaked migrants — many of them refugees from Syria’s civil war — were whisked by train and shuttle bus first to Vienna and then by train to Munich and other cities in Germany.
The last train carrying an estimated 1,000 migrants and refugees pulled into Munich from Austria at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, bringing the total to have arrived in the Bavarian capital since Saturday to about 8,000.
Police immediately ushered the arrivals onto another train bound for Dortmund on the opposite platform, cordoned off from onlookers in the main station terminal.
Most of those who arrived on Saturday were bussed to reception centers in and around the Munich after being medically screened, fed and offered fresh clothing. Many said they were from Syria, while others were from Afghanistan or Iraq.
Austria said 9,000 people had crossed from Hungary on Saturday. At the frontier with Hungary, Austrian police said the flow of people had slowed, with some still crossing on foot.
Hungary insisted the bus rides were a one-off as hundreds more people gathered in Budapest, in what has become Europe’s most acute refugee crisis since the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.
Almost emptied of migrants the night before, the main Budapest railway station was filling up again, a seemingly unrelenting human surge northwards through the Balkan peninsula from Turkey and Greece.