Volunteer delivers supplies to 'absolutely inhuman' makeshift refugee camp in Hungary
Thomas Eitzenberger is a software consultant. But the work he's been doing since last Friday has nothing to do with software. Eitzenberger has been driving non-stop with other volunteers, from his home in Graz, Austria to a refugee camp in southern Hungary. The makeshift camp was constructed in the working class village of Roszke to hold an influx of refugees, mostly from Syria.
Eitzenberger is packing his van with camping materials, tents, blankets and transporting the supplies to the camp, where he says people are desperate for even the most basic necessities.
"We're not talking about toothbrush or soaps because the people don't even have water to clean themselves. Not to mention, they have 2,000 people there on the field with three toilets and one doctor."
With temperatures as low as ten degrees and no adequate shelter the situation is dire, especially for children and pregnant woman.
"They are starving, they are freezing," Eitzenberger explains. "They are burning plastics just because they want to have fire."
Eitzenberger calls the camp a "prison".
"The prison is a police line that is marked and they must not step out of that," he explains. But there is no physical barrier and the hundreds of Hungarian police on guard have allowed him to enter the camp with his vital supplies.
Eitzenberger distinguishes between the Hungarian people and government to explain this minor but essential compromise.
"The policemen are not with their full heart into the topic, I mean they have their own lives, they don't...feel it necessary to chase down those poor people."
He adds that while many Hungarian people are helping and housing refugees, "what the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán is doing, is for me, an absolute crime."
Eitzenberger remains hopeful and claims that there are others like him who are doing their part to help.
"There are of course people that have other thoughts on this...but for me it is very inspiring to see so many people standing up and helping other people and that's what counts."
For Eitzenberger, the impulse to make the journey came naturally:
"From the bottom of my heart, because I'm a human being."