German football clubs are fast gaining a reputation as morally superior to the UK's politicians as their fans pull out all the stops to welcome refugees to matches. Despite a spate of violent protests against refugees in the eastern town of Heidenau, near Dresden, football fans are showing solidarity to people in plight on their terraces.
A number of banners were spotted at matches on 29 August sporting the message: "Refugees Welcome." Just a few days earlier, German giants Borussia Dortmund invited 220 refugees for their Europa League tie against Norwegian club Odds Ballklubb – more than the number of Syrians who have been welcomed in the UK through the government's official refugee relocation scheme, according to i100.
Germany's well known figures such as footballer Lukas Podolski, Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche and Nobel-winning writer Herta Muller are also rallying against refugee hate, and were featured in a seven-page spread in tabloid, Bild. It also ran an editorial from Mueller called: "I was also a refugee" and recounts how thousands of Germans fled from the Nazi regime. "Everyone who fled into exile from the Nazis was saved...Germany must do what other countries had done earlier for the Germans," she wrote.
Born in communist Romania in the German minority community, Mueller wrote: "We have the responsibility given the past. But beyond that, sympathy is an act of humanity. Those who no longer know that have a brutal concept of homeland that once drove Germans out of Germany."
Germany has welcome more refugees than any other country and last week Berlin announced that all Syrian asylum seekers would be allowed to stay there no matter which EU country they first entered. Germany has taken 32.4% of EU asylum applicants compared to the UK's meagre 4.5%.
EU interior and justice ministers are scheduled to meet in two weeks to try and find a way to cope with the escalating crisis. The meeting is due to take place in Brussels on 14 September.