Thousands of exhausted, elated migrants reached their dream destinations of Germany and Austria today, completing epic journeys by boat, bus, train, and foot to escape war and poverty. Before dawn, they clambered off a fleet of Hungarian buses at the Austrian border to find a warm welcome from charity workers offering beds and hot tea. Within a few more hours of rapid-fire aid, many found themselves whisked by train to destinations in Austria and Germany. The surprise overnight effort, which involved about 100 busloads of migrants and refugees, eased immediate pressure on Hungary, which has struggled to manage the flow of thousands of migrants arriving daily from non-EU member Serbia.
Austria and Germany made the breakthrough possible by announcing they would take responsibility for the mass of humanity that was already on the move west or camped out at Keleti. Many migrants had been awoken by friends at Keleti around midnight with news many didn't believe after days of deadlock: Hungary was granting their demand. Many feared that the scores of buses assembling at the terminal instead would take them to Hungarian camps for asylum-seekers, as the government previously insisted must happen. At times, it took extended negotiation at the bus doors to persuade people to climb aboard. Government officials said they changed course because Hungary's systems were becoming overwhelmed by the sheer numbers. But officials warn that the human tide south of Hungary still is rising, and more westward-bound travelers arrived in Budapest within hours of the mass evacuation of the capital's central rail station. (Read more Hungary stories.)