A New Zealander living in Germany says that country's welcome to Syrian refugees has put others - including New Zealand - to shame.

Scott Hebden posted a video of the first Syrians to arrive on the trains to Munich from Hungary.

No one will ever realise the human toll that war creates unless you have lived it yourself... You can watch it on your television news... But as soon as you switch it off... Reality seems distance away... And you carry on with your daily life as if what you watched was just some fictional take... For some like myself... Today became reality... Faces on television, suddenly had names... Smiles on the faces suddenly were there... Today I witnessed history in the making as never ever seen since WWII. Today I saw an influx of War Refugees fleeing there homelands... Doctors, Lawyers, students, children... The list goes on... The compassion they received by Germans were immense... And as a Expat-Kiwi I was so proud at what I saw... So with that said, I thought I would share with you a little of what I was involved in today. I like to title it "Munich With Love" Scott Hebden #SyriaRefugees05092015Munich Please SHARE and Spread the word "These are not quotas. They are human lives"

Posted by Scott Hebden on Saturday, September 5, 2015

Mr Hebden was a refugee himself as a Vietnamese war orphan in the 1970s and said he went down to see if he could help out.

He said Germany's welcome to the Syrians was astonishing.


"They do put quite a few countries to shame. I do think New Zealand needs to up its game a bit. The people here in Germany have really opened their doors."

He said many people seemed to have a misconception of refugees as "a bum and homeless" when many were professionals with no choice but to leave.

"Syria's not a third world country. It was never a third world country. It was like New Zealand, for example, with cities like Auckland but now there's a war and they're being bombed the hell out of."

He said any normal family would do the same thing and leave if possible to keep the family safe.

He said in an average week, there were 1000 Syrians arriving in Munich alone but the exodus from Hungary saw more than ten times that arrive.

"Every two hours the trains roll in."

The refugees were then given food and medical checks before being registered.

Mr Hebden, an IT consultant, was one of those dubbed 'babies in a box' because they were carried out of Vietnam in cardboard boxes during the Vietnam War.


He was adopted by a New Zealand family living in Australia after he was taken from Vietnam and they then moved back to New Zealand.

His wife was also a Vietnamese war orphan but was adopted by a German couple.

The pair met while volunteering at a Vietnamese orphanage and now have their own baby daughter.

Now in Germany, he wrote in a Facebook post that being at the train station had brought the reality of the plight of Syrians home to him.

He said the welcome they received was "the best humanity can offer."

"Today I witnessed history in the making as never ever seen since WWII. The compassion they received by Germans were immense... And as a Expat-Kiwi I was so proud at what I saw."

He urged people to share the video he took.

"Spread the word: These are not quotas. They are human lives."

His clip showed Syrians being applauded off the train and children given small gifts such as stuffed toys and chocolate eggs by members of the public gathered to welcome them.

Many of the refugees returned the applause, gave peace signs or waved back. Prime Minister John Key has come under pressure for New Zealand to take more Syrian refugees.

Those speaking out range from other politicians, organisations ranging from the Catholic Bishops to the New Zealand Medical Association and celebrities such as actor Sam Neill and musician Neil Finn.

Cabinet is expected to discuss the Syrian crisis tomorrow and the Government has also signalled that further humanitarian aid will be announced.

Germany is one of few countries to take the brunt of the refugees into Europe and has opened its doors to process asylum seekers. Some other countries are now pledging more help.

Over the weekend, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Britain would take thousands of refugees from those at camps bordering Syria.

Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipilä announced Finland would take in up to 30,000 asylum seekers this year - seven times more that of last year. According to Reuters, Mr Sipilä also offered up his own home to refugees, given he spends most his time in Helsinki, saying it was time for everyone to have a hard look in the mirror.

Other New Zealanders are doing their bit - Temuka man Michael Nolan said his partner gave him a Lotto ticket for Father's Day and he was pledging to give half of any winnings - "whether its $5 or $5,000,000" - to the World Vision Syrian Refugee Crisis Appeal, The Forgotten Millions.

He started a Facebook group to encourage others to do the same.