Thousands march in Berlin and other cities urging the European bloc and German government to do more to help migrants and refugees stuck in Greece.

Protesters attend a demonstration demanding the evacuation of Greek overcrowded migrant camps and against the creation of a new camp on the Aegean island of Lesvos, in Berlin, Germany, September 20, 2020.
Protesters attend a demonstration demanding the evacuation of Greek overcrowded migrant camps and against the creation of a new camp on the Aegean island of Lesvos, in Berlin, Germany, September 20, 2020. (Reuters)

Thousands of people have demonstrated in Berlin and other German cities, urging the European Union to take in migrants left without shelter after a fire destroyed their biggest camp in Greece.

The mask-clad protesters armed with "leave no one behind" posters were joined in the German capital on Sunday by the aunt of Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian boy whose image became a tragic symbol of the 2015 refugee crisis after his body was washed up on a Turkish beach.

"I decided to speak up and speak for those who can't speak for themselves... If I can't save my own family, then let's save the others," said Tima Kurdi, urging people to write to politicians to push for action.

"We can't close our eyes and turn our backs and walk away from them. People are people, no matter where we come from," she added.

READ MORE: Greece moves Moria refugee and migrants to temporary new camp

'Let the people in'

Sonya Bobrik of the activist group Seebruecke also stressed that "we have space" to take in more than the 1,500 refugees now in Greece that Germany has so far promised to welcome.

Germany's government said last week it would take in 1,553 migrants — 408 families with children — from various Greek islands who already have been granted protected status in Greece. 

The move came on top of a decision to take in up to 150 unaccompanied children as part of a European effort.

The weekend demonstrators demanded that Germany do more and that the government not block independent state or municipal efforts to take in refugees themselves.

The crowd marched through the capital to the landmark Victory Column carrying signs with slogans like "we have space" and "Seehofer, be a Christian" — a reference to Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.

A little girl held a sign saying "let the people in" while a woman waved a placard saying "People are suffering, Fortress Europe looks on — and cuddles up to the right."

Police said around 5,000 people turned up at the Berlin rally.

Similar gatherings were seen in Cologne, Munich, and Leipzig.

Moria camp

Some 12,700 people were left homeless after a ferocious blaze laid waste to their Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesvos last week.

Since then, roughly 9,000 have been resettled at a new temporary site.

But the destruction of Moria, a notoriously overcrowded and dirty camp, strengthened calls from locals and humanitarian organisations for the migrants to be moved off the island.

READ MORE: Greek authorities arrest five migrants over Moria camp fire

READ MORE: Greek police fire teargas at homeless migrants on Lesbos island

Source: TRTWorld and agencies