The first 100 refugees, assigned by the EU, will appear in Poland in March. They will be placed in a refugee centre near Warsaw. However, we don’t know how they will be seen by others and whether they will be accepted by the local community. These questions are crucial because, according to the newest survey, over half of Poles are against them.

group of refugees on a train platform

Will the refugees get a warm welcome in Poland?

According to a recent survey, 53% of Polish citizens are against receiving refugees.

Centre hidden in the woods

The refugee centre in Dębak, built in a forest, in which 100 refugees from Syria, Iraq, Eritrea and Yemen will be placed, is situated half-an-hour ride from Warsaw. It has been running for 23 years. Thousands of refugees have passed through this centre – mostly from Chechnya and Ukraine.

The nearest town is Otrębusy. Opinions about the refugees coming to that centre are different among local citizens. However, they don’t panic. Do you think that everyone was perfect here? There were problems, as well, but they disappeared quickly – says one of the women.

Considering the conditions in which Poles had been and received help, a man should not move away from these things – convinces other Otrębusy citizen – We have to become mature enough to be able to help other people, despite our doubts.

Fear of the unknown

Such tolerable opinions among those who as one of the few in Poland will have the opportunity to meet refugees from the Middle East, may surprise. The United Nations representative, spokesman of the High Representative UN for Refugees Office, Rafał Kostrzyński, explains:

The groups which have never met with migrants and foreigners show the biggest aversion to them. In towns with refugee centres for such a long time, the people don’t react with panic.


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