As the world watched with awe five years ago, new faces in Germany were greeted with balloons and banners that read: “We love refugees”.
More than a million foreigners came there from distant lands at the height of Europe's biggest migration crisis since World War II, hoping for a new life in the West.
In a collective call to her nation, German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared in autumn 2015: “We can do that. We are strong and we can do it. & # 39;
While Ms. Merkel's historic speech was being broadcast on German television, reports surfaced on the screen that train loads of men, women and children were pressing to be admitted at their borders. And they were.
Chancellor Angela Merkel took pictures with a refugee during a visit to a refugee reception center in Berlin in 2015
17-year-old Mohammed Saleh, who came to Berlin in 2015 during the first wave of migrants, now hates Germany
In amazing scenes a few days later, thousands of ragged, tired migrants showed up at train stations in German cities to be hit by local children blowing soap bubbles and handing over teddy bears as the country shed its dark, xenophobic past to turn its face Europe.
But today the celebrations for migrants in this powerhouse of the European Union are over.
Many of the foreigners who entered Germany in those intoxicating days are forcibly sent home on secret flights put together by security officers to Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, Russia and the Balkans after being armed Police officers were brought from their beds to airports.
As a result of this policy, some have disappeared and are living on the streets in order to avoid deportation orders that were quickly issued by German courts.
Others live in fear in migrant camps across Germany. They know that every day a police unit can arrive, handcuff them and drive them straight to a waiting plane destined for their home country.
The Mail found that hundreds, fearful of being deported from Germany, fled to Calais, where human traffickers put them on boats or trucks on ferries across the canal.
Yesterday, relatives of the tragic family of five from Iran, who drowned in a small rubber dinghy off Dunkirk trying to get to the UK on Tuesday morning, said they had initially hoped to seek asylum in Germany but changed their minds and moved on had made the way for the coast of France.
In Britain's first migrant camp in a former barracks on the Kent coast, we met 14 young men from Africa and the Middle East who fled Germany this summer. They claim it is a racist nation and Ms. Merkel's promise to refugees was a false promise.
One of them, 33-year-old Issak Michael from Eritrea, who took a ferry to Dover a few months ago, said to us: “I couldn't go to the center of Hamburg, where I lived, without someone sticking their middle finger into mine Face and say & # 39; F *** you & # 39; because of the color of my skin & # 39 ;.
His Eritrean friend Shden Beyene (29) also hid on a ferry to Great Britain after he was threatened with deportation from Germany.
The migrants Ahmed Elmelhat (left), 35, Abdallah Haroon (center), 18, and Armarmh Mahmud (right), 33, who claimed to have previously lived in Germany, are now in the Napier Barracks in Kent
Issak Michael (left), 33, from Eritrea, who claimed to have previously lived in Germany, slipped on a ferry to Dover a few months ago, while his friend Shden Beyene (right), 29, also hid on a ferry to the UK
Ali Tahmasbi and his son Aria from Iran are currently housed in Xanten
The father and son are among hundreds of migrants who live in the German city in the Wesel district
He said to us: “Germany has refused me residence permits. There was no work, no education, no money to survive. People made me feel small because I was a refugee. & # 39;
Whatever the truth of these glaring allegations, our investigation raises troubling questions about Germany's treatment of foreigners, which were greeted with fanfare five years ago.
We discovered that migrants from Germany fled to the UK after meeting an Iraqi on a beach in Kent who had just disembarked from a boat from France. He spoke no European language apart from the German he had learned over five years as a "refugee" in Berlin.
But to understand why this phenomenon occurred, we must first go back to those euphoric days in 2015 when the borders of Europe took the floor from Mrs Merkel, who rightly wanted to help those who fled war-torn Syria are.
The problem was that the Syrians weren't alone in asking for protection. Many migrants – including jihadists and economic opportunists – pretended to be Syrian refugees. They came under the radar as the number of queues to Germany increased day by day.
Hand Idris, an 18-year-old migrant, now resides at Napier Barracks in Kent, but claimed he was previously in Germany
That year I was in Berlin and met the first Syrians who had taken the train journey from the border.
They said only a third of the arrivals in the German capital were from their country.
25-year-old Mohammed Al-Abaan slapped his hand loudly on the table as we had coffee together.
Three teenage girls walked by in Islamic robes. "Take a look at them," he called. “They pretend to be Syrian refugees like us. But their skin is blacker. They are Arabic-speaking Muslims from the African Sudan.
The civil engineer from a middle-class family fled Syria to escape military service in President Bashar Al-Assad's army when it was waging a civil war against terrorists of the Islamic state.
I thought he got his numbers wrong, but he drew a bar graph in my notebook showing that two-thirds of those he had traveled to Germany with were not his compatriots.
He explained when a group of his friends at the table – including a 17-year-old boy named Saleh – nodded in agreement: “I can even recognize fair-skinned Arab men from Morocco or Tunisia pretending to be Syrians, cutting their beards. It's not like us.
"I love Germany and Germany loves us refugees, but that's not right," he added as he prepared to spend his first night in the multicultural Neukolln district of Berlin.
A refugee from Nigeria said he was now hiding from the German authorities
Ali Tahmasbi and his son Aria are currently living in accommodation in Xanten
More than a million foreigners came there from distant lands at the height of Europe's biggest migration crisis since World War II, hoping for a new life in the West. In the picture: Housing complex for refugees in Xanten
The migrants Yousef Muhammad (left) (27) and Nohom Berhe (right) (25) said they had previously lived in Germany before they came to the Napier barracks in Folkestone, Kent
I kept in touch with Saleh, who now hates Germany. He was sent to a homeless shelter, had a nervous breakdown, was injured by a cut in his arm, and was taking an overdose of sleeping pills.
He recently told me, “I am depressed. I was taken to the hospital and the doctors asked me why I wanted to die. I said I could no longer live in a strange country where they lower their eyes when they see an Arab migrant like me on the bus. & # 39;
This week in Germany we noticed that the 2015 greatness has returned to haunt the country.
In a camp in Leipzig near the Polish border, a 35-year-old Iranian migrant who learned German on his own on national television described the harsh reality.
He now has a lowly job, arranged through friends in a huge car factory, and said, “The Germans have abandoned refugees. They treat us like cattle. They talk to us like two-year-olds, as if we could never be as intelligent as them because we are not Germans.
“You deport people every day. Eighty percent of the 2,000 people in the main migrant camp in Leipzig are Africans. I have an apartment now, but I was living in the camp when I came to Germany.
& # 39; The Africans there are scared. You are paid less than one euro per day by the federal government for cleaning the place. This is modern slavery. & # 39;
He added, “I saw the police come early one morning. They took an African to the deportation plane in a police car. They had drugged him to keep him calm. He was carried off like a corpse and never seen again. I've seen it with my own eyes. & # 39;
The Iranian's name is known to the Mail, but he would like to be kept under the pseudonym Majed for his own safety as he will be persecuted in authoritarian Iran if he is returned there.
After speaking to a girl alone in a car in the capital, Tehran, he was taken for questioning by the religious police and quickly fled the country to Europe.
He added: “The Germans run an asylum system that people are supposed to break because it almost always leads to deportation, unless you are a Syrian with a protected nationality. Even though I have a job, I could be ordered to leave at any time. & # 39;
Apparently Majed said, “I know many who go to the UK. It is now so easy to get from Germany to the French coast and travel across the canal by boat or truck. Buying a ride from a human trafficker is as easy as getting a ticket. & # 39;
In Leipzig, Majed introduced us to William Osaruyi, a 29-year-old Nigerian who fled Islamic terrorism and is hiding from the German police.
He entered Europe shortly after Ms. Merkel's welcoming speech five years ago and has now been admitted to deportation.
The German authorities want to send him back to Italy, where he entered Europe for the first time in a human trafficking boat that carried 150 migrants from Libya to the Italian island of Sardinia. On the boat, a woman gave birth to a baby boy and William held the child after it was born. "I think I saved a life," he says thoughtfully.
As we sit in a street restaurant in Leipzig, he adds, lonely: “I was sent from Sardinia to mainland Italy and lived on the streets. There an Italian I met bought me a ticket to Düsseldorf in Germany. He said "try it out". I thought it would be better.
"I went straight to the German police to apply for asylum, and they took me to the Leipzig camp and left me there."
Then his options were closed. I received my deportation papers. I was not given anything from Germany. I'm just hiding I left the camp so they couldn't send me back and I'm sleeping on a friend's floor. & # 39;
It is estimated that around 200,000 failed asylum seekers, illegal immigrants and foreigners convicted of crimes in their own country or in Germany are listed for deportation flights. Many joined in 2015 when Ms. Merkel sent her welcome message to refugees.
After a litany of terrorist attacks, sexual assaults, and even murders by some who crept in, the deportations are unsurprisingly popular with many Germans. The authorities operate with ruthless efficiency.
Migrants aboard deportation planes are more numerous than hand-picked security guards, many of whom are from the police force and wear protective clothing to stop attacks.
On a recent flight from Leipzig with 45 Afghans to their capital Kabul, 70 officers were constantly on guard. Some of the Afghans were forced to wear "body cuffs", which restricted their torso to reduce the risk of violence.
A German police union leader, Jörg Radek, recently said that many of the deportees – who now number tens of thousands every year – are emotionally in an "exceptional state".
He added and gave a rare glimpse into the secret process: “The returnees resist by all means: scratch, bite, spit and kick. Some police officers were seriously injured while traveling. & # 39;
The 43-year-old Ali Tahmasbi, who lives in a migrant camp made of prefabricated houses on the outskirts of the postcard town of Xanten in West Germany, is one of many who fear deportation.
Migrants from Syria and Iraq take selfies with Angela Merkel in front of a refugee camp after registering in Berlin in 2015
As a former civil engineer in the leading Iranian nuclear power plant, the Islamic regime accuses him of spying for the Israelis, supporting opposition parties and disregarding the government. In his absence, he was sentenced to 130 lashes and 15 years in prison.
It's a terrible prospect, especially since he has a 16-year-old son, Aria, who has traveled to Germany with him.
Ali says he is innocent of bringing charges against him. He invites us to his house in the camp shared by two other migrants – one Iranian and one Turkish – where he and Aria sleep on a bunk bed in one of the two bedrooms.
He's making us an Iranian breakfast of eggs, flatbread, and cream cheese while he's chatting.
"I thought Germany was peaceful, a good place for Aria to grow up," he says simply. & # 39; I was wrong. It is full of fake refugees who are making the German authorities more hostile to those of us fleeing persecution. I can't sleep a thousand times a night, I wish I had never come here. & # 39;
This good-natured man, who is standing when I enter the room, had a kidney tumor removed three months ago in a German hospital.
Still, he uses public transport six days a week to go to an Iranian restaurant two hours away to cook meals so he can raise money to flee Germany and pay for a human trafficker who crosses the Channel to Britain.
He doesn't seem to notice that the Interior Ministry can send him straight back to Germany. In the past two months, deportation flights have brought back 39 migrants who had traveled in small boats across the canal from Ms. Merkel's country via France.
For Ali, life in Germany is a long way from Iran, where he reluctantly left his wife behind, whom he will not name because of the risk of reprisals.
His good job at the nuclear power plant meant he had a middle-class lifestyle with a large family house, several fast cars, and five horses that son Aria learned to ride. "It's all gone now," he says.
He is in an impossible catch-22 situation. He shows me a bundle of his German immigration papers.
It is sternly said, "You and your son are required to leave the country and this is enforceable." Another instructs him to go to the Iranian embassy in Frankfurt to get a passport so that he can be deported back to Iran with Aria.
“If I go to the embassy, I'll be arrested. The Iranians will handcuff me, probably beat me up and send me home.
The occupants of one of the hundreds of illegal boats crossing the canal arrive in Dover
"The Germans say that if I don't go to the embassy, I'll lose this little house as a punishment."
Somalis, Bangladeshis, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Turks, Pakistanis, Russians and Iranians like him live in his camp.
"Only a few are Syrians whom Ms. Merkel has offered to help," says Ali.
Next door, the Bangladeshi family is about to be deported. The Pakistanis in the row of prefabricated houses are also on the list. Since Ali arrived, he has seen Chechens and Ukrainians who were also forcibly taken from the camp to the airport.
He was refused asylum twice and his work permit was subsequently revoked.
“I work illegally in the restaurant to save money to get to France and get to England on the traffickers' boats or trucks. I have two friends, a couple who were refused asylum here and who came to England a few weeks ago. I know others too. & # 39;
One day he will have saved enough to go. And since they don't want to sound charitable to Ms. Merkel, the Germans will most likely turn a blind eye when he disappears with his pretty little son.
Germany is overwhelmed by the migrants who have welcomed them with such enthusiasm and may be relieved to see two Iranians leaving for Britain like many others before them.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Angela Merkel (t) Germany