GALLERY: Once upon a time, European refugees fled to Syria

In the terror of WWII, migrants fled to the Middle East, much like Syrians risking everything to get to Europe

Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, Migrants, Refugees, WWII, Middle East

© Fred Ramage – Keystone/Getty Images / colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME

With migrants still fleeing Syria on a daily basis, the movement of refugees around the continent of Europe has become the greatest humanitarian crisis of our days – and has played a central role in the recent arguments put forward by the successful Leave side in the UK’s referendum on EU membership. But it is worth remembering that once upon a time, the situation was very different, and it was Europeans fleeing to safety in the Middle East.

TIME magazine has commissioned freelance photo editor Sanna Dullaway to complete an interesting project that calls to mind the images we see on the Internet, in news reports, and on UKIP campaign posters. Except this time around, instead of seeing hundreds of nameless Syrian, Afghan, and Iraqi migrants making the treacherous trek to Greece, Croatia, Hungary, or Germany, it is Europeans on their way to Syria during the terror of WWII.

With everything they own with them, even if that was just their families and the clothes on their backs, the gallery of images below shows the more things change, the more they stay the same.