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Germany's aid to Katrina's victims

Technical assistance from Germany has arrived. President Bush praises generosity. Reuters writes about a new solidarity with the United States after recent differences over Iraq:
Residents of Berlin, which survived the 1948-49 Soviet blockade thanks to a U.S.-led airlift, are scrambling to send aid packages to New Orleans after seeing harrowing images of flood victims. Many Berliners are calling the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation to ask how they can send food- and clothing-filled boxes, like the CARE packages the city once received from Americans during the Cold War, to ordinary people suffering in New Orleans. (...)


"We're making space here for people to bring in their CARE packages for New Orleans," Andrea Mehrlaender [Executive Director of the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation] told Reuters. "A lot of Berliners have friends or family over there and on top of that we want to try to set up long-term person-to-person contacts." (...)
"Many people in Berlin are alive because of the airlift," says Irmgard Helmig, a 72-year-old pensioner. "But I think the whole of Germany is showing solidarity with the Americans." "The suffering of the population in New Orleans reminds me of the situation here after the war," said Werner Doerflinger, president of the German-American Society.

Younger generations of Berliners are very much aware of the airlift and CARE packages as well due to the emotional stories told to them by their parents and grandparents.


In a private initiative members of the German Embassy, together with the German School Washington Community, the Goethe Institut and the German Historical Institute call for donations to help "the particularly impoverished areas of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama that have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina." For more information, click on the image.

US Ambassador to Germany, William Timken, issued a "wish list" of technical assistance, according to a Deutsche Welle report (in English) on September 6:

It includes items such as generators, emergency shelters, pumps, water purification systems, blankets, medicine, search and rescue teams, logistical experts and vaccination teams. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, head of the Chancellor's Office, said this corresponded with items that Germany had offered.

The US and German governments are coordinating US needs and German aid offers. German government press secretary Bela Anda said yesterday that the following aid has already been provided or is on its way: Food aid, 93 THW relief specialists with 15 high speed pumps, and forensic experts to identify bodies.
He expects a quick response from the relevant US agencies regarding the offer to send water purification systems and emergency shelters.
(His full statement in German) Chancellor Schroeder supported the US request to release oil reserves on September 2.



President Bush thanked Chancellor Schroeder for his condolences and the German help:

The generosity with which the German People and their Government have responded to the catastrophe is a testament to the human spirit as well as the bonds of our nations.

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Pi. on :

It should be noted that only 10 tons of German aid could be delivered initially - although the THW and so on are no there too. The rest of the aid, such as water purification systems, is sitting on the military runways in Germany because the US authorities refuse to let it in. Pi.

JW on :

Why do they refuse help? I thought everything was coordinated by German and US authorities? Do you think the reason is that the Bush Administration wants to avoid "embarrassing" pictures of foreign aid being delivered to the disaster region? http://dialoginternational.typepad.com/dialog_international/2005/09/katrina_aid_fro.html

Pi. on :

There is no information at the moment on why the US administration has refused German aid, or exactly what has been refused. The THW has the most experience of any national organisation in the world in such matters and are trained exactly for situations like Katrina. The equipment, the medication and basic foodstuffs are waiting on the airfield, and Bush has even thanked Germany's Gerhard Schröder for the assistance. I don't know whether aid has been refused from other countries too; both France and Great Britain have made offers, and I had heard that the UK has been sending composite ration packs (48 hour food parcels usually given to soldiers) to Louisiana. The BBC reports nothing on refusals, only the German press has been carrying information about it. Pi.

Steve on :

For more information on German aid and a contact address: http://eccentricstar.typepad.com/international_katrina_aid/2005/09/germany.html

Steve on :

the lack of crisis management efforts during the first few days is just so very embarassing for the Bush administration. they didn't even realize what was going on there until after 3 or 4 days. how dumb can an administration actually be? America the glorious...

Andrew Yu-Jen Wang on :

George W. Bush’s sentence-by-sentence speaking skills are deteriorating. Apparently, this may be due to a mental illness called “presenile dementia.” Bush may or may not be secretly still drinking heavily. Bush lied, and thousands of people died. Bush suffers from narcissism and megalomania. Moreover, Bush has been arrested three times. Bush was arrested for disorderly conduct. Bush was arrested for stealing. Bush was also arrested for a serious crime—driving under the influence of alcohol. Bush is guilty of criminal negligence relative to the response to Hurricane Katrina. There are reasons to believe that Bush suffers from a learning disability. Bush’s learning disability would explain a lot of things. All in all, Bush is a severely mentally ill individual. Bush is not fit to be the president of the United States. Bush should be locked up. Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996 Messiah College, Grantham, PA

Pat Patterson on :

Can I assume that this "...severely mentally ill individual" will share a cell with the remains of the most famous of Messiah College grads, Ray Crist. Who was one of the Oakridge scientists tasked with creating atomic weapons that on impact at Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed almost 250,00. And thousands more from the side effects of radiation poisoning over the next decades. And when resolutions authorizing invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq also approved by the sufferers of presenile dementia? Considering there has not been a neuropsychological assessment then this claim is just so much claptrap that brings dishonor to the school that the writer seems so proud of to have attended. Plus it is up to the state to ask for aid in case of a natural disaster. The Feds may not act, due to the Posse Comitatus Act and other federal statutes that limit the federal authorities to declare an are a natural disaster which only effects rebuilding money and insurance claims. They have to be asked in by the state government and in spite of warnings from both the Feds and her own state officials Gov. Blanco refused to do. If parts of the aid sat on airport runways that is not acceptable but considering that the nearest functioning heavy life air port was in Houston, which is over 300+ miles away with absolutely no guarantee that the trucks hauling the equipment would even be able to get close to the city considering every major road out of NO was either still under water or damaged.

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