OBERKALBACH, HESSEN, GERMANY
Village of My Berthold & Ullrich Ancestors
Germany’s Reaction to the Terrorist Attacks 11 Sep 2001
Dirk Frohberg, a native Oberkalbacher, is a student at the University of Mainz in
Germany. He recently e-mailed me to comment on my web site. Dirk’s mail
came just two days before the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and
the Pentagon. When I answered his mail a few days later, I asked him how he felt about this event. Dirk answered:
“I saw the disaster live on TV. I couldn’t believe it and became really sick with
anger and shock. Your TV stations may not show the reactions in Germany or
elsewhere, so I'm going to tell you about it.
When the disaster happened all stations stopped their programs and reported
about the disaster. The whole day and the day after, no station played any
movies, out of respect. Even the music station Viva stopped all transmitting.
I saw people crying ... shocked people ... nobody could believe it. My phone
rang all day with calls from people who wanted to inform me or talk about it. All
flags were at half mast. In the evening there was no cinema, no theater, no disco,
but full churches. The next day there were silent protest marches. Hills of flowers
have been laid in front of American military bases and at the Embassy. Again there
were lots of ceremonies and the feeling of a great loss and helplessness.
Today (Thursday Sep. 13th) at 10 o'clock, life in Germany stopped totally for
about 5 minutes. People stopped working. Cars, busses and trains stopped.
TV stopped ... I think all of Germany became silent for some minutes thinking
of the victims of the terror ... it was really touching. Tonight I went to my gospel
choir, but nobody felt like singing. We dimmed the light and someone said some
really touching words. We prayed and started singing some chorals and then went
Someone said the words "These times, we are all American" in memory of the
words of JFK in Berlin "Ich bin ein Berliner". There is such a great
sympathy with the Americans and I wish you could feel it. All the western
states came a bit closer to each other and it may be the start of a new time
of strong relationships. Even most Arabian, Asian and Islamic countries want
to stand at the side of America.
But anger causes another problem. Foreign people from Arabian or Islamic
countries feel a bigger distance from our people than ever before. They are
threatened and shouted at. I hope this will not become a time of more racism
in Germany. We are all afraid of irrational reactions from your president,
which could cause a third World War. We really support a revenge, but only
against the right people. Too many innocent people are already dead.”
My thanks to Dirk for giving us some insight into the reaction of the German
people to the terrorist attacks. At a sad time like this, it is good to know that
Copyright 2000-2008 by Sue Foster. Please contact me for permission to copy. I'd love to know why you are interested in this information :-)
This page was uploaded 17 September 2001.