Civil courage in Germany

Why I believe that even the police work against it ...

  1. In Kaufland
  2. Conclusion
    1. One more thing
    2. Conclusion

I was driving with my wife today and we saw a man lying on the side of the road, who was given first aid. The man was running blue all over his head. When I say blue, I mean that’s really been very extreme. It looked so bad that for the first time I asked my wife not to look.

As I could clear my mind again, I called the emergency and the conversation was like this:

  • Yes hello. Sariyürek my name. I just drove past the Aldi xxxxxxx and there was an accident or something. In any case, there was a man who has gone blue and is almost dying. It may be that people have forgotten to call you because they panic. That’s why I wanted to let you know that help is needed there.
    • (5 seconds silence) Did you stop?
  • No, but the man needs help. Somebody should go there.
    • Was there an accident?
  • (Turn me to my wife) Was there an accident there? No, there was no accident.
    • Was there an accident or not?
  • I dont know. But the man needs help!
    • What do you want from us? If there was no accident?
    • Yes bye
  • BYE!

I really could not believe what I just had for a phone conversation. There is a number they said since childhood. They are your friend and helper BlaBlaBla they said. And when it matters …

We were on the way to Kaufland and then I let out my frustration and told my wife that this “not my area of responsibility” mentality is typically German. Since a man is dying and needs help and the 110 has nothing to do but ask me questions?!?

In Kaufland

I wanted to print a photo and was at the Kaufland photo printer. There was then: Your receipt can not be printed. Please contact an employee.

So I went to an employee and asked her to put paper inside the machine. She just said: I do not know how that works. (turns to colleague) do you know how that works? And she only: No I do not know either. One moment … The colleague who is responsible comes at 14 clock. You are welcome to come back.

I thanked and went back to the photo printer. There, my photo was printed without a receipt and I went to checkout and told the cashier that I did not get a receipt, but the photo costs 49 cents. She typed it by hand and I paid.


What I want to address with this text is the skilful ignorance with which we deal on a daily basis. A man at the emergency center even ignores that a citizen is perhaps just dying and needs a few words from him. And why?! Because it is not his area of responsibility.

As long as this thinking exists even in state institutions, we can not assume that the citizens behave differently. A citizen who sees someone in need and simply ignores it thinks exactly the same way. It is not my area of responsibility. Anyone else will take care of him anyway.

One more thing

I once had another problem when I saw a man in Alsdorf almost dying. I thought he drank too much so I called an ambulance. They looked at the old man and told him that it would be better if he came with them.

The man refused and the man from the ambulance came to me and asked for my contact data. To my counter question why he needed the data he has actually said that someone must pay the bill … I said that I wanted to help but that it did not work. But the ambulance man said it’s not free and I have to pay for it because the drunk grandpa does not want to come.


Not like that!


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