Monday, 31 May 2010

German Police Inter-Cultural Sensitivity

One day each year, foreigners living in Trier, - and they make up 8% of the local population after all - can celebrate their cultures  on one of the city squares.

Yesterday on a rainy Sunday as people from the Middle East and Asia and Africa cooked their specialities, danced and sang, they were also introduced to German culture.

Coming from South Africa and having worked in the townships during the Unrest of the late Eighties and early Nineties, I for one, for many years  after moving to Germany, made a wide berth around anyone in uniform. Too many bad memories clouded my rationality. I wonder how many of the foreigners on the Kornmarkt yesterday are political exiles who still have nightmares from the way they were treated by men in uniform? Maybe even tortured?  In my experience many of us coming from the Third World fear dogs. However they were introduced to the law in their new country.

With intercultural (in)sensitivity the German police put their police dogs through their paces in dealing with criminals. In an impressive display an Alsatian jumped through an open car window and swiftly pushed the drug dealer out of his vehicle.

Now what was the message?  If you are criminal (and many in the population still think only foreigners are criminals) this is how we will deal with you, so don't try? Or on a friendlier note "Welcome to Germany!" 

Intriguing display!