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Germany's Fast Aid after Katrina and "Role Reversal"

[Update: Anne Richard, author of Role Reversal, has published an op-ed in the IHT (PDF file at SAIS Transatlantic Center) describing how useful some foreign aid was and that others was rejected and others wasn't needed and concludes that much more international emergency response cooperation is necessary. The Washington Post quotes her saying "I think most Americans have little understanding about the extent to which other countries were moved and concerned" and mentions also the amount of aid Kuwait and Saudi Arabia donated. IMHO: Political motivations play a significant role, since those countries donated little for Darfur, whose people need the money much more...]

One year ago, ninety experts from Germany's Technisches Hilfswerk or THW (Federal Agency for Technical Relief) were quickly deployed to pump floodwater out of New Orleans and nearby parishes. The American Quaker Economist was "truly surprised by the silence with which this help has been greeted in the American media":
President Bush and Ambassador Timken have officially thanked the German government for this timely and effective assistance. But has any trace of these official communications made it into print, or into our wall-to-wall television coverage? (...) The only significant mention of the German effort that I found anywhere in the US media was an eight-paragraph press release from US Northern Command. As far as I can tell, no actual news stories were written based on that press release.
The Washington Times wrote about Germany's contributions as well. Was Germany's contribution significant? The Quaker Economist:
Remember those estimates that it would take three to six months to pump the water out of New Orleans? Just ten days after those estimates were made, the city is more or less dry. There is a story behind this news. It has to do with a large contingent of German volunteers who came to play a major role in the rescue of New Orleans.
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German relief experts at work in New Orleans

US Fulbright Alum Tanya Jones (Fulbright Journalism, Berlin, 1999-2000) wrote the following reading recommendation:
Ninety experts from Germany's Technisches Hilfswerk or THW (Federal Agency for Technical Relief) are helping to pump floodwater out of New Orleans and nearby parishes. The team arrived in the region last week [September 9, 2005] and immediately began work. German Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger visited the team on September 12, saying "your effort in particular is valued and recognized as a special contribution to German-American friendship." Great photo gallery of the THW at work and the Ambassador's visit. The Washington Times article "Germans help clean up after Katrina" features the THW, as well as the many specialist teams from the US working on pumping out floodwaters:
'If you can help and you have the opportunity to help, you should,' said Jan Goerich, 29, from Speyer, Germany. 'We are here to help, that is all.' The team of Germans, volunteers with Technisches Hilfswerk, a German disaster-relief organization, arrived Friday [Sept. 9] at Belle Chasse Naval Air Base with 15 pumps that can move almost 6 million gallons of water a day.
The embassy lists Germany's assistance in a Fact Sheet (pdf). [The Atlantic Review wrote about German solidarity as well. The US Fulbright Association received letters of condolences and expressions of sympathy from Fulbrighters around the world.]

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. (...)
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