Police with sub-machineguns are part of modern travel
By KIN Editor Alan Tristram in Germany; (photos — Helen Tristram)
Wherever we’ve gone into travel hubs on this trip, heavily-armed police soon make themselves apparent.
It was no different when my wife Helen and I visited the North German city of Hamburg last week.
In the main Airport we encountered a tough-looking group of Police led by the Police Officer on the right in the white peaked cap.
Overcoming my fear (WWII memories and all that) of armed German police officers, I inquired in broken German:
‘Guten Tag, ist bin New Zealdanders. Mein Frau ist der photographer, OK?’.
They couldn’t have been friendlier or more obliging.
When I indicated I’d like to photograph the officer with the machine-gun in the centre, their boss rapped out, ‘Heinz’ and pointed to the centre. Heinz obliged.
I have to say I don’t think this could have happened in the USA, where possibly I would have had my walking stick confiscated and been made to lie flat on the floor for a quick search.
But our experiences in Germany, and before that in England, have confirmed our feeling that it’s great to live, or visit, a true democracy.
A place where the Police undertake a difficult and dangerous job.
But somehow preserve their humanity.