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German Terror Alerts

Hi everyone. My husband and I are due to travel to Bavaria (itinerary MUC - FRA with stops along the way) from the 24th of November to the 4th of December. Anyone with trips planned to Germany in this time frame? Is anyone else concerned about the recent reports of an increased likelihood of a terrorist attack in the next 2-3 weeks? Our whole trip was centered around visits to the Christmas Markets, and one article mentioned a possible plot to target them! Anyone else out there slightly second-guessing travel to popular cities, spots, etc? I've traveled extensively, but this is the first time I've ever been traveling right as a significant warning is issued, so I guess it's thrown me a little bit. Would welcome attempts to assuage my fears. :D

Posted by
12040 posts

Let me run a number by you. For the past 3 years, an average of 1.2 million people per year lost their lives in automobile accidents. Although I don't have the numbers for the victims of terror attacks during that same period, I'm guessing it's a few orders of magnitude less than 1 million. I'm assuming that you will continue to use your car even after reading the above statistic.

Posted by
1356 posts

I did a little research and found that about 4500 - 5000 pedestrian accident deaths a year in the US, more than the monstrous number of deaths on 9-11. Whether in Germany or the US, we need to keep our sense of perspective about potential terrorist acts. We will be in Germany roughly the same time as you, visiting Christmas Markets. I will not make light of your concerns about terrorist acts but you would probably are in greater danger of getting run over if you stayed home in Florida. Look both ways before crossing a street. Many Germans do drive aggressively in built-up areas.

Posted by
8108 posts

Everything is pretty much business as usual here in Germany. Since Tom and I live here, if there was much of anything to write home about, we would probably know. Maybe we could hear from some of the other forum members who live in Germany too? I seriously never even think about this. It doesn't even occur to me to worry about it. When my time is up, it is up and there won't be a darn thing I can do about it.

Posted by
18 posts

You're both rightand on a rational, intellectual level, I understand and appreciate those statistics. It's the same reason we swim in the ocean even knowing there could be sharks nearby. Like I said in my initial post, this is the first time I will be traveling overseas with one of these ubiquitous alerts/warnings being issued, so this low level anxiety is new to me. My husband and I are cautious and observant people. I guess I posted this just to gauge what everyone else thought/felt about this most recent warning...just to discuss if anyone travels differently, with more vigilance, etc.

Posted by
18 posts

Jo: You're right...if my time happened to be while I was in Germany, well, better than than stuck in traffic on I-4 in the Disney area! :) Again--I am just interested to see how my fellow travelers approach these type of alerts/warnings. I really should stop reading the news--I think what tripped me up is reading about the possibility of a Mumbai-style attack on very Westernized hotels. My husband and I are staying in one of those American-chain style hotels, thanks to business travel points, and for some reason, that just caught my attention. Anyway--we aren't changing our plans, and hadn't considered it...I just value the mental musings of people who might be in the same position as us. :)

Posted by
12040 posts

For the record... I'm in the US right now on business, so I wasn't even aware of the terror alert until I read about it in this post! But I'm returning to Germany on Saturday, and I don't plan to do anything particularly different. Of course, I doubt Hüttenfeld will ever be in the cross-hairs of any terrorist group...

Posted by
1035 posts

Go! There will always be a reason to not go. My favorite was the people who decided to cancel plans because of the volcanic ash.

Posted by
92 posts

I would continue your plans and enjoy your trip, and just be careful as you would in any other place you would travel, in the US or Europe. As people have said, you would really have to be in the wrong place at the wrong time., or if your time is up, it is up. Seriously though, anyone would be concerned about a terrorist alert, but life must go on. I remember in the 80's I was leaving for Rome, and on that day, a TWA Plane was hijacked from Rome to Cairo. I was flying TWA that day. I was a little apprehensive, but I continued on and enjoyed every bit of my trip. I am not one that enjoys flying very much, but I have been back to Europe many times, and love it. Have a great trip and a safe one.

Posted by
8984 posts

My favorite was the people who decided to cancel plans because of the volcanic ash. Why is that funny? I canceled plans due to the ash problem earlier this year. If I don't report to work back to work on the day I say I'm gonna be back, my employer will let me go. And as you know there were people stranded for over a week. For me, it wasn't worth the risk especially in this economy.

Posted by
31471 posts

Kirsten, Personally, I wouldn't worry in the least about travelling to Germany now (or at any other time). These alerts seem to be happening on a fairly regular basis at the present time, and there's no way I'd allow that to affect my travel plans (especially if it meant forfeiting deposits or whatever). Security has apparently been increased across Germany, so that may prevent any problems? Terrorists generally look for "soft targets" so it's unlikely they'll go near any location that has a sizable security presence. A number of people told me that I shouldn't travel to Greece this year, due to the riots (which included some fatalities) and civil unrest. I decided that it was an "acceptable risk" and went anyway. I had a great time! There are never any guarantees for travel at any time, but there's no way I'll allow terrorists to dictate my travel plans. Good luck and hope you have a wonderful time!

Posted by
5 posts

I will be in Germany with my wife next week. Do I worry about this? Yes, because I don't wanna have any loss in that way. I also worried in this case, does insurance company covers? If I park my car and met attack, car damaged, does the car insurance covers? I meant it.
BUT I still will be there and enjoy the holiday. If my time is up, that's it! Kirsten, enjoy your holiday.

Posted by
12040 posts

"My favorite was the people who decided to cancel plans because of the volcanic ash." Some of us didn't have a choice... the airlines canceled for us.

Posted by
132 posts

Just got back from Germany and France (Nuremberg-Trier-Paris), last week. Both are under heightened alert. We were a bit inconvienced when the evacuation alarm went off while we were in the Louvre. A little scary but we went back in. Nothing happened. The markets could be targeted. But a terrorist would have to hit the market you go to. (Looks like there are a lot of markets.) On the day and at the time you're there. Plus some of the markets as Nurember are so big. Also the part of the market you're in. The question is. Do you want to deprive yourself of the pleasures of life because some jerk might do something. Have fun.

Posted by
132 posts

Forgot to say. The Christmas Lights were going up in Germany and Paris while we were there. I'm jealous.

Posted by
375 posts

I've heard about the alerts and about the resulting extra security. We're all just pretty much going about our lives here as usual. I have to admit that if I were going to be spending a lot of time in airports, train stations or other crowded places in the next few weeks I might be thinking about it more. But I look at it this way: there have been many threats of which the public has been unaware and were handled by the authorities, and we all went about our business none the wiser. There's only so much indivduals can do about it. So we carry on. But I've never been comforted by people who cite statistics associated with automobile accidents when trying to inject an intellectual or rational thought into the discussion. They are right about the stats, of course. But the problem is that people don't react to scary conditons with intellect; they react with emotion. To me, it sounds a bit too much like they are saying "don't worry about it", and that is meaningless if you already ARE worried about it. For me, it helps to first process the fear. I acknowledge that being caught in a terrorist attack is, indeed, a very frightening thought. It doesn't matter how statistically probable it is or isn't, it is still scary. So first I say it, feel it, and allow myself to mourn a bit for the loss of the innocence we once had. And then after I've processed that, I am ready to think more logically about my chances and the realities of our current world, and get on with my life. And then I do.

Posted by
375 posts

It was in the news yesterday (Wed. 17 Nov) that the security alert was again raised, although no new specifics were given.

Posted by
521 posts

I don't know if this will help at all - but just before my trip last year - Al Qaeda issued a threat that if the German election did not turn out the way they demanded (ousting Merkel) there would be immediate attacks in Germany. Well we were at Oktoberfest at that exact time. Oh boy. It made me nervous. I can't say I ever really entertained the notion of not going because I know I cannot live my life that way. But I was a little anxious. Funny thing is that once I actually landed in Germany, the thought never even crossed my mind. I didn't even think about it until we were well out of Germany and then it was like...Oh yeah - nothing happened! Which is typically the case with these threats. The only real precaution I took was not to tell my mother about it. Why have two people worrying!

Posted by
5 posts

I'm back. Well, I have been in Germany last week and visited three Christmas market in Berlin and one in Frankfurt. Those were so good. No doubt, I couldn't put the terror alerts away, especially when you saw there were lots of police there but their appearance at least made me feel safer. I have no regret to be there. :-)

Posted by
331 posts

It's an odd thing but the terror alerts are not something that the Germans I know are discussing, very few are even aware of them, me included. Fear breeds fear however and this of course is the intention of the terrorist. I've seen nothing on the local or national news channels here although I appreciate that those in the armed forces may well have information that we ordinary folk don't.