Germany: Survivors, leaders remember victims of July floods

Survivors of last month's extreme flooding in western Germany have joined first responders, religious leaders and government officials in remembering the more than 180 killed in the disaster and to express hope for the future

Via AP news wire
Saturday 28 August 2021 11:03
Germany Floods
Germany Floods

More than a month after extreme flooding killed more than 180 people in western Germany survivors of the disaster, first responders, religious leaders and government officials came together Saturday to remember the victims who died and to express hope for the future.

Chancellor Angela Merkel President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble the leader of Germany's parliament, attended a ceremony at the cathedral in the city of Aachen, joined by residents of the regions devastated by the July 14-15 floods.

“Today, we think about the people from whom the flooding took everything: Their homes, their belongings, their memories, their lifelong dreams,” Steinmeier said. “We, the entire country, are by your side....We, the entire country, mourn with you today.”

Survivors and emergency workers also spoke at the event. Renate Steffes, a resident of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, said her life has been “shaken” by the “horrific experiences” of the flooding.

“There are hardly words that can begin to describe what the events on the night of July 14-15 felt like for me,” she said.

Speakers at the ceremony stressed the importance of acknowledging and remembering the losses in order to move forward, noting it would take time to rebuild and to heal.

Catholic Bishop Georg Bätzing, chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, said he sees “a glimmer of hope” in the countless people who selflessly offered help to affected communities and individuals.

“It takes time for experiences to subside, for loss and injuries to be dealt with,” he said. “Mourning for those we lost takes time, and it takes an incredible amount of strength to rebuild and start again.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in