is an annual report produced in conjunction with the Regional Security Office
at the U.S. Consulate in Munich. OSAC encourages travelers to use
this report to gain baseline knowledge of security conditions in Bavaria and
southern Germany. For more in-depth information, review OSAC’s Germany country page
for original OSAC reporting, consular messages, and contact information, some
of which may be available only to private-sector representatives with an OSAC
current U.S. Department of State Travel
Advisory at the date of this report’s publication assesses Germany at
Level 2, indicating travelers should exercise increased caution. Review OSAC’s
report, Understanding the Consular Travel Advisory System.
Overall Crime and
Crime rates throughout Germany are comparable to those in most
first-world countries, and comparative analysis of crime data for the U.S. and
Germany reveals only marginal differences. The total number of recorded
criminal offenses decreased by 2.1% compared to the previous year (2019: 5.436m
cases, 2018: 5.556m cases). The total number of recorded criminal offenses
excluding offenses against foreigners’ law decreased by 2.3% compared to the
previous year (2019: 5.271m cases, 2018: 5.392m cases).
The following offenses decreased:
Economic crime by 19.9% to 40,484 cases (2018:
Theft by burglary of a dwelling by 10.6% to
87,145 cases (2018: 97,504 cases)
Thefts (total) from the exterior/interior of
motor vehicles by 10.2% to 222,129 cases (2018: 247,3118 cases)
Pickpocketing by 9.7% to 94.106 cases (2018:
The following offenses increased:
Sexual abuse of children by 10.9% to 13,670
cases (2018: 12,321 cases)
Computer fraud (§263a PC) by 12.1% to 100,814
cases (2018: 89,901 cases)
Dissemination of writings depicting
pornography by 51.6% to 17,336 cases (2018: 11,435 cases)
reports suggest that a large proportion of crimes go unreported. There are various
possible reasons for failures to report crime, including apathy, a low
expectation of prosecution, and a feeling of shame or embarrassment,
particularly when the crime is of a sexual nature or concerns sexuality. There
have been reports of police dissuading victims from making formal reports
citing little chance of capturing the suspect. There have also been
reports of effective decriminalization of some crimes, due to the police not
possessing the resources to investigate them. To tackle high-profile criminal
activities, such as violent crimes and burglaries, police have reallocated
and/or increased resources in certain areas, resulting in less emphasis on
investigating and detecting other crimes, such as fraud. However, a new
interagency taskforce focuses on financial crimes and tax fraud.
U.S. nationals are commonly victims of purse snatching or pickpocketing in high
traffic and tourist areas (e.g. train stations, internet cafes, crowded
restaurants, and outdoor marketplaces). However, violent crimes against U.S.
nationals are relatively infrequent. Visitors should carry a copy of their passport
while maintaining the original in a safe location. While personal assaults do
occur, there is no evidence that anti-U.S. sentiment drives such crimes. Review
OSAC’s reports, All That You Should Leave Behind.
regarding reported crime statistics and German crime prevention programs are
available in several languages on the BKA website.
Oktoberfest is an annual event that brought an estimated 6.3
million visitors to Bavaria in 2019. Security planning for this event continues to evolve
each year to address emerging criminal and terrorism-related concerns. Those
planning to attend the festival should remain vigilant in public to mitigate
the risks, including petty crime and alcohol-related incidents that accompany
large, high-profile public gatherings. The official
Oktoberfest App includes new security information and features such
as a detailed fairground map. The Munich Police Twitter feed (@PolizeiMuenchen) also provides its followers with helpful
information, updated security incidents, and tips to avoid becoming a victim at
Oktoberfest. Review U.S. Consulate Munich’s tips for a fun and safe Oktoberfest, and OSAC’s Oktoberfest
Cybercrime remains a major concern. In recent years, cyberattacks
in Germany targeting information infrastructures, government institutions,
businesses, and private citizens have increased in frequency and complexity.
Many of the attacks are likely state-sponsored and include disinformation
campaigns to influence public opinion. In a highly publicized case from
2019, a hacker broke into accounts of hundreds of German lawmakers and
personalities whose political stances he disliked, prompting further questions
about the ability of the German government to protect sensitive data.
and other malware continue to be the preferred methods of online criminals.
Although authorities have dedicated additional resources to enforcement and
prosecution efforts, cybercrime in Germany continues to be a growing problem.
Authorities believe most Internet crimes go unreported, and solve only one in
four crimes.. A study from 2017 by the Bitkom IT industry association found
that every second German internet user had been a victim of cybercrime in the
preceding 12 months, with half reporting a financial loss.
the internet expands exponentially and continues to be an integral part of life
throughout the world, malefactors expand their uses of the internet to
facilitate insults and slander, perpetrate sexual offenses, purchase weapons
and narcotics on the dark web, promote hateful propaganda, and organize acts of
terrorism and radical behavior, just to name a few examples. The German
authorities recognize the internet as facilitator of criminality, and
continually adapt investigative techniques to combat emerging threats. In order
to focus on these threats and to partner with industry, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA – German Federal Police
Investigative Agency) established the Zentralle Ansprechstellen Cybercrime (ZAC
–Cybercrime Contact Center) division to establish a link between private sector
and the police in the fight against cybercrime. ZAC acts as an intermediary and
advisory body with law enforcement and prosecution authorities and the private-sector,
and to assist in the coordination of investigations during incidents.
OSAC’s reports, Cybersecurity Basics,
Best Practices for
Maximizing Security on Public Wi-Fi, and Traveling with Mobile
Devices: Trends & Best Practices.
Road Safety and Road Conditions
Road conditions throughout Germany vary significantly from region
to region, but are generally fair to good. Exercise caution while traveling on
older roads, particularly in eastern Germany. Road conditions can and do
deteriorate quickly with rain, ice, and snow. Lack of proper lighting can also
be problematic. Consequently, traffic accidents occur frequently on many major
German highways; delays can last hours.
Road construction and road wear also present unique safety
challenges. In general, road maintenance is a lower priority in Germany than in
other well-developed countries. Much of the infrastructure budget goes towards
public transportation services, road and sidewalk environmental cleanup, and
other non-maintenance items and services. As such, many roads experience deep
and uneven rutting, causing grooves to form on seemingly flat and level road
surfaces. Road maintenance projects can last years.
Speed limits in most German cities are relatively low. The average
speed limit in cities is 50 kph (~30 mph) but drops to 30 kph in most
residential areas and in school zones. Police now enforce speed limits on large
stretches of the Autobahn, mostly
through urban areas and on stretches where road curves are more frequent.
The leading causes of motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents
involving U.S. nationals are driver error/confusion (due to unfamiliar road
signs, or unusual driving customs and courtesies) and bicyclist hazards. For
example, even though double parking is illegal in most German cities, the
practice is an everyday occurrence on many German streets. It is very common
for lane traffic to stop abruptly when a delivery truck parks unexpectedly in a
travel lane to unload cargo, or when a German driver places his/her car in
reverse to occupy a street-side parking space.
Bicyclists and bicycle traffic also pose a heightened risk for
motorists and pedestrians. Many sidewalks have dedicated bike lanes. Bicycles
have priority use of these lanes. Pedestrians should watch for bicyclists
before crossing or stepping into bike lanes. Bicyclists also have priority over
cars when turning onto side streets. Drivers should check whether a bicyclist
is approaching from either direction before attempting to enter side streets,
even when the light is in their favor. Drivers turning onto a side street who
strike a bicyclist using a marked bike lane are responsible for any injury or
Right-of-way and yield laws are similar to those in the U.S. but
can seem awkward and confusing. Apart from on a priority road, vehicles coming
from the directional right have the right-of-way. It is also generally illegal
to pass vehicles on the right side.
During the winter months, motorists must have winter-specific
tires on their vehicles. Winter tires must have the winter tire symbol on the
tire to be compliant with German law. All-weather tires without the insignia
are not compliant. Motorists involved in accidents during inclement weather of snow
or ice and who do not have winter tires on their vehicles will likely receive a
fine and not invalidate insurance coverage.
It is illegal to leave the scene of a motor vehicle accident until
all parties agree that it is all right to do so, and before all parties have
verified the validity of their insurance information. German authorities
frequently prosecute drivers who leave the scene of an accident. It is illegal
to use cell phones while driving; police can detain and fine persons engaging
in this practice. Review OSAC’s reports, Road Safety Abroad,
Driving Overseas: Best
Practices, and Evasive Driving
Techniques; and read the State Department’s webpage on driving
and road safety abroad.
Public Transportation Conditions
The use of trains – particularly the U-Bahn and S-Bahn systems –
can be very convenient. Transportation centers and trains, however, are an
appealing target for criminals and terrorists. Despite any enhanced security,
these venues remain a soft target. Crimes are common in and around U-Bahn and
S-Bahn systems and stations. Crime is often in direct proportion to the
lateness of the hour. For more information on travel within Germany, contact
National Tourist Board Office in New York at (212)
661-7200. Review OSAC’s report, Security In Transit:
Airplanes, Public Transport, and Overnights.
U.S. Department of State has assessed Munich as being a HIGH-threat location for terrorism directed at or affecting
official U.S. government interests. The most
prominent terrorist organizations in Bavaria are purported to be Milli-Görüs,
Deutsche Muslimische Gemeinschaft, and the Salafists.
Several international terrorist groups that target U.S. government
personnel and interests have a presence and operate in Germany, including ISIS,
al-Qa’ida, Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), Kongra Gel (Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or
PKK), Hizb’allah, and Hamas, as well as racially and ethnically motivated
terrorists and anti-establishment motivated extremists. The large population of
official U.S. government and military personnel in Germany creates a
significant potential target for terrorist groups.
governmental reporting reiterates the growing concern for the expanding
international and indigenous radical Islamist presence. The estimated number of Salafists nationally
was 11,500 in mid-2019. The number of Islamists identified as potential
terrorists fell from 774 to 688 by October 2019 due to the consequences of the
war in Syria. Around 450 are known to be in Germany. Security officials
estimate over 1,050 residents of Germany departed the country to participate in
the conflicts in Syria and Iraq since 2012, the majority of whom joined violent
radical Islamist extremist groups fighting there; an estimated 220 have died
there, while one-third of the total group (or roughly 350) have returned to
Germany. German officials actively investigate these returnees as terrorist
threats due to their experience abroad and possible desire to continue to
support violent extremist causes. Fewer than 50 German fighters traveled to
Egypt, Somalia, and the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, particularly during
2010-2013, many attending terrorist training camps.
According to publicly available statistics from June 2018, more
than 1,050 Islamic extremists have traveled from Germany to the Middle East for
the purpose of fighting in the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Syria.
Twenty-nine of the 114 individuals who departed from Bavaria returned to
Germany. Twenty-two are in Bavaria and five are currently imprisoned. The Verfassungsschutz (BfV -- German
Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution)
identified 4,150 extremists at the end of 2018 living in Germany. Of those
identified, 750 belong to the Salafi movement and 25% of those individuals are
ISIS and other groups continue to call on followers to conduct
attacks in Europe, including in Germany. The government has employed legal
tools to ban these organizations and their affiliates, such as the 2014 ban on
ISIS, the 2015 ban on two radical Islamist groups, and a ban on three
ultra-conservative Salafist groups. Following each of these bans, authorities
carried out raids of residences of suspected radical Islamist extremists and
seized property linked to their activities, including personal computers,
phones, cash, and extremist propaganda in both German and Arabic.
Terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons to
target both official and private interests. There remains a potential for
terrorist attacks against public transportation systems and other tourism
infrastructure. The U.S. continues to collaborate closely with European allies
on the threat from international terrorism, including al-Qa’ida and ISIS. The
U.S. routinely shares information with its key partners to disrupt terrorist
plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen
defenses against potential threats. German authorities continue to investigate
extremist groups, deport or arrest individuals considered dangerous, and conduct
raids on suspected groups throughout the country.
Religious, and Ethnic Violence
U.S. Department of State has assessed Munich as being a MEDIUM-threat location for political violence directed at or
affecting official U.S. government interests.
and left-wing extremists alike facilitated several violent acts in recent
years. After reaching a ten-year high in
2016, politically motivated crimes dropped by nearly 5% in 2017, and by a
further 9% in 2018. However, in 2019, the total number of political crimes
increased by 14%. Those acts committed by right-wing extremists increased from
20,431 in 2018 to 22,342 in 2019. Of note is the number of crimes targeting
political persons and parties. More than 2,000 crimes were reported during the
most recent Bundestag elections.
extremism remains a center-stage issue. Authorities estimate that there are 2,360
right-wing extremists in Bavaria, of whom 1,000 are potentially violent. In
2018, there were 63 violent crimes, mostly assaults, and 1,771 crimes
categorized as non-violent, including anti-Semitism, hate crimes, sedition, and
damage to public property, committed by far-right extremists in Bavaria.
Anti-Semitism and violence against the Jewish community remains a constant concern
for German law enforcement.
help mitigate the threat of right-wing extremism, the government maintains a
central database for monitoring violent right-wing extremists. Government
attempts to ban the neo-Nazi National
Democratic Party (NPD) have been unsuccessful due to the constitutional protections
afforded to political parties. The BfV is now investigating the populist Alternative for Deutschland Party
(AfD), a populist party that gained 11.5% of the votes in the 2017
federal parliamentary election, over the extent of its extreme-right links and
anti-constitutional activities, and monitoring two factions of the party due to
suspected anti-democratic activities. In December 2019, the German security
services approved 600 new posts to counter the extreme right.
are an estimated 3,500 left-wing extremists in Bavaria, 675 of which are considered
violent. In 2019, there were nearly 10,000 instances left-wing related
political crime, an increase from nearly 8,000 in 2018. In July 2019,
Greenpeace occupied the roof of an Amazon logistics center in Osnabrück
(northeast of Münster) to protest the return policies of Amazon and the number
of products that are returned to the company and never resold. Although less often
than right-wing extremists, left-wing extremists engage in violent protests often
directed toward law enforcement.
and left-wing extremists have increasingly come into direct conflict with each
other, especially when right-wing protests encounter larger and more violent
left-wing counter protests.
Munich, there is an increase in the targeting of law enforcement / emergency
responders by young people. On several occasions, onlookers have verbally and
physically harassed emergency responders responding to requests for medical
services in public areas, such as the English Garden. When law enforcement
responds to the incident, aggressors turn their attacks to the police to film
the police response and post the encounters on social media. During one
incident in the English Garden with a party organized on social media, a group
of young people staged a fight and reported the fight to police. After
responding officers arrived on the scene, the group began assaulting the
police. Munich riot police responded and removed approximately 200 individuals
from the area. This is a relatively new phenomena in Munich, but it is gaining
momentum and resulting in a more proportional response by police when
responding to potential similar incidents.
well-planned and publicized demonstrations protesting government policies draw
thousands of participants; spontaneous demonstrations concerning education and
other economic and social issues occur almost daily throughout Germany.
tend to take place on politically significant holidays like German Labor Day
(May 1) and during international summits hosted in Germany. Demonstration
organizers must obtain prior police approval, and police routinely oversee
stationary demonstrations in Munich typically take place at Marienplatz,
Königsplatz, and Odeonsplatz. No matter the theme of a given demonstration,
avoid such events, as they can turn violent very quickly. Review OSAC’s report,
Surviving a Protest.
Germany is home to
a large population of ethnic Turks and Kurds of various political persuasions.
Ethnic, religious, and political differences have often led to disturbances
between parts of these communities. The Turkish government has a large amount
of influence in Germany through the DITIB network that oversees mosques and
educational organizations, and is one of the largest Islamic organizations in
Germany; it also maintains links with the Grey Wolves, an extreme-right group.
Many Kurdish opposition groups have strong representation in Germany, including
the banned PKK. A number of DITIB mosques experienced firebomb attacks in
response to the Turkish military entering Syria in 2018. Many German cities
have the potential to experience trouble between members of the Turkish and
Kurdish populations, which can occur without warning. This was demonstrated in
Wiesbaden in August 2018, when officials were forced to remove a golden statue
of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 24 hours after its installation due
to a series of incidents raising fears of a serious escalation.
have been numerous press reports describing disturbances and conflicts between
different religious and ethnic groups within the numerous refugee centers
throughout Germany. To date, however, these conflicts have not noticeably
spilled into the general community.
recorded 2,032 anti-Semitic crimes in Germany in 2019,
an increase of 13% over 2018, which itself had seen a strong rise
in reported crimes. The vast majority of incidents were non-violent and involved
far-right propaganda or illegal statements made online. Nonetheless, the
authorities are concerned about the trend, which has drawn considerable press
attention. Police also recorded 121 anti-Christian and 910 anti-Muslim crimes
during 2018. One example for the former was a refugee stabbing another refugee
for wearing a crucifix. Vandalism and arson attacks are frequently reported at
mosques. Authorities attribute most Islamophobic crimes involve the extreme
right, but press reports indicate other motivations including ethnic disputes
or mental illness may be behind some incidents.
arrival of around 1.3 million refugees and asylum seekers in 2015-16 continues
to be controversial, particularly in the states of the former eastern Germany.
Demonstrations related to the German refugee policy, both for and against,
continue to occur frequently throughout Germany. Anti-refugee demonstrations,
frequently related to neo-Nazi and PEGIDA movements, have been particularly
problematic at times, resulting in violent confrontations with police
authorities. PEGIDA, whose name is a German acronym for the “Patriot Europeans
against the Islamization of the West,” is an anti-Islamic political movement
which is part of a network of similar groups across the country. Such protests
often attract counter protestors, forcing the police to intervene to keep the
sides apart due to the high risk of violence.
with an anti-U.S. sentiment remain common in Germany but are most always
nonviolent. Numerous demonstrations in 2017, 2018, and 2019 protested President
Trump and U.S. foreign policy, to include withdrawal from the Paris Climate
Accord and the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the
Iran Nuclear Deal), as well as the administration’s decision to relocate the
U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. U.S. military actions in the
Middle East, and U.S. involvement in Syria, continue to spark interest and are
often the primary reason for anti-U.S. protests in Germany.
from coal-burning utilities and industries contribute to air pollution. Find real-time
air quality readings online.
Acid rain from sulfur dioxide emissions is damaging forests. Germany experiences
pollution issues in the Baltic Sea from raw sewage and industrial effluent from
rivers in the eastern part of the country.
Economic Concerns/Intellectual Property Theft
German economy – the fifth largest in the world and Europe's largest – is a
leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and household equipment.
Germany benefits from a highly skilled labor force, but, like its Western
European neighbors, faces significant demographic challenges to sustained
long-term growth. Low fertility rates and a large increase in net immigration
are increasing pressure on the country's social welfare system.
ranks high in the Global Innovation Index, a ranking of world economies based
on innovation capabilities.Germany ranks 9th among the 50
high-income economies, and 7th among the 39 economies in Europe, on the 2019 GII.
The topic of sexual molestation
and assault has risen in profile in Germany in recent years. The mass sexual
assaults in Cologne and other sexual assaults carried out by migrants sparked a
debate about how migrants were adapting to Germany’s social and sexual norms. Following
events in Cologne in 2015, authorities have taken a more robust and
proactive approach to policing and securing large public events, even
introducing a “women’s safety zone” to further combat and respond to the issue.
Throughout the year, there were multiple reports of inappropriate behavior by
suspected refugees at public pools and spas. The alleged behavior involves, but
was not limited to, harassment and unwanted physical contact. The #metoo
movement and cases such as the 2018 discovery of a child sex abuse ring based
on a campground in Luegde involving over 40 victims and lasting over ten years
also contributed to a wider debate about the problem amongst the population in
general. Regular reports have highlighted the problem of sexual assault and
molestation at large events such as the Oktoberfest in Munich. Subsequently,
large increases in certain sexual crime types were reported but it is unclear
to what level the law changes have obscured the true trends. German police have
also stated that victims were reporting sexual crimes to a greater extent as a
result of the #metoo debate. In 2018, 9,234 cases of sexual violence against
men and women were reported to police. Review the State Department’s webpage on
security for female travelers.
Same-sex marriage is available in
Germany. The LGBTI community is protected by federal anti-discrimination laws
and LGBTI Pride events are officially encouraged by most large city
governments, including those in Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and
Munich. There have been reports of assaults or harassment based on other
factors including sexual orientation. Reports from Berlin show that LGBTI+-related
crimes have risen each year since 2015. State prosecutors led 97 investigations
in that year, but by 2016 the number had risen to 261. These statistics only
include reported crimes which meet the threshold for an investigation and
reports suggest the majority of LGBTI+-related crimes go unreported. The
anti-violence project Maneo recorded 382 attacks against LGBTI+ persons in
Berlin in 2018, a rise of 58 from the previous year. In 2013, the BKA counted
50 violent LGBTI+-related crimes across Germany. By 2018 the number was 97, and
in the first six months of 2019, the number had already reached 58. Transgender
persons must have a diagnosis as “mentally ill” to obtain legal gender
recognition. Review the State Department’s webpage on security for LGBTI+ travelers.
There are numerous reports of anti-Semitic,
anti-Muslim, and anti-Christian incidents across Germany. These include
assaults, verbal harassment, threats, discrimination, and vandalism. Jewish
groups expressed security concerns after several widely publicized anti-Semitic
acts, including a gunman’s attack on Yom Kippur that killed two individuals
outside a synagogue in Halle. Federal crime statistics for 2018 cited nearly
1,800 anti-Semitic crimes during the year, an overall increase of 20% from 2017;
69 of those crimes involved violence. The federal crime statistics attributed
89% of anti-Semitic crimes in 2018 to the far right, but the federal
anti-Semitism commissioner expressed concern over methodology that attributed
to the far right all incidents in which the perpetrator was not identified,
stating that the country’s Jewish community experienced more open hostility
from Muslims than from other groups. In May, responding to what he stated was
the rising number of anti-Semitic incidents in the country, he said he could
“no longer recommend Jews wear a kippah at every time and place in
Germany.” Demonstrations occurred expressing anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic
sentiment. Certain states continued to ban or restrict the use of religious
clothing or symbols, including headscarves, for some state employees. Authorities
also monitor the Church of Scientology (COS), which reports continued
government discrimination against its members. Review OSAC’s report, Freedom to Practice, and the State Department’s
webpage on security for faith-based travelers.
Many existing buildings and public
transportation systems are less adapted to individuals with disabilities. Check
your hotel or destination to learn more about options to accommodate disabled
traveler needs before visiting Germany. The German Hotel and Restaurant
and the German Hotel Association (IHA)
maintain directories of accessible accommodations. German airports and Lufthansa
offer services for disabled travelers. German National Railway, Deutsche Bahn,
maintains a mobility resource webpage. You can find more information on
accessibility by visiting the German National Tourist Board website.
Review the State Department’s webpage on security for travelers with disabilities.
of members of racial minorities such as Roma remained a problem throughout the
country. In March statistics from the Federal Ministry of the Interior reported
a 54 percent rise in attacks on Sinti and Roma in 2018. The ministry considers
all but five of the crimes as right-wing, and of 36 suspects identified, 32
belonged to the extreme right spectrum. The Federal Interior Ministry stated,
“even if the number of cases increased compared to 2017, they are still at a
very low level.” The head of the Sinti and Roma Council, Romani Rose,
suggested, however, that many crimes against Sinti and Roma go unreported.
drugs, particularly cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and marijuana, remain widely
available in Germany. The illegal sale and distribution of these and other
drugs often occur near major train stations, public parks, and nightclubs.
While drug-related activity does not usually affect U.S. tourists or business
travelers, Germany has the same types of drug-related crime as those
encountered in any major U.S. city. In many cities, there has been a notable
increase in violent crime directly associated with the selling of drugs in
is a source of precursor chemicals for South American cocaine processors, and a
transshipment point for and consumer of
Southwest Asian heroin, Latin American cocaine, and European-produced synthetic
has strict customs regulations concerning temporary importation or exportation
of firearms, military artifacts (particularly those of World War II), antiques,
medications/pharmaceuticals, and business equipment. Under German law it is
also illegal to bring into or take out of Germany any literature, music, or
paraphernalia that glorifies fascism, the Nazi past, or the “Third Reich.” Read
the State Department’s webpage on customs
and import restrictions for information on what you
cannot take into or out of other countries.
emergency line in Germany is 110. There are two primary police agencies within Germany: the Bundespolizei
(Federal Police, BKA) and the Landespolizei (State Police, LKA). For
local first responders, refer to the Embassy’s Emergency
Assistance page. Download the State Department’s Crime Victims Assistance brochure.
The LKA is the local police agency responsible for traffic
accidents, investigating crimes, enforcing local laws and ordinances, and
responding to local emergencies in a particular state in Germany, of which
Germany has sixteen. The Landespolizei is the primary law enforcement agency
that individuals may encounter in the cities and villages in Germany.
The BKA is the federal police agency responsible for higher-level
law enforcement actions, such as ambassadorial and head-of-state protection,
national-level crime investigation (terrorist-related), collecting and
analyzing national crime data, and other issues of national importance. Other
duties include train and S-Bahn security.
LKA and BKA share responsibility for internal and border security. The states’
police forces report to their respective interior ministries; the federal
police forces report to the Federal Interior Ministry. The Federal Office for
the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s domestic security agency)
and the state offices for the protection of the constitution (LfV) are
responsible for gathering intelligence on threats to domestic order and other
security functions. The BfV reports to the Federal Interior Ministry, and the LfVs
report to their respective state interior ministries.
medical emergency line in Germany is 112. Germany has good medical care and facilities, and has
several university hospitals that provide state-of-the-art medical care in most
fields of medicine, including advanced cardiac surgery.
contact information for available medical services and available air ambulance
services on the U.S.
you are not a resident of Germany, doctors and hospitals may expect immediate
payment in cash. Most doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies do not accept credit cards.
The U.S. Department of State strongly recommends purchasing international
health insurance before traveling internationally. Review the State Department’s
webpage on insurance
traveling with prescription medication, check with the German
Government to ensure the medication is legal in Germany. Due to Germany’s
strict customs regulations you may not receive prescription medication by mail
without special permission. For more information please visit the German
regarding medicine. Always, carry your prescription medication in original
packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
The risk of tick-borne encephalitis (FSME in German) exists throughout
southern Germany, including the Black Forest regions of Baden-Wuertemberg,
Freiburg, and along the Bavarian borders with the Czech Republic and Austria.
Risk also exists around Stuttgart, Heidelberg, and Nuremburg. Transmission
season is March-November. Ensure vaccinations are current before prolonged
stays that include hiking, camping, or similar outdoor activities in rural
wooded regions. The FSME vaccine is only available in Europe and by special
release in Canada. Exercise anti-tick precautions.
The CDC offers additional information on
vaccines and health guidance for Germany.
Review OSAC’s reports, The Healthy Way, Traveling with Medication, I’m Drinking What in My Water?, Shaken: The Don’ts of Alcohol Abroad, Health 101: How to Prepare for
Travel, and Fire Safety Abroad.
OSAC Country Council
There is an active Country Council in Munich. Contact OSAC’s Europe
team for more information or to join.
Königinstraße 5, 80539
Regular hours: 0800 –
1200, 1300 – 1600, Monday – Friday 1200, 1300-1600 Monday-Friday (closed on
German and U.S. holidays, and last Thursday of every month)
Other U.S. Diplomatic Posts In Germany
- Embassy Berlin,
Pariser Platz 2, 10117 Berlin; Consular Annex,
Clayallee 170, 14195 Berlin. +49-30-8305-0. Emergencies: +49-30-8305-1200.
10, 40227 Düsseldorf, Germany. +49-211-788-89-27.
Str. 30, 60435 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. +49-69-7535-0.
Hamburg, Alsterufer 27/28, 20354 Hamburg, Germany. +49-40-411-71-100.
Leipzig, Wilhelm-Seyfferth-Straße 4, 04107 Leipzig, Germany.
you travel, consider the following resources: