2. BILD-Flutstammtisch in Ahrweiler: “You can’t be a child here anymore”


Three months ago the flood of death devastated large parts of the Ahr valley. What has happened since then? What has gotten better? Where is the shoe pinching?

BILD is still on site (including a flood office), listening to the people: Editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt and the editorial team invited 45 flood victims and helpers to the second flood readers’ table in the destroyed “Eifelstube” restaurant (specially prepared for the evening) in Bad Neuenahr- Ahrweiler a.

The mood: despair, disappointment and frustration.

► Bureaucracy madness: If you apply for flood aid on the Internet, you will not get any further if the number of the lost identity card is not known.

► Private help centers have to give way (are only tolerated) because the disaster no longer applies.

► Authorities seem overwhelmed, there is a lack of clerks for assistance requests.

Read here about the major problems victims and helpers have to struggle with. BILD promises: We will continue to report with our reporters from the Ahr.

“It is impossible to be a child in this disaster.”

Little Mylo (9) stands sadly on the sports field in front of his former elementary school in Altenburg. The ground has been torn open, there is mud everywhere, the football goal nets are torn. Behind him: the gym in danger of collapsing. “I miss my friends,” the fourth grader tells BILD.



Little Mylo in front of a sports field in Altenburg that was destroyed by the floodPhoto: Fabian Matzerath

Because the flood not only destroyed Altenburg, it also tore Mylo’s class group apart. His friends were divided into different schools, and he hardly sees many of them because of the long ways to school.


Jennifer Knappert vented her anger at the BILD flood table

Jennifer Knappert vented her anger at the BILD flood tablePhoto: Patric Fouad

Play together in the afternoon? “There’s no place for that,” complains his mom Jennifer Knappert (37). The nurse is desperate and feels left alone by the authorities. “My son has had to play on rubble for months. It is impossible to be a child in this disaster. ”

Her concern: “The children are becoming solitary and no longer want to play outside. It’s going towards depression. Corona was already bad – but the flood still tops it all. “

The madness about the construction aid applications

When the tide came, the water masses destroyed his cellar and the underground car park. Damage: over 50,000 euros! Since then, Matthias Viehfeger (50) from Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler has been fighting with the authorities for money for the reconstruction.


Matthias Viehfeger (50) from Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler at the BILD flood get-together

Matthias Viehfeger (50) from Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler at the BILD flood get-togetherPhoto: Fabian Matzerath

He to BILD: “I had to apply for help online. The form for it – not thought out. For example, you will be asked for your identity card number or tax ID – but many have lost these documents due to the flood!

If you do not enter data correctly, you will not go to the next page. In this way, people are encouraged to give false information. You can also not click that you had a basement apartment. “

“The city wants me to take money from flood victims!”

Zeliha Atac (45) cooks for up to 1000 people a day in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler. A few days ago a representative from the city told her that she should soon receive a salary from the city for working in the tent – but would have to take five euros from everyone who gets food there.


Childminder Zeliha Atac (45) helps where she can

Childminder Zeliha Atac (45) helps wherever she canPhoto: Patric Fouad

In turn, she should use the proceeds to support a restaurateur from the city. You: “I’m not doing that. I can’t take money from people who have lost so much! ”

The city did not respond to BILD’s request.

“Thanks to BILD we have our school again!”

Hans Jakob Zmudczynski (63), pensioner and helper from Berg-Freisheim: “Our children would have had to go to school in Adenau – more than an hour’s drive through the disaster area, through rubble, rubble and ashes!”


Hans Jakob Zmudczynski (63) in the BILD flood office

Hans Jakob Zmudczynski (63) at the BILD FlutstammtischPhoto: Patric Fouad

“The school in Berg has been closed for many years. After I contacted BILD, it has now been reactivated. Now lessons are taking place here again until the container school in Ringen is completed in mid-November. “

“Thanks to BILD something has moved”

Rosa Chtioui (49), artist promoter and helper from Daun (Eifel) came to the regular readers’ table and said: “A lot has changed with us – also thanks to BILD!”


Rosa Chtioui (49) is happy about the help

Rosa Chtioui (49) is happy about the helpPhoto: Patric Fouad

“A lot is only possible with external pressure. On Saturday we should finally get a heated tent in Altenburg for helpers and those affected – we have waited a long time for that. “

“I want to do my part to help”

She captures the catastrophe in pictures for which there are no words. A few days after the flood, Annette Baumgartner (47) came to Ahrweiler to help a friend shovel the mud.


Annette Baumgartner with her illustrated book (to be bought at: https://annett-baumgartner.de)

Annette Baumgartner with her illustrated book (to be bought at: https://annett-baumgartner.de)Photo: Karsten Socher Photography

The amateur photographer began to record her impressions. The result is the illustrated book “Stille Zeitzeugen”. “I want to make my contribution with the book and support those affected,” she says to BILD. “It is also a document of the times.”

The book costs 28 euros, of which 12.50 euros go directly to those affected.

“People will die”

Energy consultant Michael Schäfer (58) warned at the regular readers’ table: “The cold makes you aware. Many people who sit in their cold apartments and houses in winter will then start to think about what they have experienced.

People will die if we don’t take care now and give them heating and a warm home! People will freeze to death! I now want to buy infrared heaters with the help of BILD so that nobody dies of pneumonia. “


Michael Schäfer (58) has no confidence in politics

Michael Schäfer (58) has no confidence in politicsPhoto: Patric Fouad

In Zülpich, the entrepreneur has turned a disco into a free discounter for those affected: “Around 100 people come every day. Many are ashamed of having to accept help. Many also starve at home because they do not dare! There are children who wake up screaming at night because they were standing meters high in the water. We cannot wait for politics to help people. Only our cooperation helps. “

Schäfer continues: “If we didn’t have the many private helpers in Germany, we’d be screwed. If you rely on politics, you are left. “

We fight for you!

“BILD fights for you” campaigns for flood victims – for example for Dennis Beyers (35) from Rheinbach (North Rhine-Westphalia): The entrepreneur transports horses. The flood washed away tractors and trucks. Fortunately, he is insured, but the insurance company refuses to pay.

Wrong reason: The destroyed vehicle must be examined. But nobody knows where it is. BILD promises: We will fight for you with insurance.


Transport entrepreneur Dennis Beyers is fighting for his existence

Transport entrepreneur Dennis Beyers is fighting for his existencePhoto: Patric Fouad

Do you need help too? Send an email to bild-kaempft@bild.de or a WhatsApp message to 0171/9592211!

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