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It is very important that you are aware that according to Section § 323c of the Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch) your are obliged to help a person in need. You can either call 112 (national emergency number) and 110 (The police) to get assistance. 

Section 323c
1. Failure to render assistance; obstruction of persons rendering assistance1) Whoever does not render assistance in the case of an accident or a common danger or emergency although it is necessary and can reasonably be expected under the circumstances, in particular if it is possible without substantial danger to that person and without breaching other important duties, incurs a penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or a fine.

2. Whoever obstructs a person who is rendering or wishes to render assistance to another person in such a situation incurs the same penalty.

German

(1) Wer bei Unglücksfällen oder gemeiner Gefahr oder Not nicht Hilfe leistet, obwohl dies erforderlich und ihm den Umständen nach zuzumuten, insbesondere ohne erhebliche eigene Gefahr und ohne Verletzung anderer wichtiger Pflichten möglich ist, wird mit Freiheitsstrafe bis zu einem Jahr oder mit Geldstrafe bestraft.

(2) Ebenso wird bestraft, wer in diesen Situationen eine Person behindert, die einem Dritten Hilfe leistet oder leisten will.
 

What does this mean?

According to bussgeldkatalog.org

“StGB: Section 323c regulates failure to provide assistance.
Failure to provide assistance, legally standardized in § 323c StGB, is a so-called genuine omission offense. In contrast to the bogus omission offenses, this is expressly regulated as an act of omission.

The purpose of the standard is to ensure a general duty of solidarity. Anyone who is able to provide help should do so if an accident occurs.

The penalty for failure to provide assistance is imprisonment of up to one year or a fine. It is therefore a misdemeanor and not a crime. The latter is a criminal offense, the minimum of which is punishable by imprisonment of one year or more. If the range of punishment is below this, there is talk of an offense. Paragraph 1 of Section 323c of the Criminal Code states:

Anyone who does not provide help in the event of an accident or common danger or need, although this is necessary and can be expected from the circumstances, in particular without significant personal risk and without violating other important obligations, will be punished with imprisonment for up to one year or with a fine.

There are numerous examples of failure to provide assistance. Classic situations are those in which a person has been injured as a result of an accident and a passer-by remains inactive without providing first aid or alerting rescue workers.

Failure to provide assistance can also be considered if witnesses of bodily harm fail to take the measures outlined above, although they would have been able to do so without further ado.”

 

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German laws and regulations

Disclaimer The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. You should consult a

The Federal Office of Civil Protection (BKK) suggests that you keep certain items in your house so that you can be prepared in a disaster situation. Such situations can occur unexpectedly, especially during extreme weather conditions like heavy rainfall, snowstorms, or flooding. Therefore, it is essential to have adequate supplies that can last for an extended period of time. Thus, it is recommended that you keep items such as non-perishable food items, bottled water, first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, radio, and blankets.
Additionally, ensure that you have access to important documents like identification papers, insurance policies, and emergency contact lists. Being prepared can make all the difference in times of crisis.

National Emergency Number -112

The national emergency number is 112 and it is crucial to memorise this number in case of emergencies. It is not only important for your safety but could also save someone else’s life. That being said, our website has a comprehensive section dedicated to providing you with a list of all the emergency numbers available in your area. 

NINA App

It is highly recommended to install the Nina app (Notfall-Informations- und Nachrichten) from the BKK (Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz und Katastrophenhilfe) for your safety and security in any emergency situation. By utilizing the Nina app, you can stay informed and receive vital updates about any potential dangers or threats and take appropriate actions accordingly. 

Good to know

  • Smoke detectors –  is mandatory in most states to have a smoke detector in your bedroom.
  • As power failures are very likely in extreme weather, the BKK (Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance) has great tips on how to prepare for the loss of power.
  • A manual on how to prepare and what to do during a disaster situation can be downloaded in German here, and also in English.
  • A person can manage for three weeks without food but only four days without water or liquids.
  • In all 16 Federal States, potassium iodide tablets (iodine tablets) are stocked by the disaster control authorities.

Below are some items on the list from the BBK that they suggest you have in your house. 
You can download the complete list of suggestions here 

Food and drinks - plan for 10 days per person

Medical Items

Hygiene Items

Fire prevention

Power loss

Communications

There are many more suggestions on the list for example make sure to have important documents, such as identification, insurance papers, and copies of important medical records in a waterproof and portable container. It is also recommended to have an emergency bag ready and stocked with essentials like clothes, blankets, and other necessary items. Being prepared can make all the difference in a crisis. Stay safe!

Obligation to assist a person in need

It is very important to remember that in Germany, you have moral and legal obligations to help a person in need, as stated in Section § 323c of the Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch). Helping others is not just a moral duty, but also a social responsibility that we should all take seriously.

(1) Wer bei Unglücksfällen oder gemeiner Gefahr oder Not nicht Hilfe leistet, obwohl dies erforderlich und ihm den Umständen nach zuzumuten, insbesondere ohne erhebliche eigene Gefahr und ohne Verletzung anderer wichtiger Pflichten möglich ist, wird mit Freiheitsstrafe bis zu einem Jahr oder mit Geldstrafe bestraft.
(2) Ebenso wird bestraft, wer in diesen Situationen eine Person behindert, die einem Dritten Hilfe leistet oder leisten will.
 
Translation of Section 323c

Failure to render assistance; obstruction of persons rendering assistance
1.  Whoever does not render assistance in the case of an accident or a common danger or emergency although it is necessary and can reasonably be expected under the circumstances, in particular, if it is possible without substantial danger to that person and without breaching other important duties, incurs a penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or a fine.
2. Whoever obstructs a person who is rendering or wishes to assist another person in such a situation incurs the same penalty.

Emergencies – Assisting someone else

It is very important that you are aware that according to Section § 323c of the Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch) your are obliged to help a person in need. You can either call 112 (national emergency number) and 110 (The police) to get assistance.  Section 323c1. Failure to render assistance; obstruction

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