• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Train drivers plead against suicide on the tracks

DDP/The Local · 22 Nov 2009, 14:03

Published: 22 Nov 2009 14:03 GMT+01:00

After national football goalkeeper Robert Enke killed himself on November 10 by putting himself in the path of a train, increased attention has been focussed on clinical depression, from which he suffered.

But Lutz Schreiber, head of the drivers’ union in northern Germany told weekly magazine Focus that it should also be recognised that choosing to use a train to commit suicide was unfair.

He said the decision to commit suicide was “a private decision which must be respected.” But he added, “Train drivers suffer terribly when the railway is abused in this way to take life.”

Statistics show that train drivers could expect to be unwillingly involved in two or three suicides during their career, he said.

The shock, horror and feelings of guilt experienced by train drivers put in this position were not to be underestimated, he added.

This was also mentioned during a church service shortly after Enke’s death. Hannover state evangelical bishop Margot Käßmann said, “We cannot pretend otherwise – this is a very brutal death.”

Story continues below…

She called for those at the service to consider train drivers. “Our counsellors could tell you much about what it means to be such a train driver, or to have to collect body parts after such an accident. That must in no way be made to look better than it is.”

Adolf Merckle, a billionaire businessman whose business empire which included pharmaceutical firm Ratiopharm, killed himself early this year by throwing himself in front of a train after his company hit serious financial problems.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

04:42 November 23, 2009 by parografik
"Hmmm...opportunism...I wonder if the train drivers' union is planning on negotiations soon."

It's a shame this should be starting the discussion. I know a number of conductors on our commuter line, and they say this (suicide by train) is inevitable, but dreaded by all of the engineers. They recently did an article on this in our local paper (NY Newsday), which said pretty much what this Union is asserting. I certainly don't see it as "opportunism," but perhaps a desperate plea that hopefully echoes in the thoughts of of people trying to leave this world, whatever the reason for that might be.

Happened to hear one terribly competent but arrogant person say recently, upon hearing the news of an excellent local doctor's botched suicide attempt, "he even screwed that up." I find this type of talk not just slanderous, but more importantly, dismissive of the life of this wonderful doctor and the unknown circumstances of his situation and life. There but for the grace...
08:26 November 23, 2009 by Johnne
I beg my western brothers and sisters to stop this disastrous act. I´m half nigerian/german & what I found amazing the last time I went to africa after loosing a girlfriend in the UK to sucide was that, even though the level of peverty/hardship in some parts of the continent, commiting sucide is a "no-go area" no one sees it as a solution..or something to even think of. I believe we can learn from one another as-per mental strength. Some people don´t even have 3square meals over there, they still make sure they hustle & survive.Thanx
00:41 November 24, 2009 by Stuart1977
'By all means kill yourself, just go and do it somewhere else'
Today's headlines
President who pioneered Moscow ties dies aged 97
Former Cold War President of West Germany Walter Scheel. Photo: DPA.

Former West German president Walter Scheel, who helped pave the way for his country's rapprochement with the communist East, has died aged 97, his party's spokesman said on Wednesday.

Former East to lag behind West for years to come: study
Poverty in eastern Germany. File photo: DPA

Eastern Germany remains economically anaemic with little prospect of catching up with the rest of the country by 2030, a study published on Wednesday said.

Turkey's spy network in Germany 'thicker than Stasi's'
Photo: DPA.

Turkey has around 6,000 informants working in Germany, which experts say means they're each monitoring more people than the Stasi did in West Germany during the Cold War.

Germany's first 'intelligent' bridge to open in Nuremberg
File photo: DPA

An €11 million bridge, which is nearing completion in northern Bavaria, is set to include technology never seen before on the German Autobahn.

Stockpile food in case of attack, Germany tells citizens
Photo: DPA

Germany on Wednesday urged its population to stockpile food and water in case of terrorist or cyber attacks, as it adopted its first civil defence strategy since the end of the Cold War.

Ten injured after freight train crashes into bus in Osnabrück
The crash site in Osnabrück. Photo: DPA

A freight train crashed into a bus in Osnabrück on Wednesday morning, leaving several people badly injured, local media report.

Man wins ten-year court battle over €2.50 surcharge
Photo: DPA

An Austrian man has won a ten year court battle over an extra €2.50 he was asked to pay to get into a swimming pool in Bavaria a decade ago.

In Pictures
Düsseldorf swoons as Prince William comes for royal visit
'Well hello Mr. Prince'. Photo: DPA.

Prince William paid a visit to the Rhineland city of Düsseldorf on Wednesday to celebrate the state of North Rhine-Westphalia's 70th birthday. Here's a look at his royal stay.

Brexit
Frankfurt attempts to charm banks away from London
Frankfurt am Main. Photo: DPA

Germany's finance capital has spotted an opportunity with the Brexit-wary banking beasts of the Square Mile.

How did this bike end up on top of Berlin’s Molecule Man?
A professional climber 'rescuing' the bike hanging from the Molecule Man. Photo: DPA.

Berliners are still scratching their heads over how a bicycle ended up dangling from the capital’s iconic statue.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,647
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd