Woman says police made her draw milk from breast at Frankfurt Airport

Germany's federal police are having to fight off an accusation that has made international headlines - that a woman passing through Frankfurt Airport was made to prove that she was lactating.

Woman says police made her draw milk from breast at Frankfurt Airport
Photo: DPA

The woman from Singapore told the BBC that police grew suspicious when they saw that she was travelling with a  breast pump but without her baby while she was passing through security at the airport.

The 33-year-old said she was ordered into a room where she was questioned by a female police officer. The police officer asked her to prove she was lactating by opening her blouse and drawing milk from her breast, according to the Singaporean business woman's account.

The woman, who has a seven-month old baby who she had left behind in Singapore, said that she complied with the request out of uncertainty as to what would happen to her if she refused.

But after the incident was over, she said she was left traumatized and began to cry as it dawned on her what had happened.

Germany’s federal police, who are responsible for guarding the country’s borders, have denied that the incident took place.

“The demand for a woman to prove that she was lactating simply didn’t happen,” a spokesperson told the Frankfurter Rundschau.

The spokesperson confirmed that the woman was stopped at the security control due to the fact that she had a breast pump in her hand luggage and that she was taken aside for further questioning.

He would not comment on whether she was asked to undress.

Initially the federal police refused to comment on the specific case, while stating that making a woman lactate would contravene their security check guidelines.

The Singaporean business woman is now considering taking legal action against the federal police.

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These are the plans for affordable (and sustainable) housing at Berlin’s former Tegel airport

Berlin’s city government has announced plans to build 5,000 apartments - all made of wood - on the site of Tegel airport, which was closed down for good at the beginning of November.

These are the plans for affordable (and sustainable) housing at Berlin's former Tegel airport
An artists impression of the new Schumacher Quarter. Source: Tegel Projekt GmbH

“From 2021, the largest timber construction district in the world, with over 5,000 apartments, will be built in the eastern area of the former Tegel airport,” said Berlin’s housing senator Sebastian Scheel (Linke).

The new district will be called the the Schumacher Quarter.

Scheel pledged that the new housing will be both climate neutral and affordable.

“From research and development, to material production and construction, everything will takes place in one place. This could help urban timber construction to achieve a breakthrough,” said Scheel.

He added that the aim was to make the timber housing for cities 20 to 25 percent cheaper to construct than a traditional build with reinforced concrete.

Photo: DPA

The project will be overseen by the Tegel Projekt GmbH, a company entirely owned by the city of Berlin.

The city will be hoping that the project goes more smoothly than the last state-run airport build. The disastrous construction of Berlin’s new Berlin Brandenburg (BER) international airport took a decade longer than planned.

READ ALSO: Berlin Brandenburg (BER) International Airport to finally open after nine-year delay

There is still some work to do on the site before construction can begin.

“Contaminated areas and military explosives need to be removed before it starts. The first ground work is already underway,” said Scheel. Construction on the building is scheduled to begin in 2024.

“According to current planning, the education campus and the first residential buildings in the Schumacher Quarter will be ready in 2027, the last ones in the early 2030s”, he said.

The new quarter is expected to provide homes for 10,000 residents of the capital. 

Another residential build on the site of the old airport is set to bring 4,000 more apartments into a city which is plagued by a shortage of living space.

The Tegel Projekt GmbH also wants to bring together founders, students, investors, industrialists and scientists in a new urban space. 

The Urban Tech Republic will be home to up to 1,000 different companies, and there are also plans to turn the current Terminal A into a university campus.

READ MORE: What's next for Berlin's Tegel airport?