On tuesday afternoon, the chairwoman of the carnival club "die heiligen stadtschnecken" (the holy city snails) reached out to tuchel in heiligenstadt, andrea hertling, an emotional voice message. Desperate, kathrin hofmann and her boyfriend patrick hubschmann asked for help because they were stranded in cambodia. The two had on 8. Marz started a two-week vacation to cambodia and could not take their return flight planned for last sunday because of the corona crisis.
"Kathrin is a guard girl with us, so we naturally put ourselves out there", says andrea hertling. The club members contacted therefore the bamberger CSU landtagsabgeordneter holger dremel, which turned with its office leader raimund domsz also immediately to the auswartige office. With success: kathrin hofmann and patrick hubschmann landed safely in brussel from cambodia on thursday. With a rented car it went from there to frankfurt and from there with the own car back to the homeland.
Cambodia not on the list
Kathrin hofmann is a dancer in the margrave guard, whose trainer is lydia weib. The latter was shocked by the news: "you probably hear about such things happening, but when it affects someone you know, it’s really bad." The board immediately took action and contacted friends and members of the association. "That’s the beauty of our association: we stick together", swarm lydia female. Holger dremel’s efforts at the foreign office did not initially seem to be crowned with success.
Dremel wrote to kathrin hofmann that cambodia was not on the list of countries to receive rucksacks. But he encouraged her and her boyfriend and told them to keep at it, that he also wanted to continue to struggle. And they did. "We were every day at the counter of thai airways, because we had booked a new return flight for saturday. Now we know that there will not be, because from friday thai airways wants to stop the flight operation", tells kathrin hofmann. You were contacted by the german embassy on wednesday and told that you don’t need another lab test for the return flight after all. "I believe that the regulations were relaxed because of pressure from germany", says kathrin hofmann.
So they went back to the airline counter with a doctor’s certificate and an insurance certificate and asked again and again if there was no possibility of a return flight. The statement, however, was that the planes were completely booked up. "We waited on the staff for three hours. They finally offered us a flight to brussel", reports kathrin hofmann. She and her boyfriend first called the foreign office to ask if it would be all right if they flew to brussel. "They said that they were happy about every german who came."
Ten out of 120 got a return flight
At the airport in phnom penh, the two said goodbye to the rest of the stranded people: "we were happy that we were allowed to fly, but we were also sad that others had to stay behind. I hope that the politicians will stick to their guns and help them too." That day, ten of the 120 stranded people in kathrin hofmann’s and patrick hubschmann’s group were able to get a return flight. The two were horrified because there were still empty seats on the plane. When they landed in brussel, they were still worried about whether they would be allowed to enter germany. "But that was no problem. We were simply waved through at the border." Now they are happy that they are back home again. "Many people don’t realize how good we have it here in germany, despite the restrictions. And how well we are taken care of", says patrick hubschmann and still wants to thank all those who helped.
Further outreach to stranded people
"I am also happy that they are back home safe and sound and that I was able to be a small part of the relief effort", says holger dremel. He also wants to continue to help the rest of the stranded people. "Something is already happening, because from the day before yesterday to yesterday alone, ten countries were put on the return list." The member of the state parliament accompanies several of such actions and says: "we are not too shy to constantly ask the foreign office about it."
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