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Visit of an Israel Barak Course at the FHPol

Im Gespräch mit Innenminister Karl-Heinz Schröter (Bildmitte)

The Barak (Hebrew for lightning) course in December 2018 consists of 27 police officers of Israel who have already distinguished themselves for their outstanding performance and are intended for higher duties within the police hierarchy. Head of the course was Major General Doron Yedid, in charge of the traffic police in Israel, who was accompanied by Major General Jamal Hakroosh, the first Arabian police general of the Israeli police. This extraordinary group was the first who could use the new annual rhythm – up until 2017 this event took place in Germany only every second year. Maybe a sign, that our agenda in the past has been seen as a helpful event for police officers?!

The welcoming of the guests at the airport in Berlin Schönefeld was already a quite warm on – despite the cold weather. It already showed how firm the cooperation between Israel and Brandenburg has become over the years. After the arrival the group drove to our University in Oranienburg, then a little snack, followed by a trip to Berlin with a visit to the Christmas fair at the Breitscheidplatz, a dinner in Berlin and then the well-deserved rest for the guests after a very long day. The programme was colourful and had a lot of different aspects of police work according to the official requests and priorities of the participants.

Besichtigung von Technik

The programme (without going through every single day now) included a general introduction to the internal security of the Federal Republic of Germany, the police structures, ranks and careers and the particularities of the Brandenburg police. The numerous questions were seen as a sign of high interest of the guests. Since not all visitors (and some of the German lecturers) spoke English and the Hebrew of the hosts did not exist, an interpreter for German – Hebrew was used for some topics. That proved to be very helpful for the various lecturers and trainers.

What was on the agenda? At the Israeli Embassy, the officers were informed about the current German/ Israeli relations, the police station in Oranienburg was visited and brought them closer to the structure and operation of a typical German police station (and it could be credibly explained that the tables are adjustable in height for standing and sitting and were not intended as no punishment for the officers to work in a standing position), one of our such called Sonderüberwachungsgruppe (being responsible for special transports on the road) made a terrific show of their options, starting from a welcome sign in Hebrew, a music reception by the orchestra of the Federal Police and explaining all the different vehicles and resources – it was just awesome.

The Minister of the Interior, Mr. Karl-Heinz Schröter, did not hesitate (as well as in 2015) to personally invite our colleagues from Israel to a dinner, which was also used for a lot of discussions and deepened the good cooperation.

The visit to the Special Investigation Office in Eberswalde was unfortunately too short to include all thehighly interesting information, especially in the field of forensics.

As with every Barak-course, this group also conducted a fascinating and highly emotional ceremony with music, prayers and speeches at the Sachsenhausen Memorial – also involving the President of the University of Applied Police Sciences. The ceremony was also watched in awe by many civilian visitors.

Vorführung Wasserwerfer

Of course, the Brandenburg Police Headquarters also peaked interest: Vice-President welcomed the group and the Head of the riot police arranged an impressive show. SWAT team (SEK) tasks were additionally explained and the lecturer (whose name may not be mentioned for obvious reasons) was confronted with many questions, which he could answer satisfactorily.

A visit to the police in Berlin-Wilmersdorf followed, where the Head gave an introduction to a police station in Germanys capital, which was supported by statements of the police pastor about the burdens of a police job.

A visit to the Reichstag is always a ‘must’ and afterwards, the Christmas fair at the Alexanderplatz was an important milestone, just like the shops around it.

On the last working day, a visit to the Springer-Publishing-House in Berlin was a more extraordinary part of the week’s agenda.

Being Friday, the evening was marked by a visit to the synagogue in Berlin.

The Saturday was available for individual activities in Germany and on Sunday morning the group was taken back to the airport Schönefeld. The farewell was an expression of a wonderful tradition between the Brandenburg and Israel Police forces.

Lehitraot, hachaverim (Good-bye, friends).