“Don’t leave your luggage unattended”

One decade after since the terroristic attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York, the changes are still noticeable. Verena Gschwind, 29, a German editor of the Publishing Company Panini, was in New York on 9/11. She knows that not this single day changed the world; it’s the development in the last decade.

By Jennifer Pompe

If we look back a decade after 9/11 we see “ten years of war, hate and torture”, says Gschwind. In her opinion were there a lot of wrong decisions in the last years. “The both wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the founding of the prison in Guantanamo, the restrictions in the area of human rights, privacy and the freedom of assembly were and are absolutely useless.”

Anti-Terrorism-Laws: an effective measure?

Even so the introduction of the Anti-Terrorism-Laws was caused by the attacks of 9/11. In Gschwind’s opinion are these laws not effective measures against terror. In general is Gschwind on the side of the opponents in this topic. “I think that these laws rather remove a lot of human rights”, explains Gschwind. Furthermore she believes that such attacks could happen again. “Terror arises always through radical groups or individuals; the best example is the plot in Oslo earlier this year. Nobody can prevent this – surely not the Anti-Terrorism-Laws”, emphasizes Gschwind.

9/11 – Vividly in her mind

If she looks back to the 11th September 2011 she can still vividly remember the “panic, confusion and helplessness” on the streets.
Gschwind wanted to complete her New York trip on 9/11 with a visit to the Twin Towers, but the tubes didn´t drive anymore at this time.

The picture which she still has in her mind is the panic among people caused by an abandoned piece of luggage on the street. “Nobody knew if there would be another attack”, she says.

Gschwind knows that even nowadays in Germany it happens very often that an abandoned luggage causes a police operation in an airport or a train station. It is not for nothing that politicians talk about the turning point or the “hour zero”.

© Hadas Parush
9/11 is still present – not only on the Ground Zero, but also in airports and train stations all over the world.

The world has changed through this catastrophe and when Gschwind now takes a flight to New York, she always listens to the “Don’t leave your luggage unattended”-message. When she packs her things for her journey, she always needs a transparent bag for her cosmetic products – filling quantity under 100 ml. And when she goes through the security check, she can show a biometric passport photo now and – with a bit of luck – she can show her body in the body scanner as well.


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