help at hermannplatz

A couple of days ago, I came across a woman in the Hermannplatz U-Bahn, who was crouched down, leaning against a wall. Her pants/underwear were pulled down to the middle of her thighs.  The strange thing was I wasn’t the first person to notice her. At least 20 people had just turned the same corner and another 20 were already standing in the same area, a bit removed.

I just read this old piece on Unterlassene Hilfeleistung (failure to render assistance?) and I wonder about the two reasons they gave why people don’t help in an accident/dangerous/emergency situation. 1. The fear of doing something wrong  2. Everyone is thinking that someone else can do whatever needs to be done better and so no one acts.

3 Comments

  1. Ben said,

    Saturday 28 October 2006 at 2:37 pm

    that’s crazy, but oh-so-common… a lot of people are just risk averse to get ‘mixed up’ in anything that looks like trouble — especially if you’ve already seen 15 similar episodes already on your way to work (I’m guessing you offered some help, though ;-))

  2. patrick said,

    Friday 3 November 2006 at 5:13 pm

    i’m at work right now, the guy sitting next to me was beaten down badly a few weeks ago. everybody ignored him lying on the floor. it’s sad. i don’t have any satisfactory explanation for people acting like this. btw: i see you’re recommending a book by toni morrison… they’re giving away 100.000 books by her for free here in vienna in november (www.einestadteinbuch.at).

  3. sattva said,

    Monday 13 November 2006 at 3:32 pm

    hey patrick,

    sorry to hear about your colleague. i can’t really understand it either.

    thanks for the link (and reminding me to update my reading list🙂 )


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