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Uh-Oh! Flooding in Germany Suddenly Gutmann’s Problem


Photos (with edits) by Associated Press, The Daily Pennsylvainan

Oops! Mass flooding in Germany was not what former Penn President, Amy Gutmann, hoped to find just three weeks after being nominated to serve as Ambassador to Germany. 

"Zere's haz been a lot of damage, so zere is much verk to do in ze coming months," announced German chancellor, Angela Merkel. 

Fortunately, despite the tragedy, Gutmann is ready to hit the ground running—or swimming—and solve some problems.

Upon hearing about the flooding, Gutmann supposedly wrote an email to Merkel, whose contact was listed as Angela <3. The email, titled "University notification," expressed her "sympathy und anger at this tragedy." She continued, saying her "thoughts und prayers were with the people of Germany" and that she would be catching a flight there "as soon as the chaos (no offense) had died down a little bit."

While unable to help in person, Gutmann did suggest some thoughtful actions the German government could take to help the flood victims. Gutmann recommended that the country purchase vast quantities of those little soft pretzels that are at every Penn event. "They help people feel comforted since pretzels are comfort food. Plus, it's not like pretzels are just a Philly thing or just a Penn thing, so people aren't going to look at them and think, 'oh, that's Amy.' Pretzels are a German thing, too, so that's great. I can text you the name of my pretzel guy, and you can take it from there."

Additionally, Gutmann suggested the funding of some sort of art sculpture to let the German people know that the German government cares about them. For example, she thought a statue of a German flag over a river would be symbolic of the flood and help boost national morale, which would probably solve all of the problems the flood caused.

Gutmann plans to have an active role as ambassador and knows that she will have to take action, not just suggest solutions. Yesterday, Gutmann informed Merkel that she would donate a building to replace one of the many destroyed, provided that her name was on a plaque outside it. 

However, regardless of whether Merkel takes Gutmann up on her offer, Gutmann has made it clear that no matter what, she will be there for the ribbon-cutting once the German towns are re-constructed, with a speech already prepared.