Baguettes without borders: French baker sells to German customers despite lockdown

Myriam Jansem-Boualit, a baker in Carling, eastern France, hands a baguette across the German border to a customer.
Myriam Jansem-Boualit, a baker in Carling, eastern France, hands a baguette across the German border to a customer. © AFP / FRANCE 24

The border between France and Germany may be closed amid the Covid-19 pandemic but that has not stopped residents of one German village getting their daily delivery of French baguettes.

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Several times a week, Myriam Jansem-Boualit a baker in the French border town of Carling, takes her bread and pastries to the frontier to hand over to customers from the town of Lauterbach on the German side.

"They don't dare to come anymore because there are police border controls. Before, there were a lot of Germans who came to buy bread,” she told AFP. “Now, seeing the controls... So what I can do now is bring the bread. I leave my telephone number and they call me when they arrive and I bring the bread across the fence."

Hartmut Fey, one of her most loyal customers drew attention online after posting a video of himself using an ingenious method to collect his baguette while maintaining ‘social distancing’, by using a fishing rod.

 "We are here at the German-French border, in Lauterbach and Carling, and for decades we have been buying bread and croissants from our dear bakery,” Fey says in the video.

“And now we are no longer allowed to cross on foot. And as a sign of Franco-German friendship, we do our business online."

The Franco-German border has been closed since March 16 as part of measures to control the spread of Covid-19, with only goods and cross-border workers allowed to pass.

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