I came across a sentence in Der Spiegel, in which a new Ukrainian patrol police officer has the following to say about her subordinates:

"Meine Leute müssen in Einsatztaktik geschult sein, aber sie müssen vor allem die Gesetze kennen und in der Lage sein, zu deeskalieren. Mit dem Draufhauen ist es vorbei", sagt Maja Breslawska.

das Draufhauen does not appear in any of the dictionaries. Some of the available translations that can offer hints at the meaning of das Draufhauen come from dict.cc:

einen draufhauen = to go on a binge; to have a booze up;

from dictionary.reverso.net:

draufhauen = to hit hard;

and from en.pons.com:

[auf jdn/etw] draufhauen = to hit [sb/sth]; jdm eins draufhauen = to hit sb.

So, I can conclude from the above that the new Ukrainian policemen have stopped either drinking heavily at work or physically abusing detained individuals. But which one does the sentence talk about?

  • 1
    I have never heard of einen draufhauen in the sense of "einen saufen". – tofro Jun 19 '16 at 9:18
  • @tofro Zustimmung. Vielleicht hat da jemand was mit 'einen drauf machen' verwechselt? – Arsak Jun 21 '16 at 4:18

Draufhauen, sometimes also daraufhauen, literally means to hit on top of something.

And you can take that image very figuratively, when the context is police officers. Draufhauen can pretty much be understood to mean ‘use force first, ask questions later.’

Further going by the context of what is said, they probably meant physical violence with or without reason to people in the street, whether they commited a crime or not.

  • @Stephie Ich bin mir grundsätzlich ein wenig unsicher, wann etwas bildlich und wann wörtlich ist; das zieht sich über alle Sprachen hinweg. Englisch scheint heutzutage nahezu ausschließlich literally zu benutzen, aber iwo hab ich mal gelesen, dass das eine dumme Idee sei … – Jan Jun 19 '16 at 10:23

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