U.S. consular officers, in certain situations, can assist Americans abroad who are temporarily destitute because of unforeseen circumstances. Americans who find themselves in these circumstances should contact the U.S. Embassy Berlin, U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt, U.S. Consulate General Munich, or the State Department’s Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747 (during business hours) or 202-647-5225 (after hours). Consular officers can help destitute Americans contact family, bank, or employer to arrange for transfer of funds. In some cases, these funds can be wired through the Department of State. For information on how a consular officer can help under these circumstances, see http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/emergencies/financial-assistance.html
Fund transfers from the U.S. are typically straightforward. Most people can arrange for family or friends to send them money through commercial channels with the help of a collect phone call. Funds sent through services such as Western Union are the fastest and easiest. Although there is a mechanism for transferring funds through the Department of State, it is slower and more complex than through commercial channels in a country like Germany.