"Wir haben uns nicht versteckt": Engagement für Natur und Umwelt in der DDR

06.12.2021 | Brochure

In retrospect, the environmental history of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) sometimes seems to shrink to the images of an ecological catastrophe: poisoned lakes, polluted rivers, industrial farmland and dilapidated industrial plants are in lasting memory. Yet the GDR enacted a new nature conservation law relatively early on (1954), wrote the idea of nature conservation and environmental protection into the constitution in 1968, and drafted a thoroughly modern state culture law in 1970 - at a time when environmental policy was also gaining in importance internationally. The Ministry of the Environment, which had already been established in 1972, and its ambitious environmental legislation opened up an opportunity for the GDR leadership to make its mark on the outside world. The protection of nature and the environment seemed to become a consensus issue. But reality did not stand up to the state's lofty claims.

This collection of events, images and voices of contemporary witnesses sheds light on some of the many ideas and initiatives that arose in the GDR to protect and preserve nature and the environment. They give an impression of the diversity of the commitment and the actors. The means of choice could be as varied as the motives. Many people were willing to take personal risks. But not only commitment that could become dangerous is valuable and deserves to be remembered. What everyone had in common was the desire to exert influence and become active for people, nature and the environment.

Publication Type: Brochure
Format: DIN A4
Pages: 48
Editor: BMU
Language: German

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