^ Benno Wolf, about 1930, © Verband der deutschen Höhlen- und Karstforscher
< Benno Wolf, Das Recht der Naturdenkmalpflege in Deutschland, Berlin 1920
Map of the Green Belt and map of Europe with the Iron Curtain, Collage: Atelier Stecher, Götzis; © European Green Belt bzw. Michael Cramer
The Nazi “blood and soil” ideology in nature conservation was passed on after 1945. It is even to be found, thinly veiled, in some new environmental movements. Not only occultism that has become topical once again, but also renewed forms of nationalism and militarization pose a threat to environmental protection and nature conservation. In the 1970s, a growing biodiversity could be seen in the no-man’s-land along the Iron Curtain. The death strip between East and West had become an important ecological habitat. As a result, nature conservationists and environmentalists met on the Bavarian-Czechoslovakian border on December 9, 1989, and demanded the protection of the “Green Belt.” In 2002, all the countries bordering the former Iron Curtain joined forces. As a network of biotopes, now the world’s longest, the “Green Belt” extends over a length of 12,500 km along 24 European countries, 16 of which are EU members, from the Norwegian Arctic Sea to the Black Sea. However, since the outbreak of the war in the Ukraine, the long border between Finland and Russia is once again threatened with becoming a military deployment area. Europe has a responsibility to ensure that ecology and social justice for all, democracy, human rights and peace cannot be played off against each other.
Ariel Brunner, in conversation with Felicitas Heimann-Jelinek, on “The EU’s responsibility in view of the ecological crisis”, Hohenems, October 5, 2020