Germany Plans to Raze Towns for Brown Coal and Cheap Energy
Villages face the bulldozer as one of Europe’s renewable energy leaders leans more heavily on an old habit.
"They would tear everything down, dig up the cemetery, blow up the church and cut down all the trees," said Christian Huschga, a screenwriter and father of two who has lived in Atterwasch for more than 30 years.
Billions of tons of brown coal lie buried underneath the Lausitz region, a gently rolling landscape of pine forests, farm fields, and rural villages about 100 miles (161 kilometers) south of Berlin, in what was once East Germany. In the past century, the landscape has been scarred and pitted by strip mines hundreds of feet deep that sprawl over dozens of square miles.
In all, 136 villages in the Lausitz region have been destroyed to make way for massive strip mines since 1934. Most