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tv   Doc Film - New Life in the Death Strip  Deutsche Welle  October 4, 2017 3:15am-4:00am CEST

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on the style of one of them pointed his gun at me and looked like he was getting ready to shoot at me. what she migrates reheard slides into the ranger in the one nine hundred eighty s. always filled me with such a sense of longing. i
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thought he was we hope he'll help us restore this biotope. a path that could tell many stories. winding its way from north to south across germany one was the dividing line between east and west patrolled by armed guards with shoot to kill orders the western state of has in this border with the communist east stretched for two hundred seventy kilometers the strip was kept to revegetate with pesticides death stripped to the heart of germany today the small red tract was making its day in iran's here. about hockey is on the way to his animals. this was the border right here i remember the fence and the automatic firing devices the area was riddled with landmines two of.
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his charges are expecting him up on the hill this is the vera valley any of it somehow isn't what has in one's. bordered east germany picturesque conj dines consul is nearby. a small herd of red highland cattle has grazed the land here for some years now. how good hog regularly has to bring wool to the animals on these meagre pastas.
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now. that. that's a result discount she's sixteen already. a regular dairy cow only lives to age five before she spent her life our cows can reach a ripe old age and an age that would be typical for a non domesticated cow that's going to court. to persevere the. cup. you could send. the cows to tend the land they keep the border strip free from vegetation here. if they weren't here this would all become overgrown this area was covered in mines plows went over this line to bring up those mines a few mines weren't found but we hope none have been left in this area. i mean they're going to go for our cows haven't found any yet.
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how good he receives money from conservation farms because he's heard grazers this land keeping livestock here wouldn't be financially feasible on it so this approach gives many species a chance that's quite this milk were to still flowering here. for decades the land in the death strip wasn't fertilized plants that grow online deficient meadows have ideal conditions here like orchids and many herbes that have become hard to find as well as flowers like the fringed gentian species the don't need much to thrive how god can find them even now late in the growing season. the beautifully brain is done flowering here there isn't much that still flowering now you know what's up you know we have some yarrow here that's a species not found any more on land farmed purely for profit. there are many bird species that like these lima deficient meadows. we have three to four pairs of red
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black trikes here we have yellow hammers. and long. or doesn't the species have long disappeared from conventionally farmed land because they can't find food anymore. what these species need this habitat. these and. that's why he lets his animals graze here to keep almost one and a half kilometers of the former death straight clear because bank bushes and brush that tried to take root in the area sheep and goats perform this job elsewhere. germany's goal is to replace the entire length of the former iron curtain with a green belt that's to serve as an ecological treasure trove from.
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the vendor valley any about on and off the areas also known as has since switzerland. the former border with these germany also ran along these higher elevations the museum illustrates how the border was protected. from one thousand nine hundred fifty two he'd sealed off the communist east from the democratic west with a fence and a mind of death grip kept barren with pesticides for better visibility on the eastern side a large area along the border remained largely untouched and on used for almost forty years a five hundred metre wide strip of the barrier as well as an additional five kilometer exclusion zone all heavily guarded put decades to death stripped was a haven for plants and animals. it gave and dangerous species such as
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when chance a chance to survive as a ground nesting bird it needs open spaces with perches such as storks from where it can look for food. wrap plant species were able to survive on the unused land as well examples include orchids such as lady all kids and ladies slippers. the strip extends for one thousand seven hundred kilometers from the bowl take to bavaria as borders with the czech republic. even species believed to be almost extinct such as wildcats to found a habitat here. one
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man in the third of valley worked hard for nature conservation in the border area long before the iron curtain came down trained pastry chef vollard from brown eyes who lives in nearby ash vega it's only a few kilometers from his home to the goober to the hill range between north hassen and the ice float in. the soils here are choking that's evident in the white cliffs and rock formations in the vera valley. boardroom bonuses recognized its value as a natural habitat years ago. when i come up here hundreds of times a year to check all the spots a pair of peregrine's is nesting here. these are the descendants of the birds we spent fifteen years reintroducing into the wild from one thousand nine hundred seventy eight. that these farm bred birds only needed to breed
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once in the wild to produce a new stock of wild peregrine's in the. peregrine falcons find ideal nesting conditions in these lives. when voter from phone has started introducing these birds into the wild it looked like it was the last chance to save this fulton species from extinction. to trial without a guarantee of success in the shadow of the patrol road and death strip and under the constant observation of east german border guards. an old border mako dating back to prussian times. for blind eyes once to show is the spot where a peregrine plant raised its young this year. these steep slopes on ten times safe
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but the eighty year old was here regularly throughout the year. peregrine falcons seem to have been safe for a seventy breeding pairs in has no low. brow. we had further south along the green belt to out in bushland. here right next to the form a death strip lies how eyes and hoops nursery he cultivates roses on an area of one hacked up. god know how guys and who has only bred roses for a few years now. more than what i'm on my living room with the roses have always
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been my favorite flower it started as a hobby with just a few rows of roses but i was never able to see them flower because my wife's a florist and she was always faster than me and with my period when she needed a rose for her flower shop the roses were gone before i could get up in the morning that made me very cross so i started planting several rows so the my wife couldn't keep up any more on that night and they are. on the eastern banks of the vera these goes into your engine on the western banks out and bush lie in hessen the two towns are separated only by the river. but up until nine hundred eighty nine we were only able to see it never visit it it's still a special thing for me to cross this former border in. that i don't think i mean
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still rangy and now i think i'm in a place that was once closed off to me i always wanted to see it with an a for me. goose bush was in east germany it was impossible to just cross the river to death strip ran between the two towns. in the past this was all barren to ensure visibility now everything's been left to nature the vegetation has developed naturally nature has reclaimed what man took from it. how guys in whose family he came from goes in fear inject they had a large home and a nursery that. this is a photo of my grandparents my aunts and my father. they left
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east germany together in one nine hundred fifty two. they owned land here in altoona bushland so they were allowed to cross into the west to cultivate their fields and then they decided to defect and illegally cross the border it was illegal because they were supposed to return in the evening but didn't they were put up by relatives with whom they lived for a year until they started building a house on the land they own they stuck the spade into the ground and dug for water they built a well then a house and then a nursery of. the greenbelt has become the opposite of what it used to be it was a dividing line today it's a connection that you can experience very directly where the border around it's become a biotope for plants and animals is to be enjoyed not to divide those and and the roses. the roses become a symbol of unity to me. the
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very river was long the symbol of division today it's the lifeblood of the greenbelt for many kilometers. ever since reunification the state of few ringette and friends of the of germany have tried to buy adjoining plots of land to prevent agricultural use long before german reunification a large nature reserve was created. on hess on the site right at the in a german border. kuhlmann so drying their feathers after hunting for fish. morning scenes in the laden nature is a. volatile
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gave is often out and about here in the early morning counting birds and checking for overnight newcomers he's waiting for the cranes to arrive the eighty year old has been observing and documented the species diversity here for decades my grade three birds regularly stop here in spring and autumn the east german border guards unwittingly played their part in allowing a nature reserve to be created right next to the death strip. lantana ho ho they farm their land very intensively over there in farming collectives after nine hundred sixty five or seventy this whole area of hessen was wasteland the town of over sewell planted forty thousand poplar trees on it section. of midfield three thousand public that was after
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a devastating wildfire it before hand it was covered in tansey and grassland and was very dry. high and found on cause land when border troops burned off the vegetation in a strip to clear it the fire spread over here a pond does it as kind of media here we only sprung into action slowly when we saw the extent of it problem your thin arm for no guns in our stores and we built dams and slowly developed the line on how does we're long from here that. he created the first reservoirs here with his conservation group nothing could be done on the eastern side until the border collapsed it got them through. and you see the ranging road over there the border between hasn and thirty around here where that big bush is on the kind. of the border runs through this area here so that their lives that's the last drainage ditch there and they have their cause or so on yet
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there are so now we're in thirty. everything on this side is green on this point if you're going to side. we get a lot of visitors now it's on three in a. long. long. a drama is unfolding fifty meters away. the good catch for the gray hair and attention it must weigh five pounds. but still no cranes instead there are more than a thousand gray like geese on the water that they don't is a haven for birds and amphibians stalks sometimes even stay here into the autumn
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months instead of migrating to africa. and the coleman colony on its artificial nesting aids is one of the biggest in has everything's peaceful today while to get a fix perience to precarious situations with these german border guards when he worked in the veda nature reserve. when he met they were constantly on patrol here reporting on any movement in the area they took pictures once i was down here a couple of guards yelled out as we were maybe fifty meters apart one of them pointed his gun at me and looked like he was getting ready to shoot at me and i turned around and tapped myself on the backside. but nothing happened no nothing happened. herron meanwhile is continuing to do battle with the tench who would give up such good prey lightly after all. when the border opened file to go live continues the border guards also discovered
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a passion for conservation. no commander and on this captain came to us once and said that he wanted to contribute to the conservation efforts and did we need anything i told him we needed maybe fifty of their fencing sheets they brought us those on the back of a lorry we still have some here and see fun we kept the border fence for a rainy day or maybe we'd need a fence again in the future but after the captain said he'd known me for years i said but we've never seen each other before us limits and he said yes we have when . we've got your picture up in the guard house so i told him you took enough pictures of me even though i'm not that photogenic i mean you're going to so for the game get it off that. divided a german conservation efforts are a thing of the past cormorants now use the metal border fence pieces for breeding
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purposes. but what about the tench. the heroine wins. the veda and albers who is a key part of the green that almost half of germany's five hundred odd bird species can be found here but together if it happens he'll be checking back tomorrow. the cravings will come soon enough. for. the. only other side of them that run to the south of the spoil heap dubbed. healing in
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something is happening on the form a patrol road. and encounter of the official count. while some out as have already settled into their winter quarters their future is the subject of discussion above ground a meeting in the greenbelt. that. could be on bach and rangy and if you're in jail and a lease buys hiding his colleague from has not having an on site. yet would
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hint of. the areas of jurisdiction into sect here on an old patrol road well it's. addas like you'd room then i guess some of them had them but since germany's reunification on the border strip has become an overgrown wilderness encroaching on the snakes habitat. requires all it's an award the european adder is on the endangered list there are very few populations left in germany as a whole and in hasn't. that's why we want to cooperate with you. and your mother going to look. we have an aerial image here that shows how we could do it. you can see from the shapes here that the former border strip offered ideal conditions over a long stretch. the environment had a lot of bush's which the afterlife and small stone here. that there
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were. maybe we could recreate this bio top again together. you know the mines obviously have to. yes so i think that's you know a common interest in a. currently looks very sunny but when the foliage is on the trees then there's a lot of shade. maybe we should remove a few birch trees to recreate the old environment you have to like to look at the name. of the missing out of the mist mark on we'd have to do that it would have to clear land like this to thin out the vegetation we have to try to keep it clear so that the sun can get through for the other he's a flake. and we'd have to agree on the area we want to do that on to. get us funny and. exactly. the two rangers quickly agreed they need fewer trees and bushes and more sunny spots.
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the bites of this venomous snake are only dangerous to old people and children there's no need to be scared but it's wise to be cautious. the locals say a teenager who was bitten a few years ago here in hasn't got very sick. when doing a side over on our side in theory information like that was kept under wraps and this area was controlled by border guards and only a select few had access to the area because of the in those days when unemployment was high we had what groups come in to do simple jobs to clear paths and do things like that. and the ranger took me aside and said do tell the women that those areas out to blue so they don't sit down for a picnic in the heather because there's a risk that something could slither into their lunch box farthest honesty from. the
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portraits of which. there are many locations in the state where adams can still be found. the most numerous in eastern has in the greenbelt of the former in a german border that is now a shangri-la for endangered species. and . last. minute also helps keep this greenbelt off limits for anything but nature they call him buffalo peaches hearing golson say the community right next to
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the partridge factory inhaling and peter schmidt grazes a herd of water buffalo on large meadows he even listen to him they've all got names but they look out of place here at the border between hasn't been fewer and you. i'm a nature lover when i saw this land i said if you can have cattle here than water buffalo are the only option. you can't have cattle here because they'll get sick out on the last line of the buffalo digest their food quite differently now when they do. they keep this grassy valeted close to the former border clear. this is my first born bone in two thousand and three pauline. poling hewing are you attached to her yes she's been with me for more than thirteen
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years. now. peter schmidt also gets money for this conservation work because these wet meadows are valuable habitats in the greenbelt. everything was becoming overgrown it was no place for frogs or anything like that. the water buffalo keep everything nice and shorts. you can see how short the grass is. that means more and symbionese can get out into the sun. this is one such. a war to a frog owes its hymie town to these gentle almost surely water buffaloes toms marshy meadows nutrient poor grassland and sunny heath and the greenbelt has more
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than one hundred different types of bio tops. of the flows just a few kilometers from pay to schmitz water buffalos we're going back to the lead on the cross border nature is a. ninth grade pupils from a high school in bonds out so none of visiting the former border today on a class trip hosted by friends of the of germany. a biologist explains how the heavily fortified border was set up. then the ninth graders discover how the environment has changed in the nature is. that i saw a nest in the woods sticking out of the water over there this goes says it looks like a small boat and the little birds were just coming out. what
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birds. call moments of course. question she says she's never seen coalmines before and definitely no closer. to. the next destination is the venda the goodness to find out what quality the water has friends of the earth gemini isn't just involving conservation it's more pro active than. these strange cones for. the. new lines among women. heidi and to nicholas unsure what them and to do with them the technical term for them is aqua scope. once he quipped they set off to take a close look at the valve. that.
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no. one. would buy for any of the students are assigned different exercises and i live in one you know no one is the first one is to give the water a sniff. they discover it smells of fish but in a healthy way. then it should follow that there are lots of fish here right. idea nicholas of something in the net at least. in the little guy and i know my dad i know guys. and they want to identify it. that's right in front of.
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it and won't is it this is nicholas things it's a strike because station. either. through this empty pole that is very salt tolerant but we've only found this one species with tiles that means the quality of the water isn't as good as it should be. because the salt means that other species can't live here anymore and we're not. even. just the where a has been polluted by the salty waste waters of the potage industry which have contaminated the wera and the groundwater. we can see that is having an impact. nicholas being brave ones to try it.
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for for making us that he can't taste the salt. can but thinks that might just be the sweat on her hands. the vera is in fact the soul just river in europe and this location it's about a soldier is the bold take even though it looks like pristine. that means more conservation efforts are needed but something heidi a necklace of learned today. it was great fun particularly that we were allowed to help out and try things she says it was a nice day a lively biology class nicholas agrees. twenty kilometers further north conservationists and environmentalists activists meet on every first saturday november this man has been involved in the event since its inception. good morning we have
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a lot planned for today we have to plant forty five trees we've not planted that many in years we're planting in border situations and we plant to overcome borders . let's get to work. it definitely looks like work. but how can digging and posts overcome borders. we're just outside of the town of if to infere injure the form of border fence and patrol road but still very visible here. that's the purpose of the art project down chords and i used by artists johannes stood in the event is taking place for the twenty fifth time bringing the artist
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environmentalist and past of overbeck together at the former death strip. in november. it was a crazy experience in november nine hundred ninety to plant one hundred and forty trees to create this tree cross. along the bay seven road and the border fence. that was incredible often comes. on i remember this woman who stood at the border fence. she was from the neighboring village and has. and when she was asked what this felt like to her she said. like a resurrection of. forty norway maple three limes and two saw apple trees have to be planted as quickly as possible and vine a mental activist called move a back had to be persuaded to take part in the tree planting event twenty five
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years ago. we have what. we wanted to be involved and change environmental policy. someone came up to me and said we want to plant trees and i said planting possibly along the roadside isn't my thing. but then i understood what the people cared about it was this idea put forward by us as boys that everyone could be an artist it wasn't just about this initial sculpture about planting a few trees it was about a social sculpture so to all. the tree cross has grown to a thousand trees. the goal is for these avenues to connect eisenach in theory with castle it has. every year in november volunteers from all over germany and switzerland come to
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plant trees the people are just as much part of the sculpture as the trees and the border fence say a lot of a back and the artist johana stood. on or fences and walls are the most primitive forms of a border along this green band this is the only location where the fan still survives. yes it's one of the longest original stretches of the border fence in the whole of germany we wrote to the rhine a epa man at that time he was the minister for disarmament we told him about this project we wanted to launch with one letter he gave us the permission to keep the fence like we showed this letter whenever anyone came claiming everything had to be removed because there were laws and so on the patrol road along the tree cross is deliberately kept clear. the kinds of the border to all families apart as people demonstrated that was my
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first encounter with the patrol road i put an altar on the road and celebrated a service that that made quite an impression. that's why. the newly planted trees will likely survive the fence and sad as a lasting reminder to the former border that you can't quite imagine anymore that this border divided the whole country and because i had no experience of it it was completely unreal to me because there's nothing comparable in the world when i think it's important to plant these trees here in prevented from being forgotten because at some point the fence will be gone i'm the first generation that didn't experience it it shouldn't be forgotten the trees will stay on. the avenues will continue to grow
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a little further year on year every november. just . to. even bag is located at the southernmost point of the border between has been few ringette one man has spent a lot of time lying low he friends called him the painter among the photographers. you're going to hold scholars and has been involved in conservation in the world region for forty years. that's a bit unfledged this is trumpet like in great. well for from one xian had it made twenty five years ago i wouldn't have dared walk along here this is former east german territory we have the border model where
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hessen bavaria ran through injury late as and by unknown touring clift or. descendant taishan marks where the border was located. this part is bavarians part of the region and that's has been. his grandfather inspired his and hughes yes i'm from nature and so he came to be a nature photographer to. help. watching my great story birds fly to the ring or across east germany heading north in the one nine hundred eighty s. always filled me with such a sense of longing i always wondered what it looked like over there you could always look across from has an older varia and see that there were raspy she's here that disappeared elsewhere but what. they had
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a good population of when chats european stone chants from the great grey shrikes and red kites with which had the perfect conditions here. but being all these was actual and recipes. there are the shiny black stone. snipe which is threatened by extinction. the rare yellow wind well camouflaged grey partridges. stoat. and different toad and plump species and if he's really lucky you can hold house and finds resnik species the kind we've seen for the know in this green but. this is european as a habitats. he's not scared of the endangered reptiles. of
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course he treat these snakes with respect when you're lying on the ground at eye level with a snake trying to take a nice picture of. still sore. this is always been his favorite sport even back when he was still in the death strip. aside the on the eastern side the environment was widely abused everything was razed to the ground they even used poison to keep down growth so they could see tracks if someone had dead approaches the border of and but the areas in front of the border look employee unused and valuable for a lot of them but i could be one for that one what's the one to guns we have one but i or yes this stuff of the damage side has regenerated now and is adopted so it's all turned out well in the reopened parts and. we have this entire greenbelt as a great lifeline that meanders old away through germany on the limbs adda and constructs
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run pretty. from death strip to greenbelt the foreman dividing line is now a wildlife haven. own ways at full speed. always shining. but always on the move. most
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