Producer
Director
Manfred Oldenburg & Jobst Knigge
Producer
n/a
Genre
History
Broadcaster
ZDF / arte
Length
1 x 90'
Editor
Year
2018
COAL
Dawning of a New Age

With the last shift at Prosper Haniel Colliery in Bottrop, an epoch comes to an end in December: the age of Western European hard coal mining. DIE STEINKOHLE brings to life the challenges that people have had to overcome over the last 250 years in the extraction of black gold. And it shows emotionally and surprisingly how German and European history are reflected in coal mining.

In the first part, the documentary goes back to the Middle Ages and shows how people used coal at that time. But it was not until the invention of the steam engine in the 18th century that underground mining became possible. Thus the now more intensive extraction of hard coal marks the birth of modern Europe: with the industrial revolution, agrarian states such as Germany, France and England are transformed into powerful industrial nations within a few decades, and formerly rural regions grow rapidly into cities and industrial centres. Inventions such as the railway bring people together and allow the economy to flourish. Society changes, the bourgeoisie experiences unprecedented prosperity and freedom at the end of the 19th century, while workers struggle with the dark side of industrialisation and the social question becomes increasingly urgent. And while at the beginning of the 20th century the first migrant workers from Eastern Europe gained a foothold in the coal industry, it became the weapons factory of a heated society. Until the first industrial war broke out in 1914 with the First World War - also made possible by hard coal.

COAL: Dawning of a New Age

With the last shift at Prosper Haniel Colliery in Bottrop, an epoch comes to an end in December: the age of Western European hard coal mining. DIE STEINKOHLE brings to life the challenges that people have had to overcome over the last 250 years in the extraction of black gold. And it shows emotionally and surprisingly how German and European history are reflected in coal mining.

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