Producer
Director
Jobst Knigge
Producer
n/a
Genre
History
Broadcaster
ZDF / arte
Length
1 x 90'
Editor
Year
2018
COAL
Europe`s End of an Era

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 1923, with the occupation by French troops, the Ruhr region becomes a political pawn; the reconquest seems to have no alternative because of the importance of coal. The economic crisis also destroyed millions of jobs - both a breeding ground for the National Socialists, who made coal the key raw material in their plans. It is thus once again at the centre of domination and destruction, and the world faces a new war. But without it, reconstruction and the economic miracle would be unthinkable. With the founding of the Coal and Steel Community, it became the birthplace of European unification. At the end of the 1950s, international competition and oil lead to the closure of numerous mines - the beginning of Germany's subsidy policy. While environmental damage becomes apparent in the 1960s, the oil crisis in the 1970s brings a brief comeback for hard coal. But its decline is unstoppable, and structural change is the consequence. At the end of 2018, the German coal industry will be phased out in a more socially acceptable way than in England and France. An end that remains an eternal task, and one that offers new opportunities.

COAL: Europe`s End of an Era

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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