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Thread: The Demise of Rural Germany

  1. #1
    Senior Member Hilderinc's Avatar
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    Exclamation The Demise of Rural Germany

    This is from a 4-page article from Der Spiegel, link. There are also sad images, seen here.





    Percentage of Households Headed by Those Aged 60 and Older - 2008 [Dark red is over 40%]




    When communities cannot attract people to replace those who are leaving or dying, houses stand empty. In a vicious cycle, the more abandoned a place looks, the more abandoned it becomes.


    The situation is not helped by the fact that Germany's population as a whole is shrinking. In fact, in just the last eight years, the population fell by 770,000. Some studies even suggest that, 50 years from now, there could be 17 million fewer Germans and that one in seven of them could be 80 or over.

    In the past, immigrants made up for declining birth rates among Germans. But the influx has dwindled to a trickle. Indeed, since 2008, more people have been leaving the country than moving in.
    If Germany's open floodgates are only letting in a trickle, I couldn't imagine what the full force would have been like decades ago...

    Draining the Countryside of Money

    These developments are dealing a death blow to structurally weak regions. Granted, young people have always been attracted to big cities, but now the country is witnessing a genuine cultural shift. The citizens of the information society are being sucked into cities more strongly than ever -- and, with them, many of the companies that fight bitter battles to attract the brightest minds. Well-educated young people want to have an opera house nearby, a first-division soccer club, theaters, fashion boutiques, sushi and top chefs. That leaves, at best, only vacation homes in the countryside.


    Under these circumstances, cities can rejoice about higher tax revenues, but rural areas have to watch their finances dry up. Even the ever-swelling numbers of elderly can't turn the tide. Active retirees may cherish their walks in the countryside, but more and more of them would still like to have pharmacies, doctors and stores within reach. And only small towns can survive on pensioners alone.
    Consequences of the Rural Exodus

    Rambach, in northern Hesse, would probably be one of these places. The village is close to what was once the no-man's land separating East and West Germany. As can be seen from the old wooden sign near its entrance, the village even won Germany's "Let's Make Our Village More Beautiful" competition in 1995. Rambach proved that success was possible so close to the former border. When the barbed wire fences and automatic firing devices disappeared, the locals spruced up the half-timbered houses along the former border, put up street lamps and built a community center. Almost overnight, it found itself at the heart of Germany and at the geographic center of Europe. It felt like the focal point of the entire world.

    Rambach belongs to the municipality of Weissenborn. While on a tour with Mayor Friedhelm Kerl in his car, he points to his left and his right, saying: "That house is empty, and so is that one. That one back there is empty, as is that one." Kerl makes a sharp left and slams on the squeaky brakes before adding: "And this road will soon have nobody living on it at all."

    Ironically, the fear now spreading through rural areas of western Germany is primarily the result of years of official denial. Steffen Kröhnert, from the Berlin Institute for Population and Development, says that politicians in western Germany refused to take the problem seriously for far too long. For decades, they ignored dire warnings about demographic change. Nobody noticed it at first because many former East Germans settled in places like Weissenborn after the fall of the Wall. On balance, almost 2 million people moved from the East to the West, but the trend is declining.

    But now the politicians have finally realized the gravity of the situation. By next year, the German government wants to draw up a "demographic strategy," a sort of emergency program to tackle the issue of declining populations. The Interior Ministry has until the fall to present a plan for tempering this rural exodus.
    Resisting Change

    While all of these troubled areas of the former West Germany are still hoping for big political solutions, official are reverting to tried-and-tested tactics from the good old days. For example, the mayor of the northern Bavarian town of Kronach recently sent an urgent appeal to Governor Seehofer. In response to the proposals of the Future Council, he demanded precisely what the council had rejected: financial aid, subsidized commercial zones and new infrastructure.

    The mayor complained that it seemed like "all the demands of the region's politicians are falling on deaf ears." And he added that he was shocked about how he and his colleagues were being treated. After all, he said, in contrast to the claims by the Future Council, the Kronach region was extremely keen to "avoid having to eventually join the state of Saxony," which lies just to the northeast.
    Again, the link can be found here.



    The same thing is happening to America, the average age for most Midwest and rural New England states is around 40.
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  2. #2
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    The development is not positive but it´s predominantly a East German development right now. The Bavarian rural regions are either stable or only slightly shrinking, for example. But we must do something to keep our rural infrastructure alive. The run to the cities is incomprehensible for me because they got everything I dislike: Immigrants, strange cultures, too many people per km², no social solidarity, anonymity, absence of local culture and traditions and expensive prices.

    Why should we change that



    with something like that?



    Beton is cold and the atmosphere is frightening.

    "Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Senior Member Heinrich Harrer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thusnelda View Post
    The development is not positive but it´s predominantly a East German development right now.
    True, but it's just a question of time until it becomes more problematic for West Germany too - the demographic decline will hit the entire country hard. Currently the migration from East Germany to West Germany due to the economic situation slows down this process a little in West Germany while it accelerates the misery in East Germany.

    This development worries me a lot. Not only will the general decline and aging of the population cause economic problems and increase the immigration problem, it's also currently bleeding dry central ("East") Germany. First we lose the eastern provinces to Poland/Russia/the Czech Republic, now even more provinces bordering Poland are being depopulated. We're basically throwing everything away that our ancestors have cultivated and built up over the last thousand years (and even worse we're also having the terrible immigration mess in the remaining territories).

    I just hope that not too many Poles will cross the border (now that it's open) to move into these areas which are being depopulated, or we might have a similar situation in Germany like the US has with its southern states and the Mexican invasion. But most of them will probably move to West Germany, where more job opportunities are available.

    It's quite sad - previous generations saw the country flourishing, landscapes being developed, villages turning into bigger cities, the population growing despite emigration and wars. They could look into the future with hope, despite all the problems which they might have had. While we live in times in which we can see death and decline everywhere: more and more old people and almost no young people to replace them, mass immigration dissolving our culture, small villages falling into ruins and entire regions being depopulated, bigger cities turning into multicultural hellholes and there are almost no politicians with a real vision for the future - they're just advocating to fix some symptoms or to bring in even more immigrants. It's getting a little worse day by day, the country is slowly rotting away and we're spectators without the power to do anything about it. It's difficult to enjoy life without much hope for the future of our people.

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    Senior Member Hilderinc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thusnelda View Post
    Why should we change that

    with something like that?
    I completely understand what you say about how our cities are garbage with immigrants and anti-Germanic 'culture,' but I don't think wonderful classic Germanic architecture that is the foundation for some of the greatest cities that the world has ever known is better or worse than the small rural cottages and settlements. In America, our cities are just glass, steel, and stone.

    Just as we can 'fix' our rural areas, we can 'fix' our cities.



    Oh, and also, isn't the area primarily effected more appropriately called Central Germany, rather than East?

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    Birthrates in our lands are declining for one reason only, and that is a poor set of values and priorities. Why do people not get married and have children in their twenties now? Among women here I have spoken to, the answer is angst about a poor future... which is exactly why there IS a poor future.

    If I were king , I would organize some of these abandoned towns and just give houses to families with 2 or more children. A community full of families with children promotes family values, which is the answer to this crisis. When people truly figure out that happiness is not a new Mercedes, but a new baby, that will reverse this extremely depressing trend. And if any greenie moonbat feminists start their ignorant negativity about procreation, they simply must be ignored. I'd send them to a KZ for re-education, but then... I'm not king.

    By the way, for women who think it's too late for them, I was reading about Brahms last night, and found that his mother was 44 years old when he was born... and that he had a younger brother.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinrich Harrer View Post
    True, but it's just a question of time until it becomes more problematic for West Germany too - the demographic decline will hit the entire country hard. Currently the migration from East Germany to West Germany due to the economic situation slows down this process a little in West Germany while it accelerates the misery in East Germany.

    This development worries me a lot. Not only will the general decline and aging of the population cause economic problems and increase the immigration problem, it's also currently bleeding dry central ("East") Germany. First we lose the eastern provinces to Poland/Russia/the Czech Republic, now even more provinces bordering Poland are being depopulated. We're basically throwing everything away that our ancestors have cultivated and built up over the last thousand years (and even worse we're also having the terrible immigration mess in the remaining territories).

    I just hope that not too many Poles will cross the border (now that it's open) to move into these areas which are being depopulated, or we might have a similar situation in Germany like the US has with its southern states and the Mexican invasion. But most of them will probably move to West Germany, where more job opportunities are available.

    It's quite sad - previous generations saw the country flourishing, landscapes being developed, villages turning into bigger cities, the population growing despite emigration and wars. They could look into the future with hope, despite all the problems which they might have had. While we live in times in which we can see death and decline everywhere: more and more old people and almost no young people to replace them, mass immigration dissolving our culture, small villages falling into ruins and entire regions being depopulated, bigger cities turning into multicultural hellholes and there are almost no politicians with a real vision for the future - they're just advocating to fix some symptoms or to bring in even more immigrants. It's getting a little worse day by day, the country is slowly rotting away and we're spectators without the power to do anything about it. It's difficult to enjoy life without much hope for the future of our people.
    Well, extreme situations call for extreme measures...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiverfull

    Some committed folks need to step up and have eight or more children, it's that simple.

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    Declining rural populations has been a fact-of-life for over 100 years. In America many, many rural counties have fewer persons now then in 1910, mechanization of farming is to blame. It is a matter of going where the jobs are. Better to let some places become depopulated then to have become repopulated with Mexicans or Turks.

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    Its the same world over

    City's = Money Money = happiness apparently
    Tasmanian twice the heads!!.......twice the intelligence!?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thusnelda View Post
    The Bavarian rural regions are either stable or only slightly shrinking, for example.
    While this is true, they are equally fast aging. You can find many Bavarian villages who can't afford a school anymore, because there are no children who would go to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thusnelda View Post
    Why should we change that [village]
    with something like that [city]?
    A city is supposed to be a center of culture, it has its place, it's just that industrialized cities are a cancer in our societies.
    "Nothing is more disgusting than the majority: because it consists of a few powerful predecessors, of rogues who adapt themselves, of weak who assimilate themselves, and the masses who imitate without knowing at all what they want." (Johann Wolfgang Goethe)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jäger View Post
    While this is true, they are equally fast aging. You can find many Bavarian villages who can't afford a school anymore, because there are no children who would go to it.
    That´s true for parts of the rural regions but other rural regions are growing with young families because people move out from the towns and build a house in the villages (Neubaugebiete). It also happens very often that children of old village people sell the farmyard of their parents after they´ve died and erect a new house outside of the old village core, but within the same village. This has both positive and negative effects: The positive effect is that the young families stay in the same village and don´t leave. The negative effect is that the developing areas are often outside of the old village cores, so the old village cores are slowly dying (Dorfwirtshaus, Dorfplatz, usw.) because the village grows at its periphery but not in the core.

    The rural areas around the middle-large towns, within a radius of around 20 to 30 km, are growing with young families. You can see that around Straubing, Passau, Regensburg, Deggendorf, Viechtach, Cham, Weiden, Bad Kötzting and other cities. Villages who are more far away from local towns have a problem because people don´like to shuttle between job and home too long. We must strengthen the rural development by creating jobs in the villages so that people don´t have to shuttle between village and town every day.

    A city is supposed to be a center of culture, it has its place, it's just that industrialized cities are a cancer in our societies.
    You hit the nail on the head.

    "Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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