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Ecologies of Socialisms

Germany, Nature, and the Left in History, Politics, and Culture

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Edited By Sabine Mödersheim, Scott Moranda and Eli Rubin

This volume explores the complex webs of interaction between the environmental movement, socialism, and the «natural» environment in Germany, and beyond, in the twentieth century. There has long been a divide between the environmental, or «green,» movement and socialist movements in Germany, a divide that has expressed itself in scholarship and intellectual discourse. And yet, upon closer inspection, the split between «red» and «green» is not as clear as it might at first seem. Indeed, little about the interaction between socialism and environmentalism, or socialism and the environment, fits into a neat binary. In a way, the discourses, positions, and policies
that structure the interactions between environmentalism, nature, and socialism in German history and culture can be said to constitute a kind of ecology – a complex and interdependent web of relations, which can appear as antagonisms, but which can also contain deeper, less immediately visible, interdependencies. Ecologies of Socialisms attempts to combine the work of scholars from a wide range of disciplines (history, literature, German/Austrian studies, philosophy, geography) in order to contribute to a better and more nuanced understanding of how «green» and «red» have clashed and also merged in German history and culture.
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Wildes Brandenburg: Engaging “Unruly Nature” in Berlin’s Peripheries (Bettina Stoetzer)

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Bettina Stoetzer

Wildes Brandenburg: Engaging “Unruly Nature” in Berlin’s Peripheries

“Discover the wild side of Brandenburg”, an issue in the local March Oder newspaper invites its readers. Peeking through the dry sandy soil of the region is a lush paradise of species diversity: wolves, great bustards and wild horses lure the reader to join an adventure tour through the Brandenburg “wilderness.”

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Located just 30 kilometers east of the city of Berlin, the March Oder Park is a post-unification era nature park in the state of Brandenburg. Part of the March Oder county district, it is situated in a region that has battled high unemployment and depopulation rates in the aftermath of the fall of the Wall. Founded in the last days of the GDR government, the park has been reconfigured as an eco-tourist destination in the past couple decades. Local media and tourist ads celebrate the region’s “idyllic” landscapes and lure travelers to explore a seemingly “uncharted territory.” Recently constructed bicycle routes meander over meadows and through deciduous forests, attracting weekend visitors to follow the material remnants of local history and encountering the traces of famous German writers such as Theodor Fontane who depicted the rapidly transforming countryside around Berlin in the nineteenth century. Local forms of adventure tourism such as parachuting, air-ballooning, riding GDR military vehicles, or safari tours abound.

Since the late 1990s, the March Oder Park has also become the residence for many refugees from Africa, Asia...

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