Is it just me or has this year already flown by? I cannot believe: It is already June! Sometimes it feels like I am on a carousel. Things start spinning so fast. 6 months are just gone. This weekend is a family meeting with all my relatives. We do this every 2 years and always at another location in Germany or Switzerland. The younger ones of us have to organize it. This year we meet in the beautiful area of Harz.
It is Germany’s most northern mountain range which touches the horizon. Rugged granite cliffs, mountain pines, misty moors and deep valleys with babbling brooks are some of the characteristics of this region. Hiking and mountain bike trails wind through dense forests and lead to high mountain peaks. Rivers and lakes provide ideal places to cool down on hot summer days like today.
The Iron Curtain separated men and nature in Europe for almost 40 years. Lethal to humans, it was however a blessing for nature as endangered animals and plants found an undisturbed home in the shadow of the border.
Today, the former border acts as a „Green Belt“ across Europe – a treasure of bio-diversity. The Harz belongs to it.
Especially there the painful reality of the inner German border was present all the time. The Brocken, an impressive and highly visible symbol of the Harz, could only be seen from afar by people from both East and West Germany, as it was located in the military zone and was out of bounds.
Today the Harz has a new face: The „Green Belt“, where natural beauty nestles to cultural treasures along the former death strip, providing a valuable habitat for endangered animals and plants. A large part of my family comes from the Eastern part of Germany and we have been divided for many, many years. That’s also the reason why we do meet every 2 years: Due to the Iron Curtain we could not see each other for a long time. All together we will enjoy our meeting there in the footsteps of German history.