Narrow gauge railways – from Spain and Sardinia to Lower Saxony – are the main focus of the current issue, describing various fields of operation and their significance today, including for (industrial) tourism. As usual, the German magazine also introduces four new ERIH Anchor Points and highlights their historical background.
Take Europe's largest film factory AGFA, for example – why on earth was it built in Wolfen near Bitterfeld? How come the Basque cap is called Basque cap, even though it was actually invented somewhere else? What does the drainage of what was once the largest contiguous moorland area in Western Europe have to do with the settlement of war refugees? And how is it that the fate of millions of Nazi forced laborers was "forgotten" for so long, although they were part of everyday life in Nazi Germany?
To answer these and other questions, the magazine devotes a whole page to each of the sites included: the Wolfen Industry and Filmmuseum, La Encartada Factory Museum in Balmaseda near the Basque metropolis of Bilbao, the Emsland Moormuseum in Geeste close to the German-Dutch border, and the Nazi Forced Labour Documentation Centre in Berlin-Schöneweide.
The Emsland Moormuseum is particularly fascinating because of the stark contrast between the originally meagre life of local peat farmers and the complete transformation of the region through a large-scale cultivation of wasteland. Wolfen and Balmaseda in turn are outstanding in that they illustrate the manufacturing process using original machines at their original sites. Similarly, the exhibition at the Nazi Forced Labour Documentation Centre gains an even more oppressive effect when displayed in the originally preserved barracks of a former labour camp.
Balmaseda (E). La Encartada Fabrika-Museoa
Berlin (D). Nazi Forced Labour Documentation Centre
Bitterfeld-Wolfen (D). Industry and Filmmuseum
Geeste (D). Emsland Moormuseum
ERIH pages in "Industriekultur" 1.20 (German)