Nature reserves, Landscape Protected Areas, woodlands and cemeteries

Nature pure in Pankow

For the rights of nature!
About the beginnings of environmental protection

The term „environmental protection“ was used for the first time in 1888 by the Berlin piano teacher Ernst Rudorff (1840 – 1916). In the same way as every object of cultural value, the homeland (Heimat) should be preserved as well. Since the end of the 19th century citizens have been taking action and have formed organisations as for example the organisation for the protection of birds or the league of homeland heritage protection. They founded rambling clubs or „life reform“ leagues (Lebensreform: „a social movement of the early 20th century that propagated a back-to-nature lifestyle“). While the cause of the social democratic inspired „friends of nature“ the free access to the nature was, the members of the bird protection association fought against fowling for fashion purposes.

In 1898 the Prussian deputy Wilhelm Wetekamp (1859-1945) called for the creation of a „Staatspark“ following the example of the Amercian national park. The botanist Hugo Conwentz’ (1855-1922) published his memoir written by order of the Prussian State and entitled „ die Gefährdung der Naturdenkmäler und Vorschläge zu ihrer Erhaltung“ in 1904. After that, in 1906, the first „Stelle für Naturdenkmalpflege in Preußen“ (the eldest Nature Conservation Agency of Prussia) was created. In 1919, the protection of the environment was laid down in the Weimar constitution.

More information at the exhibition