The eviction of Lützerath

Lützerath was a small village in the North Rhine-Westphalia lignite mining area and was demolished by the energy giant RWE in January 2023 in order to get at the lignite underneath. 

Germany is phasing out coal as an energy sector by 2038. But that hasn´t stopped RWE`S plans to expand their mines and wipe out Lützerath. However, scientific calculations have shown that the coal under Lützerath is not needed to guarantee the security of electricity supply in Germany. 

The resettlement of  residents had begun in 2006. The residents got new houses in some new development a few kilometres away. By the end of 2022 Eckardt Heukamp was the last resident to leave Lützerath, after years of taking  legal action against RWE. 

Since 2020, the small hamlet has been firmly in the hands of convinced climate protectors and activists. They have created their own world there with tree houses, huts and a communal kitchen. There was a workshop to repair bicycles and fruits and vegetables were planted. In addition, the village was secured from the outside in order to withstand an eviction for as long as possible. Because one thing was clear to everyone: no one would leave Lützerath without resistance. Nevertheless, on January 10th 2023, police units began to evacuate the village with extreme severity and violence. 

Despite it Lützerath is preserved for the people. Namely as a symbol for the fight against climate change and a failed climate policy, which was just supported by a Green Party.