Downloads Interreg-Project finished 2008
Germany - Czech Republic
The Green Belt in this area crosses mostly woodlands of the low mountain range from the Franconian Forest via Upperpalatinate Forest and Czech Forest to the Bavarian Forest/Sumava. Almost 60 percent of the Green Belt along Czech-Bavarian border are coniferous forests, another 24% are natural grassland and pastures. Almost nine percent are arable land.
The German Bavarian Forest and the Czech Bohemian Forest (Sumava ) make up the biggest protected forest area in Europe. It consists of the nature parks Upper Bavarian Forest and Bavarian Forest, the national parks Bayerischer Wald and Sumava and the landscape conservation area Sumava.
Many species, that have disappeared in intensively used areas, feel at home in these quiet forest areas. The European Lynx, originally living all over Europe, was extinct in the area at the beginning of the 20th century, but is returning today. The forests of Upper Palatinate and Bavarian Forest are housing about 35% of the German population of the Pearl Mussel, the largest one in Central Europe.
Segments of arable land and border crossings with discontinuous urban fabrics have formed gaps in the Czech-German Green Belt. Clearcut to reduce bark beetle calamities affects the old forest stands. Intensive tourism in some parts disturbs animals and destroys valuable habitats. In the border triangle Germany-Czech Republic-Austria there are plans to intensify ski tourism.
The German - Czech history is closely connected to 20th century's history. The World War II and the Nazi regime with the annection of so-called 'Sudetendeutschland' and the establishment of the protectorate 'Bohemia-Moravia' by Hitler's Germany, the cruel prosecution of Czech resistants and the following displacement of Germans out of the border area left presentiments on both sides.
After World War II the second Czechoslovak republic was re-established and the two German states cultivated contacts in a different way. GDR and Czech Republic considered each other 'brother states', while the Federal Republic of Germany and Czechoslovakia were separated by the Iron Curtain. The Iron Curtain was protected by three fences, partly with high voltage, mines (from 1952-1956) and border guards. In 1965 the fences moved farther inland (2 - 10 kmres from the border) and were protected by a new electronic system.
In 1968 the so-called Prague spring (protest action to establish a liberal form of socialism) was stopped by the invasion of Warsaw pact troops.
After the political change in autumn 1989 the so-called 'Velvet Revolution' with several days of demonstration led to the change from a communist to a coalition government. 1993 the separation in Czech Republic and Slovak Republic followed. Since the Czech accession to the Schengen Agreement on December 21 2007, the border can be crossed freely.
Green Belt Europe