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Conditions for a Successful Farewell. Memories of Coal Mining in Ibbenbüren

Thomas Schürmann

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In 2018, when the last German hard coal mines were closed down, the conditions were relatively favourable, especially in the coal region of Ibbenbüren in Northern Westphalia. This district is marked by small towns and medium-sized enterprises with a relatively low unemployment rate. On the one hand, the shutdown without greater lay-offs was enabled by the co-working of the trade union and the mining company. This, on the other hand, depended to a large extent on external influences, not least on state subsidies and the preceding integration of the German hard coal industry into a rescue company. Furthermore, the relatively smooth transition would not have been possible without the willingness of many miners of covering far distances to other locations. This article is based on narrative interviews conducted before the shutdown of 2018 with miners and other persons involved, focusing on their memories of mining in Ibbenbüren.


Bibliographie: Schürmann, Thomas: Conditions for a Successful Farewell. Memories of Coal Mining in Ibbenbüren, BIOS – Zeitschrift für Biographieforschung, Oral History und Lebensverlaufsanalysen, 2-2018, S. 22-36.