Protests and solidarity
Climate protection, a gold medal and summer heat: a review of moving moments in 2019.
Sweating like never before
The heat records just kept on coming: the summer of 2019 outperformed itself time and again with new maximum temperatures. Lingen in Lower Saxony broke the provisional record with 42.6 degrees Celsius. However, the high temperatures didn't only bring perfect swimming-pool weather. The drought was also a real problem, particularly for the trees. Their resin production decreased, enabling the bark beetle to spread in Germany's forests. Many trees fell victim to it.
Uprising for the climate
The persistent heat also made itself felt on the streets – albeit in the form of protesting young people. The Fridays for Future movement has been demonstrating for better climate protection every Friday since 2018. The protests reached new heights in 2019 in the form of internationally coordinated climate strikes. People in about 150 countries took part in the protests in March, May, September and November. Demonstrations were also held in around 500 German cities.
City mobility with electric power
At the end of May the time had come: e-scooters were approved for use on Germany's roads. The idea is to make it easier for commuters to travel the last kilometre to work from the train, thus reducing traffic in city centres. However, disillusionment soon followed. Scooters were left lying around all over the place, blocking pavements and causing chaos on the streets, cycle and pedestrian tracks. Now the cities are wondering how best to control the flood of e-scooters.
Athlete of the year
He jumped, sprinted and won: at the age of only 21, Niklas Kaul became the youngest decathlon world champion in world championship history on 3 October. This makes him Germany's second decathlon world champion after the GDR athlete Torsten Voss, who won gold in Rome in 1987. In December, he was named 2019 Sportsman of the Year.
Sportswoman of the year
The Sportswoman of the Year is also a real high-flyer – in the truest sense of the word. 25-year-old German long-jumper Malaika Mihambo broke the women's magical seven-metre long-jump mark several times in 2019. She crowned her success with a gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, where she jumped the year's world-best distance of 7.30 metres.
Grief, outrage and dismay
On October 9 – the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur – a heavily armed man tried in vain to force his way into a synagogue in Halle. When he failed to get in, he shot a woman passer-by and a guest at a kebab snack bar. The door of the synagogue that withstood the anti-Semitic assassin is now to be artistically re-designed and exhibited. For the Jewish community it symbolizes the 'miracle of Halle'. The terrorist attack caused dismay throughout Germany and led to a wave of public solidarity with Jewish citizens.
Germany celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November. For over 28 years, the Wall was the symbol of German partition and the Cold War. Only after months of mass protests and a flood of refugees to the Federal Republic via Eastern European countries did the GDR regime relax its travel regulations on 9 November 1989, triggering the fall of the Berlin Wall.