The heritage: Mining in Saarland - Part VI

State Chancellery Saarland

Life and limb, Monument, Long farewell

Coal production in Saarland came to an end in 2012 after over 250 years. This was a defining moment for Saarland because it was almost impossible to imagine the federal state without the mining industry. The ups and downs of the entire federal state were closely linked to coal. Mining played a major role in the lives of almost all families in Saarland, with either a relative or an ancestor having worked in the industry. The fact that coal mining gave our state its own identity is largely thanks to the people who worked in it: the Saarland miners. They laid the foundations for economic development in Saarland and provided momentum for the 'economic miracle' in Germany with their hard work, influencing our state, its values and its cohesion like no other occupational group. The camaraderie and solidarity among miners was the model for the sense of community among people in Saarland. We are now faced with the task of keeping the memories of the mining industry alive. It is important to preserve the knowledge of the mining roots of our state and to pass this knowledge on, especially to young people. The virtual state exhibition DAS ERBE (the heritage) plays a central role in this culture of remembrance. We want this to highlight the special importance of the period characterised by the mining industry for the current and future Saarland society. The DAS ERBE exhibition focuses on miners, their lives, families and culture, their influence on togetherness in Saarland, and on what remains after the end of coal mining, rather than on machinery and mining towers. The exhibition highlights just how rich and varied the heritage of miners is for our state.
I hope that visitors to the "DAS ERBE" exhibition at the Open Gallery of the Google Cultural Institute in the Saarland State Chancellery learn something new about mining in Saarland and are able to gain a better understanding of work underground.

Life and limb, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Life and limb
From the very outset, there were manifold risks involved in mining which markedly increased with the introduction of deep mining. Water ingress, underground fire, cable breakage, mine collapse and above all the dreaded firedamp and coal dust explosions are part thereof; it was above all due to the latter that many miners lost their lives. The employee insurance schemes initiated by Bismarck and constantly further developed since that time made a decisive contribution to safeguarding the miners and their survivors. Since then, improvement in technology alone has no longer occupied a forefront position in mining risk prevention, but also development of preventive measures such as occupational and health protection.
Plasma donation for injured comrades at the Knappschaftskrankenhaus (literally: "Miners' association hospital") Fischbach, 1949, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
X-ray carriage of the "Arbeitsmedizinische Ambulanz" at the Knappschaft Saarbrücken, January 1957, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
The challenge trophy for mine safety was awarded to the Ensdorf pit in 1966., Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Inside of the X-ray carriage of the "Arbeitsmedizinische Ambulanz", January 1957, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Shift tokens ("Fahrmarken") of various mines, Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Protective equipment of the Warndt pit, Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Knee protectors made of leather, Steffi Groß-Hanke, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Miner's apron ("Arschleder"), Steffi Groß-Hanke, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Miner at work, Landesbildstelle Saarland im LPM, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Miner, take care!, Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Self-rescuer (breathing apparatus), Saarländisches Bergbaumuseum Bexbach, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Filter self-rescuer Dräger 810, Saarländisches Bergbaumuseum Bexbach, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
CO-filter self-rescuer Auer 95, Saarländisches Bergbaumuseum Bexbach, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Birdcage, Steffi Groß-Hanke, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Birdcage, Steffi Groß-Hanke, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Dräger gas detector, Saarländisches Bergbaumuseum Bexbach, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Methane gas measuring unit 0-50 percent, Saarländisches Bergbaumuseum Bexbach, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Air measuring unit, Saarländisches Bergbaumuseum Bexbach, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Dräger gas detector, Bergmannsverein Fischbach-Camphausen, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Methane gas meter, Bergmannsverein Fischbach-Camphausen, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Oxygen indicator, Bergmannsverein Fischbach-Camphausen, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Ventilation engineer at work, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
"Wettersteiger" of the Velsen pit, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Poster series for accident prevention, Landesarchiv Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Dräger respirator, Saarländisches Bergbaumuseum Bexbach, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Dräger BG 4 breathing apparatus, RAG, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Sticker of the Saar mine rescue brigade ("Saargrubenwehr"), Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Training of mine rescue brigades in Maybach, Landesarchiv Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Fully geared member of mine rescue brigade prior to deployment, Heimatmuseum Quierschied, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Mine rescue worker while extinguishing a fire, Heimatmuseum Quierschied, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Test card of RAG "Gruben und Gasschutzwehr" ("mine rescue and gas protection brigade"), Jens Stoewesand, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Pulmotor, Guido Wolff, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Sound level meter, Saarländisches Bergbaumuseum Bexbach, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Case with six air samples, Guido Wolff, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Four bottles from a first aid station ("Verbandsstube"), Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Orders for emergency personnel, Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Emergency helpers' booklet ("Nothelferbuch"), Gunter Altenkirch, Gersheim-Rubenheim, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Emergency helpers' pass from Warndt pit, Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
French miner's helmet, Historisches Museum Saar, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
German miner's helmet, Historisches Museum Saar, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Safety helmet made of leather, Steffi Groß-Hanke, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Protective helmet, Gunter Altenkirch, Gersheim-Rubenheim, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Mirror with "warning", RAG, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Firedamp explosions, RAG, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland

The firedamp explosions shown in the film sequences are testing demolitions performed to examine this danger. These are gas and coal dust explosions as well as water trough explosions. The demolition of a ventilation structure is also shown. Such tests also helped to significantly improve safety provisions and installations underground in the last couple of decades.

Members of the mine fire brigade carrying the coffin of a fatality of the Luisenthal catastrophe at the central memorial service on 10 February 1962., Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Memorial for the victims of the Maybach pit firedamp catastrophe, 1930, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Fictional representation of a fire damp explosion as shown in the "Le petit parisien" magazine in 1907, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Memorial stone for the victims of the firedamp explosion of the Reden pit in 1907 in Schiffweiler, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
BILD tabloid: Catastrophe in the Saar region, Deutsches Zeitungsmuseum, Wadgassen, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Pit catastrophe in Völklingen, Deutsches Zeitungsmuseum, Wadgassen, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Saarbrücker Zeitung 08., 09., 10., 12/02/1962, Guido Wolff, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
"Ein jeder ist dein Nä̈chster", RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Mining exhibition at St. Lukas pharmacy, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Memorial service for Luisenthal disaster, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Magazine "Schacht und Heim", 8th year, issue 3, March 1962, Rüdiger Ankele, Merten (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Song text "Oh Luisenthal" – a song about the pit disaster, 1962, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Luisenthal memorial service, Saarländischer Rundfunk, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Memorial sheet of the Camphausen pit disaster in 1886, Guido Wolff, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Pocket watch, Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
"Bergmannskind" postcard, 1909, Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Information signs, Industriekultur Saar GmbH, Göttelborn, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Information sign on conveyor cage, Guido Wolff, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Dahlbusch bomb, Carreau Wendel, Petite-Rosselle (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Mine rescue brigade suit with respirator, Saarländisches Bergbaumuseum Bexbach, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Memorial, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Monument
There have no longer been any deaths in Saarland coal mining since 2004 owing to high safety standards, yet the memory of mining as one of the most dangerous professions in Western industrial society remains. The number of people in mining injured while performing their work indeed lies well above the cumulative victims of the major accidents. So taking account of the „everyday“ accidents, between 7.500 and 10.000 individuals must have lost their lives since State mining around the Saar began, above all men, but also a few women. The monument to the dead miners cannot lay claim to completeness. This is why the victims of mining who are unknown by name should also be honoured representatively at this point.
Memorial for the victims of the 28 January 1907 coal dust explosion, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Memorial for the victims of the 20 October 1864 Reden pit firedamp explosion, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
The long goodbye, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Long farewell
As early as during the 1950‘s, the first Saarland pits had to close and work stoppages had to be introduced owing to market difficulties. The oil crisis during the 1970‘s appeared to herald a renaissance of coal; in addition, large coal-fired power plants such as that in Ensdorf and the subsidies from the „coal penny“ introduced in 1974 were to help to stabilise the situation. Yet since the structural crises of the 1980‘s at the latest, which resulted in regularly held „coal round negotiations“ (Federal government, coal states, employers and trade unions), the end of mining around the Saar was predictable for many. In 1997, the collective redundancies in the highly subsidised mining industry culminated in massive protests and the Saar mines were sold to the RAG for a symbolic D Mark. The end of Saarland mining, initially scheduled for 2018, was brought forward to 30th June 2012 owing to subsidence-related earthquakes.
The Camphausen pit, early 1960s, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Construction of the Weiher powerplant in July 1963, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Ban on Sunday driving during the first oil crisis in November of 1973 – photo taken at the Goldene Bremm border crossing near Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Coal lab with testing facility for coal refinement and gasometer on the premises of the Heinitz pit closed down in 1962; photo taken during demolition works, 11 February 1967, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Glück auf! – Youth and Saar mining, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland

This educational film was used to recruit new miners. It showed the everyday work of a miner with inviting images and underscored by cheerful music. Beginning with the shared ride to work inside the bus of the Saarberg AG, the various working activities inside the mine itself and continuing to joint holiday camps in European countries - this film showed all aspects of a miner's professional life and was designed to invite young people to become a part of this community.

Look into a washroom ("Waschkaue"), RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Beverage vending machine, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Miners' portraits 1, 2, 5, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
"To all Saar miners with sons", Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Welcome address by Hubertus Rolshoven, Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Company library of the Velsen pit, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Monthly pass for the bus, Delf Slotta, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Ticket, Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Youth working at the sorting conveyor, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Miners underground, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Miners underground after a successful breakthrough, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Miners underground, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Change of shift, Landesbildstelle Saarland im LPM, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Miners inside a face, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Miners of Velsen pit, Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Migrant workers from Turkey in Maybach, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Miners underground, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Opening of the canteen, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Football match between pit teams, Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Shaft expansion underground, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
"Halbschicht", RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Breakthrough by French miners, Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Shaft sinking, Becker & Bredel, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Miners of the Reden pit, RAG Bildarchiv, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Strike poster, Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Protest poster of the IGBE, Horst Schmadel, Seingbouse (F), Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Protests in Saarbrücken, Becker & Bredel, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Protests in Volklingen, Becker & Bredel, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
St. Blasius church in Saarwellingen, Landesbildstelle Saarland im LPM, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Leaflets, Landesbildstelle Saarland im LPM, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Leaflets, Landesbildstelle Saarland im LPM, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Like our own funeral, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Saarbrücker Kohlehafen mit Burbacher Hü̈tte ("Saarbrücken coal port with Burbach steelworks"), Delf Slotta, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Miner's shower, Becker & Bredel, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Box of miner's tools, RAG, Saarbrücken, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Carreau Wendel workshop wagon, Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes Open Gallery, From the collection of: State Chancellery Saarland
Staatskanzlei des Saarlandes, Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Credits: All media
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