A yellow resistance cross marks the entrance to the town of Pödelwitz - a 700-year-old farming village located south of Leipzig. In 2028, according to plans by the coal company MIBRAG, it will have to give way to opencast lignite mining. The village, which is located on the edge of an open pit, was not originally intended as a mining area. However, it is estimated that 10 to 20 million tons of brown coal lie beneath it. Therefore, MIBRAG wants to dig up Pödelwitz - regardless of the inhabitants.
Of the once 140 inhabitants, only 27 remain. Although there is still no mining permit, MIBRAG has been trying to buy houses and plots from residents since 2010. It owns most of them now. The corporation lets the properties go to ruin, thereby destroying the infrastructure of the village. The last remaining inhabitants of Pödelwitz resolutely oppose the imminent disappearance of their home. Numerous environmental organizations and climate activists have now joined the citizens' initiative Pro Pödelwitz. The village also received nationwide attention through the 2018 and 2019 climate camps with nearly 1000 participants. Together they fight for the preservation of the village. After exploratory discussions in October 2019, the CDU, SPD and Greens agreed on preserving Pödelwitz. The mining company MIBRAG, however, is sticking to the excavation plan.
Nevertheless, chances are good that the village will stay.