When I landed in the Frankfurt Han airport I wasn’t expecting to discover the fantastic HERstory that surrounded that place, where the last edition of the Women’s Music Festival would take place on 24, 25 and 26th of July, as one of the Caravan stopovers organized by women and women groups, along with the German national coordination of the World March of Women.
They told me that what brought them to Hunsrück was their active participation on the resistance peace movement in Germany against the arms race, during the Cold War in a context of division between the Federal Republic of Germany (West) and the German Democratic Republic (East).
Later on, Ulrike would explain us that, in fact, there, in Hunsrück, was settled one of the US military bases with an arsenal of bombs and missiles. It was a point where peace movements (mixed groups) from Germany concentrated frequently for protests, vigils and direct actions. In this context, women and lesbians were camping next to the military base during summers – sometimes achieving a participation of 100 women only in one camp in Hunsrück: the Women´s Resistance Camp. They kept this camp for 11 years, living in community for several weeks in a row.
Hunsrück Peace Movement: Women Resistance camps during the Cold War, only-women spaces held during summertime for 11 years (“Banner Todesland soll Lebensland werden”). The women in these camps were mainly radical feminists, and boys above 12 years old were not allowed.
Astrid and the others have lived in Kludenbach for about 15 years. The first women/lesbian collective that came out of the camp was about 30 years ago, with different women in a different place. There was only one camp in Hunsrück, the Women´s Resistance Camp. Mixed groups did actions like demonstrations, religious services, vigils etc.
We had the chance to visit two exhibitions in the Museum of History of the Hunsrück area, guided by Maria: one about caves by Ruth Hecker, and another about the “peace movement” against the cruise missiles. Some memorable quotes:
“They cut the fences and made a party inside until the police came” (summer 1983)
“They (women radical feminist camps) were invading the base and painting things inside.”