The Elbe: Or, How to Make Sense of a River?


In 1981, the Elbe river in Hamburg was the source of environmental controversy due to the mercury content found in eel fished from the river, becoming a key environmental dispute between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic. By analyzing documentation from the period, Sophie Lange reflects on the difficulties of trying to piece together environmental history when different classification systems and terms have been used to document it.