Photograph: Anti-nuclear protest, Wyhl, Germany, 1975

Horlacher, Leo | from Multimedia Library Collection:
Archival Gems

Activists occupy construction site at Wyhl (February 1975)

Activists occupy a construction site at Wyhl. (Photograph by Leo Horlacher. © 1975 Leo Horlacher. Courtesy of Archiv Soziale Bewegungen.)

This image appears in: “The New Watch on the Rhine: Anti-Nuclear Protest in Baden and Alsace.” Environment & Society Portal, Arcadia 2013, no. 6. Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society.

On the morning of 18 February 1975, some 300 local people—most of them middle-aged farmers and vintners—made their way to a clearing in the woods outside the Badensian village of Wyhl. Construction had just gotten underway on a massive nuclear reactor at this secluded site; the uninvited visitors quickly stopped the work. Within an hour, “every machine [on the site] was shut down.” By evening, tents and trailers dotted the site, and protesters traded stories around a roaring campfire. A full-fledged occupation was underway.

—Stephen Milder

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