Germany is progressively disarming, but the world needs more and more weapons. And armament production keeps on going.
According to SIPRI, Germany is the third weapons exporter in the world, after the USA and Russia. Since a few decades, the armament industry main cluster concentrates around the lake Constance (Bodensee), the largest in the country; an idyllic border resort where Switzerland, Germany and Austria meet, surrounded by hundred-year-old forests.
These factories, self denominated as “Security and Defence-engineering related companies”, need to gain Bodensee locals’ approval for their activity next to their dwellings. And so, they employ thousands of locals, pay millions of euro in taxes, support associations and kindergartens, make donations to schools, orchestras or sport events. Armament Industry provide most social budget in the lake surroundings.
As published this week in the printed version of Die Zeit, a priest from Friedrichshafen reluctantly declares: “For us, as Church community, the topic of tanks and missiles is very delicate. The one who criticizes here the armament industry, speaks against himself. It is not only about church tax. It is also about hundreds of members of our community, who nobody wants to aggravate.”
The site started its tradition, when the Earl von Zeppelin produced his Zeppelin in the surroundings. Even if it started as a civil means of transport, it ended contributing to the I WW. At that time, his airship industry employed 3,000 people. Like today, the issue of armament engineering can ambiguously conceived. This region, with the largest amount of patents in Germany per year, improves both the military, but also, the civil aviation systems.
Meanwhile, at the lake Constance, everyone seems to have a clean conscience and high life standards.
[source&image> Die Zeit 04/11/2010]