ghost towns Germany

Ghost Towns in Germany




region state (4) formulation
bakery lined (2) abandoned
mayor move (2) inhabitant
hardly pass away hairdresser
avoid despite broadband network
offer used to newcomer
hope complain foundation
policy decline think/thought/thought (2)
attend sustain give/gave/given (2)
local butcher supposed to
lack refugee infrastructure
due to thing (2) sell/sold/sold
install incentive go/went/gone (2)
county subsidize commissioner
rural former community center
valley convince metropolitan
scenic area (2)






The town of Küstrin-Kietzlies in eastern Germany’s Oderbok region, and is in a state of decline. The streets are lined with abandoned houses. Their former inhabitants have either passed away or moved to big cities.

There are hardly any newcomers, no stores, no schools. Despite the financial incentives being offered, businesses have avoided this place. Modern companies need a broadband network, but that won’t be installed for another three years.

The mayor of the neighboring village of Golzow also complains about immigration to the big cities. But Frank Schutz says he still has hope as some families want to stay.

Frank Schutz, Mayor of Golzow: “Children are the foundation of any village. I think the village should think of its children when formulating policy and give them a future. Having a kindergarten or a school can sustain a village.”

Eighty children now attend the local kindergarten. The school next door was supposed to close due to a lack of students.

But two years ago some refugee families move to Golzow. Now the school is back in business. The village has just a small bakery. It’s the only place that sells food; and it’s only open for a few hours a day.

The supermarket here closed years ago. Frank Melcher has lived here since childhood and he wants to stay.

Frank Melcher, Golzow Resident: “The bad thing about this village is that nothing is here. We used to have a butcher, a supermarket, a hairdresser, a bank. Now it’s all gone. There’s nothing left.

And the young people go where they can get a job.”

As County Commissioner of Markisch Oderland, Gernot Schmidt is the highest level politician around. He wants Germany’s new federal government to invest in local villages. But he feels this money should be used strategically.

Gernot Schmidt (SPD), County Commissioner, Markisch Oderland: “Money shouldn’t go into subsidy programs that would build the 50th or 100th village community center. We need good infrastructure that connects rural areas with Metropolitan ones.”

At the moment only five buses a day connect these villages with the big cities nearby. But that’s not enough to convince young families to move to the scenic Oder Valley. And tourists aren’t interested either.

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Rural Area. The town of Küstrin-Kietzlies is growing and thriving, due to high birth rates and a healthy economy. True or false?

Country, Countryside. Are businesses and companies investing in the town? Are they turned off by high taxes, regulations and bureaucracy?

Farm, Farmhouse. What does the report say about demographics?

Village. Has there been a lifeline? Has there been a solution to dying towns?

Town. In Golzow, there are many stores, restaurants and shops. Is this right or wrong?

City. Has Golzow always been like this? Has there always been only one bakery?

City Center, Downtown. What is the solution to shrinking villages, according to the County Commissioner?

Plaza. Is the report optimistic, pessimistic or in the middle?
Quarter, District. Do you live in a village, town or city? Do you know anyone who lives in a village?

Suburbs. Are villages increasing in size, decreasing or remaining the same? Are they growing, shrinking or remaining the same?

Metropolitan Area. There are many ghost villages in my country. Yes or no? Have you been to a ghost village?

Megalopolis. I would like to live in a small village. Would your friends like to live in a village?

Region, Province, State. What might happen in the future?

Country. What could or should people and governments do?

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