Extreme Weather In The Past: Germany’s Great Drought Of 1947 And Its “Catastrophic” Consequences

Some regions in Central Europe have been suffering from a shortage of rain this spring and summer, so not surprisingly the media are blaming manmade climate change, often implying that droughts in Germany never happened before.

But of course they have, as this old news clip from Bavaria, Germany rolled in September, 1947 documents:

The film, rolled 75 years ago, reports on “The Great Drought” and its “catastrophic” consequences: dried up rivers and reservoirs, crop failures lakes 3 meters below their normal levels.

The situation in Bavaria was so bad in fact that half a million cattle had to be emergency slaughtered. Hydroelectric power plants had to be shut down due to a lack of water in the reservoirs, thus leading to power rationing.

Numerous forest fires broke out along the Bavarian-Austrian border near the Alps, where firefighters struggled for weeks to get the fire under control.

The agricultural soil was so dry after the summer harvest that “farmers plowed powdery dry land” and that following year’s crop yields would also be impacted.

Back then, everybody knew, however, that the cause was just Mother Nature being fickle as she always has been.

6 responses to “Extreme Weather In The Past: Germany’s Great Drought Of 1947 And Its “Catastrophic” Consequences”

  1. Yonason

    Things are so much better now that the idle have to find reasons to complain, or they will die of boredom if they can’t make others as paranoid as they are.

    After watching that video, I selected this one from those suggested.

    It made me think of the slogan “build back better,” the demented fantasy of those with too much free time on their hands and too few brains in their heads.

    (From other history videos I have watched, I could here recognize the Brandenberg gate and the Reichstag. One can also tell when one was in E. Berlin, with the poster of Stalin and the signs in Russian. Also obvious was the absence of the Berlin Wall.

    Just another observation – the smiles on the children’s faces. No doubt, because despite the devastation around them, they hadn’t yet been burdened with worrying about how their parents were destroying the environment or that they might not have been born the right sex. They were just free to be children.)

  2. John Hultquist


    I’m sure there were other rainfalls of magnitude in 1947, but one is enough.
    I’m certain the media will let us know when weather is world-wide perfect.

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  6. Christian Freuer

    Another interesting fact: the preceding winter of 1946/47 war one of the harshest intah century. As the land was widely destroyed due to the war, people had nothing to heat with or to eat. It was the “Great Hunger Winter”.
    Extremes at best!

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