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Missing the forest for the trees – Christian Humberg

We’re all creatures of habit. No matter how impressive things may be, with time we start considering even the exceptional to be normal. The eye – and the brain – gets tired. Suddenly we cannot see the forest for the trees and are no longer able to appreciate the beauty surrounding us. Just ask any old coast dweller if the vast ocean still fills him with awe. Ask experienced aircraft pilots if they still feel amazed. Sven Nieder can, and he shows us how. Using photography and art, he shows us the world we live in – but in a way we have not seen it for quite a long time, if ever. How? Through an amazing perspective.

Welcome to “Himmel über dem Eifelkreis Bitburg-Prüm” (The Sky above Eifelkreis Bitburg-Prüm). Fasten your seatbelts, we’re just waiting to hear from the tower. You are about to embark on a visual voyage, captured on the pages of this book. We promise: you will get to know a whole region of Germany – no matter whether you’ve never been there or have been living there for decades. Nieder spent countless hours in the sky above Bitburg, Prüm and the region’s other towns, collecting images for this volume. He saw fields and hills, rivers and valleys, and all he had with him were two things: his camera and patience. He wanted to capture special moments, and he allowed nature the time to create them: the sunrise above Kyllburg, an airplane touching down at Spangdahlem Air Base, the ex- change of light and shadows near Schönecken Castle, the fog above Waxweiler looking like something straight out of a fairy tale. Each one of the pictures allows us to see in a very new way things we might be familiar with. Seen together, they show us the Eifelkreis in all its facets.

Living more slowly
The coat of arms of Eifelkreis Bitburg-Prüm consists of the red cross of the Electorate of Trier, the tower of priory and city of Bitburg as well as the lamb and flag of Prüm Abbey. The silver and blue stripes in the lower right quarter even allude to neighboring Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, which once owned parts of the region. This coat of arms tells us about the local history. In size, Bitburg-Prüm is the largest administrative district in Rhineland-Palatinate. It counts among the most interesting – and, when seen historically, poorest – regions in all of Germany. This Eifel we are about to fly over together had quite a difficult past. In Kyllburg they still talk about Emperor Wilhelm II visiting back in 1911, but they also know that past governments didn’t care about the border region at all. “Prussian Siberia,” they called it and pretty much left it to starve. This heavily forested part of the Central German Uplands had only military relevance to them. Thus, the locals (Eifelaner) spent the centuries living off their land and farms. What had been a valued economical area during the Roman days – just look at the Roman street still leading through “Beda” Bitburg – turned into a forgotten and sparsely populated nowhere land. These hardships left their marks on the local population. To others, Eifelaner seemed to be leery folks, tight-lipped and sceptical. After generations of having been a pawn in the hands of the powerful, they gave their trust and their loyalty very carefully. They had learned that every ruler has an end date and that new governments will always bring new opinions. The Westwall or Siegfried Line is one of many landmarks in Eifelkreis, that still remind us of the region’s checkered and sometimes terrible history. Hundreds of kilometres long, this monument of megalomania has turned into a symbol for peace …

Read the whole text about the Eifel incl. Spangdahlem Air Base in »Himmel über dem Eifelkreis Bitburg-Prüm«.  Order here!

Look Inside the Book:

Book english Eifel

Photograpy: Sven Nieder
Text: Christian Humberg
Layout: Björn Pollmeyer
Hardcover, 156 pages
more than 130 big photographs
Laguage: English, German
ISBN-13: 978-3-9814113-1-7