The city of Salzgitter has had an eventful 2019. Above all, it was a money-losing year. In local politics, however, there were also new department heads, it was about ailing schools, state aid and a spirit of optimism.
On the evening of 9. April there was a major fire in Salzgitter-Bad. Several houses were damaged, some severely, in the heart of the old town and became uninhabitable. Investigations into the cause of the fire continue.
The battle for the climate did not stop at Salzgitter companies either. They are adapting their production to the energy transition and setting out for a climate-friendly world. Volkswagen is also involved, starting with a pilot plant for small-scale battery production.
Various court cases in Salzgitter also caused a stir in 2019. Several murders were tried in court, students who became serial robbers, serious crimes against women and an alleged "honor killing".
But there was also positive news from the steel city: For his many voluntary activities, the readers of our newspaper voted Hans-Werner Eisfeld Salzgitter's Man of the Year.
And what was sporty? Salzgitter's soccer clubs continue to have a hard time holding their own in the state league, the volleyball players of SG STV/MTV Salzgitter win the relegation, but are still stuck in the upper league. In the regional league first successful, then with problems: The table tennis players of SV Union Salzgitter.
– The year in review for Germany and the world
– The year in review for Braunschweig
– The year in review for Wolfsburg
– The year in review for the Wolfenbuttel district
– The annual review for the Gifhorn district
– The annual review for the Helmstedt district
– The annual review for the Peine district
The chronicle of the year 2019 in Salzgitter
11. January: Police apprehend a serial arsonist
A total of eight cars catch fire in Lebenstedt between October 2018 and January 2019. Property damage runs into five figures. Shortly after the fire on 7. January: Police question a 63-year-old man, who had already been a suspect before, after receiving tips from witnesses. This time he admits to setting seven of the eight vehicles on fire. The man's motive: a breakup. In July, the Salzgitter Local Court sentences the man to three years in prison.
22. January: No more weather from Salzgitter on TV
In May 2008, meteorologist Jorg Kachelmann inaugurates a weather station behind Fire Station II in Salzgitter-Bad. This is made possible because the Salzgitter Economic and Innovation Development Corporation (WIS) initiates and finances the project. The data collected in Salzgitter-Bad will be shown on television for years to come. Now it's over. Background for the dismantling of the weather station is the reconstruction of the fire station. An alternative site cannot be found. In addition, an implementation of the station is associated with costs in the amount of 8000 euros. Because, according to the WIS, there is no further added value and annual maintenance incurs costs, the station is abandoned.
29. January: IG Metall has new 1. Plenipotentiary
Wolfgang Raschke leads IG Metall Salzgitter-Peine for 16 years. At the beginning of the year, he enters the passive phase of partial retirement. Matthias Wilhelm (photo) replaces him as successor. The 51-year-old is elected by a clear majority, there are no opposing candidates. Brigitte Runge becomes the 2. Plenipotentiary and thus elected as successor to Wilhelm.
9. February: Minister defends Konrad repository
Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze visits Salzgitter and makes it clear that she is committed to the Konrad mine as a nuclear waste repository. For Schulze, the non-retrievability of low and intermediate level radioactive waste from the Konrad mine is a fundamental decision. She cannot see any damage to Salzgitter's image.
13. February: VW Salzgitter celebrates 60 millionth engine
The 60 millionth engine since the start of production 49 years ago is manufactured at Volkswagen's Salzgitter plant. The anniversary engine is a 1.5 TSI engine. Plant manager Christian Bleiel pays tribute to the tremendous performance of employees during a ceremony at one of the 86 engine lines. The VW works council chairman at the Salzgitter site, Dirk Windmuller, describes the anniversary engine as the most modern gasoline engine.
16. February: The beaver is back on the Innerste River
The beaver has been considered extinct in the region since 1856, now it's back. Both in the joint municipality of Baddeckenstedt and in Salzgitter, its traces can no longer be overlooked on numerous banks of the Innerste river. The district of Wolfenbuttel wants to tolerate the natural behavior of the beaver. If there are no concerns with regard to flood protection, dead wood is to be left in the water and in the floodplain area. Beavers cut down trees, especially in winter, for food.
18. April: New supermarket opens in 2020
The opening of the Dormero Hotel built by investor Helmut de Jong is just around the corner, and the building application for the next major project in the city center has already been submitted. A short time later, work begins on a new Rewe store on the former Preussag site opposite the town hall. de Jong is counting on the local supermarket to open on 30. June 2020.
21. May: Two boys drown in garden pond
It is a tragic accident: two boys (4, 7) are found dead in the evening in a garden pond of the 1100-inhabitant community. Rescue forces can only recover the lifeless bodies. All attempts to resuscitate the children, who apparently could not swim, fail. They are cousins. They had been missing, then the police found them in the pond of the neighbor's property.
15. June: Salt crystal illuminates the lattice gate roundabout
More than 300 residents and guests are present when the salt crystal sculpture designed by student Lorenz Albrecht and co-financed by citizens illuminates the lattice gate traffic circle for the first time as dusk falls. The work of art, which rests on eight twelve-meter-thick steel plates each weighing just under 100 kilograms, weighs four tons. It shines over 18 acrylic cubes, each weighing 40 kilograms, symbolizing salt.
26. June: Tigers breathe a sigh of relief – ex-coach sentenced
An ex-trainer (44) of the Tigers boxing club is sentenced to three and a half years' imprisonment without probation at the Regional Court in Braunschweig for serious sexual abuse of an initially 13-year-old girl. The club, heavily burdened by the investigations and temporarily exempt from subsidies, breathes a sigh of relief: It wants to open as planned at the end of 2020 in the deconsecrated St.-St. Matthew's Church to open a sports base with boxing ring and fitness rooms.
11. July: Court upholds verdict against AfD leader
Braunschweig Regional Court upholds verdict against Salzgitter's AfD district chairman Michael Groger. He had been sentenced by the district court to a four-month suspended sentence for incitement of the people. In the second instance, the court raises the suspended sentence from 600 to 2500 euros. The criminal chamber has "no doubt" that he spread a poem inciting against asylum seekers via his public Facebook profile. Groger announces appeal.
11. September: Flat steel election declared inadmissible
The legal disputes surrounding the Salzgitter Flachstahl works council continue unabated. In the second instance, the Hanover Regional Labor Court rules: the holding of the works council election in March 2018 was inadmissible, the election invalid. The number of members on the election board had been increased from seven to 113 for six days. Four employees of the steel manufacturer had initiated a review of the process. The employee representatives' appeal against the decision is ongoing. Next year, the case will go before the Federal Labor Court in Erfurt.
26./27. October: The new municipal pool opens
After three years of construction, the municipal pool opens in Lebenstedt. Hundreds of visitors take advantage of the appointment to look around the rooms and the outside area. The cost: 13.8 million euros, the estimate was 13.2. It is the last project under baths sports and leisure boss Walter Straub. His successor is Dirk Bremermann, who took over on 1. January takes up his duties.
10. and 12. November: Found dog Cody conquers hearts
Two animal dramas shake Salzgitter-Bad towards the end of the year. On the one hand, 15 dead rabbits are found on the premises of an allotment association and proceedings are initiated against the owner, on the other hand, a totally neglected cocker spaniel is picked up under a bridge on the A 39 motorway. The latter is freed from four kilos of matted fur at the animal shelter, where he is given his name.
18. December: Restaurant in the castle courtyard closes
It is a project close to the heart of Lebenshilfe in Salder, the Schlosshof Salder restaurant. At the end of the year, it is announced that the facility, where many impaired people work and where they should be able to (re)enter the workforce, will close down. The operator cites several reasons for this, including higher new taxation and a shortage of skilled workers.