For centuries, daily life in the border village of Reingers has been uncomplicated. People went shopping ‘over there’, while most of the German speaking Czech neighbours came ‘over here’ to visit the Reingers fair.
Nothing changed fundamentally with the end of the monarchy and with the new border between Czechoslovakia and Austria. However in the 1930s the political climate heated up. In January 1938, a blood red ‘northern lights’ sky at Reingers was taken as an ominous sign of change. Two months later, Austria joined Nazi Germany, and before long there were gunfights between Czechoslovak units and the Sudeten German Free Corps. With the occupation of the Czech rump state by Nazi Germany, the border lost its significance. Violence, chaos, and the expulsion of the German speaking population dominated the last days of World War II. With the construction of barrier systems and a barbed wire fence in 1951, the border turned into the Iron Curtain.
In December 1989, following the velvet revolution, the dismantling of the Iron Curtain began. The rich history leading all the way up to the casual everyday life along the border today is portrayed by the thematic walk ‘Pathways of the 20th century’.
Much of what goes on in Reingers today connects to an old tradition, the centuries-old cultivation of the hemp plant. It dazzles visitors with its beauty seen both in the fields and as products found in the hemp shop.