The Emsland Plan was passed by the German Bundestag on May 5, 1950 in order to bring the standard of living of the then rather backward Emsland into line with the Federal Republic. Not only the districts of Aschendorf-Hümmling , Meppen , Lingen and the county of Bentheim, which were then in the Emsland region, benefited from the Emslandplan, but also parts of the neighboring districts of Leer , Cloppenburg and Bersenbrück .
On March 7, 1951, Emsland GmbH , which was dissolved in 1989, was founded, not least with considerable financial support from the United States , which over the years received more than 2.1 billion DM, mainly from federal funds and the state of Lower Saxony .
Reasons for the adoption of the Emsland Plan were among others:
- structural backwardness of the region
- Dutch territorial claims, Dutch annexation plans after the Second World War
- Settlement of displaced and refugee farmers from the German eastern regions
- quite rich oil and natural gas finds in Emsland and the county of Bentheim
- unsecured food situation
With the help of huge deep plows, so-called Ottomeyer plows, which plowed the ground up to a depth of 2.4 meters, large moor areas such as the Bourtanger moor and heather areas were dug up and made arable for agriculture . This was intended to initiate a profound change in the region. In addition to the construction of new roads , additional traffic routes and farms , completely new villages or districts emerged. From today's point of view, the plan is viewed more critically from the point of view of nature conservation , but at that time the view of the nutrition of the population and a future perspective of the impoverished region were more important.
While agriculture initially shaped working life, today modern industrial and commercial enterprises dominate the economic life of the Emsland. In addition to a number of medium-sized companies , including regional suppliers to the Volkswagen factory in Emden , the Emsland district has the Bundeswehr shooting range on a former Krupp firing range, the now disused test track for the Transrapid magnetic levitation train , the Papenburg Meyer shipyard and a Mercedes-Benz - Proving ground.
- Emsland landscape and district government Weser-Ems (Ed.): The Emsland development. A handout for teaching in seventh to tenth grades. Final editing: Helmut Lensing. Sögel, 2000
- Christof Haverkamp: The development of the Emsland in the 20th century as an example of state regional economic development. (Emsland / Bentheim series, Volume 7), Sögel, Emsländische Landschaft, 1991
- District Emsland (Ed.): 50 years of the Emsland Plan. Editor: Heiner Schüpp; Claus Veltmann. Meppen, Emsland district, 2000
- Josef Stecker : The political path to the great Emsland development 40 years ago. In: Emsland yearbook. Yearbook of the Emsland Heimatbund. Vol. 36 (1990), pp. 18-29.
- Emsland plan. District of Emsland, accessed on May 15, 2013 .