Stuttgart album on the 1973 oil crisis: memories of the lockdown for cars – Stuttgart


Exactly 47 years ago, cyclists had country roads and motorways to themselves. Photo: dpa

The autobahn belonged to cycling, the Königstrasse in Stuttgart to a horse-drawn carriage: Exactly 47 years ago there was a lockdown for cars. On November 25, 1973, Germany experienced the first Sunday driving ban during the oil crisis.

Stuttgart – People in Germany had to do without it exactly 47 years ago. No one suspected of a pandemic. The economy threatened to get sick. Because the sheikhs had turned off the oil tap in the West. November 25, 1973, Sunday of the Dead, was the first of four car-free Sundays in Germany. In Stuttgart, four horses pulled two carriages across the empty Königstrasse, which was not yet a pedestrian zone. Sigrid Vollmer sent photos from this memorable time to our Stuttgart album. Horses had right of way!

Anyone who drove anyway paid a fine of 500 D-Marks

The oil-producing countries are using their resources as a means of political pressure for the first time in the Israelite-Arab conflict. The oil crisis put a not inconsiderable damper on the flourishing German economy. Chancellor Willy Brandt then told the car-loving Germans that they would now have to do without a motor-driven vehicle on Sundays. Bus drivers, rescue workers, doctors, diplomats, milk truck drivers and similarly important people were excluded. Anyone who nevertheless got behind the wheel on the four car-free Sundays had to pay a fine of 500 D-Marks. On working days, petrol should also be saved with a speed limit.

“It was great to run in the middle of the street”

The only traffic fatalities, writes Franz Hillenbrand in our Facebook forum, occurred on a car-free Sunday in the Stuttgart area: “A waiting passenger came under a bus.” For Barbara Haag it was a “great experience” that it can also be done without cars .

Gisela Salzer-Bothe notes: “We (the jazz musicians of Dixieland Hall) had a special permit, signed by Traffic Director Peer-Uli Faerber. because of a jazz drink to transport the instruments. But you can’t compare the traffic with today. ”Irmgard Abt liked“ walking in the middle of the street ”.

On December 25, Kuwait announced the end of the oil production cuts. That also ended the crisis. On January 8, 1974, Willy Brandt spoke out against further driving bans – at that time, of course, nothing was known about fine dust.

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