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The Last One of his Trade / Der letzte seines Standes

The Charcoal Burner

2004

K√∂hler G√ľnther Birkelbach K√∂hler G√ľnther Birkelbach

Charcoal Burning, a Very Old Trade.

There are a few charcoal burners left who work like they used to a thousand years ago. Guenther Birkelbach is one of those last few. He is also the oldest, still active charcoal burner in Germany who still does the "Stoer", which means he will carry his business to where the work is.

His ancestors worked in this trade for at least five generations. He will now be the last one. Heritage societies invite Guenther Birkelbach to demonstrate his craft to hundreds of spectators. He will show us how charcoal burners traditionally worked. A difficult and dirty work, most of the time far away from any amenities of civilization and a lonely work too. Still a craft which Guenther Birkelbach would not let go of, even in his 76th year.

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