Our friends at Alla Hopp recommended we take a look at one anarchistic commune residing in a big burg (old castle) in a small village called Lutter. And so, we were in the pouring rain out of Seseen train station, looking for the right spot to hitch from. Germany used to be one of the friendliest countries for hitchhiking.. well, used to be. Finally a fruity guy decided to cooperate with our principles (not have our host waste fuel by picking us up), and took a slightly different route to make Lutter on his way. Check out their website at http://www.burg-lutter.de/
There are two tall towers in Lutter. They are of the same height, but one is of the church, and the other of the burg. There are the remains of a real moat around the huge building, and a whole forest must have gone into the roof.. We were shown a small display of 'archeological items' found on site.
Some 20 years ago, the original group acquired the old burg, which was in need of much restoration, in order to create an autonomous commune, absent of authority, state or bosses of any kind. With the rules of never having a boss and no private money (total income share), they formed their own businesses - a seminar house, a big carpentry workshop, organic whole bread bakery, apple-juice press, a shop selling anarchistic material (books, stickers, apparel, music, and more) and a textile print-shop (website) producing T-shirts, patches, and sweatshirts with anti-nazi/fascist, anarchistic, and even a few vegan drawings and slogans.
Being a relatively old commune and having the work force (more than 20 members at times), everything is well built and organized. But today with only 7 permanent members left, they have to work hard and long hours every week in order to keep everything running and reach the required minimum income. This is quite apparent, and the people are rough and tired looking, and as in all anarchistic communes we visited, they are all commercial-tobacco addicts. But hopefully new members will appear, make more leisure time available, and brighten things up.
With the exception of the religious Twelve Tribes and Lutter, all the German communities we visited, relied on government money to a certain extent (such as unemployment, welfare, or grants). In Lutter, with the serious dedication to anarchy, the members vowed to never accept such an income, and when they file their taxes, they make sure their expenses zero-out the taxes they would have to pay.
Our assigned hosts were Daniela and Martin, very friendly and accommodating people, always making sure we are okay, and not working too hard. We had good talks with them and also with Annette, since it was her 'week in the kitchen', so Erika could get some of the gossip.. We helped mainly with maintenance, wood-chopping, kitchen, apple trees, and gardening, but also had a chance to help in the juice-press and in the textile print-shop.
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