THE TRAGEDY OF RESCHENSEE 1949/50 For electricity, the villages of Graun and (partly) Reschen and ancient hamlets of Arlund, Piz, Gorf and Stocker Stockerhöfe (St. Valentine) were flooded.
A large artificial lake of 677 ha was created, which destroyed nearly one thousand years of settlement history and a unique culture and landscape of the plateau at the Reschenpass.
In 1939 the water level of the Italian project from 1920 was increased, by the then fascist government, from 5 meter to 22 meter (+17 meters). This was done without informing the people and without any legal or environmental assessment.
The inhabitants were expropriated without compensation and were forced to move. This was done in the "national interest to strengthen the national industry".
The Second World War delayed the construction. Swiss investors were needed to solve financial problems. In 1949, the first electricity had to be delivered to Switzerland.
Südtirol and its towns could not do anything. Due to the fascist regime from 1923 - 1952 there was no elected government in the towns. Südtirol had no elected government until 1948.
In the summer of 1950 the buildings were blown up and flooded, forcing inhabitants to either move or to live in barracks for 2 years. The tower from the 14th century was left intact as a memorial monument.
In the years after 1973 the government of Südtirol has carried out extensive restoration measures. Approx. 35 ha of cropland have been recovered using material from the lake.
CONSEQUENCES: 70% of the population moved; 181 buildings demolished; 514 ha of cropland have been lost; 70% fewer livestock.