The first time that Germany implemented daylight savings time was from 1916 to 1918 during World War I. After the war, this measure for conserving energy didn’t seem necessary anymore and was immediately stopped after this two-year run. It was then reintroduced in 1940 – again, in the context of war. With the end of World War II, time zones became messy as the occupying powers didn’t follow common rules. Only in 1950, this chaos was resolved when the use of daylight savings time was ended.
It would take another 30 years until the topic was brought up again. Germany reimplemented daylight savings time in 1980, once again with the goal to conserve energy by making use of daylight more efficiently. With the sun setting later in the day during summer, turning on the light is not necessary as much.
The initial idea does not actually work out, however. Studies showed that, while people use less energy for light, they do start heating their homes earlier, which makes up for the conserved energy.
With all the mentioned points of disagreement and current events keeping the political world occupied, it’s unclear when – or if – a decision will be made about ending the use of daylight savings time in Germany. So for the time being, changing the clocks will be part of our routines twice a year.
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