Paul:No, that’s no Harz witch. That’s a basket woman.
Anni:Oh, but she's wearing a headscarf and smock… and also looks so wrinkled!
Paul:That counts as workwear… because up until the 20th century these basket women were responsible for transporting food and other important goods to the Upper Harz Mountains. In winter especially, they could be the only source of news between places that were often cut off from the outside world for weeks.
Anni:And all along these terribly steep paths here?
Paul:Yes, exactly! They were often en route for hours in all weathers. Do you see the basket, that wicker basket to the right of the woman?
Anni:Yes, of course!
Paul:Go over there and lift the basket up!
Anni:I'll manage that - can't be that difficult! ……… Ooof!!! Ok… it hasn't moved an inch!
Paul:Your backpack weighs about twelve kilos. Even that makes you groan. The basket women were usually carrying over 40 kilos.
Anni:A… what?! How come? Why did they have to do that?
Paul:Because they had no other choice. Their husbands worked in mining or as woodsmen, and they had to earn some extra money. There were also virtually no communication routes which carts could use. Not everyone could afford a horse or donkey, either.
Anni:That frightens me… if I ever complain about my backpack again, stop me.
Paul:[Laughs] I certainly will!