Berlin--Pivot of German Destiny

By Charles B. Robson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
The Economic Viability of Berlin

FRANZ KLUGE

THE ESSAYS IN THIS SERIES MAY BE REGARDED AS VARIATIONS upon a theme. Because they are variations, it is unavoidable that many things are said again and again. But only in this way can the interrelations of the several aspects of a complex situation be understood.

My phase of the theme, itself, is not simple, and requires that we make use of some rather complicated ways of thinking. I want to say at the outset that many of the statistics that I shall cite are not to be accepted as exact figures, but rather as round numbers designed to aid in gaining a general understanding of the problem. My theme is, furthermore, not one that is apt to put us into a gay frame of mind, but a somewhat serious one, for here we are concerned with a question that affects every Berliner directly. It is the question of Berlin's economic and social existence.

What does the term "viability" really mean? This is a word that appeared in the newspapers frequently in the years directly after the Second World War. The reference was to the capacity of the European countries to survive. These countries had been seriously weakened by the war and needed help from America, which was brought to them through the

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