Berlin's Search for a "Democratic" Architecture: Post-World War II and Post-unification

in German Politics and Society
Deborah Howell-Ardila University of California, Berkeley

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Berlin 1948 and the longest airlift in history simultaneously ushered

in the Cold War, with a divided Berlin its best-known symbol, and

transformed West Berliners in the eyes of the Allied world from

Nazis to victims of Soviet aggression. By 1950, with Germany officially

divided, political elites of the East (GDR) and West (FRG)

took up the task of convincing their citizens and each other of the

legitimacy of their own governments. In spite of the primacy of

Cold War rhetoric in the media of the day, however, the most

pressing challenge of postwar society for both sides lay in redefining—

in perception, if not in fact—political and social institutions in

opposition to the Nazi past.

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