The New Berlin

in German Politics and Society
Elizabeth StromRutgers University

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Margit MayerFree University Berlin

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National and world events shape all cities, but in Berlin they have a

physical presence. For Berliners, the Cold War was tangible, manifested

as a wall and death strip guarded by armed soldiers and attack

dogs. Today that wall is gone and, if national power brokers and the

real estate development community have their way, Berlin will soon

be a “normal” European city and German capital. Not only will the

ghosts of the Nazi past be exorcised, but any tangible inheritance of

the postwar period—in East Berlin the legacies of state socialism, in

West Berlin the strange fruits of a subsidized economy—will disappear.

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