Page 4

1959_02_28--077_SP The Squeeze is on Berlin

76 T H E S A T U R D A Y E V E N I N G P O S T IN THE MARCH AMERICAN HOME Meet Mrs. Pete Martin AND VISIT THE MARTINS’ OWN FASCINATING HOUSE The wife of the famous feature writer for the Post takes you on a special tour of the Martins’ 18th-century farm house, in the March American Home. (Pete is the fellow who did the articles on Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Danny Thomas, Marilyn Monroe and many other stars of stage, screen and TV.) Mrs. Martin tells you all about their most unusual house hunt. Then she ex plores every nook and cranny of their charming 18th-century home. There are many lovely color pictures of the house, and of the Martins’ rare an tiques. I t ’s an intriguing article, writ ten with warmth and wit by a really outstanding wife. Many More Wonderful Art icles and Ideas Low-Calorie Dishes Non-Dieters Adore! Here is a new and exciting collection of recipes for low-calorie dishes that will delight gour mets as well as waist watchers. A Vocat ion Home That Earns Its Keep. Inter ested in having your own vacation home? The March American Home shows you, with color pictures and plans, an inexpen sive one that would delight you and your family—and that could make you some money, too! AND DON’T MISS THIS: Imagine having to remodel to accommodate 32 children! An author of children’s books did, as you’ll learn in the March American Home. Also: 21 good tips on home storage with complete plans; the facts on a quick, economical landscaping miracle. On Sale Wherever Magazines Are Sold! ground up, in what West Berliners cyni cally call “People’s Baroque,” a heavy- handed, mock-heroic Muscovite archi tecture, often indistinguishable from the megalomaniacal monstrosities of the Nazis. From the spreading white Turm häusern—Tower Apartments—in Stalin Allee to the new electric power plants along the Spree River to the sixty-ton granite statue of Mother Russia in Trep tow Park, the disease is giantism. The second striking difference in East Berlin is the great distances. Eleven years ago, when 1 last drove through these streets, it was like driving over the floor of a sea of rubble. In the Lenin Allee—for merly the Landsberger Strasse—there was only one complete building standing; all else was smashed and toppled debris, as far as the eye could see. Now most of the rubble has been carted away to make new brick and pressed-stone blocks. What is left is simply space. Here and there a frag ment of a church still sticks up, a ruin as clean now as a picked chicken carcass. Here and there the skeleton of a restor- able museum or historic building exposes its ribs to the wind and snow. But for the people of East Berlin, who must in a day’s work move from one neighborhood to another, large portions of the city are wind-swept desert. One deliberate and sig nificant desert is the site where Hitler's grandiose Reich Chancellery building, with its sweeping marble steps and end less halls, its crystal chandeliers and fifty- foot velvet drapes, once stood. Today it is an empty field, with nothing to be seen but a small chunk of the cement under ground bunker where Hitler and Eva Braun, in the raging holocaust of Berlin in April of 1945, took their own lives. A few weeds bend under the falling snow. No one passes. No one notices. Again, as during our drive through the eastern zone approaching Berlin, the question that comes to mind is: Where is everyone? To be sure, there are some peo ple in the streets—the ubiquitous state police, a few women and children in wool coats, thick boots and heavy wool scarves trudging across an empty snowy stretch to ward a state department store or butcher shop. To be sure, a few shiny vehicles go past, small delivery vans and Garant motor lorries, one or two Sachsenring private cars, half a dozen of the new, midget all-plastic Trabants—the word means “satellite,” or “Sputnik.” But where West Berlin was congested, crowded and noisy, East Berlin has the cold calm of a fenced-in graveyard. Only in the old Lustgarten, now called Marx-Engels Platz, do we see the scattered elements of a crowd—children mostly, clustered around the thin, slatted gypsy carts and tinny carrousels of the traditional Christ mas Fair. B u t where are the adults? Like a second arrow shot after a lost one, one question may answer another. And the answer to this one may be the answer to why the Russians and East Germans are again threatening West Berlin. Everyone here who can possibly wield a pick, a shovel or a needle is at work in a factory, shop or mine, taking the place of two or more workers who have fled to the West. In the last published statistics, East Berlin had a population of 1,100,000, ex actly half the population of West Berlin in an area four fifths as large, and claimed a total labor force of 500,000, as compared with West Berlin's 1,000,000. If true five years ago, these statistics are manifestly false today. Like its hinter land of East Germany, East Berlin is now so underpopulated that its govern ment, right in the middle of the Berlin crisis, had to call off this year s scheduled census, for fear of underlining the main reason for that crisis—the continuing Drang nach Westen of its invaluable and irreplaceable manpower. Nikita Khrushchev has called West Berlin a “cancerous tumor” which must be cut out of the body of East Germany. If Mr. Khrushchev were a better diagnos tician, and a more honest man, he would have called West Berlin an open wound, through which East Germany’s very life blood, her working population, has been seeping away. Granted, this has been go ing on for a long time. Since the end of the war East Germany has lost 2,000.000 refugees to the West, more than half of them via Berlin. But where originally many of these were “political unreliables” and intellectuals, whom the Communists were only too happy to see leave, today more than a third of them are skilled labor—technicians, foremen, factory- managers, top-class agricultural and in dustrial workers. This is hitting East Germany where it hurts—in the produc tion charts. Since 1953—the year of the abortive workers’ and students’ revolt in East Germany—the Communists have been pushing hard to get East Germany com pletely socialized, presumably in the hope that the West will one day accept their proposals for a “neutralized” confedera tion of the two Germanys on the basis of the political status quo. They have also been putting the screws to the East Ger man population to produce more and more, faster and faster, dangling in front of them the impossible goal of catching up with West Germany economically, again in the hope of forming that two- Germany confederation as an equal. Yet unless they can stanch this terrible bleed ing of their manpower, all talk of dou bling industrial production, of meeting state quotas and “getting more sausage on the stalk”—as Khrushchev colloquially puts it—will be talk and nothing more. In East Berlin they are already scraping the bottom of the barrel. Women and youngsters are being exhorted to do part- time work, at least for four hours a day. Invalids have been set to doing piecework in their own rooms or hospital beds. Workers over in West Berlin have been offered 10.000 jobs immediately, and more to come, if only they will consent to come in and work for the deflated East Mark. And still industrial produc tion in East Berlin is a bare $250,000,000 worth per year, one eighth of West Ber lin’s $2,000,000.000 a year. And still refugees continue to pour through Berlin at the rate of more than 10,000 per month. A few years ago, further to isolate West Berlin, the East Germans started construction of a railway belt line around the entire city. Although, typically, it works in some places and breaks down in others, it does help to keep people from the zone from slipping into West Berlin, to be flown in Allied planes to West Germany. The East Germans also have put increased pressure on the 40,000 East Berliners who obstinately go on working in West Berlin, blithely commuting by subway between two worlds. Strangely enough, they have as yet made no at tempt to seal completely the sector line or cut off the subway. Sporadic raids and spot checks are constantly being made, but refugees claim that the really tough You be the «Judge By JAMES A. EICHNER It took every penny the Widow Johnson earned to run her house hold and to send her two pretty daughters to college. So she was shocked when an impatient creditor sued and attached her earnings. “Under state law here in California,” she complained, “it is impossible to attach whatever portion of a person’s income goes to provide her family with ‘the common necessaries of life.’ And in this Sputnik age, higher education certainly is necessary. It is also a parent’s obligation.” “A college education is a luxury, not a necessity,” the creditor replied. “The exemption provided by law refers to things like food and shelter, not to educational frills and collegiate furbelows.” If you were the judge, would you consider college education a necessity? Yes, in this instance, although the essary under one set of circumstances court added, “That which is a nec- might be a luxury under others.” Based upon a 1957 California decision.


1959_02_28--077_SP The Squeeze is on Berlin
To see the actual publication please follow the link above