West Berlin

West Germany - Astounding growth and modernization - East Germany was another story.

August 1955 – Watching Europe – Looking At Germany – Past Daily Reference Room

West Berlin
West Germany – Astounding growth and modernization – East Germany was another story.

August 10, 1955 – NBC Radio – Keys To The Capitol – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

August of 1955 saw ten years since the end of World War 2. In Europe, where the war ended in May, it was a long and arduous process of rebuilding and restructuring. Much of the progress in reconstruction was largely thanks to the Marshall Plan and the massive amount of Foreign Aid coming from Washington to bring Europe back to life.

One of the big success stories, and according to some one of the biggest was the changes going on in Germany and how much progress had been made in breathing life into a destroyed and somewhat lifeless nation of a defeated political system and reshaping it into a symbol of what the future promised, at least in Europe.

During the discussion on this episode of Keys To The Capitol, NBC Correspondent Robert McNeil, who spent some four years stationed in Europe, reporting on the issues facing a continent coming back to life, remarked with astonishment how much and how fast West Germany had recovered from the ravages of war and how prosperous that nation had become. Although it didn’t compare to life in America – McNeil remarked on how modern German cities had become and the number of new cars on the Autobahn.

Many of those changes had to do with the change in political mood of Germany. The notion of reunification was remote if not impossible to imagine – much of that would have to come from a dramatic change of position from the Soviet Union and that seemed unlikely. Because the idea of reunification was almost impossible to imagine, West Germany was wasting no time making Bonn the new Capitol of West Germany. It was clear everyone agreed that Berlin was going to be an occupied city, probably forever.

East Berlin, and in fact all of East Germany was another story – nothing could cause a more pronounced contrast than that between East Berlin and West Berlin.

Checkpoint Charlie – same as it ever was.

So while some things were dramatically changing, other things were staying exactly the same.

And that’s what was going on during this discussion of issues from Keys To The Capitol on August 10, 1955.

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