Berlin: The Spatial Structure of a Divided City by Dorothy Elkins, T. H. Elkins, B. Hofmeister

By Dorothy Elkins, T. H. Elkins, B. Hofmeister

This anniversary examine provides a readable, informative account of the improvement and present constitution of Berlin

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Additional info for Berlin: The Spatial Structure of a Divided City

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The 24 BERLIN exact division of competence between Magistrat and the Bezirk offices was never properly worked out, so that a certain amount of friction persisted until after the Second World War. The districts were of disparate composition, reflecting the uneven settlement structure of the area that was to become Greater Berlin. Apart from Bezirk Mitte, enclosing the heart of the city, five districts were based on formerly independent towns (Spandau, with urban status from the thirteenth century; Charlottenburg from the early eighteenth century; and Neukölln, Schöneberg, and Wilmersdorf from about 1900).

In ruling Prussian circles, the spirit of national revival and fraternity did not outlast the peace; FrederickWilliam III took up an increasingly reactionary position. He dropped his more liberal advisers, such as Wilhelm von Humboldt, banned some fairly innocuous patriotic associations and, particularly in periods of repression in 1819 and 1830– 33, filled Berlin’s Hausvogtei state prison with detainees. The arrival on the throne in 1840 of the apparently more liberal but mentally disturbed FrederickWilliam IV did not exempt Prussia from the impact of the revolution that swept continental Europe in 1848.

The city was in this way cast into a Soviet-dictated mould; it was clear that it was the Soviet intention that the Western military occupation was intended to be symbolic, without consequences for the political and economic organization of the city. The western sectors had also in the weeks before the arrival of the western Allies been subjected to particularly heavy dismantling of equipment in manufacturing industry, in public utilities, and in transport, for shipment on 34 BERLIN DIVIDED reparations account to the Soviet Union.

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