german media

German in Advertisement and Marketing

German in Advertisement and Marketing
© Pixabay

English is the language of advertisement and marketing and it is also often used by German companies to address international customers (or at least to pretend to do so). In the early past, German companies advertised their products with German phrases. The reasons were simple: It was the language of the customers. But with globalization and internationalization, they did not only become more global, but the companies and marketers also thought that the ads must be international. When TV advertisement became more and more common in the 1980s and 1990s, it was almost unthinkable for advertisers to use the German language. It just had the stigma to be stale and not cool. The times luckily have changed: German has become rather common in public advertisement – not only in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Advertisement in the past

In many cases in the past, the public relation agencies did not only use the English language but sometimes even abuse it. They mixed it with German words, made new English words up or just translated German phrases into English. The result was often just embarrassing. The reasons why a wrong English term would be better than a right German one have been common sense for a long time: The awful German language – like Mark Twain would say – has not only a harsh sound but also some very long words.

The Times are changing in Advertisement

But what has once been the reason why it was considered as unsuitable for advertising products for young and modern customers, it has become a symbol for reliability, efficiency and, especially in the last years, ecological thinking. Not only the so-called Energiewende has lead to the last mentioned, but also the fact that many new German products came up that see themselves as the counterpart to the established, often American companies. That’s why you would rather have a Club Mate or a Fritz Kola in a stylish bar in Berlin than a regular Coke. With that development, also the advertisers view on Germany and the German language has changed and also the Germans seem to have become more and more at peace with themselves over the last decade. Also, others see the country in a new light: Just take a look at Berlin as the new place to be for all the creative young people from New York to Tel Aviv. Besides all that: Puns and jokes are just much funnier and also understandable when you tell them in your own tongue.

The new Selfperception of German Companies

But not only in matters of consumption, (self-) perception changed. Particularly in one of Germany’s biggest industry – the automotive industry – companies like BWM or Volkswagen realized what makes their products attractive to foreign drivers: Reliability, quality and technology. Those attributes are also a common cliché about Germany itself and that’s why they also started to rethink their public appearance as German companies by displaying it also by language. The well-known slogan by Audi “Vorsprung durch Technik” just was the beginning. Other companies followed, often also with ironically portraying the cliché of the “boring” German (like VW did in those ads).

German nowadays is not the unpleasant sound of clicking heels anymore, but has become a symbol of progress and reliability – and in some cases even of self-mockery.

accommodation

How to find a Flat in Hamburg – Nothing is impossible!

How to find a Flat in Hamburg - Nothing is impossible!
© Pixabay

Hamburg is not only one of the most beautiful cities in Germany but also one of the most expensive. Thus the prices for flats and houses are lower than, for example, in Munich or Stuttgart, and although it is in the middle also cheaper than in some smaller cities where many students are living, it is not easy to find an affordable place to stay in the Hanseatic City. It is, in fact, not easy to find a flat in Hamburg at all.

But there is some advice or at least some information about the housing market you should keep in mind. With this, you can, of course, find a place to live in Hamburg without moving far outside to the city limits.

How to get started in Hamburg

But first of all, you will have to decide whether you want to live alone or with a roommate. If you want to join a Wohngemeinschaft, also in Hamburg, you should just take a look at one of the many internet portals that help you with your desire for a room. (for example www.wg-gesucht.de). Here you can not only pick your favorite district and the price, but you can also gain a general overview. For example, you can now imagine which part of town might be cheaper and which one is unaffordable for you.

Be prepared for the Hustle!

Another excellent opportunity is to join groups on Facebook. There you will see many offers and desires for rooms and even flats. Particularly for students, this might also be a very promising opportunity. If you are planning to live on your own or with your beloved ones in an own flat, you should be aware not to be the only one at the viewing: Due to the tight market of apartments, it is common that there will be up to 50, if not more potential tenants. So bring time along and also strong nerves. It might not be your only viewing, though.

Expensive Suburbs

Especially in Hamburg, it’s also worth thinking about the district you are planning to live in. As a small guide, keep in mind that all the areas surrounding the Alster (except St. Georg, perhaps) are more likely for people with thick wallets. Of course, you can just move to the city limits or even to the suburbs like Pinneberg or Ahrensburg. But who want’s to live outside the heart of the city?

Affordable Suburbs in Hamburg

In Hamburg, you can find your luck and also an affordable flat even in the district of Mitte (center). Due to the vast areas of the port and also due the fact that large parts of it have been restricted areas until several years ago because of the German custom, they are still not too pricey, yet near to the heart of the city. The downside might be, that those districts are not the tidiest ones and sometimes a bit unique, i.e. communities where poor people and immigrants live. The good thing though is that these areas also attract many students and artists. So keep a look on the districts of St. Georg, Wilhelmsburg or Veddel.

But with patience and a bit of luck, you can also find a decent place in St. Pauli, Altona or Hamm. Just be prepared to have a few tries more. The Hanseatic City has space for everyone.

How to find a Flat in Hamburg - Nothing is impossible!
german food and restaurants

Vegan and Vegetarian Cuisine in Germany

Vegan and Vegetarian Cuisine in Germany
© Pixabay

Weißwurst, Bratwurst, Schweinebraten: Germany’s cuisine is known as good and robust – and also as very meat-based. When it comes to traditional dishes, it is not always easy to find something suitable for vegetarians or even vegans. But besides the lack of meatless meals, there is a growing number of vegetarians and vegans in the country. Even without eating meat, you don’t have to starve in Germany – although it isn’t always easy.

Hidden meat-base dishes

When it comes to traditional German meals, you will soon notice that meat is often an essential ingredient. Even if you don’t see it at first sight, many foods do contain a certain amount of meat, like soups or the so-called Eintopf which is available in many different styles. So beware of hidden meat when you are planning to have a typical German dinner and better ask for it if you are in a restaurant.

Vegetarian Alternatives

Thus most of the restaurants in Germany do have at least a few vegetarian dishes, but especially smaller ones in rural areas might have not. A durable alternative, in this case, is just to order some “Beilagen” (side-dishes). For example, if you are in Franconia, “Kloß mit Soß,” i.e. dumplings with brown sauce, is a popular meatless alternative not only for children but also for vegetarians. Also, Spätzle can be a very satisfying main-dish. Try some Käsespätzle – Spätzle with onions and lots of cheese. Besides this, many of the sweet dishes of the traditional German cuisine are suitable for vegetarians, for example, Kaiserschmarrn or Dampfnudeln. In northern Germany, old-school food does, of course, often contain fish in some kind. If you are a pescetarian, you won’t have any problems.

When it comes to veganism, it gets a bit more complicated because traditional food mostly contains milk or eggs in certain amounts. In this case, you should just be slightly more aware, but you might find yourself some satisfying food to enjoy.

Veganism and Vegetarianism on the Rise

Vegetarianism and veganism are disproportionately large popular among educated persons. That is why you can find very suitable vegetarian restaurants or those offering vegetarian alternatives in bigger cities. Even many meat-biased restaurants like those offering burgers will have something without a touch of an animal. Universities and higher schools are always a good indicator for a more or less distinctive vegetarian community, in every cafeteria, students will get at least one meatless meal. That’s also the reasons why you won’t have any problems to find something that suits you in the major cities of Germany, also if you are vegan.

Vegetarian and Vegan Street Food

But what about a quick snack on the streets? The real Germans like Bratwurst, Fischbrötchen or Currywurst are not the right choice, but the all-time favorite street food of Germany is Döner. Although Döner usually contains meat, you can always have a vegetarian variation with cheese. Other healthy alternatives at the Döner-stand are Falafel or Halloumi. You can see, even if you are vegetarian or vegan, you don’t have to suffer in Germany. But sometimes, you’ll just have to be a bit more patient.

Vegan and Vegetarian Cuisine in Germany
german food and restaurants

Rules of and facts about drinking Beer in Germany

Rules of and facts about drinking Beer in Germany
© Pixabay

Of course, Germany is well known for its favorite beverage beer. Drinking it is common and important, but thus it can also lead to some unpleasant moments when you don’t know how to handle the thousands of years of drinking culture. Let’s face the most important rules.

Drinking in Public

Unlike in many other countries, drinking alcohol and especially beer in public is not only legal but very common in Germany. The so-called Feierabendbier (end of work beer) is still a vivid part of the German beer and working culture. That’s why you can easily see workers with a can or a bottle of beer in their hand walking home or riding the bus and nobody will probably care. But beware: in some public trains or buses, drinking alcohol is prohibited, so just watch out for signs. Especially in summer, it is also widespread to have a beer outside at the lake, in the park or at the beach. You don’t need to cover your bottle – just show it with pride.

Anstoßen (toasting) with Beer

Toasting is crucial in Germany, especially when you have some beers with your friends. Germans tend to toast a lot and in many different situations. They toast when they get a new round of drinks, they toast when someone just said something important and they toast just without any reason. If you don’t want to attract attention, you should just follow some simple rules: You should always try to bump your glass to those of every single of your drinking mates, but sometimes it is just good enough to knock them all together. If your mate is too far away, it’s also allowed to just raise your glass and nod your head slightly. Don’t bump too harsh because your drink could splinter. Also, a very basic rule is to make eye-contact to whom you are toasting. If you don’t, you will have seven years of bad sex, according to a German drinking myth.

Drinking Age

In Germany, it is legal to enjoy soft alcoholic drinks like beer and wine at the age of 16, whereas hard drinks like spirits and liqueurs are only allowed to adults over 18. So don’t wonder if you see some youngsters having a beer – it is probably legal.

Never drink Weizen/Weißbier out of a Bottle

This rule is sometimes also discussed in Germany, but most of the German beer drinkers (and especially in the south) will agree: It is absolutely sacrilegious to drink a Weizenbier (or Weißbeer or Hefeweizen – different words, same style) out of the bottle. You have to use a special, high glass, narrow at the bottom and wide at the top. An alternative can be a mug. There is a reason besides the good, old tradition: It just tastes better. Because of the yeast you use for this type of beer, you have to pour it to spread this yeast in the beverage. But better practice a bit because pouring a Weizen is not easy and must be done with the right technique.

Rules of and facts about drinking Beer in Germany
german politics

Angela Merkel – Germany’s first scientist?

Angela Merkel  - Germany's first scientist?
© Pixabay

She was the Time magazine’s person of the year 2015, and people refer to her as the mightiest woman in the world: Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. If she wins the election in 2017 for the fourth period, she will be head of government as long as her longtime mentor Helmut Kohl was. If not, she will also become one of the most iconic chancellors in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The life of Angela Merkel before Politics

Angela Merkel was born in 1954 in Hamburg but grew up in the GDR in the Uckermark near Berlin. The general public sees her as the first chancellor from the east. Her origin has also always been some issue that was sometimes named when it comes to criticizing Angela Merkel: Her past in the GDR. As a youngster in the socialist state, she had to join the Freie Deutsche Jugend, the youth organization of the GDR. But she did not only participate in it but was also a referent for cultural issues during her times in university. She was never part of the SED-Party, but also never participated in any opposition. Angela Merkel was more a scientist, and therefore she might have kept herself out of anything that could have harmed her academic career. She became a Physicist and even graduated with her Ph.D.

Some people say that her scientific way to solve problems is also a characteristic of her way to act in politics: Don’t rush into something, just look at it in quiet, analyze it and then find a solution. It is this way of dealing with problems that gave her respect, but also a lot of criticism when Angela Merkel became chancellor. When it came to public discussions, she often kept it small and just remained quiet. That’s why she sometimes even was called the Teflon Chancellor because everything just bounces off her.

On the way to Leadership

As she was elected first in 2005, Angela Merkel was not completely unknown. She was a fellow of Helmut Kohl who more or less stood in the background. But she is said to have prepared her rise inside the party CDU precisely. In 1999, she dared to criticize Helmut Kohl in public in an article in the Newspaper FAZ – something that was unthinkable before inside the CDU and especially risky for her because Kohl was something like her mentor. But this step made her soon become the chairwomen of the party itself which led to the opportunity to become the candidate for the chancellorship.

As chancellor, Angela Merkel was not only known for her analytic behavior, but also for her attitude to strengthen the European Integration and therefore the European Union. She became close to both Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, last one of course because she is also fluent in Russian.

But some of her most infective actions just took place in the last few years. First, she was known for her strict course towards the debtors inside the European Union, most of all Greece, whose people even  referred to her as the second Hitler. She also strengthened the leading role of Germany inside Europe which had the same effect on some groups. On the other hand, she also became popular among left voters for her course during the refugee crisis and her bon mot “Wir schaffen das!” (we will handle it!).

Angela Merkel is both respected and hated, but which one of the political leaders is not? But one thing is for sure: Her way to deal with things like a physician has influenced Germany probably more than any other could have done in the last ten years.

Angela Merkel - Germany's first scientist?
german food and restaurants

Der Biergarten – A Garden full of Beer?

Der Biergarten - A Garden full of Beer
© Pixabay

Beer garden Eden

The days are getting longer, the temperature is rising and suddenly it is summer. One of the best things you can do in Germany during the warm season is to visit a beer garden, especially when you are somewhere in the south of the country. Especially in Bavaria, you can not only see clichés become real, but also have some refreshing beverages and a traditional, yet timeless experience of “Gemütlichkeit”.

The History of beer gardens in Germany

You can find Biergärten all over the country, but the real ones are more to be found in the southern Bundesländer of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, just like their origin. The history of those beer gardens is tightly bound to the history of brewing. Thus, a bit of previous knowledge is important. In the 19th century, there was not such a wide variety of beers like you can find today in Germany, mostly because of the lack of cooling techniques. The most common beer in Munich, the capital of the Kingdom of Bavaria, was thus the Märzen (from März = March). It is a bottom-fermenting beer (untergärig, the opposite of obergärig), one of the two basic kinds of brewing according to the Bavarian purity law. In this sort of beer, the brewers use a particular kind of yeast – a yeast that only ferments at temperatures between four and eight degrees Celsius for brewing. Therefore, the beer could not only just be brewed in the winter months (until the end of March), it was also hard to store it during summer: It hat to be stored cool to stay fresh. To do so, the brewers used deep cellars. On top of those cellars, they planted chestnut trees that shaded the light to increase the ability to cool the precious brew and, at the same time, do not damage the vault with their flat roots.

Soon, some of the brewers got an idea: They sold their beer just out of the cellar and also placed some simple chairs and tables just under the shady trees on top of them where the thirsty customers could sit and enjoy their beverage. Because the other pub-owners protested, King of Bavaria Maximilian I. proclaimed in 1812 that the master brewers could sell their beer and also some bread, but no other meals. Out of this fact, people were allowed to bring their own “Brotzeit” (a traditional snack) to enjoy with their alcoholic drink. That’s why even today it is a maintained tradition that it’s allowed to bring your meal to the Biergarten (but of course not your drinks).  Outside of Bavaria, this tradition is in some places uncommon and especially in beer gardens that are part of a restaurant or a pub it’s sometimes not allowed to do so. So better ask or just observe other visitors before unpacking your sandwich.

Beer Garden Culture nowadays

Today, there are numerous beer gardens, also outside of Bavaria, thus you will find the real traditional ones mostly in this Bundesland. Especially in Munich, there are several well-known Biergärten, for example at the Hirschgarten-Park where you can experience the right kind of Bavarian Gemütlichkeit. They are still very common places to be in summer and also to meet new friends because of their long tables where it’s not unusual to sit with strangers and enjoy a Maß or a Weißbier. Most of them are also offering traditional dishes in self-service if you have forgotten to bring your own. Of course, you can also get non-alcoholic drinks there. So don’t miss out on having an authentic time beneath one of the chestnut-trees.

Der Biergarten - A Garden full of Beer
german sports

The Miracle of Bern – Das Wunder von Bern

The Miracle of Bern - Das Wunder von Bern
© Pixabay

When the German national soccer team won the World Cup in 2014, the whole country got on a razzle-dazzle. The fans of the team were expecting the cup for many years, and it was a kind of a relief to finally become the best Mannschaft of the World for the fourth time. There was a triumph in soccer in the past that was much more important for Germany and the Germans than the last one. It was the championship of the year 1954 where the so-called “Wunder von Bern” (Miracle of Bern) took place.

The importance of the Match in Bern

It was more than a soccer game. It was an event that gave the Germans the feeling that they could reach something in the world unrelated to terror and war. Not even ten years before, World War II ended with millions of people dead. Germany was still lying in ashes, and the guilt of what happened was visible in everyday life, not to mention the country’s status inside the international community. It was an occupied country, and it wasn’t even clear what would happen to it or if it could ever be “normal” again. Also in matters of soccer, Germany had to endure the consequences of the war and the Holocaust: The German soccer association (Deutscher Fußball Bund, DFB) had been dissolved in 1940, and almost every nation boycotted the German national soccer team since then. Only the Swiss team has played some international matches against Germany.

Thus, the World Cup was an excellent opportunity for the Mannschaft to gain some international sporting experience again. In the early 1950s, Germany tended to stabilize itself. The economy was also growing. International acceptance got bigger after the foundation of the Bundesrepublik in 1949. Chancellor Konrad Adenauer tried to show the world slowly that not all Germans are evil. Also, the national team had been accepted to participate in the championship the first time after the war. Although the players had little experience, they managed to get through the tournament and reached the final game against Hungary.

A tense Final

It has been a nerve-racking final in the Wankdorfstation in Bern. Both teams scored two goals until the break. It was Helmut Rahn who scored the goal that made West-Germany world champion in minute 84. This goal was not only celebrated in Bern but also all over Germany because this world cup had been the first one the Germans could widely receive via radio or even TV. The German commentator Herbert Zimmermann became a legend because of his emotional way to describe the events and almost any German today can at least recite one of his sentences he spoke during the game.

The impact of the “Wunder von Bern”

The win evoked a sheer wave of euphoria all over Germany. The notable players traveled back in a special train that stopped in many West-German cities where the heroes of Bern were celebrated frenetic. The world cup was not only the first time a German team was allowed to participate and also not only the first time the German national anthem played on an official sports event, but it was also the starting signal for the Wirtschaftswunder. In this time started the rapid rise of the German economy that gave people prosperity and self-esteem again. Even today this event is still vivid in Germany’s collective memory.

The Miracle of Bern - Das Wunder von Bern
german media

Bud Spencer – The Incarnation of the "Haudrauf-Film"

Bud Spencer - The Incarnation of the "Haudrauf-Film"
von Elekes Andor (Eigenes Werk) CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

In the year of 2016, many beloved celebrities have gone, for example, the singer Prince or Lemmy from Motörhead. But another man died who was something like an icon for many people, not only in Germany. Bud Spencer died on June 27th. But his movies, his bon mots and all in all his life’s work will remain unforgotten. Let’s take a look back on his efforts and try to understand why he was such a beloved person for many Germans.

The beginning of his Career

Bud Spencer was born in 1929 as Carlo Pedersoli in Naples, Italy. Unlike his later appearance, he soon became very successful in sports, especially in swimming. He was a tall and athletic young man who gained many successes in the water. In 1949, the 20-years old Carlo won the national swimming championship, later he even became part of the Italian Olympic team and succeeded in the games of 1952 in Helsinki, 1956 in Melbourne and 1960 in Rome. But not only swimming was his big talent, but also in water polo (or in German, Wasserball). One of his greatest efforts in this game was winning the Italian championship with his team S.S. Lazio Rome and also winning a gold medal in the Mediterranean Games of 1955. 

Bud Spencer and Terrace Hill

At the same time, Carlo Pedersoli started his acting career, first in some shallow Italian movies, later also in western movies that have been very popular in the 1960s and 1970s. In this time, he also met the unknown actor Mario Girotti aka Terrance Hill. To make their names sound more international and also more western, Girotti changed his name and so did Pedersoli: He chose the name “Bud Spencer.” Both met again on another movie set and soon became a duo, many movies followed like “They called me trinity” or “I’m for the Hippopotamus.” All the movies had in common that both Spencer and Hill never got tired of beating up their enemies, most of the time in an extreme and sometimes even silly way. They both soon became the incarnation of the so-called “Haudrauf-Film.”

These movies are still all-time-classics and many people, also the youngsters, have seen them and can quote at least one sentence. Their extreme way of beating up people by making it look slapstick-like also influenced the German language today: The verb “Budspencern” means to beat up a group of people in a superior and somehow comical way. 

Although Bud Spencer started many other projects in his later life like becoming a politician, it is the movies that made him well-known around the world and especially in Europe. Many young people even admire him in the way of a cult that made him somehow iconic. As the city of Schwäbisch Gmünd asked the citizens for a name for a new to build a tunnel, of course, the suggestion “Bud-Spencer-Tunnel” won the polling. Thus, the city council refused to name the tunnel after Pedersoli but gave their public swimming pool his name: it is now known as the Bud-Spencer-Bad. Also, a hill near the city is now called Terrance Hill. But with all this honoring, Bud Spencer remained a modest man until his death. That’s one reason why so many people still admire him so much.

Bud Spencer - The Incarnation of the "Haudrauf-Film"
german politics

A quick Overview of the Political System in Germany

A quick Overview of the Political System in Germany
© Pixabay

 

 

Politics influence everything, so it is always good to be informed. But for knowing what you are talking about, you have to have the necessary information about the system you are living in. So let’s try to make a quick overview of the political system of the Federal Republic of Germany.

 

A representing President

 

If you have your origin in the United States or France, you would think that the president is the most powerful person in the state – but not in Germany. In fact, the Federal Republic just has a president in a representative manner. He (or she) does not have a lot of political power. More like the Queen of Great Britain, he represents the values of the nation and here and there makes statements. Besides, he has to sign the bills and appoint the ministers. The reason for this fact is simple: Germany has had some dreadful experiences with one person having the power of the whole state. That’s why all of German politics aim at preventing to let one person gain too much influence.

 

Bundestag and Bundesrat

 

Germany is therefore not only a federal but also a parliamentary republic. That means that the parliament has the power, the so-called Bundestag (not to mix up with the Reichstag: That’s just the name of the building.). The members of the Bundestag (all in all 630) are voting and passing the bills. But with Germany being also a federal republic, another chamber is part of the legislative system, the Bundesrat. As soon as the bill is at any place affecting the matters of the 16 Bundesländer, the Bundesrat has also to vote for and then pass the bill. Sounds a bit confusing? It is, also for those who are well-educated in politics.

 

The role of the Chancellor

 

The Chancellor, at the moment Angela Merkel, is also part of the Parliament and has, of course, a mandate. Thus executive and legislative are at a certain amount mixed, but that’s not a problem at all: The Bundeskanzler has to be elected by the members of parliament and not by the citizens. The Bundestag controls the Bundeskanzler, although he or she sets the basic principles of the German policy in advance (the so-called Kanzlerdemokratie). The parliament can dismiss the chancellor in different ways – the konstruktives Misstrauensvotum (motion of no confidence) and the Vertrauensfrage (where the chancellor asks the parliament for loyalty). The first thing happened twice until now, the second one five times.

 

The chancellor is not only part of the parliament, but also head of the government (but not the head of state). Therefore, he/she is choosing different ministers for his/her government. Because Germany has a multi-party system, the chancellor needs to follow the result and the ratio of the election when naming the ministers. Because of that, normally a coalition between two or more parties has to be made to form a functioning government. Otherwise, the government would not have the parliament’s majority to rule the country properly.

 

Separated from the executive and the legislative is of course also in Germany the judicative. There is a close link to the idea of federalism: Each Land has its courts, but the highest instance is the Bundesgerichtshof and therefore a court of the Bund (The Federal Republic).

 

One could write pages and pages more about the rather complicated system, but this overview should give you a first impression. If you are planning to learn more about the political system in Germany, just take a look at the page of the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Federal office of political education).

Political System Germany
Culture german history

Die Berliner Luftbrücke – The Berlin Airlift

Die Berliner Luftbrücke - The Berlin Airlift
© Pixabay

Berlin is a city full of rich history, culture and diversity. It has witnessed many deep impacts, was severely destroyed during WW II and separated afterwards. But nothing might have influenced the city more like the Berlin Blockade and the Luftbrücke: From June 1948 until May 1949, the Western Part of Berlin was blocked by the Soviet Union.

 

 

The Berlin Blockade

 

To understand the meaning of the Berlin Blockade, you have to know about the geographic situation and the history. The allied forces and the Soviet Union split the city into four occupation zones: The three western zones of the US, Great Britain, and France and the eastern zone of the Soviet Union. The last one was later also a part of the GDR and its capital, whereas the western parts of Berlin became part of the western Federal Republic of Germany.

 

 

 

To rebuild the country after the war, the three western occupants decided to introduce a new currency in the western sectors: The Deutsche Mark. The introduction of the new currency happened in 1948 without the Soviets knowing about it. The eastern occupants then feared the flooding of their zone being with the old currency, the Reichsmark. To prevent this, they had to introduce a new currency in the East, also called Mark. But the standing of Berlin was yet unsolved: The Russians planned to introduce their currency in whole Berlin, the French, British and Americans refused: The Deutsche Mark should also be the currency of West-Berlin. The tension between the Allies and the Russians grew in the following month and Berlin became more and more a game point of world politics once again.

 

 

 

But the Russians had one big trump in their hands: Because Berlin was just an enclave inside the eastern zone, the Soviet Forces just blocked all the entries to the western part of the city. They could do so because Berlin was still a big field expanse of rubble and was not able to take care of itself or the two million inhabitants in the western sectors. The Russians cut all entries on the land, the rivers and also railroads and the electric cables.

 

 

 

The establishment of the Luftbrücke

 

The Allies now had two possibilities: To give up the city and make the Russians overtake their sectors or to try everything to supply the inhabitants. They did the last one. They could to so because there have been three air corridors to Berlin that had been guaranteed by a particular treaty – to be in sharp conflict to the land and the rivers where there wasn’t any treaty like that.

 

 

 

The Allies and especially the Americans then decided to use those corridors to supply the city by airlift. It was a huge duty for the pilots and their stuff and also for the political decision-makers. Over 8.000 tons of goods had to be delivered to the city each day: Not only food but also common products like coal or gasoline. The allied managed to do over 200.000 flights in one year to save the inhabitants of starving – and also to prove the Russians their stamina. Over one year later, they reached their goal: The Soviet Union stopped the Blockade, all the necessary goods could be delivered by land and water again. The Berliners thus are still thankful to the Americans that they have never given them up.

Die Berliner Luftbrücke - The Berlin Airlift