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Second chance in Berlin

What makes a city great? It needs hungry outsiders struggling to become insiders. This explains why Berlin will never again be a great city, even when it becomes the capital of the united Germany in 1999

By Josef Joffe   July 1998

First it was the “Fourth Reich,” the spectre of Germany rediviva, which haunted the western mind. But the ghosts failed to materialise. Reunited Germany, its cold war fetters gone, was again number one in Europe, but it insisted on being normal and boring. Yes, there were those neo-Nazi punks, as nasty as can be. But at no point did the good burghers of the Bundesrepublik risk losing control, even as unemployment climbed to 1932 levels. If the “New Germans” did flex their muscles, they did so-oddly-in favour of more integration and Europe-minded virtue. Their lode star was Brussels, not K?nigsberg.…

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