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Berlin: The Doomed City, An Episode Of The Renowned British Documentary Series "Cities At War", Which Explores The Early Glories And Ultimate Defeats Of The Third Reich And The Terrible Travails Of Germany's Once Colorful Then Devastated Capital, Berlin, (Color, 1968, 45 Minutes) PLUS SPECIAL BONUS: ONE NATION, UNDIVIDED: IMPRESSIONS OF A NEW GERMANY, A Report On The Imminent Future And Immediate Effects Of German Reunification Upon All Sectors Of The Society Of The Former East Germany (Color, 1991, 25 Minutes) -- All Presented In The Highest DVD Quality MPG Video Format Of 9.1 MBPS As An MP4 Video Download Or Archival Quality All Regions Format DVD!
* August 20, 2023: Updated And Upgraded: Updated With ONE NATION, UNDIVIDED: IMPRESSIONS OF A NEW GERMANY, And Upgraded From A Standard Format DVD To An Archival Quality Dual Layer Format DVD!
The History Of Berlin: Interwar Period To The Second World War: At the end of World War I, monarchy and aristocracy was overthrown and Germany became a republic, known as the Weimar Republic. Berlin remained the capital, but faced a series of threats from the far left and far right. In late 1918 politicians inspired by the Communist Revolution in Russia founded the Communist Party of Germany (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, KPD). In January 1919 it tried to seize power in the Spartacist revolt). The coup failed and at the end of the month right-wing Freikorps forces killed the Communist leaders Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. In March 1920 Wolfgang Kapp, founder of the right wing German Fatherland Party (Deutsche Vaterlands-Partei), tried to bring down the government. The Berlin garrison chose his side, and the government buildings were occupied (the government had already left Berlin). A general strike stopped the putsch being successful. On October 1, 1920: The Greater Berlin Act created "Greater Berlin" (Gross-Berlin) by incorporating several neighboring towns and villages like Charlottenburg, Kopenick or Spandau from the Province of Brandenburg into the city; Berlin's population doubled overnight from about 2 to nearly 4 million inhabitants. In 1922: The foreign minister Walther Rathenau was murdered in Berlin, and half a million people attended his funeral. The economic situation was bad. Germany owed reparation money after the Treaty of Versailles. The sums were reduced and paid using loans from New York banks. In response to French occupation, the government reacted by printing so much money that inflation was enormous. Especially pensioners lost their savings; everyone else lost their debts. At the worst point of the inflation one dollar was worth about 4.2 trillion marks. From 1924 onwards the situation became better because of newly arranged agreements with the allied forces, American help, and a sounder fiscal policy. The heyday of Berlin began. It became the largest industrial city of the continent. People like the architect Walter Gropius, physicist Albert Einstein, painter George Grosz and writers Arnold Zweig, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Tucholsky made Berlin one of the major cultural centers of Europe. Brecht spent his last years in the Weimar-era Berlin (1930-1933) working with his 'collective' on the Lehrstucke. Night life bloomed in 1920s Berlin. In 1922, the railway system, that connected Berlin to its neighboring cities and villages was electrified and transformed into the S-Bahn, and a year later Tempelhof airport was opened. Berlin was the second biggest inland harbor of the country. All this infrastructure was needed to transport and feed the over 4 million Berliners. Before the 1929 crash, 450,000 people were unemployed. In the same year the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party) won its first seats in the city parliament. Nazi Propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels became Gauleiter (party district leader) of Berlin in 1926. On July 20, 1932, the Prussian government under Otto Braun in Berlin was dismissed by presidential decree. The republic was nearing its breakdown, under attack by extreme forces from the right and the left. On January 30, 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. Nazi Germany (1933-1945): By 1931, the Great Depression had severely damaged the city's economy. Politics were in chaos, as militias controlled by the Nazis and the Communists fought for control of the streets. President Hindenburg appointed Hitler chancellor in January 1933, and the Nazis quickly moved to take complete control of the entire nation. On February 27, 1933, a left-wing radical was alleged to have set afire the Reichstag building (a fire which was later believed to have been set by the Nazis themselves); the fire gave Hitler the opportunity to set aside the constitution. Tens of thousands of political opponents fled into exile or were imprisoned. All civic organizations, except the churches, came under Nazi control. Around 1933, some 160,000 Jews were living in Berlin: one third of all German Jews, 4% of the Berlin population. A third of them were poor immigrants from Eastern Europe, who lived mainly in the Scheunenviertel near Alexanderplatz. The Jews were persecuted from the beginning of the Nazi regime. In March, all Jewish doctors had to leave the Charite hospital. In the first week of April, Nazi officials ordered the German population not to buy from Jewish shops. The 1936 Summer Olympics were held in Berlin and used as a showcase for Nazi Germany (though the Games had been given to Germany before 1933). In order to not alienate the foreign visitors, the "forbidden for Jews" signs were temporarily removed. Nazi rule destroyed Berlin's Jewish community, which numbered 160,000 before the Nazis came to power. After the pogrom of Kristallnacht in 1938, thousands of the city's Jews were imprisoned. Around 1939, there were still 75,000 Jews living in Berlin. The majority of German Jews in Berlin were taken to the Grunewald railway station in early 1943 and shipped in stock cars to death camps such as the Auschwitz, where most were murdered in the Holocaust. Only some 1200 Jews survived in Berlin by hiding. Approximately 800 Jews survived in Berlin's Jewish Hospital. Causes for their survival include bureaucratic infighting, hospital director Dr. Walter Lustig's relationship with Adolf Eichmann, the Nazis' bizarre system for classifying persons of partly Jewish ancestry, German leader Adolf Hitler's ambivalence about how to handle Jews of German descent, and the fact that the Nazis needed a place to treat Jews. Thirty kilometers (19 mi) northwest of Berlin, near Oranienburg, was Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where mainly political opponents and Russian prisoners of war were incarcerated. Tens of thousands died there. Sachsenhausen had subcamps near industries, where the prisoners had to work. Many of these camps were in Berlin. In the late 1930s Hitler and his architect Albert Speer made plans for the new Berlin-a world city or Welthauptstadt Germania. All the projects were to be of gigantic size. Adjacent to the Reichstag, Speer planned to construct the Volkshalle (The People's Hall), 250 m high, with an enormous copper dome. It would be large enough to hold 170,000 people. From the People's Hall, a southbound avenue was planned, the Avenue of Victory, 23 m wide and 5.6 kilometers (3.5 mi) long. At the other end there would have been the new railway station, and next to it Tempelhof Airport. Halfway down the avenue there would have been a huge arch 117 m high, commemorating those fallen during the world wars. With the completion of these projects (planned for 1950), Berlin was to be renamed "Germania." The war postponed all construction, as the city instead built giant concrete towers as bases for anti-aircraft guns. Today only a few structures remain from the Nazi era, such as the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (National Ministry of Aviation), Tempelhof International Airport, and Olympiastadion. Hitler's Reich Chancellery was demolished by Soviet occupation authorities. Initially Berlin was at the extreme range of British bombers and attacks had to be made in clear skies during summer, increasing the risk to the attackers. Better bombers came into service in 1942 but most of the British bombing effort that year was spent in support of the Battle of the Atlantic against German submarines. Events involving Berlin during the Second World War include:1940: A token British air-raid on Berlin; Hitler responds by ordering the Blitz on London; 1943: Polish resistance group Zagra-Lin successfully carries out a series of small bomb attacks; 1943: The USAAF strategic bombing force began operations against Berlin. The RAF focused their strategic bombing efforts on Berlin in their "Battle of Berlin" from November. It was halted at the end of March 1944, after 16 mass bombing raids on the capital, due to unacceptable losses of aircraft and crew. By that point about half a million had been made homeless but morale and production was unaffected. About a quarter of the city's population was evacuated. Raids on major German cities grew in scope and raids of over 1,000 4-engined bombers were not uncommon by 1944. (On March 18, 1945 alone, for example, 1,250 American bombers attacked the city); 1944: USAAF bombing switched to forcing encounters with the German air force so that it could be defeated by the bombers' fighter escorts. Attacks on Berlin ensured a response from the Luftwaffe, drawing it into a battle where their losses could not be replaced at the same rate as the Allies. RAF focus switched to preparations for the invasion of France but Berlin was still subjected to regular nuisance and diversionary raids by the RAF; March 1945: The RAF begins 36 consecutive nights of bombing by its fast de Havilland Mosquito medium bombers (from around 40 to 80 each night). British bombers dropped 46,000 tons of bombs; the Americans dropped 23,000 tons. By May 1945, 1.7 million people (40%) had fled; April 1945: Berlin was the main objective for Allied armies. The Race to Berlin refers to the competition of Allied generals during the final months of World War II to enter Berlin first. U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower halted Anglo-American troops on the Elbe River, primarily because the Soviets made their capture of the city a high national priority in terms of prestige and revenge. The Red Army converged on Berlin with several Fronts (Army Groups). Hitler remained in supreme command and imagined that rescue armies were on the way; he refused to consider surrender; April 16 - May 2, 1945: The Battle of Berlin, designated as the Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation by the Soviet Union, and also known as the Fall of Berlin, was one of the last major offensives of the European theatre of World War II; April 30, 1945: Hitler committed suicide in the Fuhrerbunker underneath the Reich Chancellery. Resistance continued, though most of the city was in Soviet hands by that point; May 2, 1945: Berlin finally capitulated. Hundreds of thousands of women were subjected to rape by Soviet soldiers. Destruction of buildings and infrastructure was nearly total in parts of the inner city business and residential sectors. The outlying sections suffered relatively little damage. This averages to one fifth of all buildings, and 50% in the inner city.
German Reunification (German: Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process of re-establishing Germany as a single full sovereign state, which took place between 9 November 1989 and 15 March 1991. The day of October 3, 1990 when the "Unification Treaty" entered into force dissolving the German Democratic Republic (GDR; German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, DDR, or East Germany) and integrating its recently re-established constituent federated states into the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, BRD, or West Germany) to form present-day Germany, has been chosen as the customary German Unity Day (Tag der deutschen Einheit) and has thereafter been celebrated each year as a national holiday in Germany since 1991. As part of the reunification, East and West Berlin of the two countries were also de facto united into a single city; which later eventually became the capital of this country. The East German government dominated by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) (a communist party) started to falter on May 2, 1989, when the removal of Hungary's border fence with Austria opened a hole in the Iron Curtain. The border was still closely guarded, but the Pan-European Picnic and the indecisive reaction of the rulers of the Eastern Bloc set in motion an irreversible movement. It allowed an exodus of thousands of East Germans fleeing to West Germany via Hungary. The Peaceful Revolution, a part of the international Revolutions of 1989 including a series of protests by the East German citizens, led to the fall of Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 and GDR's first free elections later on March 18, 1990 and then to the negotiations between the two countries that culminated in a Unification Treaty. Other negotiations between the two Germanies and the four occupying powers in Germany produced the so-called "Two Plus Four Treaty" (Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany), granting on March 15, 1991 full sovereignty to a reunified German state, whose two parts were previously bound by a number of limitations stemming from their post-World War II status as occupation zones, though only on August 31, 1994 did the last Russian occupation troops (Russia is the successor of the Soviet Union legally) leave Germany. After the end of World War II in Europe, the old German Reich was abolished and Germany was divided by the four Allied countries. There was no peace treaty. Two countries emerged. The American, British, and French zones combined to form the FRG ie West Germany on May 23, 1949. The GDR ie East Germany was established October 1949. The West German state joined NATO in 1955. In 1990, a range of opinions continued to be maintained over whether a reunited Germany could be said to represent "Germany as a whole" for this purpose. In the context of the successful and international Revolutions of 1989 against the communist states, including the GDR; on September 12, 1990, under the Two Plus Four Treaty with the four Allies, both East and West Germany committed to the principle that their joint pre-1990 boundary constituted the entire territory that could be claimed by a government of Germany, and hence that there were no further lands outside this boundary that were parts of Germany as a whole occupied. East Germany re-established the federated states on its soil and subsequently dissolved itself on 3 October 1990; also on the same day, modern Germany was formed when the new states joined the FRG while East and West Berlin were united into a single city. The reunited state is not a successor state, but an enlarged continuation of the 1949-1990 West German state. The enlarged Federal Republic of Germany retained the West German seats in the governing bodies of the European Economic Community (EC) (later the European Union/EU) and in international organizations including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United Nations (UN), while reliquinshing membership in the Warsaw Pact (WP) and other international organizations to which East Germany belonged.