National Geographic : 1925 Mar
LOOKING DOWN ON EUROPE 313 THE POTTERY MARKET IN PITEST:::, NORTHWEST OF B CHARI';. T behind the dark-robed Russian cabbies to mark the quiet stars. Royalty had withdrawn weeks ])efore to the cool seclusion of the near-by foothills; but the street life of the city still throbbed on. Barefoot peasants along the narrow lanes jostled soldiers in slovenly uni form; a gypsy girl in brilliant scarf and rain- bow-colored skirt chatted gaily with a group a f bearded. dark-skinned men; above the steady rumble of the street rang out the sharp crack of a Russian whip and the warning cry of a muzhik. DANZIG CAUSES MANY CO:\,IPLICATIONS A JD HF,ARTBURNINCS The unfamiliar sounds lent color to my fancy. and at length. as I fell asleep. there seemed to be spread out before me the whole great length of the Danubian water- course, with the massive Carpathian chain and the Transyh'anian Alps sprawl- ing across it. like a sinister question mark. a symbol of the uncertain destiny of this strange, unstable land. Seven hundred and fifty miles north- west of Bucharest, as the crow flies, lies Konigsberg, the capital of East Prussia. near the shores of the Baltic Sea, An easy day's flight if one cares to make it so, but I chose the more leisurely way, revisiting the capitals that had been little more than glimpsed on the outbound journey, and thence by air via \Varsaw to the quaint old city of Danzig, near the mouth of the broad Vistula. The creation of the Free City of Danzig must ha \'e seemed like an ingenious solu- tion to a vexing problem for the weary conferees at Versailles in the spring of 1919. But concei\'e, if you will, of (he City of Galveston cut off from the rest of Texas by a Mexican "corridor," its customs controlled by foreigners. Can you imagine the populace any other than wildly American in sentiment, its people restive and unhappy? Thus. in Danzig 93 per cent of a popu- lation of some 400.000 are Germans, iso- lated on the one side bv the Polish corri- dor. separated on the" other from their relatives and business relations in East Prussia by restrictive customs regula- tions. Everywhere one meets two cus- toms officers: the Danzig "Free" City agent who takes your money, and the Polish officer who relieves the Danzig agent of it.