National Geographic : 1947 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine V. S. Army Signal Corps, Official "Hold Still, Hans-This Won't Hurt!" This youngster, like all refugees passing through Berlin, is dusted with DDT powder as a safeguard against typhus and other insect-borne diseases. DDT, developed during the war and now in general use as an insecticide, has played a large part in preventing major epidemics in ravaged Europe. Figurines below the military ac tion danced. Actually they repre sent dancers of the Middle Ages who kept the people of Munich cheered up during a famous plague. The boy's interpretation, however, was all in terms of war. "Now," he said, "the chicken will sing." A cock high above the human groups began to flap his wings and crow. This boy was a nice kid. I gave him a PX bar of candy from my raincoat pocket. With proper teach ing he would not look upon every thing in terms of war. What he called a war between his Bavaria and Austria is, as the mechanical figures under the clock depict it, only a tournament. The boy's interpretations harmo nize with popular representations of Bismarck. In villages and cities all over Germany you see heroic-sized monuments of Bismarck, foremost of German statesmen, though he was a warmaker. And always you see Bismarck with an iron helmet on his head, a sword in his iron hand, and on his face an expression as iron-hard as the Hindenburg Line (page 78). Few, if any, other people on earth have made or would make their su preme statesman into a supreme sol dier. One cannot imagine America so representing Thomas Jefferson, England so representing Pitt, France so representing Clemenceau. One afternoon two German plumbers came into my room in the Excelsior Hotel in Munich to repair the drainage pipe under the wash basin. They soon had the pipe un jointed and a coupling off. Then they spent at least two hours in and out of the room trying to get some thing to fit. Evening came and they left. The next morning they were back, and it actually took them most of the day to finish the repairs. I judged that they were efficient enough; they simply could not find new piping to fit an old coupling, or a new coupling to fit old piping. Imagine this kind of thing multiplied millions of times all over Germany in the mighty task of rebuilding.