National Geographic : 1947 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine International He Loses a Zither and Gains a Silk Scarf in a Berlin Barter Market The German soldier, still in his field-gray uniform, seems pleased with his bargain. This method of exchange was established by Allied authorities to combat Berlin's black market. On designated days in each of the city's four occupation zones, Germans flock to the open-air trading posts with clothes, household utensils, tools, musical instruments, and other articles. him, he would stand at attention and remove his cap. This deference was not to Americans, but to military uniforms. Perhaps it also was to the car. The Man on Horseback gave way a generation ago to the Man with a Motor, but peasants of Germany as well as of other European countries still live in the feudal age. At Augsburg a blithe Red Cross girl told how a Polish soldier in a hospital said to her very pleadingly: "You are beautiful. Please marry me so that I can go with you to America. You need not see me after we are married." Dachau Houses Toughest Nazis A medical officer in the same outfit told me that a woman from Luxembourg, living in Augsburg with her sister, had offered him $500 if he would marry her and take her to America. There she would divorce him at once. At Dachau, where the Nazis cremated more than a quarter of a million civilian victims, the toughest SS prisoners are now guarded. I scanned the faces of maybe two hundred. No nightmare could conjure up faces more cruel, depraved, debased, and thuglike. The Nazi implements of horror and their cages and chambers of torture are preserved for exhibition. I met a colonel commanding the Air Forces reinforcement depot at Fiirsten feldbruck, not far away, who was transporting all recruits fresh from the States to this in famous place so that they might visualize what the Allied armies had fought. He con sidered the tour a commentary on the proper limits of fraternization. In Heidelberg, which escaped bombing, the stores had more shoes and clothing than any others I saw in Germany, though all such articles are, of course, severely rationed. More Germans lingered in front of the display windows of a big clothing store for American officers than anywhere else.