National Geographic : 1954 Apr
576 Hiihnerfeld Youngsters Have a Right to Smile: They're Getting a New Youth Center Carpenters are scarce and expensive in the Saar, where war destroyed or damaged 65,000 homes. Miners and workers have formed cooperatives to help one another build new houses. Since 1946 one group in Hiihnerfeld has completed more than 100 homes like the one in the background. Now they're working on a play center for children. These kids, like others in the village, spend their play hours helping with the job. his own primary concern for the future of his country. "I don't care what they do with the Saar," he sighed, "as long as they avoid another war. I always remember the only promise Hitler ever made that he kept." "What was that?" I asked. "He came here to make a speech in 1935, after we had voted to rejoin Germany," said the miner. "I remember his very words: 'Give me 10 years, and you will not recognize your cities.' The 10 years were up in 1945. He told the truth. I couldn't recognize my home town. After the bombing was over, I couldn't even find it." The miner pulled on his hobnailed shoes. "We aren't politicians here," he said. "We're just people. All we ask is a chance to work, to raise our children, and to live our own lives. If we can do that, I'll accept any settlement." He walked to the mine cage, turned, and waved goodbye. "Gliick auf," he said.