National Geographic : 1959 Jun
New Atlas Map Charts a Germany Divided FIVE precarious lifelines connect West Berlin to the Free World. Today, as in ternational attention focuses on this most controversial part of Europe, a National Geographic Society map makes it easy to trace these vital links. The new map, the tenth issued thus far in the Atlas Series,* portrays Germany on a scale of 24 miles to the inch, larger than any previous Geographic map of the country. The lifelines to Berlin include three air corridors and two ground routes; freedom of access on all is guaranteed by agreements between Rus sia and the Western Allies. The air corridors, each 20 miles wide, lead from the airport cities of Frankfurt, Hannover, and Hamburg. An orange line on the map marks the railway leading east from Helm stedt; another traces the Autobahn to Berlin, particularly vulnerable to blockade because it must cross dozens of bridges on its 110-mile course from the border of West Germany. The ten-color map shows shrunken modern Germany reaching from the Danish border in Jutland on the north to Switzerland and Austria in the south. Her southwest border is enlarged by the addition (following an agree ment with France in 1956) of the coal-rich Saarland, but her eastern border awaits a final German peace treaty. "Inhuman Frontier" Severs Germany The most striking feature of the new map is the jagged green streak through its heart. The Germans call it "die unmenschliche Grenze"-"the inhuman frontier"-for it bars neighbor from neighbor and parent from child. The barrier between East and West Ger many is made of barbed wire and plowed earth, a strip 30 feet wide replowed frequently so that Communist patrols can watch for new footprints and guard more closely the areas where crossings are made. The border cuts through villages, farms, and sometimes individual houses, so that back or front doors must be sealed off. At one point, near Helmstedt, it divides a salt mine in two; a wall keeps Red miners on their own side. The present division of Germany gives the Federal Republic 95,910 square miles of terri tory, with a population of 54,000,000; the Eastern Zone has 41,646 square miles and 874 17,700,000 people. Since World War II about 13 million displaced Germans have moved into West Germany from the east. The influx of refugees and expellees has swelled the population of West German cities and has added at least one new name to the map. This is the town of Neugablonz (New Gablonz), near Kaufbeuren in southwestern Bavaria. Here some 10,000 former Sudeten Germans from Gablonz (Jablonec), now in Czechoslovakia, have settled en bloc, and brought with them a $33,000,000-a -year in dustry for which they were famous in prewar days: the manufacture of costume jewelry and glassware. Another group of "outsiders" who have settled into German life are five divisions of U. S. Seventh Army troops and more than a score of U. S. Air Force units, part of NATO's armed force for the defense of Western Europe. Seventh Army headquarters is in the his toric city of Stuttgart; Wiesbaden, 100 miles northwest, is the nerve center of all U. S. Air Force operations in Europe. Canals Supplement Roads and Rails Parallel red lines crisscross the map to show in detail the famous complex of autobahns, the high-speed divided highways. Ticked blue lines show the canals of Germany's intricate inland-waterway system, which carries more than a fourth of her commercial traffic. Near the top of the map the Nord-Ostsee, or Kiel, Canal, badly bombed in World War II, is open again. Another, the Mittelland Canal system, runs from Duisburg and provides a water link be tween Berlin and the Rhine, 300 miles away. An inset in the upper left corner of the map enlarges the 341 square miles of Berlin. Tinted boundaries demarcate the American, British, French, and Soviet sectors, and a small square locates the military headquarters of each occupying power. * A convenient Folio to hold Atlas Maps is available for $4.85; a packet of the seven maps issued in 1958 for $3; individual maps for 50. Write to National Geographic Society, Dept. 15, Washington 6, D. C. This map is Atlas Folio Plate No. 35 . Plates pre viously issued: Northeastern United States (No. 6), Southeastern United States (8), North Central United States (9), U. S. - Canadian National Parks (13), Southern South America (28), British Isles (31), Poland and Czechoslovakia (38), Greece and the Aegean (40), and Lands of the Eastern Medi terranean (47).