National Geographic : 1951 Nov
695 Blue-shirted Young Communists of East Berlin Recall the Hitler Youth Grim-faced lads pounding flower-decked drums are typical Communist Freie Deutsche Jugend, so-called "Free German Youth." Ahead of a sign urging "Forward with Stalin," they march along Unter den Linden in the Soviet-sponsored World Youth Festival in the Russian Sector. Comparing the Blue-shirts to Hitler Youth, the author says, "Nothing had changed but the color" (page 699). from the Tiergarten and Grune Wald; stumps and roots of Tiergarten trees were dug up and used for fuel in the winter of blockade and airlift. Now their places are taken by two million new little trees, brought from West Germany and set out with Marshall Plan aid. Along the Kurfiirsten Damm and other im portant streets in the Western Sectors, Mar shall Plan funds have helped repair old build ings and rear new ones. Among them we noted a new hotel, a theater, and a newspaper plant, all bearing signs reminding Berliners where the money came from. "We Like to See Nice Things . .. " New stores on the Kurfiirsten Damm were stocked with luxury goods-sheer stockings, jewelry, lingerie-at prices roughly compa rable to those on Fifth Avenue. Anyone with enough marks can buy them, but most people have to content themselves with window-shop ping. More than 284,000 West Berliners are out of work because of the Russian grip on the city's surrounding trade area, and the average income is only about 250 Deutsche marks ($60) a month. "We have seen so many poor things that we like to see nice things on the Kurfiirsten Damm," said a West Berlin doctor's wife, "even if we cannot buy them." She and her husband had invited us for dinner-well-cooked veal cutlet, or Wiener Schnitzel, potatoes, and sauerkraut (page 701). Their blond daughter, 8-year-old Cor delia, asked the blessing, translated thus: Earth gave us this, The Sun ripened it. Dear Sun and dear Earth, We will never forget thee. Then all joined hands around the table and wished each other "Guten Appetit." "If you go into Communist territory," said the doctor, "you have to take care or you risk to be arrested." "A young man I know was on his way to visit his parents in the East Zone and was reading a Lutheran church paper on the train," said his 14-year-old son, Justus, in good Eng lish learned in school. "He was arrested by the criminal police and all his luggage was examined. Finally they let him go." Justus's hair was long and shaggy.