National Geographic : 1950 Dec
774 De Spaarnestad--Pix Rotterdam's Ruined Harbor, Rebuilt with Marshall Plan Steel, Makes Swift Recovery Hitler's Nazis resented the fact that Dutch-owned Rotterdam was the commercial outlet of their "Father Rhine," whose source is Swiss and part of whose banks are French. In 1944, knowing they were about to lose the port, the Germans sank ships, blew up piers, and razed warehouses (as in the fire-blackened fore ground). American funds having restored installations, shipping appears thicker than ever. prices during Europe's tulip mania of the 17th century,* have now been discovered to be merely diseased, victims of a virus infection. Their varicolored beauty is an unhealthy sign. However, some blooms displaying two or more colors may be safe because they are not carriers of the disease. It takes an expert to be sure. An author ity at Lisse showed me several of this type, for instance the "American flag." I asked then about black tulips, which are entrancingly presented in at least one tourist booklet as an attraction of Holland. "A black tulip, or black flower of any kind, is impossible," he said promptly, "for black is not a color and flowers must have color. We have some very dark purple ones, but never a true black." So the search for la tulipe noire is doomed to perpetual failure. Amsterdam is the metropolis of the Nether lands, the banker, the world trader, the prince of industry-in short, the New York of its country, though not the least like it in form or appearance. The Hague, on the other hand, * See "Some Odd Pages from the Annals of the Tulip," by Leo A. Borah, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, September, 1933.