National Geographic : 1961 Dec
iS KTACHROMFSBY NATIONAL fO; RAPHIC PHIIloRA Pill THOMAS NEBBIA NG.S. in the tiny galley. Three children-a teen age girl and two small boys in Lederlo'sen from Bavaria-sat near us and listened. "This boat is our summer home," said the captain. "We live a good healthy life aboard. In the winter the children must stay ashore for school." "East zone or West?" one of us inquired. The captain was indignant. "You think I would let my children learn Communist lies?" he asked. "I am a free man, and they will be free too." He is also a brave man. We said we would conceal his identity in our article. "Write my name and what I say," he said. "I have always spoken as I thought. The de cent people Over There will respect me for this; I do not care what the others think." Despite this, as the Berlin situation grew more tense, we decided to omit his name. West Berlin, despite its isolation, was still one of West Germany's leading industrial cities. Electrical products, machines and ma chine tools, iron and aluminum hardware, optical goods, and precision instruments are its chief wares. The city has a huge garment 758 industry, normally supplying 35 percent of all West Germany's clothing for women; many workers are also employed by chemical, food processing, and liquor industries. Flattened in the war, the big Borsig works now were s pitting fire and smoke, swarm ing with workers, and palpitating with the thumping of hydraulic presses and giant lathes (page 7065). Borsig makes heavy ma chinery like steam and nuclear power plants, ships' engines, and huge refrigeration units. Officials merely shrugged when we asked about the difficulties of running an industrial complex on an island. "On a whim, Communists might attempt to cut off all our raw materials," one said. "But all of us in West Berlin make do somehow." Even when things run smoothly, industry and trade are difficult because the city is al most entirely cut off from its natural trading area. Only 1.8 percent of West Berlin's ex ports went to East Germany last year. The Communists did not let East Germans- who would normally be Berlin's closest customers - take home luxuries like television sets, por celain, or clothing made in West Berlin.