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Answer the following question in an essay of 750-1000 words (excluding references and headings). Your essay must include a clear thesis statement and evidence from course materials to support it. DO NOT DO OUTSIDE RESEARCH FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT. USE ONLY COURSE MATERIALS. Cite your sources in Chicago Manual format. What did policymakers, architects, artists, and citizens want Berlin to represent during the Cold War and how did they go about creating that version of the city, both in terms of the city’s physical spaces and representations of it? How did the approaches of East and West differ? How were they similar? What were the most important ways in which ideas about Berlin changed over time? Provide specific details in your answer. the book is the only material you need to read and the only citation. you need to cite the page number at the end of the sentence if you use the sentence from the book.

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Architecture, Politics,
& Identity in Divided
Culture, Politics, and the Built Environment
Dianne Harris, Editor
E mi ly Pugh
Architecture, Politics,
& Identity in Divided
University of Pittsburgh Press
Published by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15260
Copyright © 2014, University of Pittsburgh Press
All rights reserved
Manufactured in the United States of America
Printed on acid-free paper
10 9 8 7 6 5 4
3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Pugh, Emily.
Architecture, Politics, and Identity in Divided Berlin / Emily Pugh.
pages cm. — (Culture, Politics, and the Built Environment)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
isbn 978-0-8229-6302-8 (paperback : acid-free paper)
1. Architecture—Germany—Berlin—History—20th century.
2. Architecture—Political aspects—Germany—Berlin—History—
20th century. 3. Architecture and society—Germany—Berlin—History—
20th century. 4. City planning—Germany—Berlin—History—20th century.
5. Group identity—Germany—Berlin—History—20th century.
6. Germany (West)—Relations—Germany (East) 7. Germany (East)—
Relations—Germany (West) 8. Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany, 1961–1989.
9. Berlin (Germany)—Social conditions—20th century.
10. Berlin (Germany)—Politics and government—1945–1990. I. Title.
na1085.p83 2014
For Da r r en
Map of Berlin indicating the city’s administr ative districts as they
appeared until 1990. The grey box is the area detailed by the map of
centr al berlin. Map by Bill Nelson.
List of Acronyms
Introduction: Divided Capital, Dividing Capital
1. Modern Capital, Divided Capital: Berlin before
the Wall
2. A Capital without a Country: Shaping West Berlin’s
Image in the Early Cold War
3. The Unbridled Buildup of Socialism: Defining and
Critiquing Heimat-GDR
4. The Dreamed-of GDR: Public Space, Private Space,
and National Identity in the Honecker Era
5. Capital of the Counterculture: West Berlin and the
Changing Divides of the Cold War West
6. Back to the Center: Restoring West Berlin’s Image
and Identity
7. Collapsing Borders: Housing, Berlin’s 750th Anniversary,
and the End of the GDR
Conclusion: Constructing the Capital of the
Berlin Republic
Appendix: Governing Entities and Nomenclature,
This book would not have been possible without the colleagues, friends,
and institutions that supported its creation and completion in myriad ways.
I would first like to thank the following institutions that supported
travel, research, and the writing of this book: the Center for Advanced
Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, the Conference
Group on Central European History, the German Historical Institute,
the Getty Research Institute, the Graduate Center of the City University
of New York, and the IIE Fulbright Program. The book’s publication was
supported by a David R. Coffin Publication Grant from the Foundation for
Landscape Studies.
I would also like to acknowledge those archives that granted me access
to their holdings and the individuals at those institutions whose assistance and patience were very much appreciated: Heidemarie Bock and
Petra Albrecht at the Baukunst Archiv, Akademie der Künste, in Berlin;
Andreas Matschenz and Barbara Schäche at the Landesarchiv in Berlin;
the very helpful staff at the Filmarchiv of the Akademie der Künste, the
Bundesarchiv in Berlin and Koblenz, the Bundesarchiv Filmarchiv, and the
Getty Research Institute. Additional research was completed with the kind
assistance of the staff members at the Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer
Kulturbesitz in Berlin, the Paley Center for Media in New York, the US National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, MD, and the
National Gallery of Art Library, where Jacqueline Protka in particular was
instrumental in arranging access to hard-to-find materials. Special thanks
to the DEFA Film Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst,
where I screened many of the East German films mentioned in the book.
Many thanks also go to Peter Kracht, my editor, and Dianne Harris,
series editor, who both supported me and offered much-needed encouragement throughout the manuscript’s revision, as well as to the book’s copy
editor, Maureen Creamer Bemko. I am also indebted to the anonymous
readers whose comments and suggestions helped improve the book manuscript immeasurably.
In this book’s earlier phases, the research and writing were guided and
supported by Kevin Murphy, who served as an indispensable resource,
providing astute and thoroughgoing criticism of its content and prose. The
project also benefited from the insightful critique of Rosemarie Bletter,
Stuart Liebman, and Paul Jaskot. Professor Jaskot deserves special mention, as he mentored me through the early stages of my career in art history
at DePaul University and encouraged me in my early interest in German
art, architectural, and political history.
Also invaluable to the project’s development have been my personal
relationships and the many conversations that have served to enrich and
develop the ideas behind it. I thank in particular my colleagues Natasha
Poor, Rachel Snow, and Carla MacDougall. Very special thanks go to my
colleagues at CASVA, especially Joseph Hammond, Alexandra Hoare, and
Marden Nichols, who were incredibly generous with their time and attention. Finally, this project could not have been completed without the love,
support, and laughter provided by my husband, Darren Coyle. Thank you
for helping me see this through!
A c kno w led g m ents
ADN Allgemeiner Deutsche Nachrichtendienst (East German
press service)
BRD Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany;
West Germany)
CDU Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands (Christian
Democratic Union)
CIAM Congrès International d’Architecture Moderne (International
Congress on Modern Architecture)
Christlich-soziale Union (Christian Social Union)
DBD Demokratische Bauernpartei Deutschlands (German
Democratic Farmers’ Party)
DDR Deutsche Demokratische Republik (German Democratic
Republic; East Germany)
Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft
DeGeWo Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Wohnungsbau
(German Society for the Promotion of Housing)
European Union
FDGB Freier Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (National Workers’
Freie Deutsche Jugend (Free German Youth)
Freie Demokratische Partei (Free Democratic Party)
Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany)
German Democratic Republic (East Germany)
Internationale Bauausstellung (International Building Exhibition)
International Congress Center
Inoffizieller Mitarbeiter (unofficial associates of the Stasi)
LDPD Liberal-Demokratische Partei Deutschlands (Liberal
Democratic Party of Germany)
MfAA Ministerium für Auswärtige Angelegenheiten (Ministry of
Foreign Affairs)
Museum of Modern Art
Mehrzweckgebäude (Mixed-Use Building Collective)
NAP Das Nationales Aufbauprogramm (National Construction
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NF Nationale Front des Demokratischen Deutschlands (National
Front of Democratic Germany)
NÖS Neue Ökonomische System (New Economic System)
Party of Democratic Socialism (Die Linke Partei; “Left Party”)
Sowjetische Besatzungszone (Soviet Zone of Occupation)
SED Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands (Socialist Unity
SMAD Die Sowjetische Militäradministration in Deutschland (Soviet
Military Administration)
SPD Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (Social Democratic
SPK Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Foundation for Prussian
Cultural Heritage)
SS Schutzstaffel, Waffen (Security Staff, Armed)
The Architects’ Collaborative
Theater im Palast
Universum Film-Aktien Gesellschaft
United Nations
United States Information Agency
Verband Bildender Künstler (Association of Visual Artists)
WBS 70
Wohnungsbauserie-70 (Dwelling Series 70)
ZAG/AbK Zentrale Arbeitsgruppe—Architektur und bildende Kunst
(Central Working Group on Architecture and Visual Art)
Zentralverwaltung für Statistik (Administration for Statistics)
A c ron ym s
Architecture, Politics,
& Identity in Divided
S p re e
Straße des 17
TV Tower
en Linde
Unter d
Palast der Republik
1 Kar
Train Station
zu Berlin
Haus am Checkpoint
Kaiser Wilhelm
Memorial Church
Leipziger Stra
SO 36
Map of Centr al Berlin. Map by Bill Nelson.
“SO 36”
Divided Capital, Dividing Capital
On August 13, 1961, in the middle of the night, the East German government closed the border between East and West Berlin, halting people, cars,
and trams in their tracks and sealing off the western sectors of the city
with barbed wire. The acrimony between the eastern and western Cold
War powers had been growing since the end of World War II, yet the intracity border closure had not been foreseen by citizens on either side of the
barricade, and it caught western governments in particular by surprise.1
The rulers of East Germany declared that, with the border secured against
the “fascist” west, peace had finally been established in their country. In
West Berlin, the Tagesspiegel newspaper declared the event to be East German leader “Ulbricht’s demonstration of naked violence” and a “day Berliners would never forget.” 2 Twenty-eight years later, another unforgettable
day would transpire. On November 9, 1989, an unplanned and unexpected
announcement regarding changes to the travel restrictions imposed on
East Germans rendered the border closure irrelevant. The Berlin Wall
“fell,” seemingly as suddenly and abruptly as it was erected.
Although Germany’s division into East and West and its subsequent
reunification is often conceived of in absolute terms, the divisions did not
end with the “fall” of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, just as they did
not simply appear with the barbed wire on the night of August 13, 1961,
or even in 1949, when the GDR (German Democratic Republic; East Germany) and Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) were formally
established. In light of the irrelevance of absolutes in terms of division and
reunification, the more important issue is how, after Germany had been
divided politically and physically, corresponding cultural and social divisions were established between 1961 and 1989. In other words, how were
East and West German national identities—identities distinct from and in
dialectical opposition to one another—created despite a shared history and
cultural heritage? In what ways was Berlin constructed, both literally and
figuratively, as an important site for the creation and negotiation of these
identities? Specifically, how did East and West Berlin’s dual identities (that
is, the urban image each possessed) function in relation to the national
German identity and the dual political identities?
Capital cities are always key sites for the formation and representation
of national identity. Berlin, however, is unusual in that its designation as
capital has been repeatedly questioned. Germany became a nation relatively late in comparison with other European nations. Moreover, individuals in states such as Prussia and Bavaria often identified more closely with
regional rather than national identity. As a result, not only was a unified
sense of “Germanness” a somewhat dubious concept in the first years of
the consolidated country’s existence but Berlin’s importance as a city that
represented a pan-German culture and identity was as much a conceit as
an accepted reality. This phenomenon in many ways continued into the
twentieth century, as the historian Andreas Daum and others have noted.3
As a result, the various regimes that ruled Germany from Berlin could not
take its status as a national capital for granted but very deliberately and
consciously had to construct the city as a site of national identity. During
the period of the city’s division, consciously constructing an identity meant
using specific architectural styles and approaches to build quite literally a
“democratic” city in the west and a “socialist” one in the east. It also meant
constructing Berlin in a figurative sense, making it a symbol of democratic
or socialist values and ideals and explicitly defining its role vis-à-vis the
rest of East and West Germany as either the capital, in the former case, or
the capital-in-waiting, in the latter.
This work traces the history of the efforts to construct Berlin in nationalist and political terms and examines how these regimes used the city to
construct two divergent notions of German national identity. The examination proceeds via an analysis of key architectural undertakings, such as the
State Library in West Berlin (Hans Scharoun and Edgar Wisniewski, 1967–
78) and the Palace of the Republic in East Berlin (Heinz Graffunder et al.,
1973–76) and considers these buildings within their architectural as well as
social, political, and economic contexts. Materials culled from the German
national and Berlin municipal archives, as well as from architects’ papers
and contemporary journal and press accounts, reveal how designers, sponsoring regimes, and members of the critical establishment discussed these
buildings and other architectural initiatives. The larger context of these
buildings reveals the full complexity of the relationship between architecture and national identity in both east and west and provides new perspectives on buildings and individual architects. Examination of organizations
like West Germany’s Foundation for Prussian Cultural Heritage and the
East German Building Academy reveals the influences of various cultural
and architectural institutions in shaping architectural theory and practice.
i ntrod uc tion
This work also examines the significance of specific buildings or building
types within popular discourses on, for example, housing, identity, and/or
the creation of community, which permits an assessment of the degree to
which official rhetoric on architecture and/or national identity resonated
with populations in divided Berlin and abroad.
While there are a number of texts that deal with specific architects or
with particular buildings of East and West Berlin in the 1961–89 period,
few discuss them in relation to one another.4 Furthermore, histories of East
and West German architecture and planning often employ different methodological approaches: while histories of East German architecture tend to
examine buildings from the perspective of politics and economics to the near
exclusion of stylistic considerations, the reverse is true for histories of architecture in West Germany/West Berlin.5 In general, there have been very few
close, comparative analyses of identity formation in the realm of Cold War
cultural or architectural production in divided Berlin, despite the fact that
a comparative approach is essential in addressing this question. East and
West Germany’s shared history and cultural heritage bound the two nations
together, as did their roles in the global political struggle of the Cold War.
Because of their complex relationship, East and West Germany relied on one
another to define themselves, even when official rhetoric attempted to deny
or ignore the other’s existence and legitimacy. As a result, one cannot simply
treat either East and West Germany or East and West Berlin as autonomous
nations or cities that were completely separate and distinct.
One reason for both the tendency to discuss East or West Berlin/
Germany and not the other and for the lack of scholarship on the period
from 1961 to 1989 may be the Berlin Wall itself. As both a physical structure and a symbol of the Cold War, the wall became so iconic that it dominated the urban imagery of East and West Berlin and, to some degree, East
and West Germany. The dominance of this image persists; one can hardly
think of Berlin during this period without conjuring an image of the
graffiti-covered western face of the westernmost wall. Part of the wall’s
importance lies in the fact that it gave physical form to a political and
ideological divide that was already conceived of in spatial terms. Built fifteen years after Winston Churchill’s famous speech, the wall was viewed as
the manifestation of the “Iron Curtain,” seemingly confirming a division
that already existed. It is partly because of its iconic status that the wall
itself is thought of as a single and definitive division that remained impenetrable and unchanged throughout its twenty-eight-year existence.
In reality, the wall, which was actually two walls, evolved as both a
structure and as a symbol throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Not
only did the GDR government build, rebuild, and reconfigure the entire
introd u c tion
system of enclosure and surveillance of which the westernmost wall was
just one part, but the wall’s penetrability fluctuated as East-West German
political relations changed.6 However, because of the wall’s importance
and visibility as a symbol, it is often viewed as both the cause of the EastWest Berlin/Germany divide and the proof of it. Both the Iron Curtain
and the Berlin Wall were political constructions that, once created, were
accepted as immutable fact, although they changed in meaning and significance over time. The term “iron curtain,” for example, existed before
Winston Churchill used it in his 1947 speech. It evolved from a metaphor
that was intended to suggest the protection of the “West” from the “East” (in
the way an iron curtain protected a theater audience if fire broke out on the
stage) to a metaphor that evoked images of the unbending domination of
and within the “East.”7 Moreover, as concepts, the Berlin Wall and the Iron
Curtain not only described the political, social, and cultural realities of Cold
War Europe but also in many ways came to dictate the perception of these
realities, of “East” versus “West.” As a symbol and instrument of the Cold
War divide, the wall spatialized aspects of culture, politics, and society.
Even when it was not directly addressed in, for example, politicians’ rhetoric or an architectural critique, it was always an influence on construction
and identity in East and West Berlin and Germany.
The Berlin Wall played an important role in the construction of
East-West Berlin/German identity throughout its existence in large part
because of ambiguity regarding the city’s political status and relationship
to notions of “Germanness.” Even before 1961, in order to counteract the
uncertainty and tensions created by Berlin’s internal divide, the ruling
regimes of East and West Berlin attempted to construct more concrete notions of identity. The anxiety created by the border closure further encouraged the construction of separate German identities. At the same time,
the very presence of the wall facilitated the construction of these identities
in part because, in creating two distinct physical entities, the wall made
it easier to create two distinct cultural entities or places. As the cultural
geographer Yi-Fu Tuan notes in his book Space and Place: The Perspective of
Experience, visibility is a key way of establishing a sense of place. Place, he
argues, can be made vis …
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