Monday, March 05, 2012

East Germany: Before and After Communism


Spiegel.com -- "During a trip to East Germany in 1990, photographer Stefan Koppelkamm discovered buildings that had survived both the war and the construction mania of the East German authorities. Ten years later, he returned to photograph the buildings again. The comparison threw up some unexpected contrasts, see the photo gallery here of East Germany's transformation after communism."

17 Comments:

At 3/05/2012 8:56 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Don't tell Jon or Benny.

 
At 3/05/2012 9:31 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Fortunately, the Chinese communists know how to micromanage its economy.

 
At 3/05/2012 9:37 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

i was in east berlin in 1995 and then again in 2001.

the difference was staggering. prenzlauerberg barely had running water in the early 90's.

by 2001 it was a hipster neighborhood like dumbo, and it's more like soho now.

the regulations around restaurants and clubs were still pretty obnoxious, but the germans got around it by just opening them illegally on a guerrilla basis and no one seemed to interested in trying to shut them down.

 
At 3/05/2012 9:38 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

was that intended as a joke?

sorry, it can be hard to tell in text.

 
At 3/05/2012 9:43 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

interesting stats on china:

"In late 2008, China announced a fiscal stimulus package of renminbi 4 trillion (about $600 billion) over two years, equal to a budget deficit around 2.2% of Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”). But the major response was via the government controlled large policy banks that were directed to extend credit and finance infrastructure projects on a large scale.

New lending by Chinese banks in 2009 and 2010 was around 40% of GDP. New bank loans in 2009 and 2010 totalled around $1.1 trillion-$1.4 trillion, an increase from $740 billion in 2008. Total outstanding loans in the economy have jumped by nearly 50% over the past two years.

According to the World Bank, almost all of China’s growth since 2008 has come from “government influenced expenditure”. In fact, the Chinese growth story since 2008 is reminiscent of the debt-fueled U.S. economic recovery after the recession of 2001/2002."

this is not going to end well.

china has a badly unsustainable debt bubble going on and a system of government that makes it incapable of making the transition to a modern information/knowledge based economy.

they are a one trick pony "borrow and build manufacturing for export" and that trick is just about done.

their personal consumption figures remain terrible. they have no real economy going on, just massive over-investment fueled by debt and without regard to profit or ROI.

the whole thing is a communist cargo cult. you do not want to be there looking for a chair when the music stops in a couple years.

 
At 3/05/2012 9:46 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Morganovich, you haven't seen the new housing projects rising into the smog?

 
At 3/05/2012 10:04 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

i'm not sure i understand your point.

what do you take housing projects mean?

 
At 3/05/2012 10:14 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

It is amazing the transformation of East Germany in just a few short years. Poland has gone through a similar transformation.

I guess it goes to show how free markets can beautify and central planning can ruin.

 
At 3/05/2012 11:19 AM, Blogger AIG said...

What is most interesting is how most of those buildings from East German days still show fire and bomb damage from WW2.

At least such beautiful architecture was spared destruction. In my country, almost anything from that era was destroyed by the communists and replaced with commie-blocks.

 
At 3/05/2012 11:31 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

In my country, almost anything from that era was destroyed by the communists and replaced with commie-blocks.

If I may ask, where are you from, AIG?

 
At 3/05/2012 1:25 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"i was in east berlin in 1995 and then again in 2001"...

Yeah morganovich, I know what you mean...

My first visit to E. Berlin in '73 was rather a spooky experience and more than a bit scarey...

My last visit was in '03 (been there 4 times in between) for a family funeral and it was actually hard in some respects to tell the difference between what had been two different Berlins...

There are still many reminders but they are either being removed or grown over...

 
At 3/05/2012 2:40 PM, Blogger kmg said...

One could similarly do this for any city block in Detroit, before and after Blue-state communism.

 
At 3/05/2012 4:35 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"One could similarly do this for any city block in Detroit, before and after Blue-state communism"...

Oh geez kmg cruel but seriously funny!...:-)

 
At 3/05/2012 7:14 PM, Blogger Marko said...

What's interesting to me is that the article that presents these pictures argues that it is a shame that these buildings have been "ruined" by being fixed up and put in productive use. What arrogance! Poor photographer, the places where people live are no longer interesting slums for him to photograph and go home to his nice place afterwards.

 
At 3/05/2012 10:03 PM, Blogger StrokeSaversGolf said...

To see the before and after of the second Obama term, just run the slide show in reverse.

 
At 3/05/2012 10:04 PM, Blogger StrokeSaversGolf said...

To see the before and after of the second Obama term, just run the slide show in reverse.

 
At 3/06/2012 11:35 AM, OpenID AngelaTC said...

As resident of the Detroit suburbs, what struck me was that the government actually allowed some of those buildings to be renovated. Here, anything with the amount of damage seen in some of those "before" pictures would be permanantly condemned - it would be nigh impossible to get the permits required to renovate.

 

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