Changing Berlin National Geographic February 1937
By Douglas Chandler
February 1937 edition of National Geographic contains a 50-page article about Berlin and what life was like for the ordinary citizens of Berlin under the National Socialist Government in Germany. Written and published by the only independent media in Europe, the historical importance of this article is paramount for anyone studying the social and political history of Germany before World War II.
One original edition of this Magazine has been found and purchased to enable this vital article to be read again by anyone with a historical interest in the unbiased view of life in National Socialist Germany. It is now 80 years old and beyond any restrictions of copyright, and each page has been professionally and carefully photographed and then re-printed into a 56-page A4 size colour booklet, without destroying the original magazine.
This booklet of the complete 50 page original article is now available to buy from www.konigbooks.uk and can be posted worldwide. It is a valuable addition to every History Society, School and University Library, Museum and World War II re-enactment group.
Here are some of the descriptions of the photographs that appear in the original article written by Douglas Chandler
"NEW ROADS, LIKE TWIN BRIDGES OF CEMENT, SWEEP OVER GERMAN PLAINS AND ROLLING WOODED HILLS
Because of her position on the map, military necessity long ago led Germany to build stone-paved roads radiating in various directions from Berlin. They were sufficient for horse-drawn artillery, but rough for high-speed motor vehicles. Today smooth cement roads, remindful of America's best, are beginning to be laid toward frontiers. Each strip here, wide enough for four cars, is a one-way drive. Surface crossings are often avoided by the use of overpasses, with four-leaf clover approaches."
"TO SEE AND BE SEEN BERLINERS CROWD SIDEWALK CAFES IN FINE WEATHER
Popular as outdoor dining and drinking and concerts are with Germans, many a visitor from warmer climes finds such social adventures a chilly experience. On Sundays, dense crowds promenade the Kurfursten-Damm. Like the Boardwalk in Atlantic City at Eastertime, this is a favourite promenade for displaying new spring outfits." Photograph by Gunter Russ
"THE KONIG-STRASSE, ENDING AT ALEXANDER-PLATZ, FORMS THE CHIEF TRAFFIC CENTER OF EAST BERLIN
Seen at the right is a subway entrance, leading to a bewildering labyrinth of subterranean life. Two great architectural masses, the Alexander and the Berolina-Haus, flank this busy square and shelter armies of office workers."
"TO DEVELOP BOYS AND GIRLS IN BODY AND MIND, AND THUS INSURE A STURDY RACE TO DEFEND GERMANY IN THE FUTURE, IS A POLICY OF THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT
On the athletic field of the Police Sport Society are seen some of the 5,000 young people who participated in the opening festival of the Gymnastic Corporation of Berlin."
"IN OPEN-AIR CAFES, BERLIN - ALONG WITH PARIS - LIKES TO SIT AND SIP AND TALK
From the hole-in-the-wall eating place to such fashionable restaurants as this, the Kroll, in the Tiergarten at the edge of the River Spree, there is almost invariably the added attraction of an outside garden. In some of the more informal out-of-door cafes, families may even make their own coffee, the restaurant providing water and cups. And, as always in Germany, there is a band!"
"VISITORS, ON FIRST SEEING BERLIN, ARE AMAZED AT ITS ABUNDANT STATUARY
Here even the top of the main building of Berlin University, former palace of Prince Henry of Prussia, is lined with human effigies. This seat of learning, which now enrolls about 7,000 students, is fairly new, compared with some European universities, not having opened its doors till 1810. Many Americans take courses here. At the left, a teacher and her schoolgirls stand before a monument of Karl Wilhelm von Humboldt, brother of the distinguished explorer, and founder of the University."
"WITH PERISCOPES TIERGARTEN CROWDS WATCH HITLER'S BIRTHDAY PARADE - APRIL 20, 1936
Each drawn by six magnificent matched horses, heavy iron-wheeled field pieces rumble over the paved streets. No other vehicles make exactly the same sound as artillery 'when the caissons go rolling along'. The Tiergarten, a wooded park popular with pedestrians and horseback riders, stretches along either side of Charlottenburger Chaussee, and is set with many monuments and sculptures."
"BY THIS MONSTER ELEVATOR, CANAL BOATS WEIGHING HUNDREDS OF TONS ARE LIFTED BODILY, LOCK AND ALL
The water systems of Berlin and Stettin are connected by the Hohenzollern Canal, through which flows an ever-increasing stream of coal and heavy goods. East of Eberswalde the canal leaves a high plateau for lowlands along the Oder River. Till recently, four locks built here raised lowered boats a distance of 116 feet, requiring two hours to lock a 350-ton ship. After many years of work, this mammoth ship elevator was built, and now a boat can be passed up or down in five minutes. The boat simply sails into a big trough of water, which is lifted or lowered, the vessel floating in it."
"BRANDENBURG CANOE CLUBS LINE UP FOR A RACE ON TEGELER SEE
This popular summer retreat for Berliners, a tree-girt lake, also draws sport lovers from near-by Brandenburg, which is connected with the capital's suburbs by the Havel River. Beyond the canoes onlookers watch the race in sailboats and in double 'faltboats', kayaklike craft of canvas, now popular in Germany."
"ENTHUSIASM FOR PHYSICAL CULTURE AND SPORTS OF ALL KINDS MARKS THE NEW GERMANY
Here 1,500 men and girls in the Exhibition Hall at the Kaiser-Damm in Berlin await the word from their leader. The Fourth Winter Olympics was held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in February, 1936, and Berlin, of course, was the scene of the 11th Olympic Games last summer."
"NOT EVEN AN ELEPHANT WANTS TO STEP ON A TACK!
Among great zoos, in late years, many clever devices have been evolved for the better exhibition of animals., birds, and reptiles without the use of bars or screens. At Berlin seven rows of sharp spikes keep Jumbo in his place."
"HERMANN-PLATZ IN SOUTH BERLIN IS DOMINATED BY 'WARENHAUS KARSTADT,' AN ENORMOUS DEPARTMENT STORE
From a roof garden on top of this modern structure, an expansive view of all southeast Berlin may be enjoyed. In its method of merchandising and display, as well as in its architecture, the emporium reflects American influence."
"BERLIN CATHEDRAL LOOKS DOWN UPON STREETS BEDECKED FOR LAST SUMMER'S OLYMPIC GAMES
This Protestant edifice is really three separate churches under one vast roof. In its crypt are entombed nearly a hundred members of the Hohenzollern family."
"BANNER OVER BERLIN - A BRIGHT, SUNSHINY DAY, WITH UNTER DEN LINDEN IN GALA DRESS
By far the most conspicuous is Germany's swastika-emblazoned flag. The Zeughaus (Armory) at right, begun in 1694, is now a military museum and Hall of Fame. It holds Hindenburg's death mask and busts of famous warriors and statesmen, as well as weapons, armor, and uniforms from the Middle Ages to the World War. Here, too, is Napoleon's hat, found near Waterloo!"
"PRODIGIOUS QUANTITIES OF COAL, GRAIN, AND OTHER VITAL FREIGHT MOVE THROUGH BERLIN'S VAST WEST HARBOR
Since Hamburg, Berlin, Rhine cities, and others are tied by canal and river traffic, the inland waterway system here much resembles China's in importance to trade. River workers' families live on the boats, as in the Orient."
"NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBORS FOR AN HOUR, RIVER BOATS TIE UP ALONGSIDE AND FLOATING HOUSEWIVES EXCHANGE GOSSIP
Warehouses and factories are clustered along the Spree to take advantage of cheap transportation by water. Near the river stands the Stadthaus, or Town Hall."
"THOSE WHO CANNOT GO TO THE BEACHES MAY DO THEIR BATHING THUS
Berlin is so far north that it enjoys from 16 to 18 hours of summer daylight. Short as the season is, the city has numberless boat and bathing clubs, and is famous in the athletic world for its excellent swimmers."
"POTSDAM, THE 'PRUSSIAN VERSAILLES,' WAS THE HOHENZOLLERNS' PLAYGROUND
Oriental figures adorn this Sanssouci Park pavillion. Because some of the walls within are decorated with simian sketches, Frederick the Great nicknamed the place 'Monkey Hall.'
"BERLIN SUMMERS BEING SHORT, ANY BRIGHT DAY SEES BATHERS SWARM TO NEAR-BY RESORTS, AS HERE AT WANNSEE
Sailing southwest down the Havel River towards Potsdam, pleasure craft pass this wide expanse formed by the spreading river. Sun-bathing on warm sands and dining and dancing in shore resorts, Berliners make Wannsee their Coney Island."