Berlin: The once and future capital

The rebuilding of the German Reichstag in Berlin 1998 (© Wikimedia Commons)

Shortly after Germany was reunited in 1990, it was decided to reinstate Berlin as the capital of the country once again. This ravaged and once divided city is now Europe’s biggest construction site as it prepares for the arrival of the German government one year from now. But aside from all the new building — which includes everything from new ministries and Europe’s largest train station to corporate headquarters and a museum for Marlene Dietrich — there are huge social and economic changes taking place in the city as it prepares to assume its role as a gateway to eastern Europe. And then, of course, there is the tremendous burden of the past to overcome. What sort of a city is this maligned, disfigured, controversial, vibrant and resilient metropolis becoming?

Producer: Marijke van der Meer

Broadcast: March 6, 1998