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Best Moves To Increase Your Blog’s Traffic

itbtSome people create blogs in order to improve their writing skills and others intend to bring more traffic to their business. Blogging can bring lots of money but only when a person is dedicated enough, and it provides fresh content to readers. Those who want to learn how to start a blog should find out about some simple details that should be followed, and the traffic numbers will start to rise.

The content used in blog posts should end up in social media, because it is the most secure way to get visible fast. Once a person finds the target audience, it must be hit with short and informative posts regularly. Even when one decides to create the very own blog, it does not mean other blogs should be left behind. Simple but comments on the best blogs can get attention of various readers, and that will lead to a particular blog. It is very important to be consistent with work, and readers will expect something new once in a while. It is not enough to learn how to start a blog without the right site to look up to. Though it may sound strange, even increasing the traffic of other sites can help, because that usually includes adding some personal information.

What Mistakes Can End Your Blogging Adventure?

Anyone who wants to be positioned as an expert in a particular industry should consider blogging. However, learning how to start a blog is not all this strategy takes. Bloggers usually make mistakes that can cost them popularity, and no matter how informative the blog is, one should find out how to make it the top choice for audience.

Many people just write and have no idea who the readers are, so it is important to know what the audience is looking for, and what is important for them. Choosing a niche is a big step, and no one should be writing about everything and anything, especially because one can hardly be an expert in one area. One may be a perfect writer, but a poor title can only make the audience switch to another website. As long as a blog is a part of marketing strategy, it is vital to be written for readers, not to follow writer’s interests. In addition, even this promotional tool must be promoted, and no one can visit the website if he does not know that website exists. Those who want to learn how to start a blog must be consistent with their work, because it is the only way to earn faithful audience.

Have You Paid Your Business Taxes?

hypytFailure to pay your business taxes by the due date can earn penalties and late charges. It is important to hire the services of a reputable auditor to help you file taxes every year. Back tax help should be obtained as soon as possible to prevent accruing interests that could bankrupt your business. It is criminal to evade paying taxes resulting to problems with the law.  There are different types of tax estimate tools available online to help you determine how much your business owes in taxes. Make a call to the IRS office for live assistance if you have any tax related questions.

You could make a request to pay your business taxes in installments if your business is not making adequate money. Find out if you qualify for the IRS hardship program in your locality. You can visit the local office for a face to face consultation to obtain back tax help. It is advisable to file your taxes even though you may not have the funds to pay to avoid being penalized for late filing. You can request for an extension to pay your taxes if necessary. Paying your business taxes in time will save you the inconvenience of obtaining help to settle back taxes.

Tax Relief Help To Ease Your Worries

Who does not get worried during year-end closing when they have to file their tax returns? We all do and most of us go through times when we simply cannot afford to pay those taxes. Soon, this can escalate and we have a huge debt and are frantically seeking tax relief help from a good available source. It is important to do sufficient research into each of the companies that offer to help because it is easy enough to choose the wrong one and end up further in debt. However, there are companies that have earned a good reputation in their offer of tax relief help. They have earned this reputation by building a strong customer base that is not afraid to express favorable opinions. You would be wise to pick one of those where the reviews are plenty and they are all favorable.

Any company regardless of industry thrives on the reputation they build and they build this by being consistent in their service to their customer. Tax relief help companies fall under the same umbrella. Individual and focused attention given to those burdened by tax debts earns them a lot of good will and they see the results when the customer gets back on his or her feet after being freed from this debt.

Things to Keep In Mind When It Comes To RAID Recovery

RAID data recovery is not an easy process as it might be thought to be. RAID data storage can be damaged or the data in the system can be vaporized which might bring the system to a standstill. Recovering data on your own without prior experience might sometimes make the problem worse. Rather than attempting to fix the problem on your own, it is highly advisable that you reach an expert in RAID recovery as the recovering process needs high level of data recovering knowledge and experience. RAID technology has evolved a great extent in the near past and more sophisticated use of RAID data recovery is in use today.

Protecting your valuable data would be the only point in mind if your hard disk gets corrupted. You might sometimes fail to make the right decision to either try recovering the lost data on your own or might go to a provider who might not have the required expertise in the field of RAID recovery. So it is always wise that you take some time and reach the right provider who can fix the problem without complications. It is also suggested that you do not use the free RAID recovery diagnosis that can further affect your system and make the data gone forever.

RAID malfunction can happen in a system at any time due to a controller failure or software based data loss. A RAID failure can be treated in the right way in order to retrieve the lost data or else it will be lost forever. The RAID array type must be recognized before anything is done to recover the loss. The array parameter must be reconstructed and then the data must be recovered. RAID recovery is not as easy as many people would perceive it to be, as it needs enough experience to detect the exact problem on the system.

There are also possibilities that the problem can get further complicated if recovery is not done in the right way. Improper approach in recovering the lost data might sometimes lose the data permanently which at the end would never bring back the data. There are various ways that you can use to recover your RAID malfunction such as contacting an experienced provider, doing it on your own using RAID recovery software, etc. But it is better to reach someone who is professionally experienced with regard to RAID recovery like Hard Drive Recovery Associates in order to retrieve the data in its purest form without any complications.

Nowadays, as a result of the boom in computer technology, a lot of people made use of computers or electronic storage devices to store their valuable or sensitive information like business sales, to college term paper or even as simple as family pictures. No matter how critical or simple your data is it is still important to you and the possibility that this could be accidentally deleted is so frustrating. A chance of this ever happening is highly probable since it is a common incident for a computer to stop working if it experience hard drive malfunction. It is therefore vital to regularly back-up your files so that in the event there is a hard drive failure, your files are protected.

Now that your files and other important documents are protected, you can hand over your hard drive to a reputable data recovery service to have it fix. Hard drive repair is not that difficult but it is better if you ask the assistance of experienced computer technicians to perform that task. Aside from repairing your hard drive to return it in its almost original state, the service center is capable of recovering your lost data. Hard drive repair done by an expert can give full satisfaction on the performance of your hard drive.

Hard Drive Repair: Is It Possible?

It is interesting to know that the technology for hard drive repairs has progressed this far, that what used to be an everyday challenge like crashed or clicking hard drives, formatted hard drives, virus infected hard drives, is something of the past. Today it is possible to even repair hard drives that have been damaged by fire and even hard drives that have been damaged because of a power surge caused by lightning. Whereas before technology had progressed this far, a person would have been informed that there was nothing that could be done to save the information or to repair the hard drive especially in a case of a power search caused by lightning.

Now the question remains, how effective are these repairs, and is it actually possible? The answer is yes, there are certain cases that a hard drive repair is not possible and that you might have to face the fact that the information is lost if you did not back it up, and that you will have to replace the hard drive.

Even so, would you not rather take that 90% chance of having the hard drive repaired and the information restored and deals with the maybe 10% of it not working?

There are two approaches to hard drive repair if you are facing a damaged or a faulty hard drive. On, you can do the repair job on your own by using the available steps and resources that you can find online. You need to be careful though when it comes to hard drive repair since you are adventurous repair steps may cost you more problems instead of solutions. Two, you can depend on the services of the professionals that offer hard drive repair services.

The services of the professionals are usually tapped by those computer owners who failed to back up their files. Just remember that these services come at a price, with some providers charging as much as $400 for data recovery alongside hard drive repair services. The recovery of the lost files from the drive will actually depend on how the hard drive has failed. If the mechanics of the hard drive are still A-okay, then this means that a simple replacement of the electronic board will do the trick. If they have noted that the read and write head of the hard drive can still spin and works well, there is a big chance that the data can be uncovered. The simple approach to hard drive repair is to simply get a new read and write head.

Oh, the headache of a hard drive crash! All sorts of treasured data accumulated throughout the years are in the brink of disappearing into thin air. You might have forgotten the hard fact that no hard drive in the world is destined to last forever and yes, you also have forgotten to do the customary back up of your files. Fortunately, Mac hard drive recovery is possible.

Are you aware that some Mac hard drives (newer versions) have S.M.A.R.T. or the Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology that can report problems before a failure occurs? It is located at the bottom of the Disk Utility Window. The Verified status means there are no problems with your hard drive but when the status shows that it is failing, back up your data at once and get a new hard drive. Another proactive stance to protecting your files from a hard drive crash is to boot your Mac in safe mode. This mode allows some versions of Mac to automatically check and repair disk. You might find your computer is fully restored after using the safe boot mode and restarting your computer.

There are options for Mac hard drive recovery and one of them is to download the Mac data recovery software from reputable sites. Other options are using the Disk Utility and booting in Target Disk mode using another computer and making the nonworking Mac as an external hard drive. If all else fails, bring your Mac to a specialist and they will do the wonders for you.

If you are one of those people who cannot afford to lose all the data that is stored on a hard disk, all you have to do is ask for the help of a specialist who knows everything about Mac hard drive recovery. He will help you to recover all your valuable data, by performing Mac data recovery.

However, if you want to find out more information on this topic, here is how you should proceed. First, do some research on the internet in order to find out how Mac hard drive recovery can help us not to lose our valuable data. You can read hundreds of articles or you can even watch some very interesting videos about how to make a data recovery from a broken hard disk. However, if you do not prefer the internet, you can simply ask for the help of a specialist. He can teach you how to make a data recovery and he will give you all the information you need about this subject. Remember that he is an expert and because of this fact, he can teach you everything you want about this topic. So, do not hesitate and inform yourself a little bit about how to ensure an affordable hard drive recovery.

Laptop Hard Drive Recovery: A Matter of Choice

We are now in an age where computers are almost everywhere. That is why computers play a major role, especially in various offices and companies. Rarely do we see typewriters in offices since smart business people rely on computers for the most part to create worker efficiencies. One type of computer which the public commonly uses nowadays is the laptop or notebook computer. Laptop computers are handy and are lighter in weight than personal desktop computers. By having your own laptop, you can download and upload files, save pictures, listen to music, and watch movies among others. However, the more files saved in your laptops, the more it will hang up or at most encounter hard drive failures.

Is your laptop data safe?

Hard drive failure is one disadvantage of laptops. This is one of the most encountered problems by laptop owners. However, there is nothing to worry at if your laptop hard drive fails. Computer experts introduced the most efficient way to solve hard drive problems – laptop hard drive recovery. Laptop hard drive recovery is dubbed as the most effective and reliable ways to repair hard drive failures. So, it is better to have your own laptop computer because you can customize and manage your files. Apart from that, most laptop computers have built-in laptop hard drive recovery backup tool, which can mean that a catastrophic hard drive failure is not as catastrophic as it seems. However, not all computers have its own recovery tool, so you may want to check your system to see if it includes one.

Most of us have our own laptop computers, which we usually use at school or in our respective offices. Indeed, these have been one of the most loved electronic gadgets at this point in time. In most companies, laptop computers have already replaced personal desktop computers for a variety of the workforce. Aside from the fact that these are easy to carry, they are also status symbols for successful people. In schools for example, most professors prefer to use laptops when teaching their lessons.

However, when too many files are  stored in your laptop hard drive, you will encounter several problems. One of these problems is hard drive failure. Failure in the hard drive means that one cannot open or cannot access his laptop computer. But, computer experts never failed to come up with a facility to help recover laptop hard drive failures – the laptop hard drive recovery. This laptop hard drive recovery aids computer technicians in troubleshooting hard drive failures. Most laptop computers have built-in laptop hard drive recovery tool, which automatically scans the unit every time hard disk errors are detected.

In the ever changing world of computing, users are bound to experience an array of challenges. A hard drive crash is definitely one of the most notorious malfunctions that affect the user’s normal computing activities. Hard drive failure is the most elaborate terminology that is used to explain what is meant by the crashing of a hard disk. When a hard disk drive malfunctions in such a way that the data stored in it becomes inaccessible, the phenomenon is termed as a hard drive crash.

A typical hard drive failure warning screen.Worth noting is that the hard disk drive is one of the basic storage component in a computer. Therefore, the crashing of the hard disk drive translates to an immense loss of data by an individual or even a firm using the machine. It might not an easy task predicting when a hard disk will crash owing the wide range of factors leading to malfunction. Therefore, it is advisable for one to maintain a back up of the information stored in the hard disk and also an image of the computer. These two items are essential in the event of conducting a data recovery diagnosis, an exercise that might be expensive. If you are experiencing immense challenges associated with a hard drive crash, it is advisable for a user to maintain close relationship with a specialist just in case a disaster strikes.

Signs of a Hard Drive Crash

A hard drive crash might take several forms. Depending on the specific cause of malfunction, many computers behave differently. The specific signals or symptoms shown by a computer are a must consider for a specialist before performing any diagnostic measures on a crashed hard drive. In fact, specialists recommend that users take serious note of the initial symptoms given by a machine so that the signs can be used in troubleshooting the hard drive problem.

Hard drive crashes might be catastrophic and also might be gradual in some instances. Catastrophic hard drive failure presents a drive that CMOS setup cannot detect. Alternatively, the hard disk drive might fail to go through a BIOS POST implying that the operating system will not recognize it. Gradual hard drive crashes are harder to troubleshoot compared to catastrophic. Symptoms emitted by a gradually crashed hard drive are not easy to detect. A computer is observed to respond slowly during the boot process. A lot of grinding noises are heard from a hard drive with failures. It becomes common for files to disappear in a mysterious manner. Computer freezing becomes rampant and in such scenario, a user is left without keyboard or mouse input and performing a hard reset becomes the ultimate solution. Application of optimization tricks is a common way used to speed up a relatively slow computer but this activity is impossible on a failed hard drive.

Though there are many advantages to being knowledgeable about computers, this knowledge does not include opening your laptop to do laptop data recovery. Such a task should be done only by computer technicians because laptops can be easily damaged, especially if handled by unskilled hands. So when your laptop is broken and you need the extract the data it holds, there are several options you can consider. Your first option is to utilize software that retrieves files without needing to open up your laptop and taking out the hard drive. There are many non-intrusive software programs that can be utilized by using the CD/DVD drive. If that does not work, you can then move on to the second option, which is to open up your laptop, and then remove the hard drive. This time, you can use the professional tool for laptop data hard drive recovery, which is also the same tool the computer technicians in the local repair centre will use if you bring your laptop to them. By using a connector, you can link your hard drive to the software. If that method still does not work, then something is seriously wrong with your hard drive. It could b e that the failure and data loss is due to a mechanical problem within the drive. Perhaps a piece of one of the many components inside the head drive was broken, which leads to the drives inability to read information. If this were the situation, your best choice would be to bring your laptop hard drive to a data recovery expert who can hopefully secure your files before all is lost. More details are at www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net.

Differences between Desktop and Laptop Data Recovery

Probably because of the obvious difference in size and design, many people think that desktop and laptop data recovery methods are different. In truth, it is not. The two computers work in a similar fashion, the difference only is that the components of laptop are smaller, which makes it more fragile and easily prone to head crash. Also, because desktops are hardly moved because of its size, it is less susceptible to mechanical hard drive failures to which the laptop is more predisposed of because of its portability feature. But when it comes to data recovery, both computer types actually work the same.

When your laptop crashes, you can try to secure the data by using data recovery software. Many software recovery programs were created to detect and analyze the damage in the hard drive, as well as to set aright the errors and reclaim all the data if possible. With the help of data recovery software programs, you can retrieve lost files from both your laptop and desktop. The good thing about this kind of software is that you do not need to dismantle your laptop or CPU. You can utilize this tool through the CD/DVD drive of your computer. Though there is a high probability of retrieving data from a desktop computer, the same cannot be said of a laptop. If you have tried your best effort in securing data from the laptop and nothing has worked, you can either forget about the files, or take your hard drive to a data recovery specialist.

Restoring RAID Data

RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) is a combination of several hard disks brought togetherto construct a larger logical disk that will provide users with higher performance and overall data stability. The good thing about having RAID is that even if one or more of your hard drives become inaccessible, your system will still be able to run, albeit in a degraded performance mode. Failed hard drives that are in this raid array must quickly be replaced, to avoid multiple drive failure, which requires professional help.
If you are worried that the data inside your corrupt RAID drives are lost, do not worry, as professional raid recovery is a service that is available to help you repair your RAID and restore your data. When you send your hard drives to a good quality data recovery service, the data recovery engineer will first categorize your problem as a hardware issue or software issue. Your RAID is then connected to a computer and checked to see which drives are the ones that are causing trouble. Finally, based on the above assessments, the expert can then take proper actions to repair your hard drives. RAID recovery is a service that is available typically only from data recovery service providers that have fully equipped clean room. The clean room environment is key to working on any RAID application that has failed.

Recovering data from RAID servers can be terrible task in cases of system failures. If there is no backup, too much critical business information can be lost, and also result in the loss of a lifetime of work, storage space, and expenses. The only precaution to be taken against such a situation is to have the best raid recovery set up for the server.

In earlier times, people used large capacity servers to store their business data. But, soon, they realized that it was too expensive and started to discover new methods for data storage and recovery. Thus, raid servers were born. RAID functions as a collection of low cost hard drives working together to save data loss in times of single hard disk failure. Raid recovery can function without switching off the system and can provide full recovery of data with minimum impact on system performance. With improvements and additions to already existing technology, different versions of RAID have become very popular in consumer applications, such as RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0 + 1, RAID 10, and RAID 5, each with their differences in specifications and functionalities, but one similarity, i.e., easy data recovery and better server performance.

The only caveat to the variety of raid applications available is that raid 0 is frankly one of the worst ones available. Because it actually offers no redundancy, it is actually quite dangerous to your data. Avoid it if you can.

Performing RAID recovery is a very complicated process that only computer engineers or mathematicians who underwent an exhaustive training can conduct. Furthermore, every RAID recovery is unique which further adds to the complexity of the task. Hence, in the event you experienced failure in your RAID array storage, it is highly advisable to seek assistance from qualified personnel. Never attempt to perform the recovery yourself as it may potentially damage further your data thus hampering the complete recovery of your valuable files. This is especially true if you have no knowledge whatsoever on data recovery.

Here are some reasons why you should not perform the complicated task of data recovery yourself. First is that the process deals with intricate mathematical equations particularly Boolean algorithm, which only a highly trained individual knowledgeable on data recovery can perform the task. Second, manufacturers of controller and array server/NAS/SAN are constantly upgrading and releasing new array devices and parity formulas. Hence, frequent R&D is required to keep up with the recurrent changes in the system. Finally, it takes a thorough analysis of your array structure before solid and effective RAID recovery can be performed. Depending on the extent of the damage and the attempted recovery, some arrays create conditions that require sufficient time to properly diagnose for a complete recovery.

It is very crucial when seeking assistance for the recovery of your valuable data to choose a RAID recovery company that adheres to strict confidentiality protocol. Currently, where valuable information was stored in huge database, strict security measures must be implemented. You must make sure that the company you plan to hire to recover your damaged RAID array can be trusted. The company should be committed to protecting your valuable information as they work on recovering your corrupted array configuration. They should ensure that your data are well guarded from malicious hackers while in their care.

To guide you in determining a credible and trustworthy RAID recovery company, you have to inquire from them the procedure on how they go about working on recovering your data. They should restrict their operations to distant association with your data so that no file or data fragment will be stored in their system. In addition, make sure that the RAID recovery company will work on your data in a secure channel. They should make use of advanced and extensively tested encryption and authorization methods so that hackers will be discouraged from hacking your important files. Finally, ensure that your data will be handled only by their qualified personnel who underwent rigorous training in data security.

Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) is a technology that encompasses grouping of multiple physical hard drives into an array that can be viewed and works as a single logical drive unit. The combined logical drive is perceived as a single drive by the operating system. This development enhances fault-tolerance and addresses performance limitations of a single disk. It offers high throughput when compared to a single hard disk. This is because parallel data transfer from multiple drives in the array yields higher transfer rates compared to non arrayed drives. The logic drive unit is capable of responding to multiple data requests in a very small interval of time. This provides a higher performance in a network environment. A variety of raid levels exist, each of which is optimized to fit specific situations.

Despite most raid set up being fault tolerant, (outside of RAID 0, which is rarely used in any sort of corporate environment and is not recommended application because of its lack of actual redundancy) damage to one of the array disks risks the efficiency and may cause corruption of the raid system. When a raid array has a multiple drive failure, IT people typically turn to professional raid recovery, as attempting to physically recovery your own raid array is an incredibly hard thing for a novice to correctly accomplish. For raid recovery to be successful, the magnitude of the damage incurred by the hard disk must be determined for the user to decide whether basic data recovery is required or whether it will require clean room repair of the entire various member hard drive. Basically, in case of severe physical damage or logical failure, only raid recovery experts should be consulted to avoid permanent loss of data. This advice, whether you are talking about a raid five or raid 10 server, will save anyone a lot of time and hassle.

VMWare Recovery Just Isn’t My Thing!

VMware disaster recovery starts here.

I’ll be the first one to say that I am anything but a computer expert. So if that is the case, it is pretty obvious that I am nowhere near what you would call a server expert. I really know very little about server recovery in general. So recently when I was called by my brother about his work’s VMware server, and really the fact that he needed VMware recovery fast, I honestly didn’t know what to say to him at first. I mean, I have dealt with a lot of Linux servers before but the idea of trying to recover a VMware server was a little bit beyond my technical expertise.

VMware Disaster Recovery For Dummies?

Yep, I’m pretty sure that any VMware server that has a failed or corrupted hard drive is going to require some kind of data recovery service. I know that there is a specialized program that you can get with the VMware system that allows you to recover data directly off of the machine.  I believe it’s just called VMware data recovery. I know, it sounds pretty basic. It’s not a very complicated product as far as I’ve seen, and I managed to actually find a couple of videos that will help you to install it (one is listed below). Unfortunately, because my brother had a actual hard disk breakdown, I knew that there was very little chance that he could recover his VMware data. I mean, pretty much everyone understands that you lose a couple of hard drives in a raid array, there is not a lot you can do in order to get them that if you don’t have the help of somebody who really understands hard drive recovery.

So, I ended up recommending a company that I have worked with on a number of occasions, particularly one that specializes in raid servers, because I knew that they are a certified VMware partner and actually know quite a bit about the server configuration. I know that these guys do a lot of raid recovery jobs on a weekly basis, and not just because they are one of the few shops in Southern California (Irvine, I think) that actually do these kind of complex recovery jobs. I have seen their clean room, and I can tell you that it is one fantastic looking place. It’s all doctors coats and interesting equipment. I know that these guys spend a lot of money investing in proprietary VMware disaster recovery equipment, which makes sense because they are definitely leaders in the field.

So anyway, my brother ended up calling them and everything ended up working out really well. I was actually surprised by how cheap the recovery was, is this is because this is a pretty specialized piece of equipment. Not a lot of people have VMware’s servers, and those who do usually keep a very good backup. Unfortunately, my brother isn’t the smartest guy, and I was really able in this case to save his job. It’s pretty brutal I know, but he is one of the forgetful type that really doesn’t get all the opportunities that many of us do.

I’m sure he owes me a couple of bottles of wine or something. I take him up on that pretty soon.

Bauhaus Returns

German industrial design, over the past 40 years, has tried to resurrect the traditions established at Dessau: the products developed by Braun have set new standards of excellence in many fields; the traditionally solid qualities long associated with Mercedes and Siemens have remained largely uncorrupted by the “market forces” that mis-shape so many American products; and German architects have remained largely impervious to postmodern neo klutz–possibly because to many Germans the stuff is just to reminiscent of the none-too-distant past.

Yet, despite the admirable traditions and their promising revival in recent years, German design seems to be in dire need of an infusion of something never missing in the best work being done in Italy or in Japan–to wit, wit. Not the heavyhanded, condescending “irony” that marks so much embarrassing, postmodern design in the U.S., but the sophisticated, lighthearted humor that seems to come so naturally to certain designers in Milan and elsewhere.

I often think of the charming, rubber-nippled adding machines designed in 1973 for Olivetti by Mario Bellini–about as sexy an exercise in erotica as has come our way in this century. I often think, also, of certain astonishing works by Japanese designers like Makoto Komatsu, whose crumpled porcelain cups and saucers and vases violate most of our notions about form and function and the nature of materials, and end up disarmingly lovely, irrational, and practical.

Some German designers have sensed that there is something a trifle dull about the quality of their country’s design, however dependable and “honest.” It reminds people a lot of computerized environments, such as places where hard drive failure and data recovery services can occur, which is found here. And so we have such determined efforts as Hartmut Esslinger’s frogdesign–a rather heavyhanded attempt to duplicate the elegance that marks the best Italian and Japanese design, and add a dash of German “Witz,” than which there is nothing more klutzy. Still, Esslinger and others have got the message: we do not live by Bratwurst alone, and German design clearly needs a dash or two of something a little more stimulating than Bier.

In the IDCNY discussion mentioned earlier, the question that kept coming up was: now that Dessau is back in the fold, what is going to happen to the Bauhaus? During the final years of the communist state, the Bauhaus did begin to function once more as a school of design of sorts, but it never regained its erstwhile status or reputation. Well, it’s never too late, and the time to try, it seems, is now.

Moreover, the way to try is to invite some of the world’s more liberated spirits to teach at the new Bauhaus: in 1969 when Ettore Sottsass designed his portable “Valentine” typewriter for Olivetti, that delightful gadget was rendered in bright red for the Italian market and for other markets as well–but the German branch of Olivetti insisted upon producing it in Wehrmacht gray. The marketing experts in Frankfurt thought that a bright red “Valentine” would seem too frivolous and naughty to the natives!

So the first liberated spirit to invite to Dessau would have to be Sottsass. The next visiting genius to sign up for the new school should be Arata Isozaki, who will undoubtedly bring along that Marilyn Monroe curve that adorned so many of his early works–for reasons entirely clear to Iso, but almost totally incomprehensible to everybody else.

Mario Bellini, needless to say, will have to be the new Bauhaus’ Director–Director-in-Absentia in body, though not in spirit, since he is far too busy elsewhere to tie down to so menial a job. Milton Glaser, the New York designer of everything from magazines to restaurants, will have to be on a regular retainer: since he is capable of performing convincingly in every medium and every style (from Klee to Malevich to Toulouse-Lautrec), Glaser could handle all two-dimensional courses and save the new Bauhaus a lot of money by eliminating all other graphics teachers.

German Reunification Had Its Speedbumps

Beneath the seemingly benign surface of German unification serious problems are emerging. Most of the problems seem to originate in the attitude taken by many western German citizens to their new compatriots in eastern Germany. The generous, welcoming attitude displayed by many western Germans to their eastern German neighbors before unification has changed quite drastically. There is a growing feeling among eastern Germans, expressed numerous times in my visit, that western Germans look upon, and treat them, as second-class citizens. This is not just a psychological phenomenon; it is reflected in concrete social and economic actions of western Grman citizens. It appears more and more than the new Germany is not partnership of equal citizens but the subjugation of one country by another. It is colonization, not confederation.

There seem to be two basic reasons for this disturbing development. First, and most obvious, eastern Germany was clearly the loser in its forty year competition with western Germany.

It was eastern Germany that collapsed, and this fact undoubtedly affects the attitude toward it of even those western Germans who would genuinely like to be magnanimous in their judgment. Second, the route taken to unification reinforced eastern Germany’s inferior position.

The western German constitution permitted two different routes. Under Article 23 eastern Germany could simply be absorbed into western Germany. Under Article 146, unification could occur following a period of negotiation between the two countries, enabling the two to define their status after unification. Such a process could result in a true confederation of states. The first route was effectively chosen in the elections of March 18, 1990. By voting for the fast-track position of Chancellor Helmut Kohl the citizens of eastern Germany opted for absorbtion rather than a negotiated confederation. The social, political, and economic system of western Germany was to become the system for the new Germany. This choice reflected the relative strengths of the two countries and reinforced the loser-victor syndrome that the collapse of eastern Germany had created. Though the choice was freely made, and remains popular, its consequences appear already to be more negative than many citizens of eastern Germany anticipated.

Both in some of their judgements about eastern Germany and in specific actions taken in recent months, many western Germans are displaying a biased, colonial mentality toward eastern Germany. As mentioned in a previous article (CD, March 1990) the western press constantly feeds the impression that the economy of eastern Germany was virtually bankrupt and that almost nothing is salvageable. One would never gather from such reporting that even critical western scholars place the standard of living in the former East Germany at a level just slightly behind Great Britain and ahead of many capitalist economies.

The Treuhandanstalt, the Trust Commission established in March 1990 to assume control of former state enterprises in eastern Germany, estimated in the summer of 1990 that only 50 per cent of these firms would be viable in a unified Germany. Recently the Commission has concluded that the figure is considerably higher than 50 per cent and is putting more effort into salvaging rather than selling them, to the chagrin of western German firms who were hoping for some quick and cheap buys.

Condescending judgments

Further, there is a widespread conviction – repeated without evidence or qualification in our own media – that eastern German workers are lazy, badly trained, and have no entrepreneurial spirit. The fact is that the training level of these workers is judged by most experts to be at a very high level compared to most industrial countries. In the last six months, when there was no longer any need for firms in western Germany to hire refugees from eastern Germany for charitable reasons, several hundred thousand more “lazy” workers have been actively recruited from eastern Germany to fill positions in western German industry.

As to the entrepreneurial spirit of eastern Germans, recent surveys reveal that during 1990 more than two hundred thousand new private business ventures will have been established by eastern Germans in eastern Germany. Even with a normally high failure rate this could more than double the number of such firms. The virtual elimination of this entrepreneurial private sector in the GDR was, in my opinion, one of the critical economic mistakes made by the GDR government. Even with the substantial growth of this sector in 1990 the ratio of self-employed persons to total employment in eastern Germany will only be about 4 per cent, compared to more than 12 per cent in western Germany. However, the entrepreneurial spirit in the eastern German population obviously remains strong. Beate Kraemer in her new Women’s Clothing store in Weimar, Eckhart Schill in his computer shop in Eisenach, Ilina Niche in her recently – opened video outlet in Wutha, and Eckbert and Ines Pfuhl in their watersport shop in Leipzig are energetic risk-takers, defying the condescending judgments of western commentators.

Condescending judgments are also being made by academics in western Germany about their counterparts in eastern Germany. Eastern Germany has 54 post-secondary institutions, including six universities. A few months ago Professor Hans F. Zacher, president of the prestigious Max Planck Institute in western Germany declared the humanities and social sciences in eastern Germanhy to be a “desert.” This judgment was immediately refuted by several leading scholars in western Germany, who pointed to a number of outstanding eastern German scholars in their respective fields. Despite this rebuttal the attitude of Professor Zacher appears to be a popular one.

The colonial mentality displayed by such judgments results in corresponding types of actions. The composition and decisions of the Trust Commission offer considerable evidence for this. Its role is to save, sell, or dissolve 8,000 former state enterprises with assets valued somewhere around 500 billion marks. The fate of the 2,300 largest firms is being decided at the Commission headquarters in Berlin. Fifteen regional branches have been established for the other 5,700 firms.

Initially many of the top people were from eastern Germany. Now the head of the Commission is Detlev Rohwedder, the former chief executive of the West German steel company, Hoesch, and the person in charge of selling assets is Karl Schviner. The former manager of Daimler Benz. The fifteen regional heads have all been replaced by business people from western Germany. Rohwedder was born in the GDR and seems determined to save as many eastern German firms as allowed. For this he has come under severe attack from the western German press and western German business people, and he has said that he will give up the position at the end of the year. Despite his concerns the eastern German economy is being carved up largely in the interests of western German companies.

During my stay in Berlin the foreman of the largest truck-parts firms, with more than 1,000 employees, explained in detail how the assets of his firm were being purchased. Eastern German trucks are in much greater demand than cars and this foreman realized this past summer that the people buying the trucks would soon be approaching his company for the purchase of its parts. He therefore spent several weeks taking a stock inventory, checking carefully with prices in West Berlin to make sure that his estimates would be valid in terms of the new German mark. He came up with an inventory value of 12 million marks. The week before I visited him a representative of the Trust Commission appeared at his company and spent a day taking a quick inventory. His conclusion: the stock would be sold to a western German buyer for 700 thousand marks (bids are seldom asked for). When my friend voices his objections to this incredibly low estimate he was told brusquely, “This is none of your business. We make the estimates and we make the sales.” When he asked further what might happen to his job and to the jobs of the other employees the reply was: “That too is none of your business. The new company will decide that, but don’t count on being here more than three weeks.”

An assembly line worker in a cosmetics factory had a similar story.” I was all in a favour of unification, and don’t want to go back to our former political state,” she said, “but I am appalled at the attitude of the strangers from western Germany who are marching through our factory deciding our fate. They are treating us in the most brutal colonial fashion.”

Self-interest

The new federal government of Germany will be spending hundreds of billions of marks in the next few years refurbishing the infrastructures of eastern Germany. This will include a variety of technological service sectors, including data recovery experts and those familiar with server repair in general (see here). German citizens will bear much of the brunt of this. However, the evidence so far suggests that business firms from western Germany are participating in the reconstruction of eastern Germany not through a sense of common interest – as their rhetoric claims – but almost entirely through self interest.

They demand, for example, that eastern German assets be sold quickly at bargain prices. When they invest they insist, successfully, that the Trust Commission assume all existing debts of the company being purchased and the responsibility for previous environmental damage. While they claim that private investment will save the economy, they demand, and often receive, considerable financial support from the government.

Mercedes Benz, for example, has been hailed for its decision to build a major truck-assembly plant. What is not mentioned as often is that the Trust Commission is paying the 100 million mark start-up costs for this, and Mercedes will make its first financial commitment in 1992, assuming responsibility for only 25 per cent of the total investment. Volkswagen has made a similar deal: the government will pay 87.5 per cent of the start-up costs and assume responsibility for future risks. The large western German chemical company, BASF, has presumably made similar arrangements in establishing a new plant in eastern Germany, but the government now refuses to reveal the details. A spokesman in the German Finance Ministry acknowledged, however, that in these matters the government is experiencing the “purest form of blackmail.”

In speaking with a manager of BASF I was asked: “Why should we invest in eastern Germany at all? We can supply the eastern German market very easily from our existing plants in western Germany.” “Why do you invest at all, then?” I asked. The reply: “For three reasons: the government is giving us favorable conditions, our president was born in the GDR and would like to do something for it, and we see our new eastern German plant as a bridgehead for penetrating the eastern European market.” The last reason seemed to get the most emphasis.

Other types of colonial corporate behaviour are surfacing all the time. A scandal erupted during my visit around the demise of a large trucking firm – VDT – that had been privatized earlier in the year by citizens of eastern Germany. Several eastern German trucking firms have already been bought by western German firms like Kuehne & Nagel, but a consortium of eastern Germans managed to create VDT out of 56 former state-owned firms with 65,000 employees. They captured about 15 per cent of the eastern German trucking business and were evidently becoming quite profitable. A lobby group formed by the largest western German firms launched a vigorous campaign against this eastern upstart, and succeeded in getting the Trust Commission to dissolve it. The matter is now under investigation.

The venerable eastern German optics firms, Carl Zeiss of Jena, is having a somewhat similar experience. It is a large concern, with more than 30,000 workers in 12 plants, and was able to grow despite vigorous competition from western German firm with the same name. Under the London Agreement of 1971 the two firms officially recognized each other’s right to produce and market optical goods under the Zeiss name. However, in recent months the western German firm has claimed that as a result of unification the old agreement is not in force, and has urged that the Jena operation be closed. Though a compromise is being attempted, it now appears that as a result of the pressure from western Germany the work force in Jena may be reduced to less than 1,000.

 

How to Fix Hard Disk Errors

Hard drive damage should immediately follow a hard drive repair to prevent another occurrence. Bad sectors on the magnetic disks need be checked and a change of the hard drive will be done since the bad sectors cannot be corrected. At times we may ignore feedback from the computer and this information and action needed upon it may later cost you dearly. Once you have detected that your hard drive has a problem especially a logical error, you will need to repair hard drive on time but before that you will need to back up your data in order to avoid further data loss if there was any.

It is important to know that a hard drive repair will not repair bad sectors and that bead sectors are irreparable. In case your machine reports a bad sector you may need to change the hard drive immediately before the problem continues to get aggravated.

There was a time when people with the old model computers would repair the hard drive by putting the hard drive in the freezer. Somehow the freezer would start working due to temperature change. Nowadays if you try that on a hard disk the only advice I could give is to damp it in the dust bin immediately you take it out of the freezer, dig into your pocket and buy a new hard drive. The reason bring that the new hard drives that come with the current models of computers are very delicate and cannot endure such a crude hard drive repair.

During those early times also people could also heat the hard drive and quickly rush to insert in the computer. This method also would at times work just for the same reason- temperature change and in this case due to the heating effect on the magnetic disks. It is important though that if your hard drive needs repair you will need seek help from an expert or use the software tool to repair it if it is repairable.

It’s Apples To Apples In Germany

Dessert apples are by far the most important fresh fruit exported. Until 1988 the amount exported annually, including re-exports, was between 34 000t and 39 000t but in 1989 this leapt up to 49 000t, with re-exports averaging some 10 000t. In 1989/90 producer organisations achieved record sales on the German home market and for export. More apples were sold on almost all export markets; only the UK bought less because of its own record harvest and supplies to Finland were only average. An unusually high amount was exported to Italy as a result of the low harvest there. It is possible, however, that some of the produce stored in the Alto-Adige found its way back into Germany.

Last year’s success for apple exports will not be repeated in 1990/91, as there will not be enough available produce due to late frosts in north Germany. North German exports will be restricted mainly to Ingrid Marie and Gloster. This means that exports from south Germany will be able to bring some relief to the market there, which is under pressure from a large harvest. Spain is steadily buying large Glosters as its own harvest was low agains, and small Golden are finding a market in Scandinavia. The UK is also proving a receptive market and there is good demand for Cox’s Orange and Boskoop in France and the Benelux countries.

Vegetable exports even more insignificant

Overall, vegetable exports represent only one-fortieth of imports. However, there are some products for which exports play a certain role, although this is limited both seasonally and regionally. Germany’s only net exports are white cabbage, peas and spinach, though for the last two products imports and exports are not really comparable. Imports are generally from Italy, destined for the German fresh market, while exports consist mainly of raw materials for the Dutch and Belgian processing industry. Onions are also traded in considerable tonnages.

Onions on the increase

Onions are one of the few products which are exported in significant quantities. Exports are concentrated on the period from June to September, in other words winter onions and the first summer onions, and are sold mainly to the countries of north and west Europe, where German winter onions provide better quality than home-produced onions grown from sets and where the summer onion harvest starts later. Excluding re-exports, export in the past five years have ranged between 3 000t and 13 500t. The large fluctuations are due to the risky nature of winter onion production. In 1987, for instance, the whole crop almost failed because of black frost. The Netherlands is Germany’s principal customer for onions. In 1989 it imported about 8 500t, just over 60% of German exports. According to figures available so far, exports should be noticeably higher again in 1990 compared with 1989.

UK taking fewer white cabbages

White cabbage is the other main export. Export trade is mostly confined to Schleswig-Holstein, where some of the export wholesalers have specialised in trade with Sweden. About 12 000t of white cabbage go to Sweden every season; this amount has been almost constant for five years but in 1989 slightly more was sold and 1990 prospects were viewed more promising. Exports start in October/November, not reaching their peak until the late store season from March to May.

Exports to the UK have dropped noticeably. In the marketing year 1985/86 Britain imported 11 000t, almost exactly the same amount as Sweden, but in the past two seasons imports have not even reached 2 000t. The main reason for the decline is the improvement in domestic production. Other exporters have also lost some of their market share in Britain but not to the same extent as Germany. The English market likes smaller-sized heads and “small” white cabbage is often grown in England after cereals. Larger sizes can still be sold in Sweden, however. Last year exports to Austria gained in importance and Austria is now Germany’s second most important market after Sweden. Exports of red cabbage are of minimal significance and almost exclusively confined to Sweden.

Increasing sales to Belgian processing industry

Most exports of peas, beans and spinach are sold as raw materials to the processing industries in the Netherlands and, to a lesser extent, in Belgium. Since these products are extremely perishable, export production is confined to areas near the borders. Also of note is the increase in hard drive recovery services in the region, as mentioned at http://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net. The bulk of carrot export is also designated for processing. This is particularly true of spring carrots which are grown mainly in Lower Saxony. At least 2 500t were exported to Belgium in 1990. According to market experts in Lower Saxony trade with Belgium has become more important in recent years.

The Party Ended Quickly

The party celebrating Germany’s transportation into Europe’s largest democracy is finally over. What is left is the debris to clear away and the hangover to nurse.

The climax was reached December 2 with the first all-German elections in 58 years, two months after the national celebrations on October 3 for unification day. Yet looking back, Germans would probably tell you that the most memorable day of the year had been that warm June evening when they won the World Cup. Soccer is something they understand. Politics, particularly the sort that is about to envelop them, are something they would rather not have to think about.

Far from drawing a convenient line under the turmoil of the past year, Sunday’s election has changed the political map of Germany and given Chancellor Kohl a major headache by enhancing the power base of his Free Democratic (FDP) coalition partners.

The FDP, whose most famous member, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, has served as foreign minister in successive coalition governments since 1974, has never been a particularly easy partner for the Christian Democrats (CDU). But even as the dust was settling on election day, the FDP had begun to flex its increased political muscle. Its leadership insisted that East Germany be designated a low-tax area. As an added twist, the FDP demanded that the government not raise taxes in either part of Germany to pay for unification.

The provisions fill the chancellery with horror. It believes that turning East Germany into a low-tax area will open it to widespread abuse as an artificial tax haven. The point of the scheme is to attract new firms and dam up the hemorrhaging employment figures, but it could do far more damage to the German economy than it will rectify.

In addition, the scheme would achieve precisely what the chancellor is seeking to eradicate–two Germanies. The latest unemployment figures show a 10 per cent rise in eastern Germany, bringing the total to a worrying 6.7 per cent of the labor force.

The western-German economy is booming, with an expected increase in GNP of 4.5 per cent over the year. But the fiercely independent Bundesbank warns that if the economy overheats as a result of the huge increase in demand from East Germany, interest rates may have to rise. Chancellor Kohl will thus not only be locking horns with the FDP over policy and Cabinet seats, but will be continuing his tussle with Herr Karl Otto poehl, the urbane head of the Bundesbank, who has never thought much of what he considered to be an over-rapid lurch to unification.

In one sense the election was a clear vote by Germans for the middle road in politics. The neo-fascist Republican Party, the ecology-obsessed Greens, and the renamed East German Communists were all routed, and the Social Democrats (SPD) suffered their largest electoral setback since 1957, when Konrad Adenauer was approaching the zenith of his power. If their recovery takes as long as it did then, they will remain in the political wilderness for another ten years.

The CDU/FDP, together with the Christian Social Union, the CDU’s sister party in Bavaria, is a handful short of a two-thirds majority in parliament. Even if it wanted to, therefore, the FDP could not bring down the government by switching alliances, as it did in 1982 when it deserted the SPD to put the DCU in power.

Although the FDP can no longer control the CDU by threatening to desert it, it can use its considerably enhanced tail to wag the dog of government. One area the FDP, through Herr Genscher, has made virtually its own is Germany’s foreign policy. Its central aim here will be to change NATO from a military institution into a political forum while strengthening the CSCE (Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe).

All this, according to Genscher’s vision, is to be effected by including the Soviet Union in as many international discussions as possible until the sun rises, one day, over a brand-new United States of Europe. Ultimately, although no one in the Foreign Ministry is breathing a word of it at the moment, Genscher would see nothing wrong in turning Germany into a nuclear-free zone. One of th first casualties of the FDP’s increased clout will, in any case, be the $42-billion Eurofighter project undertaken jointly with Britain, Spain, and Italy. At Genscher’s insistence Bonn is quietly preparing to pull out of the scheme, thereby effectively consigning it to the scrap heap.

Thrown into this potent mix of problems are the social consequences of unification. A sudden surge of support for the CDU in Berlin was directly ascribed to the street riots two weeks before the elections. The same thinking permeated the rest of the country in the wake of regular weekend soccer riots in which police in East Germany had to use firearms on three occasions. The incidence of anarchist youths in balaclavas armed with stones and Molotov cocktails rampaging through the streets of Germany’s larger cities after demonstrations has grown considerably over the last 14 months. Law and order is going to be an important issue in the next few years.

But the greatest problem for Germany, and indeed for Europe, will be the tide of would-be immigrants from Eastern Europe and, more worryingly, from the Soviet Union if Moscow goes ahead with plans to allow its people free travel starting next summer.

There are two million ethnic Germans living in the Soviet Union. Five hundred thousand of them have already applied for visas to emigrate and are waiting for the necessary permission from Moscow. A further three million are still in Eastern Europe. Many are faced with not only issues based on their living conditions, but also surrounding their computers. Many never took the time to back up hard drives or even considered that data recovery services would be required. So now, despite their Apple MacBooks aplenty, many are finding themselves in need of Mac hard drive repair. It is an unfortunate issue for them, but there are larger concerns than simply hard drive failures. All of them have a right under the German constitution to live in Germany. This year alone West Germany absorbed one million newcomers. The housing shortage is acute and the mood is increasingly intolerant.

Germany’s policy at the moment is to open its borders. It already has no visa restrictions for Czechoslovakians and is about to allow Poles free entry. When the Soviets start coming at a rate estimated by a Geneva demography institute at three to five million a year, the social infrastructure will collapse. How to deal with this onslaught while coping with the eastern-German immigrants still streaming into western Germany at a rate of 15,000 a month will absorb all the energies of a government which may even now be wondering why it was so keen to volunteer to sweep up and restore order after the last guests had departed.

German Athletics Changed Forever

In the summer of 1989, Sybilli Schimmel’s life was traveling along as if it were on autopilot. After all, the routine had been the same for years. An eight-year veteran of the East German women’s handball team, Schimmel would rise early in the morning in her one-bedroom apartment in East Berlin, have a bite to eat, then climb into her exhaust-spewing Trabant automobile for the 10-minute ride to her sports club.

There, she would spend the entire day practicing with the team, lifting weights, running and listening to coaching lectures. At some point in the day Schimmel would also find herself flushing down the toilet the steroids that were routinely given to her by the coaching staff. It was business as usual for an East German athlete.

But even as that summer progressed, there were signs that Schimmel’s autopilot life would change. The hushed voices of political dissenters grew in volume. And when autumn settled and the people gathered in the streets, demanding the end of communist rule, Schimmel and all her fellow East Germans decided to take control of the stick, and shut off the autopilot button for good.

“I have a whole new existence now,” says 26-year-old Schimmel, in a room in her new sport club in West Berlin. “I have more money, a new car–no `Trabby’ anymore–and a new apartment [in West Berlin] with two bedrooms. A new existence of Sybilli Schimmel has begun.”

It’s telling that Schimmel defines her new life by discussing the basic changes in lifestyle rather than her athletic career. For years, East Germany showcased its athletes as the primary successes in a “successful” political system, only to neglect the everyday needs of its citizens. Now, as is the case with Schimmel, democracy seems destined to care for those needs. As for sports–and women’s sports in particular–however, the story is different. With children’s sports schools closing, private sponsorships for most women’s sports lagging and state funding for athletes diminishing, women’s sports in a unified Germany face the unenviable task of living up to their lofty reputation without many of the factors that made that reputation possible.

As a member of the East German women’s handball team, Schimmel’s work was always a bit more strenuous than that of the other members of the socialist society, but it was also much more rewarding. In exchange for their athletic talent, women athletes were given educations in the nations elite sports schools, a salary that was at least 50 percent higher than the average East German (often paid by the army or secret police, of which many athletes were ostensibly members), and monetary and material incentives for superior achievement in international competitions. The opportunities to travel throughout the world, too, were luxuries that only a handful of East Germans were permitted.

It was the promise of such luxuries that had attracted thousands of women to athletic careers ever since East Germany decided to use sports as a vehicle for promoting communism in the mid-60s. As long as the medals continued to roll in, they were told, the government would provide.

And roll they did. Since their first Olympic competition as an individual national team in 1968, East German athletes have won 192 gold medals. East German women garnered 95 of those golds. For a country with a population about equal to that of New York state (roughly 17 million), the results were staggering.

How did they do it? First of all, the East Germans had a plan. Knowing they had limited funds to work with, the government chose to promote sports that could return the most medals for every dollar invested. Thus, the so-called “medal-maximum” sports, such as swimming, track and field, luge and rowing, were given the most money. In these sports, not only could one superb athlete win several medals, but the athlete’s training and equipment costs were relatively paltry. Team sports that could only garner one medal and that required more equipment and staff support, meanwhile, were virtually cut off from funding.

Women’s athletics, on the other hand, were viewed as a veritable gold mine of “medal-maximum” sports, primarily because women’s sports had yet to be brought into the era of modern training. “It was easier [to win medals] in a discipline like women’s track and field than in men’s track and field, in which training had already been very [serious] for a long time,” says Norbert Skowronek, the executive director of the Berlin Sports Federation.

And because the East German women were the first to jump headlong into extensive weight training and heavy aerobic training, they were able to develop more quickly and more completely than the women of other nations, who were still too leery of jeopardizing their feminity to experiment with such techniques.

“I remember the 1972 Olympics in Munich, there was a woman named Renate Stecher–a woman with such shoulders,” says Skowronek, extending his hands beyond the width of his own shoulders. Stecher, the 100-meter and 200-meter Olympic champion in Munich “ran much faster than the other girls,” he says. “To get such high quality you must train much more than the others.”

To get such high quality, some would argue, you must also sometimes cheat. For years, the East German women were scrutinized for their oftentimes masculine appearance, while somehow always managing to pass drug tests. And although sports officials and athletes now acknowledge the widespread use of anabolic steroids, few are willing to speak openly about the extent to which such drugs were used.

“We didn’t talk about it,” says Sylvia Gerasch, a former world-record holder in the 100-meter breast-stroke, when asked about steroid use among her teammates. Gerasch, who admitted to taking steroids for a period two years before setting the world record, was reluctant to discuss the use of steroids among her teammates. “It was more an individual thing,” she said. Schimmel, meanwhile, says all her teammates on the national handball team were given steroids by the coaching staff, but most chose to flush the steroids down the toilet, because they “did not want to look like men.” She estimated, however, that 30 percent of the team did take drugs.

But neither steroids nor the incentive system nor the long hours of training could claim credit for the East German women’s dominance of the ’70s and ’80s. Such credit belongs to two elements, according to the nation’s sports leaders: an extensive system of finding and cultivating talent in the children’s sports schools and the expertise and sheer numbers of coaches, trainers and sports scientists whose careers were devoted to athletic perfection.

Twenty-three children’s sports schools were sprinkled throughout East Germany, each one catering to two or three different sports. Every child was tested for physical fitness and growth potential before he or she reached the age of eight and was either selected to go to sports school or sent to regular school. The youngest children–most often gymnasts–would start at the sports schools at the age of 6, and all were paid a monthly salary from the age of 10.

Meanwhile, the supply of coaches at the schools and the training centers was inexhaustible. The East had about one coach for every three athletes (the ratio in the West is one to 20). Because the coaches in the East worked closely with some of the world’s best sports scientist, the level of expertise among East German coaches was often superior to that of the West.

Buoyed by the successes of the system, fans in East Germany rallied around the athletes and coaches for years. But the support was not ironclad. As the ’80s brought economic stagnation throughout the Eastern Bloc nations, the VIP status of elite athletes became increasingly vexing to the general populus. Last fall, theretofore. when the public cried out for democratic reforms, changes in the sports system were high among the list of demands. A $500 million-per-year sports system could no longer pacify a public that lacked basic necessities.

When the West German government agreed to absorb the East into its economic and political system, the final nails were put into the coffin of the East German sports machine. “It was a perfect system in the GDR,” says Karlheinz Gieseler, who was the executive director of the West German Sports Federation for 25 years until his retirement last December. “But you cannot bring it into a democratic system. A democratic sports system is entirely different from a socialist one.”

The primary difference is money. Finding the kind of money needed to sustain the East German sports system after unification was out of the question. Since the spring of last year, when the East German sports authority came under the control of the West German Sports Federation, money has been scarce. For the second half of this year, the West German government gave $60 million to the East German sports authority, in effect saying, “Here you are, don’t spend it all in one place. And for good measure, you can disband the army and secret service teams, too.”

What are the results of this austerity? Gone are most, if not all, of the children’s sports schools. Gone are at least 85 percent of the 4,000 East German coaches who were often hailed as the world’s best. Gone are the Olympic training centers. Gone, too, are many of the athletes who dominated their sports–”To other countries,” says Werner Neumann, one of five executive directors of the East German sports authority. “We haven’t the money [to keep them].”

Because of the anemia of the East German economy, the money may not be there in the future, either. The fate of the coaches, athletes and training centers is intrinsically linked to that of the East German economy, the prognosis of which is about as good as that of lasting peace in the Middle East. Nearly half of the nation’s work force of nine million will be out of work by the spring of `91, economists say, as industries expected to invest in eastern Germany are balking.

Without a strong economy, the one thing that keeps a democratic sports system thriving–private sponsorship–is absent. When asked about the sponsorship possibilities for sports after unification, Neumann was exasperated. “We’re coming from the Middle Ages here,” says Neumann, adding, “Who is sponsoring a country that’s going down?”

More important, perhaps is the question “who wants to sponsor sports that no one wants to watch?” When it comes to finding sponsors, women’s sports in particular face a bleak future. East German sponsors and television stations have traditionally been interested in a woman athlete’s looks just as much as–if not more than–her athletic performances. Because East German women have often forsaken femininity for medals, sponsors could be reluctant. “Most of the GDR girls were not a sight we’d describe as beautiful,” says Skowronek. “So only from time to time will there be a chance for sponsorships.”

Austria And The Waldheim Affair

The Waldheim affair has thrown an unwelcome light on Austria’s attitude to the past, a curious mixture of oblivion and impenitence. We have all been fascinated by President Waldheim’s amnesia about his war service, and by the reaction in Austria. There were the polls that supported Waldheim, the deputy mayor of Linz who complained about the “gentlemen from Jerusalem,” the former foreign minister who observed that the historians on the commission investigating Waldheim’s record “weren’t exactly his friends, after all,” the conservative leader in the pretty western province of Vorarlberg who told the Jews to remember what had happened to them once before this century.

What sort of country is this? Evidently not the Austria of the tourism industry’s imagination, Alps and Mozart and waltzes and Sacher torte. Nor is it quite like its larger neighbor. The real contrast is not between Austria and the West but between Austia and Germany, the Germany of the Federal Republic: purged, penitent, reflective, honest. Compare two presidents: the resentful, unapologetic, and blustering Waldheim with Weizsacker, who said in his noble speech to the Bundestag in 1986 that all Germans must now be aware of what had once been done in their name, and that no German who lived through the Third Reich could have been wholly ignorant of what was being done. No Austrian stateman would ever make such a speech. Why not? To answer these questions means looking at the Austrian hang-up in historical perspective. And it leads to another question: Does “Austria” really exist?

IT DOES as a place. The old Archduchy of Austria is today the northeastern corner of the Austrian republic: the two provinces of Upper and Lower Austria. Its archdukes were the Hapsburgs, unimportant German princes who emerged from obscurity in the 15th century when one of them was elected Holy Roman Emperor precisely because of his insignificance.

During the next century the Hapsburgs became the greatest rulers in Europe through their adroitness at dynastic marriage. They ruled a random collection of territories –sometimes an empire from Peru to Spain to the Netherlands to Hungary–but never a “country.” When Spanish Hapsburgs branched off, the senior lands of the senior branch were known as “Austria.” It was one of the great powers of Europe, though still anything but a nation-state. It was only called Austria by a form of synecdoche, rather as we say England for the United Kingdom. The territories took their name from the dynasty, not the other way around.

When Napoleon kicked away the Holy Roman Empire in 1804, these lands became the “Austrian Empire” almost for want of another name. So it remained until 1867, when it became Austria-Hungary, until it collapsed in 1918. But it was still a dynastic, diplomatic, military concept rather than a country. Its first and most famous statesman was Metternich, who once dismissed Italy as a “geographical expression.” Austria was not even that. It included whatever lands the August House happened to be ruling at the time: Belgium in the 18th century, northern Italy in the 19th. Salzburg, which today seems the most “Austrian” of all provinces, was a sovereign state ruled by its own prince-prelate until the Napolenoic wars.

As the curse of nationalism ate into the 19th century, the “Austrians” developed national consciousness, in reaction to Italian and Slav nationalism. But it was a German consciousness. In fact, it is hard to say if the idea of Austrianness, in national rather than political terms, ever existed. In the 18th century Mozart called himself a German musician, as Schoenberg–a Viennese Jew–did in the 20th.

For most of the 19th century German nationalism was a liberal cause. Only after Prussia’s defeat of Austria in 1866 did Austrian and German nationalism take increasingly illiberal courses. The Hapsburg monarchy was strained to the breaking point. And in Vienna liberalism died. The consequences were bleak. Everyone knows that half of 20th-century culture–Freud, Schoenberg, Wittgenstein, the Secession artists–came from Vienna in the last decades of the old monarchy. But then so did half of 20th-century politics. Four Austrian contemporaries began life as liberals. See what they became: Schonerer the pan-German nationalist, Adler the socialist, Lueger the Christian Socialist and proto-National Socialist, Herzl the Zionist.

Schonerer fought against the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in the name of Greater German nationalism. In 1918 the monarchy fell apart, but it was not succeeded by the “empire of 70 million” that Schonerer had hoped for. The “Austria” created by the victorious Allies of 1918 was an artificial rump–what was left after the rest of old Austria had been carved up on more or less national lines.

Quite apart from Bohemia, ancient “Austrian” provinces were stripped away on national grounds: all of Carniola and much of Carinthia of Yugoslavia, much of Tyrol to Italy. The new republic included Burgenland in the east, which historically is part of Hungary, and Vorarlberg in the west, which is geographically part of Switzerland. This pared down “Austria” was a country with a genuine grievance: alone among the former components of the empire, it was denied self-determination. The Allies would not let these German-speaking provinces join with Germany. They even forbade the new state to call itself “German-Austria,” its accurate name.

For 20 years the artificial republic enjoyed an artificial existence, democratic (at least until 1934, when left and right fought each other to exhaustion and left democracy dead) but frustrated. There was no will to resist Hitler when he made his critical move against Austria. Turn-of-the-century Vienna had been a great school of politics, and Hitler was its star pupil. His demagogy, his anti-Semitism, his pan-Germanism were all learned there. To a true pan-German nationalist, an independent “Austria” was introlerable, as Hitler made clear from Mein Kampf onward.

TWO THINGS then happened, one unpleasant, one odd. The union of Germany with Austria was a genuine act of self-determination that would have been welcomed by liberals and the left if it had not been for the character of the German regime. What was unpleasant was the intense Austrian enthusiasm for the Anschluss. On March 12, 1938, Hitler was greeted by ecstatic crowds in Vienna, which soon witnessed a spontaneous outburst of Jew-hatred unsurpassed in Germany at the time.

The English diplomat Sir Edward Peck was in Vienna as a student that month and has recalled the hysteria on the streets and in the cafes (he was thrown out of one for not standing at the ninth reprise of “Deutschland uber Alles”). He tells a story, which was popular at the time, about Schuschnigg, then Austrian chancellor, being summoned to meet Hitler at Berchtesgaden some weeks before the Anschluss, in the company of Burgomeister Schmitz of Vienna. Schuschnigg doubted the enthusiasm the Germans were supposed to feel for Hitler. They proposed to test it, and when, after they had taken a nap, the train arrived at a town, the chancellor leaned out of the window and gave the Nazi salute, to thunderous cheers. Schmitz snapped at him in Viennese: “You bloody fool, we’re still in Salzburg.” Sir Edward says that when he recounted this story on his return to Vienna 30 years later, it was “coolly received.” Not surprisingly.

What was odd was not the Austrians’ behavior, but that of the victorious Allies. During the war–in Moscow in 1943–and after it the Allies chose to consider Austria “Hitler’s first victim,” despite the evidence to the contrary. Compare the treatment of the two old adversaries after 1945. A Carthaginian peace was imposed on Prussia. It was declared an eternal aggressor and the Prussian state was formally dissolved, while Austria was treated as a liberated nation rather than a conquered one, even though Prussia’s record of resistance to Hitler had been a good deal more distinguished than Austria’s. As A. J. P. Taylor once put it, Hitler had not only been Austria’s greatest gift to the German people but “the triumph of Austrian policy and Austria’s revenge for the defeat of 1866. Prussia became the prisoner of Vienna, and the best elements in Prussian society died at the hands of Hitler’s hangmen after July 20, 1944.” Meantime, National Socialist Party membership was proportionately higher in “Ostmark” (Austria) than the rest of Germany, and Austria provided a disproportionately high number of the Reich’s worst criminals.

AND SO after the “liberation” Austria was not expected, as was Germany, to display any penitence, and did not. Sympathetic juries saw that out of 123,000 Austrians tried for wartime crimes, only 13,000 were convicted. Even today the head of the Vienna Gestapo, the head of the Nazi euthanasia program, and the Gauleiter of Tyrol are living quietly in Austria. Negligible compensation was paid to Jewish and non-Jewish victims alike of the Third Reich. The English historian Robert Knight read the postwar Cabinet minutes. The Socialist chancellor, Karl Renner, said that “nobody will understand why every small Jewish merchant is to be compensated”; the trade minister, Eduard Heinl, said that “the Jews’ behavior is provocative.”

Meanwhile, Austria kept up the pretense that it was a victim. But the lie it has been living since 1945 was partly created by others. A non-country was called back into being and granted absolution. For the second time this false country had a false character put on it: Tyrolese gemutlich charm, old-world Viennese gaiety. “Austrianness” was again conjured out of nothing and imposed on the nation, though, as has been sourly said, the only true Austrians had been the Jews of Vienna, who were dispossessed, dead, or dispersed. The conspiracy–unconscious as so many conspiracies are–went so far as to present an Austria of dashing aristocratic anti-Nazis; for every person who knows something of the reality of recent Austrian history a million have seen The Sound of Music.

Once more Austria was denied the choice of unification with Germany, a choice now further tainted by the years 1938-45. Apart from other reasons, the Allies had an unspoken motive: a truly united Germany is simply too big. It is too big even when reunification is spoken of, as it conventionally is by West German politicians, to mean the joining one fine day of East and West. A couple of years ago an Italian Communist politician said that no one in Europe really wanted to see Germany united. He was slapped down, but he was right: if East and West Germany were united, their 79 million would overshadow their neighbors. With Austria’s additional 7.5 million the “Germans” would overwhelm Europe.

Maybe history missed a trick. Austria may not be a geographical or a cultural entity, but it is part of one. There are two Germanys. In the north is the country of Luther and Bismarck, in the south the Catholic, Baroque Germany, which includes Austria as much as Bavaria. It is too late for a thoughtful providence or the victorious Allies to arrange a frontier falling where the natural partition of Germany does, on the Main rather than the Elbe. All the same, Hitler was right in one respect. Austria is not a distinct or a real country. As long as it pretends to be one it will be a problem, for the Austrians and for the rest of us.

Economics Were Never Positive During Reunification

Within ten years, it was said at the time. the new Germany will be an economic colossus of 80 million people (it far surpassed that, of course) — the five eastern Lander fully integrated and, hopefully, enjoying the same high standard of living as their western neighbours.

Happiness was short for many East Germans.

But the path to this new Germany will not be easy. A third of east German industry is reckoned to be incapable of surviving in market conditions. So far mass unemployment has been kept at bay only by political expedient: Chancellor Kohl has been understandably keen to avoid large scale factory closures, with the huge redundancies these would imply, before the first all-German elections later this month.

Nevertheless, some 500,000 former east Germans are already out of work. A further 1.8 million are on shortened hours, effectively being paid to stay at home. But the jobless total could rise to over 3 million in the coming months as the inevitable closures begin to bite. As a result, living standards could actually fall before they begin to rise — industrial production in the east will have plunged 10-20% by the end of this year and some sectors, notably consumer goods, are producing as little as half their ’89 output.

At the same time, there are fears that in the haste to transform the eastern economy, the west Germans (how dated that sounds now) may trample over their neighbours with considerable insensitivity. The sleek and prosperous businessmen from Hamburg, Frankfurt or Munich have been prowling around the economic heartlands of Leipzig and Dresden looking for bargains to pick up in the vast sell-off aimed at turning the east’s industry over to the private sector.

The rest of Europe — Britain included — should not stand on the sidelines and leave the field to west Germany alone. Yet this is exactly what is happening. A defeatist attitude prevails in Europe which assumes that the former GDR is the exclusive preserve of west German business. But a healthy dose of capitalist competition would be to the benefit of all concerned: foreign investors would get a foothold in the huge German market and a springboard into Eastern Europe, while east German companies would be able to extract better deals from rival bidders.

The Treuhandanstalt, the body charged with privatising the east’s economy, is well aware of this. It’s chief-executive, Detlev Rohwedder is desperate to find foreign investors for some of the 8,000 companies it has to sell. This would avoid creating huge German monopolies and preempt accusations of a clinical carve up by the giants of west German industry. In any case, with so many companies to sell, makes good sense to throw the net as wide as possible in looking for buyers.

So far, the European response has been disappointing — particularly from Britain. The engineering giant, GKN, is the only major British company to have announced an investment in what was east Germany. That was small beer too, a 10 million pounds car components factory near Zwickau.

British companies will of course argue that in the current climate, with the British economy on the ropes, the Gulf crisis, and no one really being sure in which direction the economies of eastern Europe will go, investment decisions must be taken with the most extreme caution.

This is nonsense. It is yet another case of the City short-term mentality that has plagued Britain for the last few years. With the single European market fast approaching, British companies need to redouble their efforts to secure a Euro-foothold. More importantly, they should also be investing now, precisely to ensure that the roots of democracy and a modern capitalist economy flourish in what was East Germany.

As the most ‘advanced’ (read disciplined) economy of the now discredited and virtually defunct Warsaw Pact, the transformation of east Germany to a dynamic western economy will be an important symbol for its erstwhile allies in their even more painful retreat from Marxism.

Whatever shape it takes, the new Germany will play a pivotal role in Europe, currently experiencing the sort of turmoil and upheaval not seen since wartime. But what we have seen in the last year, may only be the beginning.

The Soviet insistence that oil supplies to its former satellites must now be paid for with scarce hard currency will cause huge power cuts and petrol shortages in Eastern Europe this Winter. Any hopes of a fragile economic confidence in Eastern Europe will simply be knocked for six.

The coming collapse of the Soviet Union will only accelerate the change, opening up a new Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals. For this reason, it is vital that the new Germany does not become a skewered Britain or Italy, with its own east-west version of their debilitating north-south divides.

Unfortunately, unless more western companies invest in east Germany, there is a very real danger that apart from the ‘plums’ picked up by west German firms (Planeta, the printing machine manufacturer in our cover story, is a perfect example) a wholesale and immediate collapse of its industry could follow. Although there are signs that data recovery services have been quite strong, particularly as newer data storage technology has been very prone to hard drive failure which requires RAID recovery, this is but a microcosm of the overall economic scene. East Germany would be transformed simply into a market for Western goods, without its own production capabilities.

This de-industrialisation of the east (shades of Merseyside and the like here) could create all sorts of tensions that will have a ripple effect further eastwards.

In turn, the whole democratic revolution in Eastern Europe would be threatened by totalitarian forces of the left and right, or the extreme nationalism and racial tensions that have been frozen by nearly 45 years of communism. As ever, the British government seems to have played an unhelpful role, which may have discouraged British industrialists from their true Euro-instincts.

Germany And Its Reunification Conditions

THE outstanding event of 1990 was the reunification of the German Democratic Republic (G.D.R.) and the Federal Republic of Germany on October 3 after monetary union between the two states had preceded it on July 1. Inclusion of the East German economy is currently not yet possible. In the meantime the statistics for the five new Lander, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpom-mern, Saxony, Sachsen-Anhalt and Thuringia have been converted to the West German system of general economic accounting but the results are still lacking. Production and staffing data are therefore given below for the eleven former and five new Lander, classified as West Germany and East Germany.

In 1990 the West German economy showed the strongest growth since 1976. Economic performance, measured as gross national product, rose in real terms by 4.6% to DM2,450 billion. In the previous year this growth had amounted to 3.9%. This unusual rise is mainly caused this time by domestic demand for which investment grew in real terms by 8.2% and capital investment by 12.1% (1989: 9.7%). This last value is the highest since 1970. Under the influence of yet another very mild winter, investment in building rose by 5% in real terms.

An economic boost in contrast to the previous year was private consumption which rose in real terms by 4.4% as against 1.7% the year before. This was the biggest increase since 1972.

In 1989, exports were the most important stimulus to the economy but this time it turned out that the external contribution had a dampening effect. Exports of goods and services, including deliveries to East Germany, went up in real terms by 9.5%. Imports put on even more with 10.9%. The contribution of exports to GNP (exports minus imports) decreased in real terms by 1% to DM71.8 billion by contrast with 1989, when a growth in real terms of 10.8% was reported. The exchange of goods and services between West and East Germany is still treated here as export and import.

The state of employment also showed a better result in 1990 than in the year before. The number of those employed in West Germany rose by 775,000. The number of those registered as unemployed was reduced by 267,800 to less than 1.8 million at the end of the year although once again a considerable influx took place of emigrants from Eastern Europe and people moving out of the former G.D.R. The level of unemployment as a proportion of dependent employed civilians amounted as an annual average to 6.4%. In the new Lander the number of recorded unemployed rose to more than 640,000 at the end of the year, which is equivalent to an unemployment level of 7.3%.

The creation of German unity had a less happy influence on the overall economic situation for the State: State expenditure in West Germany rose by 9.8%; income, however, rose by only 4.2% as against 7.9% the year before.

Energy

Consumption of primary energy in the whole of Germany amounted to 494.0 Mtce(1); it was thus 3.3% lower than in the previous year. Because of the economic recession, East Germany had a sharp decline of 18.1% in consumption to 105 Mtce. In contrast to this, there was a slight increase in West Germany of 1.6% to 389 Mtce. The most important source of energy was oil with a 35.8% share in the total energy consumption and an increase of 3.8% to 177.0 Mtce. Second place in the overall German balance sheet was held by lignite with a consumption of 104.1 Mtce or 21.1% (1989: 23.5%). In the following places were coal and natural gas with 15.6% each (1989: coal 15.4% and natural gas 15.1%). Nuclear energy showed a further decline in the consumption of primary energy with a share of 10.0% (10.5%), as did miscellaneous sources with 1.9% (2.1%). In West Germany, by comparison with the previous year, the following was the distribution of consumption for primary energy: oil, 40.9% (40.0%); coal, 18.9% (19.2%); natural gas, 17.5% (17.1%); nuclear, 12.2% (12.6%); lignite, 8.3% (8.5%); miscellaneous, 2.3% (2.6%). The increased oil consumption is less attributable to the continued growth in the economy than to a rise in demand from private consumers whose high oil stocks from the year before were replenished. Following increased use of coal-fired power stations higher consumption of coal was reported. On the other hand, there was a decline in the requirement for coal and coke by the steel industry and the heating market.

The breakdown of energy consumption in East Germany with the values corresponding to the previous year were as follows: lignite, 68.6% (68.4%); oil, 17.1% (13.6%); natural gas, 8.6% (9.3%); coal, 3.1% (4.2%); nuclear power, 2.1% (4.1%) and miscellaneous, 0.5% (0.4%). Apart from oil, all energy sources were in sharp decline. Thus lignite fell in all areas of application but nevertheless covered more than two-thirds of the total consumption. East Germany’s consumption of oil increased greatly during the year, particularly as a consequence of rapid increase in car usage after the monetary union. The decline in nuclear power by two percentage points is attributable to shutting nuclear power stations.

Coal Mining

Sales of German coal went down by 7.8% to 71.1 Mtce. The decline was concentrated in the steel industry at home and abroad. Resulting from a diminishing steel economy, deliveries of coal and coke to the German steel industry fell by 10% to 20 Mtce and deliveries to the rest of the European Community by 24.6%. On the domestic heating market further sales losses had to be borne, down 10% to 3.6 Mtce. Only the earnings of the electricity sector remained nearly the same with 40 Mtce.

Output from Germany’s 27 coal mines declined by comparison with the previous year by 1.7% to 69.8 Mt. After the regulatory reductions in output agreed in 1987, the number of those employed in coal mining was further reduced to just 130,300 workers and staff at the end of the year — that is 8,600 fewer employees than at the end of 1989. Productivity in underground mining rose to something over 5,000 kg of marketable output per man/shift (MS) (1989: around 4,800 kg/MS). Over the last 10 years the average daily output from German coal mines went up from around 9,500 to 10,450 t of marketable output.

Lignite Mining

The first aggregated annual output for lignite mining in Germany showed a fall of 13.2% to 357 Mt. In the West, production declined by 2.1% to 107.6 Mt. It rose in 1989 by 1.2% to 109.9 Mt. Of this, 102.2 Mt came from the Rhineland, the rest mainly from the Helmstedt (4.3 Mt), Hessen (1.0 Mt) and Bavarian fields. In East Germany, production fell by 17.2% to 249 Mt, split between the Lausitz (168.1 Mt) and the Bitterfeld (80.9 Mt) fields. Clearance of spoil amounted to 1,588 million [m.sup.3]; in the West German fields it went up by 1% to 448 million [m.sup.3], in the East German fields it fell by 14.8% to 1,140 million [m.sup.3].

By far the largest proportion of lignite production went as crude lignite to public power stations (188.1 Mt), in the West with 90.2 Mt 1.7% less and in the East 97.9 Mt 13.8% less than the year before. Although the manufacture of briquettes for domestic fuel in the West German fields rose by 11.1% to 2.4 Mt, an overall loss in sales was experienced, down 18.9% to 40.0 Mt. The decline in the Lausitz field amounted to 10% and in the Bitterfeld field to 31.5%. More serious was the loss of deliveries for dust-firing by a total of 17.4% to 3.8 Mt. Manufacture of lignite dust in the Rhineland field remained roughly at the previous year’s level (2.5 Mt), but it fell in the Lausitz field by 35.7% to 700,000 t and in the Bitterfeld field by 38.8% to 600,000 t.

The number of those employed in West German lignite mining fell by 307 staff and labourers, equivalent to 1.7%, to 17,760 particularly because of laying off of miners in worked-out pits in Hessen. At the end of December the number employed in the two East German fields amounted to 107,762, thus for the whole of Germany to 125,215 employees.

Iron Ore and Steel

Production from the last iron ore pit in Germany, Wohlverwahrt-Nammen belonging to Barbara Rohstoffbetriebe GmbH in Porta Westfalica fell by 18% to 84,000 t. The stockpile was reduced by 8% to 44,000 t. Productivity at the mine amounted to around 90 t/MS and thus remained unaltered from the previous year’s performance level.

At the end of the year, 229 people were employed in iron ore mining, of which 171 were in the former Konrad pit which is set up as a dump for storing mildly radioactive materials.

With 38.4 Mt West German steelworks manufactured around 6.4% less crude steel in 1990 than in the year before. Thus the continuous pouring process won further significance so that this technique’s share amounts to 92%. Pig iron production was reduced compared with the previous year by 8% to 30.1 Mt. The reasons for the decline in the steel industry were predominantly the surplus in the European Community, rapidly falling demand from third parties such as China and the Soviet Union and, moreover, price competition following continued weakness of the U.S. dollar.

 

How Berlin’s Wall Started To Crumble

What sparked more than 100 West Berliners to climb over the wall to the Communist East was a dispute over the fate of the Lene Dreieck, 40,000 square meters of mud and shrubs directly bordering the wall in the one-time center of pre-war Berlin. In the 1920s this area near the Potsdamer Platz was one of the most frenzied parts of Berlin, with packed cafes that housed much of the literary community in winters when coal was short. Nearby was the bunker where Hitler took his life on April 30, 1945. Technically a part of the Soviet sector, the razed, overgrown area was one of the many chunks of land that the masons of East Berlin didn’t manage to wrap in when the wall went up on August 13, 1961. Like leftover pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, the bits lay unclaimed and unused until a land barter deal earlier this year between East and West.

The old wall - so much to answer for.

The land was not scheduled to change hands officially until July 1. But before West Berlin’s city fathers could even dust off their plans for a superhighway on the site, a motley group of West Berlin ecologists and anarchists “occupied” the Lene Dreieck. Declaring the area to be a “liberated zone,” dreamy-eyed hippies, ragged punks, and assorted others with time on their hands erected a small village of tents and huts. The West Berlin police were forbidden by law from entering East Germany territory. The East German border guards, after a few hails over the wall, decided to let the settlers remain. And so the village grew, the citizens of no man’s land bathed naked in the sun, and the tourist hordes that came daily to peer over the wall were treated to a new attraction.

If there is anything the West Berlin police don’t like, it’s the thought of an area beyond the reach of the law. During the early 1980s, efforts by the police to dislodge illegal squatters from their homes led to week-long riots. Since then the police have vigorously maintained the “Berlin Line,” clearing any occupied buildings or streets without hesitation, using whatever force is required. Last year the city created special squads for just that task, picked out for their physical size and fierceness and armed with four-foot-long clubs. Caught up in the heat of the chase during a demonstration last May, they cudgeled anyone within club’s reach, including journalists and some of their own officers. Now the riot troops posted around the encampment were forced to look on helplessly as their arch enemies, the “Chaoten” (chaotic), painted “Cop-Free Zone” and “anarchy is possible” on the wall and hurled curses, spit, and occasional beer bottles in their direction.

BUT THE ecologist-anarchist front was experiencing its own inner angst, having split into two factions known as “Muslies” (after an indigestible mixture of grain and corn they liked to eat with milk for breakfast) and “Mollies” (after the Molotov cocktails they liked to heave at policemen). The Muslies sport long hair, beards, heavy wool clothing, and Birkenstock sandals, and like to count the species of plant life in abandoned lots and quote pantheistic poetry. The Mollies prefer proto-military boots and pants, shaved and dyed patterns of hair on their skulls, and black leather jackets with stenciled slogans like “Eat-Fuck-Kill.” While the Muslies wanted to negotiate a settlement with the authorities and win popular support, the Mollies took to wearing face masks at all hours of the day to prevent identification, carried wooden clubs over their shoulders, and stockpiled projectiles for the eventual confrontation. When the Muslies questioned their commitment to ecological issues, they replied, “The world is going to hell no matter what we do, at least we want to have some action!” Factional strife threatened to destroy the fragile alliance until someone arrived at a novel alternative: Rather than fight or surrender, why not jump the wall?

A brilliant inspiration that begged a few technical questions. People who cross the wall from East to West tend to get shot or blown up. Would the border guards from the East be any friendlier to those coming from West to East? And once you get in, can you get back out? The GDR soldiers peering down at the village plenum offered no clues.

As the Prussian dusk faded to darkness on the night of June 29, the eve of the formal Anschluss, the curious and sympathetic had swollen the crowd at the Dreieck to over a thousand. The whole-grain families with their barefoot, shaggy-haired children had largely disappeared. Their leather-jacketed comrades appeared to have invested the gains of a day’s panhandling in cases of beer, firing their courage for the coming battle, and listing precariously as they moved through the crowd. An atypically eloquent demonstrator mounted a propaganda offensive with a megaphone, demanding immediate negotiations and comparing the special riot division to the SA and the SS. After about half an hour of harangue the police bullhorn finally crackled: “Please report your bullshit in another direction.”

At midnight the mob fell silent. Every ear strained for the sound of approaching sirens. When the Valkyries failed to descend, the crowd found other means to release their combative energies. A bonfire filled the square with flickering light. To the beat of drums and a trash container of galvanized steel struck with bricks and metal rods, bodies broke into dance. Ares had vanished and Dionysus had descended.

IT WAS, needless to say, merely a strategic delay on the police’s part. At 5 a.m., after allowing most of the crowd to stagger home or sink into dreams of anarchistic utopia, and with the necessary Dammerung to enable photographic records of any who attempted to resist, 800 green-clad policemen in full riot gear descended on the sleepy village. The remaining demonstrators groggily retreated to the nine-foot strip of land at the edge of the wall that still belonged to East Germany. The police advanced without the slightest resistance. Defeat seemed inevitable.

Suddenly a woman perched on the coping of the wall turned from speaking with a border guard and announced, “It’s fine. They say that we can all come over.” Within a few minutes 180 demonstrators had scaled up makeshift ladders and upturned sections of police fencing and clambered into the waiting East German military wagons on the other side of the wall. Those who sought “temporary asylum” were treated to a large breakfast of sandwiches and tea, politely asked if they would like to take up permanent residence in the socialist system (an offer that no one accepted), and then allowed to filter back into the West in small groups at various border crossings.

The outcome seemed to please all concerned. Christian Democrat Senator Kewenig could fluff his feathers in front of a captured hoard of bottles and slingshot ammunition and reproach the East Germans for neglecting their responsibilities as “decent businessmen” to turn over a clean parcel of land. The Communist Party broadsheet Neues Deutschland managed to publish a heart wrenching account of the flight without once mentioning the wall itself. Of the breakfast scene the correspondent wrote, “One had a warm feeling in the stomach. Even when one knew that the village of huts would soon be ripped down. But one had won new friends. And new comrades . . .” The West German police union urged the Chaoten to remain in the East. Even the demonstrators seemed satisfied. They returned as heroes, having dealt the “police state” (West Berlin) a monumental black eye and proved that it is possible, at least this once, to visit East Berlin for the day without the customary currency exchange.