100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

August 12, 1981 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1981-08-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4

Opinion
Page 6 Wednesday, August 12, 1981 The Michigan Daily

The Michigan Daily
Vol. XCI, No. 60s
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
Cost control
T HERE IS snowballing controversy
surrounding the proposed costs for the
University replacement hospital-a con-
troversy that is becoming as heated as it is
complicated. Given the plethora of facts and
figures being tossed around by a plethora of
hospital spokespersons, health care planners,
University Regents, and state legislators, the
entire project has become helplessly muddled.
Yesterday, the Comprehensive Health
Planning Council rejected a proposed $75
million hike in the cost of the hospital project,
with a majority of its members believing a
suitable replacement hospital can be built for
less money. University Hospital planners-at
the prompting of state officials-had proposed
the large increase, citing needed renovations
of the women's and children's psychiatric
facilities, the Mott's children's hospital, and
ambulatory care.
We feel that the massive increase is un-
justified, and is inconsistent with the tight
money supply in the state and University. In
an era when austerity is not just desirable but
is imperative, the proposed additional funding
appears excessive and expendable. Although
the hike will likely be approved by the Depar-
tment of Public Health, this project should
adhere to the belt-tightening fiscal discipline
that is being painfully followed by the rest of
the University and state.
"I'VE BEEN DEEPLY PlSThRBE 3BYTHE WAY THOSE OF
YOU...PEPENPENTON SOCIAL SECURITY HAVE BEEN
NEEDLESSLY FRGHTENE.., -Ronad Rega.d/y 98/
j
s
A

The 20th birthday of
an ominous barrier

I

By Stephen Mills
The Berlin Wall will
"celebrate" its 20th birthday
tomorrow with speeches in West
Berlin by Mayor Richard von
Weizsaecker and a memorial ser-
vice for those who have been
killed while attempting to escape
over the wall. In East Berlin the
anniversary will pass virtually
unnoticed.
Twenty years ago, thousands
marched to protest the mass of
concrete, wire, and mines split-
ting Berlin in half, but people on
both sides of the wall have
seemingly grown accustomed to
its presence, ignoring the ob-
trusiveness and ugliness which
demand anything but disregard.
The vigorous protests have, in-
deed, simmered to acquiescence,
though signs of disapproval are
still visible in the mumblings and
shaking of fists at border
crossings, where timely searches
are not uncommon.
THE PAST YEAR has been a
unique testing period for Berlin
and intra-German relations. Af-
ter ten years of continuous effort
by both Germanies to reduce
border tensions and increase
talks between nations, strikes in
Poland alerted East Germany to
the possibility of labor unrest in
its own country and prompted of-
ficials to curb border crossings
between East and West Germany
and, naturally, East and West
Berlin.
Throughout the wall's 20 year
history, East Ge;rmany has
maintained that the sole purpose
of the permanent blockade has
been to bar spies, and according
to one East German history book,
to "prevent an attack from the
imperialist powers in the West."
How a two-foot thick mass of con-
crete could prevent an attack in
the nuclear age remains a
curiosity, but the East Germans
nevertheless continue to plod for-
th tirelessly with their im-
plausible explanations and cat-
chwords.
THE WALL's purpose is to
keep the home folks in. "They're
voting with their feet," British
Prime Minister Harold Mac-
millan told the United Nations
General Assembly in 1961. As he
spoke, more than 1,000 East
Germans a day were jamming
the refugee center in West Berlin.
A few months later, an escape
attempt would be a gamble with
life.
The figures for those who have
died while attempting escape,
those arrested, and those who
have "made it" climb every
year, although the flow in recent
years has dwindled to a trickle.
West Berlin sources put the
number killed at 70, with over
3,000 having been arrested for at-

tempted escape or aiding in an Germans and, according to some
escape. Fifty-one escaped to West Berliners, now threaten the
West Berlin or the Federal identity of the city.
Republic last year, making a Thus, Berlin, with aid from
total of close to 50,000 escapees, Bonn, has engaged in a massive
most of whom fled during the fir- recruiting campaign aimed at
st five years after the wall was West Germans. Buses packed
built. with information about em-
EAST
GERMANY MILES
EAST
*cEAST GERMANY
B - BERLIN 4 r
Forest% oe_.. =.,.
o - 1 s
PA -r IRPOR0iB. 'V" 's'c'-h Z
E A \8RANGENAURG
e~rst~ose TIERARTE .4Y GATE v J ,
k(rGeolV'e PIATZ ±Cs 4A%
GATOWl I7$ ,' \\
AIPR ' TEMPELHOF 4 -JOHANNISTHAL
i es@,BERLI i AIRPORT AIRPORT
CJ ° ¢ EAST 'PcGERMANY

4

I
I

COMMUNISM and capitalism,
the two most widespread social
systems of the world, meet in
Berlin, while the wall is physical
proof of their mutual repulsion
and animosity of each other. The
division of the world is repeated
in this small area, a microcosm
of world drama.
For capitalists, Berlin is a han-
dy reference to throw punches at
socialism. Flooded with Marshall
Plan money after the war (Berlin
received 30 per cent of West
Germany's total appropriation),
West Berlin quickly rebuilt her-
self and prospered under the en-
tire West German "economic
miracle." East Germany, forced
to pay war reparations to the
Soviet Union, could spare little
money for one city. Hence, the
"showcase" war fought on both
sides to prove each system's
superiority over-the other was
won early on by the West.
In many respects, East Berlin
is undoubtedly still bleak com-
pared to its sister. One picture of
the long, forbidding wall nullifies
an infinity of words from the East
Germany propagandists who
built it.
HOWEVER, THE story that
West Berlin is prosperous and the
thriving "showcase of
capitalism" has become a fairy
tale. The city which was one the
capital of imperial Germany, the
paradise of all Germans aspiring
participation in the country's .
rule, the cultural playground of
the "golden Twenties," is now
having problems attracting
Germans to live there and, at the
same time, drawing a wave of
foreigners to fill positions that
Germans don't want. The so-
called "guest workers" are
reproducing faster than the

ployment opportunities in West
Berlin and stunning light shows
depicting Berlin's cultural of-
ferings now roam the West Ger-
man countryside searching for
interested applicants.
Behind the seriousness of the
wall and the tension it has
produced, the existence of two
Berlins has caused some light-
hearted mud-slinging. Both sides,
apparently hoping to command
the respect granted the former
capital of Prussia, refer to their
respective sector as "Berlin,"
and designate the other side as
"East" or "West" Berlin. East
Germany goes so far as to call the
Western sector "Westberlin,"
whose lower-case "b" under-
standably infuriates West
Berliners.
Expectedly, the press of both
cities often expound on the
vices of the "other" system
and boast of a higher standard of
living. Neues Deutschland, the
Socialist Party newspaper in
East Berlin, recently compared
food prices in East and West
Germany, proudly reporting that
Socialist Germany had main-
tained stable and low prices
compared to inflation-ridden
West Germany.
"True," commented der
Spiegel, a West German
newsmagazine, in a rebuttal. "A
steak in an East German
restaurant doesn't cost more
than 5 marks-but that's only a
statistic. In the real East German
gastronomy, there aren't any
steaks. They live exquisitely over
there all right-on paper."
Stephen Mills, a University
student, has recently returned
from a visit to West Germany.

40

40

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan