(redirected from Berolina)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.


, city, Germany
Berlin (bûrˌlĭnˈ, Ger. bĕrlēnˈ), city (2021 est. pop. 3,567,000), capital of Germany, coextensive with Berlin state (341 sq mi/883 sq km), NE Germany, on the Spree and Havel rivers. Formerly divided into East Berlin (156 sq mi/404 sq km) and West Berlin (185 sq mi/479 sq km), the city was reunified along with East and West Germany on Oct. 3, 1990.


Due in part to aid from the United States and other Allied powers, West Berlin's recovery after World War II was rapid and substantial. East Berlin, however, saw a period of relative economic decline, though it became the undisputed focal point of development within the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and an important city in Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe. Berlin's economy has been primarily industrial, but is becoming increasingly focused on service-sector activities. Electronics and garments are major industries; other manufactures includes textiles, metals, porcelain and china, bicycles, and machinery. The move of the national government to Berlin prompted a building boom during the 1990s, including more than 30 major construction projects in the eastern part of the city and a large aircraft factory on its outskirts. A new central railroad station opened in 2006.

Institutions and Attractions

Berlin is a major cultural center, home to orchestras, opera companies, repertory theaters, and museums. It has an excellent public transportation system and is served by the Berlin Brandenberg airport. In the Kurfürstendamm, the main thoroughfare in the western section of the city, stands the gutted tower of the original Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, left unrestored as a reminder of World War II. A similar memorial, the unrestored remains of the St. Nicholas Church, were formerly preserved in E Berlin, but beginning in the 1980s it was reconstructed and is now part of the Berlin City Museum. The Berlin Cathedral (1894–1905), located on Museum Island (N Spree Island), also was damaged but was reconstructed (1975–2002).

The large Tiergarten park in central Berlin contains the reconstructed Reichstag building with its glass dome and the Berlin zoo. On the NE side of the park, along a bend in the Spree River, the Federal Strip houses a number of government buildings, including the enormous Chancellery (opened 2001). The concert hall of the Berlin Philharmonic is on the opposite side of the Tiergarten. At the SE end of the park is Potsdamer Platz, which was the heart of the city in the 1920s and 30s. In the 1990s, commercial and residential renewal made it the largest construction site in Europe. The State Opera is in E Berlin, on the famous Unter den Linden, which leads to the Brandenburg Gate, a triumphal arch in the classical style. South of the Opera is the Pierre Boulez Concert Hall (2017), designed by Frank Gehry, and the Barenboim-Said Academy (2016). Near the Brandenburg Gate is the city's 5.5-acre (2.2-hectare) Holocaust memorial (2005).

Among Berlin's many museums are those in the Cultural Forum in the western part of the city, including the New National Gallery and the Gemäldegarie; those in Museum Island in the eastern part of the city, including the Altes Museum, the Egyptian Museum, and the Pergamon Museum; and the Berlin Museum–Jewish Museum complex in the Kreuzberg district. Humboldt Univ. of Berlin (formerly known as the Univ. of Berlin or Frederick William Univ.) and the Free Univ. of Berlin (founded in 1948) are among the city's many educational and scientific institutions.


Early History to World War II

Berlin had its beginning in two Wendish villages, Berlin and Kölln, which were chartered in the 13th cent. and merged in 1307. It assumed importance as a Hanseatic League town in the 14th cent. and became the seat of the electors of Brandenburg (after 1701, kings of Prussia) in 1486. Berlin suffered severely from the Thirty Years War (1618–48), but Frederick William (reigned 1640–88), the Great Elector, restored and improved the city. Occupied in the Seven Years War by Austrian (1757) and Russian (1760) troops and in the Napoleonic Wars by the French (1806–8), Berlin emerged from the conflicts as a center of German national feeling and an increasingly serious rival of Vienna.

From the 18th and early 19th cent. date many of the distinguished monuments and buildings of the city (chiefly by Andreas Schlüter and Karl Friedrich Schinkel). Berlin was the center of the Revolution of 1848 against King Frederick William IV. The construction of railroads (1840–61) gave it additional importance as an industrial and commercial center. Berlin also became part of a canal system that linked it to the Oder, Elbe, and Rhine rivers and to the North Sea. In 1866 it became the seat of the North German Confederation and in 1871 it was made the capital of the German Empire. The city prospered and expanded rapidly, becoming one of the great urban centers of the world. Berlin's population had increased from 201,000 in 1819 to 914,000 in 1871; by 1900 it was 2,712,000.

The German military defeat of 1918 brought on a period of social and political unrest. After the establishment (Nov., 1918) of a Socialist government, Berlin was the scene of the abortive uprising of the Communist Spartacus party (Jan., 1919) and of the conservative putsch of 1920 (see Kapp, Wolfgang). As the capital of the Weimar Republic, Berlin suffered severe economic crises in the 1920s, but it was also a brilliant cultural center.

Throughout the Nazi regime (1933–45) Berlin remained the second largest city of Europe, a notable economic, political, and educational center, and a huge inland port with a flourishing world trade. It was also the major communications and transportation hub of Central Europe. During World War II, Berlin was repeatedly bombed from the air by the Allies, but the heaviest destruction was caused by a Soviet artillery barrage of unprecedented intensity that preceded the capture (May 2, 1945) of the city by Marshal Zhukov.

Divided Berlin

On May 8, 1945, Germany's unconditional surrender to the Allies was signed in Berlin. The division of the city into sectors by the Potsdam Conference resulted in severe tension between the Soviet Union and the Western powers. The Soviets occupied the sector that subsequently became known as East Berlin. The zones assigned to the British, American, and French occupation forces constituted West Berlin. The French occupied the NW part of the city, and the Americans and the British occupied the S districts. The joint Allied military government (Kommandatura) was not successful and virtually ceased to function when the USSR informally withdrew in 1948.

The status of Berlin became a major cold war issue, and attempts at international agreement ended in deadlock (see Foreign Ministers, Council of) as the USSR sought to remove all Western (including West German) control from West Berlin and the Western powers maintained that settlement of the Berlin problem depended on reunification of Germany. In 1948, Soviet authorities established a blockade on all land and water communications between West Berlin and West Germany. The Western powers, foremost among them the United States, successfully undertook to supply West Berlin by a large-scale airlift through three air “corridors” left open to them (see Berlin airlift). The blockade was withdrawn in May, 1949, and the airlift ended in Sept., 1949. In that year East Berlin was proclaimed the capital of the new German Democratic Republic, and in 1950 West Berlin was established as one of the states of the Federal Republic of Germany (of which Berlin was the de jure capital and Bonn the de facto capital). Workers rioted in East Berlin in June, 1953, and were suppressed by Soviet tanks.

In the following years there were several Berlin crises, as the USSR in unilateral declarations, often accompanied by harassing actions, contested the legal basis for the Western powers' presence in and access to West Berlin. Meanwhile better living conditions in the western zone had led to a massive exodus of refugees from East to West, which was both a great embarrassment for the Communists and a serious drain on the East German labor supply. To stop the flow, East Germany gave the division of the city a grimly physical form in Aug., 1961, by erecting the 29-mi (47-km) fortified Berlin Wall along the partition line, leaving only a few closely guarded crossing points.

The Western powers protested vigorously but ineffectively, and East German border guards killed dozens of persons attempting to break through the barrier. War seemed near as Soviet and American tanks faced each other at the border crossings, but after 1962 the crisis eased. In Dec., 1963, the first of several agreements was reached permitting West Berliners to visit relatives in the eastern zone. Visits across the wall and access to West Berlin from West Germany were finally regularized in the Berlin accords reached among the four powers and the two Germanys in 1972.


The tense stalemate in inter-German relations that persisted throughout most of the 1980s was dramatically broken as a result of the political upheavals that took place in East Germany in late 1989 and early 1990. Massive demonstrations in East Berlin and other East German cities led to the collapse of the Honecker regime and the dismantling of the Berlin Wall in Nov., 1989. In Oct., 1990, East and West Berlin were officially joined to form the state of Berlin, and the first city-wide elections in Berlin since 1946 were held in Dec., 1990. In June, 1991, the German Bundestag voted in favor of Berlin as the seat of the nation's legislature and government; Bonn, the capital of the former West Germany, served as the provisional seat of government until 1999, when most government functions were transferred to Berlin. In 1996 residents of Berlin voted to unite in a single state with surrounding Brandenburg, but the measure was rejected by Brandenburg voters.


See H. Vizetelly, Berlin under the New Empire (2 vol., 1879; repr. 1968); G. Masur, Imperial Berlin (1971); O. Friedrich, Before the Deluge (1986); G. Kirchhoff, ed., Views of Berlin (1989); B. Gwertzman and M. Kaufman, The Collapse of Communism (1990); A. Beevor, The Fall of Berlin 1945 (2002); M. Black, Death in Berlin: From Weimar to Divided Germany (2010); F. Kempe, Berlin 1961 (2011).


, city, United States
Berlin (bûrˈlən, bərlĭnˈ), city (2020 pop. 10,118), Coos co., NE N.H., in the White Mts. at falls of the Androscoggin; settled late 1700s as Maynesborough, renamed 1829, inc. as a city 1897. In a heavily forested region, it was long a pulp and paper mill center, but the last mill closed in 2006; a logging museum is there. Fabricated metal products are produced, but health care, prisons, and other services are the main employers. Berlin, a winter sports center, has the first ski club organized (1872) in the United States. Nearby is White Mountain National Forest.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the capital of Germany, 1871–1945. Largest German city in the eastern part of the country, on the navigable Spree River at its confluence with the Havel River (Elbe basin) and on canals which link Berlin to the Baltic and North seas.

The historical core of the city was formed within an ancient sandy, former glacial valley covered by pine forests; the Spree, with its tributary, the Dahme, flows through the valley. Growing gradually, the area rose up to the morainal Barnim elevations in the north (50–60 m above sea level) and the Teltow elevations in the south (45–50 m). The highest point of Berlin is the Müggelberge (115 m). The Havel lake region (the Havel, Tegeler See, Wannsee, and other lakes) is on the western outskirts of Berlin; the Dahme lake region (Grosser Müggelsee, Langer See, Seddinsee, and others) is on the eastern outskirts. The major lakes became the basic source of the city’s water supply. Vast tracts of forest (Köpenick, Grunewald, Spandau, and others) and numerous parks made up a green zone which, along with the lakes, became the favorite recreation area for Berliners.

The climate is moderate and humid (the mean annual temperature is 8.4° C; January, 0° to -0.6° C; July, 18° C). Average annual precipitation is 587 mm; it falls primarily in the warm season. After Berlin became the country’s capital, its population grew rapidly—primarily because of an influx from outside, but also because of the expansion of the capital area (in 1915 about 66 sq km; in 1920, 878.1 sq km; in 1947, 890 sq km).

In 1920, with the annexation of eight cities, 59 settled points of the village type, and 26 estates, Greater Berlin (officially, Gross-Berlin) was formed. It was divided into 20 sections including nine central sections—Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, Schöneberg, Kreuzberg, Tiergarten, Charlottenburg, Wilmersdorf, and Wedding—and 11 outlying ones—Treptow, Pankow, Weissensee, Lichtenberg, Köpenick, Neukölln, Tempelhof, Steglitz, Zehlendorf, Spandau, and Reinickendorf.

The following data characterize the changing population of Berlin: 401,000 in 1843; 914,000 in 1871; 1.7 million in 1890; 2.7 million in 1900; 4.2 million in 1927; and 4.3 million in 1939. The number of inhabitants of Berlin decreased sharply toward the end of World War II to about 2.5 million (1945). In prewar times, three-fourths of the population was distributed among the city’s central sections, including the core of Berlin, the old city, and the adjoining urban belt (within the boundaries of the Ringbahn city railroad ring); large industrial sections grew up on the periphery of this densely settled core (for example, in Treptow, Köpenick, Lichtenberg, Reinickendorf, Spandau, and Neukölln). Outlying regions—the so-called outer belt—were less settled by far: agricultural lands (25 percent of the area of Berlin) and forest lands (17 percent), parks (4 percent), and lakes (along with rivers and reservoirs, 6 percent) predominated here. On the whole, only one-third of the area of Berlin was built up (including streets and squares).


Historical information. Berlin was formed from two settlements which arose in the early 13th century (on the site of former Slavic settlements) and merged into one city in 1307. In 1486, Berlin became the capital of Brandenburg (subsequently Prussia). In 1848–49, Berlin was one of the main centers of the revolution in Germany (the armed uprising of Mar. 18, 1848, and others). After Germany was unified under the supremacy of Prussia, Berlin became the capital of the German empire and its greatest industrial city. (The development of machine building and of the electrical industry was particularly striking.)

Several international conferences and congresses were held in Berlin—for example, the Berlin Congress of 1878 and the Berlin Conference of 1884–85.

At the end of the 19th century, Berlin began to become one of the most important centers of the German workers’ movement. In the course of the November Revolution of 1918 in Berlin, a republic was proclaimed on November 9, and Berlin became its capital. A constituent congress of the Communist Party of Germany was held in Berlin from Dec. 30,1918, until Jan. 1, 1919. In the years that followed, Berlin was the arena for mass revolutionary actions of the German proletariat on more than one occasion: the January Uprising of 1919, the struggle against the Kapp putsch in March 1920, the general strike in August 1923, and the barricade fighting in May 1929.

From 1933 to 1945, Berlin was the capital of Hitler’s Third Reich. Despite the extreme terrorism of the Hitlerites, groups of German antifascists, operating underground, waged a heroic struggle in Berlin. During World War II (1939–45) the city was extensively damaged (especially during 1943–45). In the concluding stage of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union (1941–45), Berlin was the arena of fierce battles between Soviet troops and the German fascist armies. On Apr. 30, 1945, Soviet troops raised the Banner of Victory over the Reichstag; on May 2 they held the entire city. On May 8, 1945, representatives of the German fascist high command signed the act of unconditional surrender in Berlin.

In accordance with the protocol of Sept. 12, 1944, of the agreement of the European Advisory Commission with respect to the occupation zones of Germany and the administration of Greater Berlin and with the agreement on a control mechanism in Germany concluded by the USSR, the USA, Great Britain, and France on May 1, 1945, Berlin—as the capital of Germany and the seat of the supreme organs of the Allied military administration (Control Council)—was set apart as a special region within the Soviet occupation zone and was subjected to joint occupation by the forces of the four great powers, the USSR, the USA, Great Britain, and France. A special administrative system in the form of a four-sided Allied Kommandatura was established for Berlin. For the purposes of the occupation, Berlin was divided into four sectors—the Soviet, American, British, and French sectors.

From July 17 through Aug. 2, 1945, a conference of the heads of state of the USSR, the USA, and Great Britain was held in Potsdam, near Berlin. It established the political and economic principles of the Allies’ joint policy with respect to defeated Germany and provided the necessary measures to ensure that Germany would never again threaten its neighbors or the maintenance of peace throughout the world.

The constituent congress of the Socialist Unity Party (SED) was held in Berlin on Apr. 21–22, 1946. In East Berlin (the Soviet sector), as throughout East Germany, profound revolutionary transformations were implemented. The old state apparatus was liquidated and in its place genuinely democratic organs of self-government were created.

The Western powers, which abused the right of participation in the occupation and administration of the German capital which had been granted to them, obstructed the realization of the Potsdam Resolutions of 1945 in their sectors; then, in violation of the four-sided agreements, they separated the western part of Berlin from its natural surroundings. On June 23, 1948, the separate currency reform implemented in West Germany was extended to West Berlin. On Dec. 5, 1948, separate elections to the city parliament were held in West Berlin. On Oct. 1, 1950, a special West Berlin constitution came into force. The four-sided status of Berlin was completely liquidated. The city was split into two parts: the eastern part, democratic Berlin, and the western part, West Berlin. On Nov. 30, 1948, in response to the splitting actions of the Western occupying authorities and the reactionary forces of West Berlin, a democratic magistracy was formed in the Soviet sector of Berlin as a result of the will of the working people. On Oct. 7, 1949, the German Democratic Republic was proclaimed here with Berlin as its capital. In line with the decisions of the four powers allied during World War II that Berlin was the main city of East Germany, it became the capital of the GDR under the first constitution of the GDR, which came into force on Oct. 7, 1949.


Sovetskii Soiuz i berlinskii vopros (Dokumenty), issues 1–2. Moscow, 1948–49.
Berlin: Quellen und Dokumente, 1945–51. Berlin, 1964.
Krymskii, M. Berlinskii vopros. Moscow, 1958.
Tunkin, G. “Berlinskii vopros v svete mezhdunarodnogo prava.” Mezhdunarodnaia zhizn’, 1959, no. 2.
Streckfuss, A. 500 Jahre Berliner Geschichte. Moscow, 1900.
Ludwig, H. Berlin von Gestern. Berlin, [1957].
Economic information. The economic significance of Berlin grew along with the consolidation of its role as the political center of the German empire. In the past it was a transit crossing point of trade routes from the Rhine region in the east and from the southern regions toward the Baltic Sea. In the period of capitalist development, Berlin became the focus for banking capital (more than half of the bank assets of Germany), industry and trade, and powerful monopolistic German and foreign associations. Berlin became not only the leading economic center of Germany but also one of the greatest industrial centers of the capitalist world. The economic development of Berlin led to a rapid growth in population and profound changes in its social structure, the main feature of which was the sharp increase in the relative proportion of the working class. In 1939 there were 2.5 million wage earners in Berlin, including 1.2 million workers; Berlin accounted for 7.2 percent of all those employed in German industry. Berlin produced 8.7 percent of the value of industrial output of Germany. The structure of industrial production is shown in Table 1.
Table 1. Structure and concentration of industrial production in Berlin (1939)
Branches ot IndustryNumber of enterprisesPeople employed
  All enterprisesEnterprises with 50 and more employees
General machine building3,423153,000129,000
Production of metal goods6,086100,00080,000
The industry of Berlin was extensively represented primarily by a complex of metalworking branches. One-half of the entire electrotechnical industry of Germany (controlled by the major firms of AEG, Siemens, Osram, Telefunken, and others) was concentrated here, as was a considerable segment of the general machine building industry (including one-fourth of the machine-tool industry—Borsig, Schwarzkopf) and of the country’s optical-mechanical, ready-to-wear clothing, printing and publishing industries.
As a result of military actions and the senseless resistance to attacking units of the Soviet Army by remnants of the Hitlerite armies, who unleashed fierce street battles in Berlin, the city’s industry lost approximately one-fourth of its productive capacity, and much of its transportation and electric system was put out of commission. More than three-quarters of the residential areas of central Berlin and its cultural institutions was destroyed. A. I. Mukhin
Architecture. Berlin preserved the features of its medieval radial and annular layout; its streets branch out from the center (the Mitte section) or follow the circular direction of demolished city walls and ramparts. There were few medieval buildings (the Gothic churches Marien-Kirche, c. 1260-mid-14th century, and Kloster-Kirche, c. 1290–1300). In the 18th and 19th centuries, Berlin was built up according to a regular grid pattern: regular squares and straight, broad streets (Unter den Linden), with formal complexes and baroque structures (the Arsenal, now the Museum of German History, 1695–1706; architects, J. A. Nering, A. Schluter, and J. de Bodt), 18th-century classical buildings (Opera House, 1741–43, architect, E. von Knobelsdorff; the university, 1748–53, architect, J. Boumann; the Brandenburg Gate, 1788–91, architect, C. G. Langhans), and 19th-century classical structures (the New Guardhouse, 1816–18; the Dramatic Theater, 1819–21; and the Old Museum, 1824–28—all by the architect K. F. Schinkel).
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Berlin grew into a gigantic city with a ring of workers’ barracks, vast industrial areas, and proletarian sections such as Wedding, Moabit, Spandau, and Neukölln. In sharp contrast with the poverty and congestion of the workers’ sections are the formal center with government buildings (the Rathaus, 1861–69, architect V. H. Waesemann; the Reichstag, 1884–94, architect P. Wallot), the business and commercial areas (Friedrich-Strasse, Leipziger-Strasse, Kurfürstendamm, Alexander Plaz), and the aristocratic residential (Charlottenburg) and bourgeois (Zehlendorf, Steglitz) sections. In the 20th century, the architects P. Behrens, E. Mendelsohn, H. Poelzig, W. Gropius, and B. Taut have designed functionalist residential areas, factories, office buildings, firms, motion picture theaters, stores, and so on, which complete the orderly, businesslike appearance of Berlin.


Müther, H. Berlins Bautradition. Berlin, [1956].
Krammer, M. F. Berlin im Wandel der Jahrhunderte. Berlin, [1956].



the capital of the German Democratic Republic; the main political, economic, scientific, and cultural center of the GDR. Located on the Spree River. Area, 403 sq km. Population, 1,083,900(1968).

Government. Berlin is a city under the republic’s jurisdiction; it has the status of a district of the GDR. The organ of government is the city assembly of deputies (Stadtverordnetenversammlung), which is elected for a period of four years by citizens at least 18 years of age. The city assembly of deputies elects the executive organ, the magistracy, which is headed by the Oberburgermeister. Administratively, the city is subdivided into urban sections (Stadtbezirke): Mitte (the historic center of the city), Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, Treptow, Köpenick, Lichtenberg, Weissensee, and Pankow. In each section, the population elects an assembly of deputies (Stadtbezirkversammlung), the executive organ of which is the council headed by the Burgermeister.

Historical information. After the formation of the GDR, the central organs of the republic were constituted in Berlin. As early as May 1949, the Third German People’s Congress was held here; it confirmed the constitution of the republic and elected the German People’s Council, which on Oct. 7,1949, was transformed, in accordance with the resolution of its presidium and the bloc of the democratic parties of East Germany, into the provisional People’s Chamber of the GDR. The working class of Berlin played a large role in the popular movement which enveloped East Germany in 1949 for the creation of a genuinely democratic German government and for the proclamation of the GDR. After the formation of the GDR, the ceremonial act transferring all administrative functions previously exercised by the Soviet military administration to the government of the GDR took place in Berlin on Oct. 10, 1949.

After Berlin was proclaimed the capital of the GDR, the organs of popular power did much work for the restoration and reconstruction of the city, which had suffered greatly from military action. On Nov. 25, 1951, the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SUPG) published the National Program for the Restoration of Berlin. Restoration and construction in Berlin were carried out on the basis of a general plan worked out by the Berlin magistracy—not only by the residents of Berlin but by the entire population of the republic.

The central organs of the GDR are concentrated in its capital: the People’s Chamber, the State Council, the Council of Ministers, the National Council of the National Front of Democratic Germany, the National Defense Council, the ministries and secretariats of state, and the Supreme Court. The leading organs of all the political parties of the GDR are located in Berlin; their congresses and conferences are held here. The presidium of the national council of the National Front, the guiding organs of the Association of Free German Trade Unions, the Union of Free German Youth, and of other democratic and mass organizations are located in Berlin. Berlin is the seat of diplomatic and commercial representation of the foreign states with which the GDR maintains relations at various levels.

A host of important international congresses, conferences, and gatherings have been held in Berlin—for example, the World Festival of Youth and Students in 1951; the conference on the German question of the ministers of foreign affairs of the four powers in 1954; the gathering of youth from the GDR and Federal Republic of Germany in 1964; and the conferences and meetings of Comecon, the World Federation of Trade Unions, the World Peace Council, and others. Berlin is the seat of the permanent secretariat of the International Democratic Federation of Women. Since 1957, the Berlin festivals of the arts, at which well-known performers and creative groups from Europe and the whole world assemble annually, have been held here.

On a number of occasions, the organs of popular power of the GDR have advanced proposals for the normalization of relations with the senate of West Berlin and the conclusion of agreements on various questions between West Berlin and the GDR. However, all these proposals were rejected by the West Berlin side. On Aug. 13, 1961, the government of the GDR adopted measures strengthening security and control over the borders with West Berlin; these measures bar access to the capital of the GDR by hostile and subversive elements. The government of the GDR consistently advocates the normalization of relations with West Berlin on the basis of the universally recognized standards and principles of international law. After the conclusion of a quadripartite agreement on West Berlin the GDR and West Berlin signed a series of agreements that regulate border problems and the procedure of visiting the GDR by West Berliners.


Unser Berlin. 2nd ed. Berlin. 1963.
15 Jahre Kampf der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik für Sicherheit, Entspannung und Abrü stung: Dokumentensammlung. Leipzig, 1964.
Doernberg, S. Kurze Geschichte der DDR, 3rd ed. Berlin, 1968.
Economic survey. Berlin is the greatest industrial city of the GDR. Amid the complex conditions of the postwar period, the industry, transportation, and power production destroyed by the war were reestablished; new industrial enterprises and entire industrial complexes and sections were created (for example, the industrial and wholesale-commercial Lichtenberg-Nordost complex, which is under construction). As a result of fundamental socioeconomic transformations, socialist enterprises provided the bulk of industrial output as early as 1957. Through planned development, not only have the absolute dimensions of Berlin’s industrial output grown in all branches (in 1968, by a factor of more than 4.5 in comparison with 1950), but there have also been important structural changes in comparison with the prewar period. The relative importance of general and transportation machine building (from 13.9 percent in 1936 to 16.3 percent in 1968), electrotechnical industry (from 14.8 percent to 34.9 percent), and the chemical industry (from 6.4 percent to 9.2 percent) has grown, while there has been a relative decline in the share of the food industry (from 22.7 percent to 18.7 percent) and also of the clothing industry and other branches of light industry.
Industry, including construction and crafts, accounted for 42.3 percent of the total number of 596,000 workers in 1968, commerce accounted for 12.7 percent, transportation and communications 12.0 percent, agriculture and forestry 1.4 percent; other branches of production accounted for 5.8 percent; and 25.8 percent of the workers were employed in scientific and cultural institutions and in administration. Over 90 percent of the industrial output in 1967 was produced in enterprises of the socialist sector, 7 percent by mixed enterprises, and 2.2 percent by the private sector. The leading branches of industry in 1968 were electrotechnical (34.9 percent of the city’s industrial output), food (18.7 percent), general and transport machine-building (16.3 percent), chemical (9.2 percent), and light (11.5 percent) industry.
Berlin is a major center of electrotechnical industry (25.1 percent of the electrotechnical output of the GDR) and printing production (24 percent, with many large publishing houses in Berlin). Other industries are precision mechanics and optics. Over 60 percent of the city’s factory and office workers are employed in large enterprises (more than 1,000 workers). The main industrial plants are located on the city’s outskirts, particularly in Köpenick, Treptow, Lichtenberg, and Weissensee. The largest national enterprises are an electrical equipment plant (Treptow), the Klingenberg Electric Power Plant (Treptow), the Liebknecht Transformer Plant, a cable plant, a radio plant, a television-electronic plant (Köpenick), the Bergman-Borsig Plant for electrical machine building (in Pankow), a plant for polishing machines (Weissensee and Lichtenberg), and the Fortschritt Sewing Factory (Lichtenberg). Industrial enterprises are mainly concentrated along water routes and the outlying southern road.
The main credit institutions of the GDR are located in Berlin: the State Bank of the GDR, the German Foreign Trade Bank, and the German Farmers’ Bank.
Berlin is the main junction of the transport network of the GDR. The largest station is the Ostbahnhof (Eastern Station); Schönefeld Central Airport is near the southern outskirts of Berlin. The freight turnover of the river port (Osthaven) was 2.2 million tons in 1968. The city electrified railroad and subway are very important in intracity passenger transport.
There are about 11,500 hectares (ha) of agricultural land within the boundaries of the city; 4,500 ha of this is made up of small orchards and gardens. Outside the borders of the city, in the districts of Potsdam and Frankfurt, 23,000 ha of useful agricultural land is cultivated by Berlin enterprises (national estates and agricultural production associations).


Strebel, G. “Demokraticheskii Berlin.” In Ekonomicheskaia geografiia Germanskoi Demokraticheskoi Respubliki. Edited by G. Schmidt-Renner. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from German.)
Zimm, A. Die Entwicklung des Industriestandortes Berlin. Berlin, 1959.
Statistisches Jahrbuch der Hauptstadt der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, Berlin. (Statistical yearbook.)
Architecture. A vast program of reconstruction and socialist city-building has been carried out in Berlin. Numerous industrial enterprises have been reconstructed or built; many architectural monuments have been restored; the area around Karl-Marx-AUee has been built up (the first line with perimetral block buildings, 1952–56, architects, G. Henselmann, R. Paulick, and H. Hopp; the second line, freer in construction, 1959–67, architects, V. Dutschke, E. Kollein, and J. Kaiser); and administrative buildings, institutes, schools, hospitals, children’s institutions, cultural and social institutions (the House of Radio, 1958, architect, F. Ehrlich), multipurpose halls, and sports arenas have been built.
In accordance with a 1964 resolution of the Council of Ministers of the GDR, much work has been done on the reconstruction of the city’s center. In the 1960’s, the Unter den Linden was rebuilt, with the Unter den Linden Hotel (1966, architect, H. Scharlipp) and the Linden Corso complex (1966, architect, W. Strassenmeier). The vast new square Marx-Engels-Platz, the buildings of the State Council (1964, architect, R. Korn), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1967, architect, J. Kaiser) were built.
By the 20th anniversary of the GDR, the area of the Alexanderplatz was completely reconstructed. A multilevel crossing of major highways was constructed here. The Teachers’ House and the Kongresshalle (1964, architect, H. Henselmann), the tall Stadt Berlin Hotel (height, 124 m; 1969, architects, R. Korn, H. Scharlipp, and H. E. Bogatzky), a department store, and other large structures (work directed by the architects J. Näther and R. Korn, monumental and decorative work under the direction of the artist W. Womacka) were erected there. The Lenin Platz (architects, I. Näther and H. Mehlan) was constructed for the 100th anniversary of the birth of V. I. Lenin. It has an original curvilinear design of multistory residential buildings and a monument to V. I. Lenin (Soviet sculptor N. V. Tomskii). In the center of the city, the tallest edifice is the television observation tower (more than 360 m, 1969; architects, K. Kollmann.G. Franke, and K. Timm; engineers, W. Herzog and others). A number of other sections and parks have also undergone reconstruction—for example, the zoological gardens (1957, architects, H. Graffunder and others) and a park in Treptow with the Soviet Soldiers’ Memorial (1946–49, Soviet sculptor E. V. Vuchetich, architect, Ia. B. Belopol’skii). There is considerable residential construction in the center and outlying sections. By 1969 over 100,000 apartments had been made available. They involved the application of functional design, industrial methods, and standard plans. Public and commercial centers and a network of cultural and social institutions are being created.


Lange, A. Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR, 3rd ed. Leipzig, 1967.
Kiesling, G. [and others]. Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR, 3rd ed. [Leipzig, 1969.]
Educational, scientific, and cultural institutions. Berlin is a major center of scientific research activity and of higher and specialized secondary education. The Scientific Research Council of the GDR, the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin (founded in 1946 on the basis of the previous Prussian Academy of Sciences), the German Academy of Agricultural Sciences (founded 1951), the German Academy of Construction in Berlin (founded 1951), the German Academy of Arts in Berlin (founded 1950), Humboldt University (founded 1809), the Marx Advanced Party School, the Institute of Social Sciences under the Central Committee of the SUPG (founded 1961), the Advanced Economic School, the Advanced School of Fine and Applied Arts, the German Advanced School of Music, the German Academy for the Improvement of Doctors’ Skills, the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the SUPG (founded 1949), the German Economic Institute, and the Institute for Market Research (founded 1952) are all located in Berlin. Also found here are numerous scientific, economic, and technical institutes, as well as engineering and specialized secondary institutions; the House of Technology; the Urania Society (for the dissemination of scientific knowledge); libraries, including the German State Library; state museums; the Museum of German History; the Museum of Soil; the Museum of Local Lore; and others. The theaters include the State Opera House, the Dramatic Theater, the German Theater, the Comic Opera Theater, the Metropol Theater (operetta), and the Berliner Ensemble (the Bertolt Brecht Theater). The radio, television, and DEFA film studios are here. The city houses the Walter Ulbricht Stadium, the Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sports Park, the Berlin Sports Forum, the Werner Seelenbinder Gymnasium, the German Gymnasium, a swimming pool, a canal for regattas, and a hippodrome. The city has the Archenhold Observatory and Planetarium, as well as a zoological garden.
[3–707–1; updated]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. Irving. original name Israel Baline, 1888--1989, US composer and writer of lyrics, born in Russia. His musical comedies include Annie Get Your Gun (1946); his most popular song is White Christmas
2. Sir Isaiah. 1909--97, British philosopher, born in Latvia, historian, and diplomat. His books include Historical Inevitability (1954) and The Magus of the North (1993)


the capital of Germany (1871--1945 and from 1990), formerly divided (1945--90) into the eastern sector, capital of East Germany, and the western sectors, which formed an exclave in East German territory closely affiliated with West Germany: a wall dividing the sectors was built in 1961 by the East German authorities to stop the flow of refugees from east to west; demolition of the wall began in 1989 and the city was formally reunited in 1990: formerly (1618--1871) the capital of Brandenburg and Prussia. Pop.: 3 388 477 (2003 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005