Critical Reconstruction

Reconstruction Issues in Berlin

“The dominant philosophy of Berlin redevelopment is “critical reconstruction.” Its adherents want to recapture the “mythos” of the city at an earlier time.”

“‘It is a paranoia of historiographic reconstruction – or pretend historiographic reconstruction,” he says. “It is the fear of history, in Berlin and in Germany. It is a kind of allergy. Berlin is a new city. It is not 1870 or 1910 or 1930 – thank God.'”

This article exposes some criticisms of Berlin’s state today (1998, so a bit dated but still relevant).  Reconstruction here looks both at the past and the future.  This is obviously typical of reconstruction, but in a city that has represented so many different things at different times in its history, there is a lot of disagreement over which past it wishes to reconstruct.  At the same time, there is the concern to make the city relevant to the present and the future so that it may recover economically.

-yb

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