Picking Up the Pieces

Berlin's Rotes Rathaus, or Red Town Hall, gets its name from the deep crimson hue of the bricks used to build the 19th century architectural gem. But Red Town Hall took on a new, more political meaning last week when Klaus Wowereit, a leader of Germany's left-leaning Social Democratic Party, became Berlin's new mayor thanks to the support of East Germany's former communists.

The 15-minute handover ceremony marked the end of the reign of Eberhard Diepgen, a Christian Democrat who had governed Berlin since just after reunification in 1990. Diepgen, who had ruled through a "grand coalition" of...

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