A Brand New Start?

UWE MEINHOLD/AFP

RESURRECTION: Dresden's Frauenkirche, destroyed during WW II, will be restored by the end of 2005

Two more decrepit buildings came down last month in Weinbergweg, a leafy suburb of the dismal industrial city of Halle in the former East Germany. In the 1970s, Halle was the G.D.R.'s center for chemical production and one of its most heavily industrialized cities. But 14 years after East Germany's reunification with West Germany, its chemical factories are closed and some 75,000 residents — a quarter of the total — have moved away in search of jobs. So many people have left Halle, in fact, that the city is demolishing scores of vacant apartment blocks.

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