National Affairs: On Berlin Time

As their train lumbered out of Bremerhaven, the U.S. Army wives newly arrived in Germany got their first view of the ruins of bombed-out towns, the ill-dressed people. At one stop they looked across the platform at a dingy line of boxcars, jammed with German women and children returned from Silesia, shabby and impassive in defeat. Said one wife: "This makes me sick at my stomach. Not out of sympathy. It's civilization eating itself up."

But as they pulled into Berlin's suburban Wannsee station at one o'clock the next morning, the grim sights dimmed...

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