East Germany: Progress in Purgatory

Seen through the calculating eyes of East Germany's economic planners, the Berlin Wall has been a huge success.

Though a moral outrage and a physical eyesore, it has stanched the drain of manpower that until 1961 was the worst economic problem in Walter Ulbricht's grim satellite. By thus stabilizing the labor force and preventing much-needed technicians from escaping to the West, the Wall has contributed substantially to a rise in East German production.

Last week the highly regarded West Berlin Institute for Economic Research reported that the East German economy at last has come to "the end of years of economic...

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