WEST GERMANY: Capital Gain

Bonn, complains one longtime German diplomat, is "not a capital but a form of capital punishment." A guidebook once described the foggy little university town (1946 pop. 94,694), the birthplace of Beethoven, as "a favorite resting place for retired officials in the evening of their lives." Lacking first-line hotels, nightclubs and airport, it is often jeeringly called "the federal village." The streets are cobbled, narrow, picturesquely obstructed by vegetable markets and, at one conspicuous intersection, by a medieval gate that funnels all traffic into a single lane. The main rail line...

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