West Germany: C'est Si Bonn

Under the disapproving gaze of two stuffed giraffes, West Germany's leaders met in 1948 at Bonn's zoological museum to draft their new constitution. Far from welcoming their decision to make Bonn West Germany's "provisional" capital, most of the university town's 100,000 inhabitants vociferously protested the choice. For the Bundesdorf, or "federal village," as it is condescendingly called elsewhere in Germany, is a Peter Pan among cities. It never wanted to grow up into a capital, stubbornly resists every government scheme to make it function like one, and does its best to...

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