Speeding Over The Bumps

In East Germany the customer may now be king, but problems of adjustment are formidable

For all their Two-plus-Four talks and breakthrough agreements on the future of Germany, political leaders are still running behind events. More quickly than anyone could have imagined, East Germany is being absorbed in the Western market economy. From travel-agency offers in Frankfurt-on-the-Oder to used-car lots filled with Western automobiles in Plauen, the deutsche mark life has arrived. The changes are good and bad, sometimes even ugly, but East Germany, once Erich Honecker's drab land of barracks communism, will never be the same.

The old frontier posts, abandoned, are being dismantled; police and customs officials have disappeared, and not even a speed...

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