The Germanys No Fools in Furstenwalde

After economic union, flinty East Germans save their new currency for hard times to come

Germans fear nothing more than inflation, and for months political leaders had worried about a buying binge when East Germans got their hands on hard currency. After 40 years of communism, the country's 16 million citizens had piled up a mountain of unspendable savings. They also yearned for the good things so long denied them: cars, stereos, foreign travel. But when currency union finally came last week, East Germans turned out to be surprisingly tightfisted. If it is true that a fool is soon parted from his money, then East Germany has mighty few fools.

"They just come in, look around...

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