SJ on the Move

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Rheinaue (Continued)

Bonn was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990. It is actually only the 19th largest city in Germany, so it may seem to be a strange choice for the capital. However, it was chosen as the capital because many West Germans were hoping for the eventual reunification of the country and being able to reclaim Berlin as the capital once again - which is of course what eventually happened. It was felt that if one of the larger cities - Cologne, Munich, etc., - was the "interim capital" that it would be harder to move the capital back to Berlin.

Of course in the 40 years that Bonn was the capital a significant amount of "industry" was built up in the region related to the government. In addition to all the government employees, there were also all the embassies from other nations. When the government moved back to Berlin, it was feared that moving tens of thousands of people out of Bonn would devastate the local economy.

So, they decided to keep the headquarters of Deutsche Post (the postal service) in Bonn, as well as relocate some functions of the United Nations to Bonn. In the background of the picture you can see the Deutsche Post building, and the UN buidling which I believe is the part of the former campus of the West German government.


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