The center of Berlin lay in ruins at the end of World War II. Cultural and political leaders faced decisions regarding what to restore, rebuild, or raze. Yet the future of Berlin would not be envisioned in a vacuum. They would wittingly and unwittingly draw from inherited traditions, ideologies, and theories to structure their understanding of the city and guide decision-making about its future. For Berliners, the rebuilding of their destroyed city would remain a central part of their lives for years. Communist political leaders sought to mobilize the population for the reconstruction effort and to use this effort in the political socialization of the citizenry.
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