Postcard from... Gartz
The “Third Reich” experience begins in the middle of an empty rolling landscape of woods and fields on the autobahn linking Berlin with the now Polish port city of Szczecin – formerly German Stettin. It is not something that drivers of sleek BMWs, Mercedes or Audis relish.
Just 86km out of Berlin, the four-lane motorway turns into a pot-holed, crack-riddled menace, so jarring that even the most ardent German speed freaks are forced to slow down. The 4km stretch is the last surviving original section of “Reichsautobahn” built during the Nazi era. It was completed in 1936 and proved useful for the Nazi invasion of Poland three years later. Now, almost 80 years after its construction, Germany’s transport authorities have announced plans to rebuild the section completely.
“The state of the autobahn has become unbearable,” says a spokesman from the nearby border town of Gartz. The news has nevertheless come as a disappointment to autobahn history experts such as Reinhardt Arndt. He says that because of its “ history and the surrounding scenery” the motorway is his favourite.
After the war the Polish-East German border area was a backwater. Nowadays Germans who live there head to Szczecin to shop. The city is much closer than Berlin and, unlike in the German capital, many supermarkets stay open on Sundays. The surge in cross-border traffic has prompted the “Reichsautobahn” makeover. A certain Austrian who claimed credit for the autobahns would be furious...
- 1 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 5 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
Out-of-touch MPs ‘don’t get it’, says ex-Civil Service chief
Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO's one simple test for who to hire
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...
£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...
£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...
£32000 per annum + pension, healthcare & 23 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A gro...