Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
December 12, 2016
Document Release Date: 
February 7, 2002
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Content Type: 
PDF icon CIA-RDP80R01731R000400330002-4.pdf600.53 KB
A Vved For Release 2092/02413: CIA- 80R01731 R000400330002-4 Executive Registry (6 N Fi o t ~~J PROGRAM FOR WESTERN ACTION IN BERLIN By Kar 1 Brandt IIIIIIll ii 111lllllllllllllllllllllllllllll111111 l1 !111111111 lllli11111111 IIl1111111111111 ~flbl 3~trl~~ ~~. ~~ g p g p c( Au~a+ l spa k EaE~vat~t_00$63~, Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4 ? Approve or Release .2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80W31 R000400330002-4 A f ,:w Woc L I-' ,2 ~,ae BSI Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4 Approve or Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP801 J31 R000400330002-4 0 ? This proposal results from my experiences when living in company with students from the Eat Zone in Heidelberg and G ttingen in 1948/49 while serving on the faculty of both unity versitios, and particularly while teaching as a Stanford Uni- versity exchange professor during tho 195455 Winter Semester in the Free University of Berlin. If it is not, in execution, whittled down to insignifi- cant proportions or disseminated in piecemeal fashion through various sporadic dormitory beginnings, but is carried on as a united action of German-Amerioan partnership, this project would make the two universities of West Berlin far more a symbol of progressive ideas for the youth in all satellite countries, but even put them for ahead of the West-German uni- versities,, Such results would be attained only if the scope were lerga enough and the action completed within a period not to excseed three years, This project does not have as its goal the creation of dormitories, student hotels, fraternity house >,, or student club houses, but is patterned after the ideas underlying the outstanding experiments in Woat Germany with "Studentischa Wohnhei?me" and "Studentisohe insehaftshstu er," It deals primarily not with bricks and facilities but with some ideas on the :formation of a new elite for the German nation of to- morrow. So far, large Ameriew. funds have been spent on rebuild- ing the intelieatual working facilities for BErli.n's youth, but little if anything has been done to improve their living conditions. Flo Alto, California Karl Brandt January 1956 Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4 Approve k Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80?731 R000400330002-4 $ a ? ? S. The Challenge The greatest asset the Western world holds in the foreign policy of NATO and in ideological warfare with the Soviets, is Berlin, an island of Western democracy and freedom deep within the colonial belt of Soviet imperialism. While the Soviets leave no stone unturned to undermine this outpost of the West ideologically and eventually to eliminate it and pull all of Germany over to their side, the West (and this means first of all the United States) acts only half-heartedly to win the battle against the Soviets thereo But, ominously enough, Germany's ultimate position is far from certain. For the Germany people--in West as well as East Germany--Berlin is the theatre where they judge how honest and serious is the effort of the Western powers to achieve reunification. This calls for action that is constructive, symbolizes Western ideals and ideas, and has enduring appeal. The constructive moves, such as diminishing un- employment, reconstructing the city, and aiding refugees, that have been made create good will, but cannot count forever in the changing scene of the cold war and the rapidly shifting atmosphere of West-European politics. The most uniquely creative and almost, explosive assets of the Western world inside Berlin are its two universities, the Freie Univers{tia't and the Technisohe UniversitIt. The Free University in Dahiem, with its resplendent now buildings donated by the Ford Foundation, is the legiti- mate successor to the former Humboldt Universitiit, now located in the Soviet sector, while the Technical University is the reconstructed Technisohe Hochsohule. Each of these two institutions of higher learn- ing has approximately 8,000 students, more than one-third of whom acme Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4 Approve or Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80 1731 R000400330002-4 from homes in the Soviet zone in defiance of Soviet orders to stay any from these "centers of imperialist indoctrination." These 16,000 students are probably a major part of the most influen- tial element of Germany's future leadership, the large number of students in West-German universities notwithstanding-* Berlin is the place where East and West are in direct contact, where the ideological battle is be- ing waged with every means available, and where the West must win that battle. These two universities and their research institutes deserve the ? 9 greatest possible moral, intellectual, and material aid jointly from West Germany and the United States--far more than they receive today. At present the American public is in the process of deleting Germany from the list of problem areas because the economy of West Germany is booming. No error could be more serious than this. Dive de d Germany-h .f its land and one-fourth of its people a pawn in Soviet hands, flanked by an unstable Franoe--remain's America's No. I problem-slgy,P Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4 Approveeor Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP800731 R000400330002-4 0 ? ? II. The Most Ur gent Need If anything is needed in Germany in the future, it is coherence among the leading citizens in regard to willingness and experience in cooperat- ing, in tackling civic tasks, and in compromising intelligently on contro- versial issues. This could be greatly advanced if a large part of the student body could live in adequate modern quarters shared and operated by freely formed groups (not dormitories) with the opportunity of eating meals jointly, of enjoying social hours, and in arriving at agreement on major issues of public problems and policy by informal discussion in an environment which the students consider as a "homes" Most of the students of West Berlin are hardworking, intelligent, and serious in the pursuit of their studies. Yet they are without ade- quate means. Most of them live in extremely poor quarters for which they pay more than they can afford, and to make ends meet trim their food bill to below?subeistenoe level. Student rooms are scattered all over the ruin-studded city, for the most part subleased from tenants of apartments or houses at 40 to 60 DM per month. The rooms are located far from the universities, particularly from the Free University in the I hlvm area, where the density of housing is very low. Hence much time is spent com- muting on over-crowded busses, trams, or a slow-motion subway to and from schools I have seen scores of such student rooms; their poverty and proletar- ian style are far below what the Western world considers a minimum stan- dard. The contrast between the modern style and the trinness of the university buildings, lecture halls, and offices and the miniature alum cubicles and often poorly heated attic rooms in which the students live Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4 Approved For Release 2002/02/13 :CIA-RDP804731 R000400330002-4 ? ? ? is particularly bleak. Combined with this housing misery is the inadequacy of the students' food arrangements. Many students subsist on self-preptred sandwiches and only occasionally a warm meal. The shortage of time, aggravated by the bad location of the quarters and poor transportation, the slim purse, and the congestion in student messes and low-priced restaurants are con- tributing factors. Worst of all, being forced to live for several years in such scattered and mostly inadequate quarters that are anything but a home, the students who form the civic community of these two great universities are not a coherent body composed of groups of friends or teams with mutual interests. By and large they are an amorphous mass of individuals completely absorbed in their intellectual pursuits, proceeding in the early morning as strap-.hangers from distant corners of the city to the university just in time for lectures and laboratory classes, and in the late afternoon or evening dispersing back to their rooms to continue work for the next day's classes and seminars. Most of them have no facilities for enjoying company, and sheer adverse physical circumstances prevent them from arsooiating in circles or living-community groups. This situation aggravates the shortcomings of education in German schools and in the home, which do not achieve nearly the social adjustment required in a democracy of responsible citizens. 'While at any time in any country only a certain number of students will enjoy and benefit from life in a group home, it is the view of the Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4 0 Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP809731 R000400330002-4 ? 0 leading educators in all German universities that a substantial part of the university reform can be achieved only in o mabination with such living and working in group homes. I refer here to tks excellent report by Professor Walter Peter Fuchs of Heidelberg University, STUDENTISCHE WOMMEI UND GEMEINSCHAFTSBlIUSER IN YPESTDEUTSCHLAND (Frankfurt, 1951), which was the result of efforts of the Verband Deutsoher Studentenarerke, and to the bro- chure by Dr. Walther Billy of the Free University of Berlin,, STUDIUM GENERA UND STUDENTISCHES GENEINSCiAFTSLEBEN (Berlin, 1952). The latter publicaton makes, among others, the following observations i "A further hint at the genuine community living is the broad tendency of student groups to set up homes for living (Wohnhsime). In these homes a pedagogic process is being intensified which already existed without them. The partly extremely differing, but in the undertakings of the community joint, student groups face the necessity of disputing with each other, of question- ing each other, of reviewing prejudices, and of dropping out- moded customs in favor of new tasks." "After all, it is not surprising that for many students the Student Living Groups (Studentongemeinden) are actually their proper home (Heimatort) within the university . . . . In West Germany 27 universities have more than 100 Student Group Homes with an almost infinite variety of arrangement, style, and number of resi- dents. While some of these fail to achieve their real purposes, many of them belong to the beat venture in Germ= higher eduoation. In ay view, the most successful examples are to ba found among the 13 homes in GUttingen (in particular the Akademisohe Burse), in the Leibniz Kolleg in.TUbingen, and in the Collegium Academicum at Heidelberg. In Berlin both universities have undertaken an ambitious housing project 20 minutes distance by sub ay from both institutions. This pro- ject, supported by the MoCloy Foundation and the City of Berlin, envisages dormitories for 500 students plus a clubhouse. This excellent arrangement Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4 0 Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R'1731 R000400330002-4 is 0 is very different from the project here proposed. Aside from this hous- ing project, Berlin has the International Student Rome Eichksmp, which has several bungalows and a clubhouse, and now has sp%oe for perhaps 130. Students of the Technical University operate their houses. Yet, even if these beginnings were similar to what is suggested here'.-which they are not--the scope of the enterprise, in view of a joint enrollment of 160,000 students, is dwarfed almost to insignificance. There is at present still a unique opportunity which may vanish forever in the next few years in a metropolitan area like Berlin. By an early BICAG decision, the Flee University was located in the garden'. city part of West Berlin, where open areas exist. It is still possible to acquire up to 100 of the former residential manors (preserved, rebuilt, or still bomb-wrecked) and vacant lots within walking distance of the University buildings. While real estate prices have been rising, the cost of such properties is still very reasonable. Once these lots are absorbed for residential or other public purposes the most attractive feature of the whole project will no longer exists proximity to the Free University. Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4 0 Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP800 731 R000400330002-4 ? ? III, The Project I propose tackling the entire problem posed above at top speed on a larger scope and with an entirely different line of approach. (In view of niy familiarity with the situation at the Free university, and in view of its domain in humanistic disciplines, this project is addressed exclusively to this university and not to the Technical university, for which. of course, a similar project should be started. A. A Foundation for Student-Group Homes should be formed by private masens from Berlin, West Germany, and the United States for the purpose of acquiring, developing, and maintaining real estate located as close as possible to the center of the University, and leasing it, at substantially below coaeaeroial rents, under specific contract to student groups which fulfill. certain require- ments and commit themselves to operate them as group homes, B. The Foundation, its real-estate holdings, and operations should be free from taxation or other public levy. 0. The capital of the Foundation should be contributed in equal shares from three sources: from private German donors, from Counterpart FLmds, and from new .tnerioan foundation gifts or other private donations, The German initiative should be sparked by an American offer of a fixed sum provided it is matched by German donors. The Foundation should be entitled to encumber its real estate with first mortgageso D. The goal should be to create a total of 100 homes in a period not to exceed three years. Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : ,CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4 0 Approved For Release 2002/02/13: CIA-RDP80R?1 731 R000400330002-4 0 ? E. The real estate should be acquired in such fashion as not to defeat its purpose by causing speculators to purchase all proper- ties under considerationo P. The real estate should consist of properly located a) vacant lots and b) large villas that can be reconditioned and altered to suit the purpose. To demonstrate the difference from any institutions in the totalitarian world or elsewhere, the aim should not only be to avoid uniformity of architectural appearance, but on the contrary to develop the widest possible variety of styles and arrangements and to vary also the size of the homes, i.e., the number of students to be aooo msodated in each of them. For the sake of maxim ma: economy of operation, it would be desirable to have a minima of 35 single rooms in one house, while for, reasons of coherence within a group and facility of forming it and beeping it near the house capacity, the upper limit should lie somewhere near 50. Each house should contain one simply but well equipped room for each student, a central heating system, a kitchen, a laundry, from 15 to 20 common toilet, ahower-bath, and wash-basic facil- ities, a dining room, a social room,,-and a library. G. The type of houses to be acquired either by altering exii.ewug houses or by now construction should be decided by the Foundation a) st ter a competent survey of the hares in use In West-German universities and review of the experience acquired; aaut+d b) by an international competition for architects, which would supply enough variety for all the haws to be built* H. The Student-Group Homes should be offered for lease to any legiti- mate student group registered with the authorities of the Univer- sity that oovnits itself to the careful fulfillment of its con- treated duty to operate the house for the benefit of its members Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4 0 ? Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4 0 ? according to the rules laid does by the Foundationo The contract should stipulate that the --1 udentt garoup, repre aera- ted by its duly elected officers, assumes the reeponsibili +y of managing and maintaining the house, of hiring and firing the needed personnel (particularly the cook), of providing the meals desired, of charging its members no more than a certain maximum rent per room, and of. enforcing strictly the rules not to admit members of the opposite sex to individual rooms, or to keep or dispense liquor in the house* Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4 ? Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4 ? ? 0 By no means all West-German experiments in housing students have not with success; the project at the University of Frankfurt is a conspicuous example of failure. The students dislike hotel aorta of arrangements or anything that looks like or smacks of barracks or dormitories, They also object strongly to double-occupancy rooms. These deep-seated preferences must be respected even at the expense of maximum economy. For reasons of ideological combat against Soviet solutions, even any uniformity of student-group homes should be studiously avoided. Respect for the dignity of the individual and priority on freedom should find their symbolic expression in a maximum variety of appearance and internal arrangement with regard to these dwellings. No two homes should be identical, which would emphasize the individuality of each group. In order that action can be taken promptly without accompanying bureaucratic red tape, the Foundation should be independent of the Univer- sity and the municipality of West Berlin. Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4 Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4 f V. Conclusion If this project were to be launched in 1956 by making initially (say by September 1956) 25 homes available to qualifying student-home groups, the impact upon the student body would be profound. Before reaching its final form, the contract would be discussed with ASTA (the all-student committee), so that all the students could participate in its formation. The homes would be opened for inspection by all candidates for group membership. Low rent and low prices for meal service would make the project so attractive that the formation of home-sharing groups would be stimulated, Once the living in these group homes in the immediate neighborhood of the University itself began, the students in each group would inevitably work to improve the democratic procedures of making decisions. If the project were carried to completion by the fall of 1958, about 3,500 of the 8,000 students of the Free University would be living in group homes. The students in those homes could be expected to comprise the main body of citizens with a knack for leadership in public affairs,,, It is my assumption that the whole project would require no more than $2.5 million, of which $1.5 million would be needed as cash while the remainder could be obtained as mortgages. Hence the total contribution needed as American donations and Counterpart bands would be $1 million. Approved For Release 2002/02/13 : CIA-RDP80R01731 R000400330002-4