Station: [29] Economic Miracle

M: "Hold on, mate! Why get so upset? Better have a HB, and it will all sort itself out!"

F: German visitors, especially elderly ones, may still remember the TV ads for HB cigarettes, which were broadcast from 1957 to 1984. Bruno, the HB chappie, is standing right next to a typical Rhineland kiosk. It’s a mini convenience store where you can get all manner of things – sweets, drinks, information and gossip.

M: And if you didn't have a telephone back then, you went down to the kiosk and made a call. Pick up the receiver, dial a number, and let it ring through. Why not give it a try?

F: And? What happens?

M: You can listen to various radio items – in German – that offer a cross-section of West German history.

F: It’s hard to describe this room in just a few words. The exhibition spans the period from the economic miracle following the Second World War to the reunification of the two German states.

M: But we’d like to make a point of mentioning three particular exhibits.

F: What do you do with a tyre if you don't have an inner rubber tube? You use bed springs. The wheel in the display case in the middle symbolises people's determination to take back control of their lives after the war.

M: And without the CARE packages sent from the US for the defeated Germans, many would probably not have survived the tough times after the war.

F: To the right of the long display case on the wall (the one with large and small finds from various decades), there’s an original seat from the Bundestag, the Federal Parliament in Bonn. It’s from the period when Bonn was the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany. The seat belonged to Dr Franz Möller, a member of parliament for the Christian Democratic Party, the CDU. In 1987, the Bundestag planned to renew the seating in the plenary chamber, and Möller presented his seat to Siegburg’s town museum.

M: That brings us almost to the end of our tour. Your final stop is in the Aula, the old assembly hall.


Fotos: © Dagmar Trüpschuch