Tuesday 13 May 2014

castellum cattorum or trizonesia

Here are some more images from our recent trip to the Kassel area.

The town itself was devastated during World War II, which saw a lot of intense house-to-house fighting, and many of the destroyed historic building were not restored but rather a mid-century modern city emerged from the rubble but it was nonetheless interesting to tour and recall the region’s history. Kassel was in competition with Bonn to be the capital city of West Germany.
 Kassel became a garrison-town for American soldiers instead, but immediately following the Potsdam Conference (in order to ensure that the exchange of foodstuffs from the Soviet Union for raw materials from the Ruhrgebiet was administered properly) the Office of Military Government, United States established its economic ministry in nearby Minden and the headquarters of the British Element of the Control Commission for Germany was also close by in Bad Oeynhausen.
Having not participating in the Potsdam talks, French forces originally clung to the western border but later joined the US-British condominium to administer the so-called “Trizone” until the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland) on 23 May 1949 (Germany turns 65, retirement age soon).
Although the endonym for Germany is and was Bundesrepublik Deutschland, the initialism BRD was never used by West Germans and was only a foil to DDR (East Germany, Deutsche Demokratische Republik) to keep either nation from calling itself Deutschland.
All of these challenges barn-stormed the plain, the corridor in this part of northern Hesse (earlier still, those Hessian mercenaries that fought alongside the rebel forces against the British during the American Revolutionary War hailed from Kassel and earlier still) and it is unfortunate that the inner-town was ravaged and wiped clean—without an ensemble to jar these long memories, but happily the periphery was spared and is cherished.