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United States. Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany. Management and Budget Division / The America Houses, a study of the U.S. Information Center in Germany
(1953)

III. C. Berlin program,   pp. 91-102 PDF (4.8 MB)


Page 91

III * C. BERLIN PROGRAM
Why a m Searate Section for the Berlin Pro
The Berlin program is identified for special analysis because the
conditions under which the America House operates there are different
from those experienced by the other America Houses. This is true
because first the environmental status of Berlin as an "island"
of
Western democracy in the middle of the Soviet zone presents unique
responsibilities and opportunities. Secondly, or rather because of
the first, approximately one-half of all the resources available to the
Office of Public Affairs in Geray are expended in Berlin. This latter
means that while in most German communities where America Houses are
located, theHouse is the only consistent, visible evidence of Public
Affairs activities; in Berlin, the America House is only one of several
powerful media: RIAS (Radio in American Sector), Die Neue Zeitung
(United States newspaper published in Berlin), c   o    w;tura festias,
industrial exhibits, and films.
This America House, with its five satellite reading rooms in the
boroughs of Neukoelln, Tempelhof, Moabit, Steglitz, and Zehlendorf,
serves not only the 2,147,000 West Berliners but also influences and
affects many thousands of East zone visitors who regularly visit these
centers in order to read American books and magazines, see democratic
fim showings, participate in open discussions, see exhibits, and other-
wise take part in the many programs offered by the Americans.
Target Groups
In evaluating the special problems and significant target groups
in Berlin, the America House director pointed out that "the large number
of refugees plus the continuous flow of East Sector residents are the
prim targets. Hope and encouragement must be given them and their
children in their education and preparation for their future." The
unemployed, more than 260,000 at the time of this analysis, were con-
sidered by the staff to be an important target.
The potential target group, however, is far broader and more demand-
ing than the refugees and East Sector groups. Professional groups,
labor groups, educators, university groups, technicians, governmental
leaders, political and religious groups, all have specialized and
selective concern with what the Public Affairs program is able to bring
to them.
Culture Must Be In orted
The economic life of Berlin, disturbed and distorted by its iso-
lation from surrounding marketing areas and bound to WeStern Germany and
the western world through a few slender life lines of air, autobahn, rail,
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