Field notes

A Cold War-era mill town in East Germany hangs on

An East German town built around a once-booming steel industry somehow continues 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, charting a path from socialist glory to capitalist survival

BERLIN • "If we catch a cold," Mr Holger Wachsmann says with an ambiguous smile, "the city is getting pneumonia".

The 51-year-old locksmith, who was a teenager when he joined the local steel mill EKO Stahl in Eisenhuttenstadt - 100km east of Berlin and bordering Poland - displays a mix of pride and concern.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2019, with the headline 'A Cold War-era mill town hangs on'. Print Edition | Subscribe