Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/261

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BERLIN beginning of parliamentary life in Prussia, Berlin lias been the chief support of the Kadical party. In the old days •of the conflict between Bismarck and the parliament Berlin always supported the opposition, and it continued to do so even after it had become the capital of the •empire. It has been represented by men such as Virchow, Lasker, and Richter; and the Radicals, who have lost their influence in other parts of the country, still held in 1901 all the seats in Berlin for the Prussian Landtag. In the town council of Berlin no Conservative is able to find a seat, and they 'have always elected as chief burgomaster a man of strong Radical sympathies. Hence it has come about that there have been serious collisions between the town council and the court (William II. and the empress having frequently expressed their dissatisfaction with the attitude of the city of Berlin in political and religious matters), which have been intensified on more than one occasion by the fact that the emperor has refused to ratify the appointment of a Radical burgomaster. During recent years the forces of Social Democracy have succeeded in winning most of the seats from the Radicals in the elections to the Reichstag. In 1873 Berlin returned five Social Democrats and one Radical. In 1898 the proportion was four to two. In the town council also the Jews have won a large number of seats, and, of course, support the Liberal majority in the general opposition to the Government, which by such measures as the law controlling the Exchange, increased duties on food, and the support given to the more orthodox parties, has offended both the business interests and the intellectual prejudices of the city. ^mVows.—-Marvellous as has been the transformation in the city itself, no less surprising results have been effected since 1875 in the surroundings of Berlin. On the east, north, and west the city is surrounded at a distance of some 5 miles from its centre by a thick belt of pine woods, the Jungfernheide, the Spandauer Forst, and the Grunewald, the last named stretching away in a south-westerly direction as far as Potsdam, and fringing the beautiful chain of Havel lakes. These forests enjoyed until quite recent times an unenviable notoriety as the camping-ground and lurking-place of footpads and other disorderly characters. After the opening of the circular railway (Ringbahn) in 1871, private enterprise set to work to develop these districts, and a “ villa colony ” was built at the edge of the Grunewald between the station West End and the Spandauer Bock. From these beginnings, owing mainly to the expansion of the important suburb of Charlottenburg, has resulted a complete transformation of the eastern part of the Grunewald into a picturesque and delightful villa suburb, which is connected by railway, steam-tramway, and a magnificent new boulevard—the Kurfuerstendamm—with the city. Nowadays the little fishing villages on the shores of the lakes, notably the Wannsee, cater for the recreation of the Berliners, while palatial summer residences of wealthy merchants occupy the most prominent sites. Suburban Berlin may be said now to extend practically to Potsdam. Government and Administration.—The government is partly semi-military (police) and partly municipal. The police ministry (a branch of the home office) consists of six departments : (1) general; (2) trade ; (3) building ; (4) criminal; (5) passport; (6) market. It controls the fire brigade and has the general inspection over all strangers, and is responsible for public order, ihe magistracy (the civil authority) consists (1) of a chief mayor voberbiirgermeister) and (2) of a mayor, both of whom are elected by the council (Stadtverordnete) of 144 members, of whom three aie elected tor each ward by manhood sutfrage. Katification by ie Crown is necessary in the case of the two mayors, and no mason need be given for the withholding of such sanction. (3) 1 a C0UIU; il (Stadtriithe) of 30 members, of whom 14 are jui’ists and |


paid, and who devote themselves exclusively to the service of the city, whilst the services of the remaining 16 are given gratuitously and their office honorary. For general work both magistrates and. Stadtverordnete coalesce, and committees are appointed from their body for various purposes, which, however, are usually presided over by magistrates. Their jurisdiction extends to watersupply, the drainage, lighting and cleaning of the streets, the care ot the poor, hospitals, and schools. The combined rate for all purposes amounted in 1901 to about 2s. Id. in the £ of rental assessment. Public Conveyances. —At the end of 1898 there were in Berlin, according to police returns, 6097 first-class cabs (victorias and broughams), mostly with fare indicators, 1842 second-class (closed cabs), 157 luggage cabs, 551 omnibuses, and 1842 tramcars. In 1898 the omnibus companies carried 53,817,422 passengers, the tramways (now mainly worked by electricity) 212,940,112, and the various local railways 362,594,886, as against 184,935,602 carried in 1888. In the summer of the same year the steamboats plying above and below the city conveyed 765,000 passengers. Streets.-—The. public streets have a total length of about 290 English miles. I he stall employed in maintaining and cleaning the public roads consists of 36 superior officials, inspectors, and overseers, and 1036 scavengers. The force is well controlled, and the work of cleaning and removing snow after a heavy fall is thoroughly and efficiently carried out. The less important thoroughfares are mostly paved with the so-called Vienna pavin°*, granite bricks of medium size, while the principal streets, and especially those upon which the traffic is heavy, have either asphalt or wood paving. Water-Supply and Drainage:—The water-supply is mainly derived from works on the Miiggel and Tegeler lakes, the river water being carefully filtered through sand. The drainage system is elaborate, and has stood the test of time. The city is divided into twelve radial systems, each with a pumping station, and the drainage forced through five mains to eighteen sewage farms, of which is under careful sanitary supervision, in respect both of the persons employed thereon, and the products, mainly milk, passing thence to the city for human consumption. Only in a few isolated cases has any contamination been traced to fever or other zymotic germs. In this connexion it is worth noting that the infectious diseases hospital has a separate system of drainage which is carefully disinfected, and not allowed to be employed ibr the purposes of manure. Hospitals. In no other city of the world is the hospital organization so well appointed as in Berlin, or are the sick poor tended with greater solicitude. State, municipal, and private charity here again join hands in the prompt relief of sickness and cases of urgency. The municipal hospitals are 5 in number, the largest of which is that of Friedrichshain, which is built on the pavilion system, while the State controls 6, of which the worldrenowned Charite in the Luisenstrasse is the principal. The hospitals of the nursing sisters (Diaconissen Anstalten) number 8, while there are no less than 51 registered private hospitals under the superintendence of responsible doctors and under the inspection of Government. In all there are 70 hospital establishments with a grand total (1898) of 7677 beds. Charities.—Berlin is also very richly endowed with charitable institutions for the relief of pauperism and distress. In addition to the municipal support of the poor-houses there are large funds derived from bequests for the relief of the necessitous and deserving poor ; while night shelters and people’s kitchens have been organized on an extensive scale for the temporary relief of the indigent unemployed. For the former several of the arches of the city railway have been utilized, and correspond in internal arrangement to the like shelters instituted by the Salvation Army in London and various other cities. Markets. Open market-places in Berlin are things of the past, and their place has been taken by airy and commodious market halls. Of these, 15 in number, the central market, close to the Alexander Platz station of the city railway with which it is connected by an admirable service of lifts for the rapid unloading of goods, is the finest. It has a ground area of about 17,000 square yards, and is fitted with more than 2000 stalls. The other markets are conveniently situated at various accessible places within the city, and the careful police supervision to which they are subjected, both in the matter of general cleanliness, and in the careful examination of all articles of food exposed for sale, has tended to the general health and comfort of the population. Abattoir.—The central cattle market and slaughter-houses for the inspection and supply of the fresh meat consumed in the metropolis occupies an extensive area in the north-east of the city on the Ringbahn, upon which a station has been erected for the accommodation of meat trains and passengers attending the market. It is under the superintendence of 72 inspectors-in-chief, and employs altogether 3317 persons. In 1898-99 there wbre slaughtered 153,675 cattle, 150,202 calves, 409,302 sheep, and 659,553 pigs, altogether 1,372,732 animals. The inspection is