It took 25 years, but Germany is reaping the benefits of investing in the infrastructure of East Germany. Take Leipzig, a city that was “crumbling, grim and gray,” says Dietmar Busse, who took part in the 1989 anti-communist protests and is now a construction engineer. “All the roads were kaput.” The airport, too, was nothing more than a shabby landing strip.
Today, Leipzig airport runs 24/7 as the European hub for parcel and airfreight service, and the city is now home to Porsche and BMW factories.
Other post-reunification renaissances came in Dresden and Potsdam. Public investment in the east since that time has reached a level about equal to Germany’s 1990 GDP. All because of unknown local East German leaders like Busse—and a young physicist named Angela Merkel.
— Adapted from “German Engineering,” Leon Mangasarian, Bloomberg Markets.