What life is like in Szczecin

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Yesterday I had the opportunity to ask a few people what life is like in Szczecin (formerly Stettin), and other previously German cities. The question I asked was whether there are any stereotypes about people in these cities due to being previously German - that people from Szczecin are thought to be efficient or hardworking, the trains run on time, etc., whether there are any light-hearted stereotypes that come from their unique history.

So why Szczecin? The interest comes from a quote from l'Allemagne Moderne (my English translation of the book here) where Huret references a canal being planned to link Berlin to the sea by Stettin:

Tous les jours, des changements importants se font dans l'organisation des services publics; il n'est pas d'amélioration qu'on ne recherche et qu'on ne pousse à bout, — et vite ! Pour ne parler que des plus grands projets à l'étude, dans quelques années un canal, déjà voté par le Parlement, rejoindra Berlin à Stettin, et Berlin deviendra port de mer avant Paris. Deux ports sont en projet au nord et à l'est de la ville, avec de vastes entrepôts. 
AVENIR DE BERLIN Quel avenir est réservé à la capitale ! La Sprée communique avec la Havel, qui communique avec l'Elbe. Berlin sera donc relié à la mer, de deux côtés, par Stettin et par Hambourg. Les facilités de vie attireront de plus en plus les populations.
So let's see what they wrote.

The being blocked by Hamburg is an interesting point. If you look at the city's location it is ideally placed to be a secondary port for Berlin:

but compared to the rest of Poland it's quite far removed from the largest cities. Szczecin is the grouping of pixels in the far northwest.

In short, it's not easy to compete when you're the port of Szczecin.


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