Berlin is already the official, ceremonial and historic capital of united Germany. The question now is whether it will become the actual seat of government, with the chancellor's office and most federal ministries moving from Bonn, or whether Bonn will remain the seat of real political power.
As the Germans debate this problem with their usual angst, one calumny against Berlin should be put to rest: The idea that Hitler's brief association with the grand old city on the Spree somehow makes it a distasteful symbol and an unseemly capital.
Berlin's history goes all the way back to the 12th century, and its character was shaped not by a crazed Austrian whose Thousand Year Reich lasted a dozen years but by a stellar array of scholars and statesmen, dramatists and architects, industrialists and labor leaders. Hitler actually hated "Red Berlin" and the feeling was reciprocated. Though his storm troopers marched down the Under den Linden, the reception they got from the populace was a lot chillier than it was, say, in Nuremberg or Munich.