"While this perspective seems intuitive, it is also incorrect. Architecture critic Dankwart Guratzsch even speaks of the architectural program of post-war modernism as a second destruction of Europe. In fact, during reconstruction, many buildings in Europe could have been saved, but were demolished because did not match the futuristic ambitions of city planners. In Germany, a period of Entstuckung, literally “de-stuccoization,” the removal of ornamental building facades, coincided with the period of reconstruction. Certainly of little economic benefit, Entstuckung was a way to pay tribute to a now-dominant aesthetic that emerged at the beginning of the century which equated ornament with crime following the essay of Adolf Loos. Taking up the principles of Le Corbusier’s and CIAM’s Athens Charter from 1933, post-war architects and city planners on both sides of the iron curtain aimed for an economic and functional reorganization of the city. West Germany even embraced architectural modernism earlier than East Germany: In the GDR, it was only introduced after the death of Stalin – centrally commanded to the Soviet Union’s vassal states as a dominant motif by Moscow to illustrate de-Stalinization also as aesthetic caesura. The universal adoption and prevalence of modernism across the iron curtain reminds one of convergence rather than of a competition between East and West."
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