How Berlin and Hamburg laid the foundations for today’s German economic powerhouse

If you’re looking for the roots of big business, you can’t ignore Germany. From the medieval bankers of Augsburg, to the booksellers of Frankfurt, the world of international commerce would not be the same without the contributions of Germans.

How Berlin and Hamburg laid the foundations for today's German economic powerhouse
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Across the nation, no cities more epitomize the evolution of business and trade than Berlin and Hamburg. Together with Kuehne Logistics University, we examine the role they have both played in creating today’s world of business – and how KLU’s Preparation Program prepares you for a career in Europe’s powerhouse of commerce. 
Are you interested in studying business in Germany but not sure where to start as an international resident? Check out KLU’s programme which makes you eligible for Bachelor studies in Germany. Enrolments close mid-2021!
Berlin: Adapting to survive
Germany’s capital, Berlin is now known as one of the world’s biggest startup hubs, with online movers and shakers like HelloFresh, Zalando and Blinkist calling the city their home. However, business has had a long presence in Berlin, adapting to the circumstances of the age. 
When Berlin was founded in the 15th century, it was merely a crossing of the River Spree, on a trade route between larger cities. However, after it became a noble seat, and later the capital of Prussia, it prospered with the service industries that are associated with a royal court. 
This was nothing, however, compared to the boost it would receive with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution. The city’s position as both the capital of the new German nation, and a railway hub meant that it soon became a massive industrial centre, exporting goods – especially electrical parts and devices – across the country and Europe. 
Berlin would take a number of catastrophic blows during the course of the 20th century, with the Great Depression, the utter devastation of the Second World War and division by the Berlin Wall each having an impact. For many cities, this would be enough to leave them as a backwater. However, for Berlin, this was not the case. 
In the years since the fall of the Wall, Berlin has become a centre for startups, attracting top talent in the Information Technology and creative industries through a number of initiatives. For many, it is seen as another Silicon Valley and Europe’s undisputed technology capital. 
Berlin’s undisputed strength as a centre of commerce is its resilience and ability to adapt to changing circumstances – through financial catastrophe, war and division, it has picked itself up and started again. 
Looking for a pathway towards an exciting career in business? Have a look at the KLU Preparation Program.

Hamburg: Together we are stronger 
Hamburg’s reputation as a centre of commerce is more obvious than Berlin’s. Located not far from the North Sea coast, on the River Elbe, the settlement was the perfect place to bring goods inland as medieval cities in the region grew. 
Throughout the centuries, the citizens of Hamburg knew that their continued existence depended on working with others. Over the years, the city has made sure to be an integral part of larger groups, first becoming an Imperial Free City in 1189. 
However, Hamburg’s most famous involvement was with the mighty Hanseatic League. This collection of cities located across modern Netherlands, northern Germany and Poland wielded immense power during the High Middle Ages. This was largely due to the sharing of resources and free trade between the cities.
Goods could pass between cities of the Hansa without exorbitant duties, encouraging merchants and shipbuilders to flock to the city. Sharing of resources meant that problems caused by war, famine or plague could most often be resolved through shifting of goods and sharing of infrastructure. Perhaps the most famous example of this is the capture of Klaus Stoertebeker and his crew in 1403, pirates that had plagued the Hanseatic League for years! 
In the 19th century, Hamburg became one of the biggest trading ports in the world, with millions passing through the port on the way to places like the United States. Indeed, the port was extended, with the beautiful ‘Speicherstadt’ of warehouses, built on heavy log foundations, being a true marvel of engineering. 
These developments have led to Hamburg becoming a diverse, multicultural city with its own distinct style of cool. From the rebel spirit of St Pauli, to the modern sheen of the ‘Elbphi’ (concert venue), the city buzzes with a truly modern energy. 
Hamburg continues to be a major European shipping port today, through firm international connections and a strong understanding of global logistics. The people of the city understand that it is only engaging through the wider world and cooperating, that their prosperity continues. 
The perfect places to learn
It is because of the proud heritage of these two German cities that Hamburg’s Kuehne Logistics University, a renowned institute of business learning, has chosen Berlin as the base for their Preparation Program. The Preparation Program leads directly into the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, that is taught at the Hamburg campus. 
KLU’s Preparation Program readies international students for their Bachelor of Science in Business Administration by ensuring they have introductory German skills (equivalent to A2 level) and the state-recognized Feststellungsprüfung from the State of Hamburg. Following the completion of the Preparation Program and the Bachelors degree at KLU, students then have a firm foundation for a vibrant and fulfilling business career.
Interested in beginning your journey towards doing business in a European capital? Read about  enrolling in the KLU Preparation Program today. Hurry, enrolments close mid-2021.
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EXPLAINED: Berlin’s latest Covid rules

In response to rapidly rising Covid-19 infection rates, the Berlin Senate has introduced stricter rules, which came into force on Saturday, November 27th. Here's what you need to know.

A sign in front of a waxing studio in Berlin indicates the rule of the 2G system
A sign in front of a waxing studio indicates the rule of the 2G system with access only for fully vaccinated people and those who can show proof of recovery from Covid-19 as restrictions tighten in Berlin. STEFANIE LOOS / AFP

The Senate agreed on the tougher restrictions on Tuesday, November 23rd with the goal of reducing contacts and mobility, according to State Secretary of Health Martin Matz (SPD).

He explained after the meeting that these measures should slow the increase in Covid-19 infection rates, which was important as “the situation had, unfortunately, deteriorated over the past weeks”, according to media reports.

READ ALSO: Tougher Covid measures needed to stop 100,000 more deaths, warns top German virologist

Essentially, the new rules exclude from much of public life anyone who cannot show proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19. You’ll find more details of how different sectors are affected below.

If you haven’t been vaccinated or recovered (2G – geimpft (vaccinated) or genesen (recovered)) from Covid-19, then you can only go into shops for essential supplies, i.e. food shopping in supermarkets or to drugstores and pharmacies.

Many – but not all – of the rules for shopping are the same as those passed in the neighbouring state of Brandenburg in order to avoid promoting ‘shopping tourism’ with different restrictions in different states.

2G applies here, too, as well as the requirement to wear a mask with most places now no longer accepting a negative test for entry. Only minors are exempt from this requirement.

Sport, culture, clubs
Indoor sports halls will off-limits to anyone who hasn’t  been vaccinated or can’t show proof of recovery from Covid-19. 2G is also in force for cultural events, such as plays and concerts, where there’s also a requirement to wear a mask. 

In places where mask-wearing isn’t possible, such as dance clubs, then a negative test and social distancing are required (capacity is capped at 50 percent of the maximum).

Restaurants, bars, pubs (indoors)
You have to wear a mask in all of these places when you come in, leave or move around. You can only take your mask off while you’re sat down. 2G rules also apply here.

Hotels and other types of accommodation 
Restrictions are tougher here, too, with 2G now in force. This means that unvaccinated people can no longer get a room, even if they have a negative test.

For close-contact services, such as hairdressers and beauticians, it’s up to the service providers themselves to decide whether they require customers to wear masks or a negative test.

Football matches and other large-scale events
Rules have changed here, too. From December 1st, capacity will be limited to 5,000 people plus 50 percent of the total potential stadium or arena capacity. And only those who’ve been vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 will be allowed in. Masks are also compulsory.

For the Olympic Stadium, this means capacity will be capped at 42,000 spectators and 16,000 for the Alte Försterei stadium. 

3G rules – ie vaccinated, recovered or a negative test – still apply on the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, trams and buses in Berlin. It was not possible to tighten restrictions, Matz said, as the regulations were issued at national level.

According to the German Act on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, people have to wear a surgical mask or an FFP2 mask  on public transport.

Christmas markets
The Senate currently has no plans to cancel the capital’s Christmas markets, some of which have been open since Monday. 

According to Matz, 2G rules apply and wearing a mask is compulsory.

Schools and day-care
Pupils will still have to take Covid tests three times a week and, in classes where there are at least two children who test positive in the rapid antigen tests, then tests should be carried out daily for a week.  

Unlike in Brandenburg, there are currently no plans to move away from face-to-face teaching. The child-friendly ‘lollipop’ Covid tests will be made compulsory in day-care centres and parents will be required to confirm that the tests have been carried out. Day-care staff have to document the results.

What about vaccination centres?
Berlin wants to expand these and set up new ones, according to Matz. A new vaccination centre should open in the Ring centre at the end of the week and 50 soldiers from the German army have been helping at the vaccination centre at the Exhibition Centre each day since last week.

The capacity in the new vaccination centre in the Lindencenter in Lichtenberg is expected to be doubled. There are also additional vaccination appointments so that people can get their jabs more quickly. Currently, all appointments are fully booked well into the new year.