Prime Minister of the Saar, Dr Roeder, symbolically opened the Customs barriers between the Saar and West Germany at Homberg, midnight July 5, marking the economic reintegration of the Sear with the Federal Republic.
GV. Massed crowds at Homberg border check point
SV. Dr. Roeder speaks
SCU. Dr Roeder steps down into cheering crowds
GV. Customs barrier is raised
STV. People cheering & shouting
GTV. Crowd crossing border
TV. Cars passing through check point
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Background: Prime Minister of the Saar, Dr Roeder, symbolically opened the Customs barriers between the Saar and West Germany at Homberg, midnight July 5, marking the economic reintegration of the Sear with the Federal Republic.
As the crowd attending the ceremony crossed the frontier - a border without political significance since the plebiscite of 1 Jan 1957 when the Saar became the tenth "Land" of West Germany -- cars and trucks loaded with German goods started moving into the Saar.
Lorries protected by heavily-armed police and watched over by helicopters brought loads of German currency to the 519 money exchange points where the 1,040,000 Saarlanders were to receive 0.8507 D-Marks for every 100 france handed in.
Chief interest of the population is whether they will be worse or better off after the change. Some goods are expected to be cheaper ... patrol and railway fares; others dearer ... postage. tobacco, sugar and most alcoholic drinks. There has been a rush on spirits in the last few days.
Integration brings to West Germany an extra annual production of about 17 million tons of coal, three million tons of pig-iron and four million tons of raw steel.