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Germany - Expo Turin 1911

Germany at the Exhibition Expo Turin 1911

Germany has a very long front, 270 metres long, on the Po, opposite the medieval castle. The pavilion occupies a magnificent position, on the right of the square where the monumental bridge ends, at the foot of the great fountain. The area occupied by Germany, including the exhibitions scattered in the various international sections, is 40,000 square metres.

The German exhibition was decided on December 19, 1909, by the Standing Committee of German Industries for Exhibitions, headed by Councillor Louis Max Goldberger, President; Councillor Hermann Wirth and Mr. Richard von Vopelius, member of the Prussian Chamber of Lords, Vice Presidents.

A committee of 115 members from among the most prominent figures in the German industrial world was immediately formed for participation in the Turin Exhibition in 1911. Councillor Busley was appointed chairman of the committee and general commissioner; Councillor Ravene and the German consul in Turin, Mr. von Kuelmer, were appointed vice-commissioners.

The large German participation in the Exhibition was due to the importance of trade between Italy and Germany.

About 20% of Italy's total imports were goods from Germany. Since 1889, out of a total Italian import of goods worth 1440 million francs, more than 156 million represented the import of German goods. Twenty years later, in 1909, German exports to Italy had reached gigantic proportions; they amounted to 490 million out of a total export of 3097 million.

Fortunately, Italy is not only dependent on Germany; she also exports a great deal of her agricultural products to German markets. If in 1899 there were only 95 million goods sold to Germany out of a total export of 1005 million, in 1909 this figure was more than tripled: 300 million out of a total export of 1887 million.

The 1909 figures thus give us, in summary, an import from Germany to Italy of 490 million in round figures, against an export from Italy to Germany of 300 million. The difference of 190 million between import and export in Italy's disadvantage can be made up in the future by greater intensive cultivation of the Italian countryside, by selling to Germany in ever greater quantities the fruits, oils, wines, flowers, eggs, and silks which Germany does not produce and which it needs. This is already partly compensated for by the temporary emigration of 60,000 to 80,000 Italian workers a year to the mining districts of Prussia, not to mention the ever-increasing flow of German visitors to our great historical cities, our climatic resorts on the lakes and the Riviera.

The activity of trade between Italy and Germany, which have together regained their political independence, by devoting themselves to the useful arts of peace, does not date from today. The rudiments of commerce, the banking systems of Lombardy, the double-entry bookkeeping, the bills of exchange, the quotations of fairs and markets were carried to Germany by our merchants who, after crossing the Alps on the ancient consular routes, went to infuse new life into the ancient seats of Roman civilisation on the Rhine and the Danube.

Turin, moreover, has special ties of brotherhood with Germany; the Brandenburg battalions, under the command of our Prince Eugene, came to the aid of the Piedmontese army during the siege of September 1706.

The main entrance to the German pavilion is in the large square on the right bank, opposite the analogous entrance to the French exhibition. It is in the form of a portico, which leads into a vestibule and a hall of honour.

This is followed by four large, symmetrical rectangular halls, arranged in pairs, and then the square central hall; the hall is topped by a 46.5-metre high dome, with the German imperial crown at the top.

Beyond the central hall is a long, grandiose, three-aisled gallery running parallel to the river.

Below the main floor of the pavilion, at the level of the square and the terraces overlooking the Po, a lower floor has been created which covers about 1200 square metres. This floor communicates with the upper floor by means of internal staircases and a double row of external staircases, which lead to two rectangular halls, next to the large central hall.

©Guide Officiel de l'Exposition Internationale de Turin 1911