At the end of the war the German theatrical scene was one empty waste; nearly all theatre buildings had been destroyed, the companies were scattered and many leading figures had emigrated. The ruined theatres stood amid ruined cities, Berlin among them. Yet in cities without traffic, window-panes or domestic services the Germans gave theatre, music and the arts priority over many other pressing claims on scarce resources. Carl Ebert, who toured Germany on behalf of the Allied Control Commission, found there a burning thirst for culture - hundreds of people standing for two and a half hours on a cold winter Sunday afternoon in the shell-damaged auditorium of Frankfurt University to listen to Bach's Art 0/ Fugue, others trembling with cold in the ruined stock-exchange to hear a piano recital, when the only available electric heater was needed to save the pianist's fingers from stiffening. Friedrich Luft has written an unforgettable account of crossing Berlin for the opening of the Deutsches Theater. He crossed a canal hand-over-hand on the remains of two pipes, was nearly beaten up by looters, was rowed across the Spree in a leaking boat, and on the way home was waylaid by thieves, robbed and knocked unconscious.