BERLIN: Palace of Tears

Tears during parting is what the division of Germany meant for many. The station where friends and family had to say good-bye after a visit across divided Berlin was known as the Tränenpalast, “palace of tears.”

The Friedrichstrasse station was where you went if you wanted to travel from East Berlin to the West.
Right after the wall went up, the East Germans built the check-in hall at the railway station. Crossing into the other half of Berlin was very much an international border transaction with passport and luggage checks.
Sorry, this window only for diplomats and people traveling on official business.
“Stop! This is the Zone border.” Today, the check-in hall is an exhibit about the division of the city and nation. One path allows teenagers to work their way through the exhibition. There’s a tour suitable for small children.
“Berlin, capital of East Germany.” East German authorities never gave up on the idea that all of Berlin actually belonged to them.
Exhibit photo. Photographer unknown.

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