Palace of Tears

Relevant to students of: The Cold War, life in the GDR, The Terror State, Borders, Nationalism and Statehood(Politics), Independent Research Projects in this area.

A former crossing point between East and West Berlin, the ‘Tränenpalast” (Palace of Tears) derives its name from the tearful goodbyes between East and West Berliners. During the Cold War, Western visitors could leave the East German residents, but East Berliners were not permitted visits or travel to West Berlin. Police checked passports, luggage was examined by customs in the check-in hall of Friedrichstraße railway station in a demonstration of the tension and scrutiny around movement during the Cold War.

Students can immerse themselves in the years 1962- when the check-in hall was constructed- to German reunification in 1990. The exhibition "Ihr Papiere bitte" (Your papers, please!) is specifically designed for students aged 14-17 to learn about life in the GDR and border crossing in the Cold War.