Former border crossing at the Friedrichstrasse station
The Friedrichstrasse S-Bahn station was the last station before the West Berlin border for trains running from east to west and was located in the middle of the city on the north-south line. When the border was sealed off in August 1961, this through station became a terminal and a border crossing point for travelers from both parts of Berlin. The pavilion used for border clearance, dubbed the “Tränenpalast” (Palace of Tears) because of the countless farewells it witnessed until 1989, is still standing and is now a protected landmark.
Starting in the mid-1990s, the Friedrichstrasse station was completely remodeled. The building once used to check travelers crossing from and to West Berlin was located north of the railway line and was connected to the station by a tunnel. Its façade, largely unchanged, is today’s most important reminder of this former border crossing.
In line with the federal government’s policy on memorials, the foundation Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland put up a permanent exhibition, “BorderExperiences. Everyday Life in Divided Germany,” in the “Tränenpalast,” creating a remarkable memorial site that does justice to the role played by this building in German awareness.