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Berlin today is the “capital of memory.” Six different political systems have left their imprints in public spaces: the kingdom of Prussia from the eighteenth century, the imperial German Reich (1871–1918), the first democratic system (1918– 1933), the Nazi period (1933–1945), the communist period in East Berlin (comprising the old city center), and the most recent democratic period after 1990 (often referred to as the Berlin Republic).

Divided Berlin

In all these diverse contexts, Berlin was assigned the central position of state capital. During the so-called Third Reich, the Nazi regime made far-reaching plans for transforming Berlin into a city that would match their vision of a “world capital Germania.” Keys to these urban development plans were the monumental buildings planned by the architect Albert Speer of ...

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