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May 8th 2002
Published: February 11th 2017
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Touring German cities is often problematic - it's unfair to focus on a city's complicity with horrific crimes from a half century before, or its being the centerpiece of the Cold War, but in the case of Berlin, the past oozes to the surface whether you like it or not. There's the playground built above Hitler's bunker to dissuade Neo-Nazis from making it in a shrine. The border of the Wall unexpectedly appears underfoot, even when you're not looking for Checkpoint Charlie. The Brandenburg Gate looks like a Hollywood backdrop with the bustling traffic swirling around the wide strasses. The TV tower that the Russians built looms over the city and bullet holes still dot the dilapidated buildings on the eastern side. All this while the hundreds of cranes slowly sanitize the past.

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