Nowadays Friedrichstrasse and surroundings have once again become the natural and geographical centre of town. But the station was the place where during the Cold War east and west were separated remorselessly.
The Tränenpalast (palace of tears) was the place those from the west had to say goodbye to their family from the GDR after a visit, or where (much rarer) the easterners would leave their own country for a longer or shorter period. All of that of course under extreme security measures, before travellers were allowed into the tunnels of Friedrichstrasse station. In the former customs building there is a permanent exhibition about the history of this tragic place.