Recently in Berlin, I was struck by a city that holds its history up to your nose and says: you dare not look away. History here is not a stone worn smooth, but jars and clamours insistently.

Here is the site of the headquarters of the Nazi SS and Gestapo, the site of the Stasi headquarters, and steel posts spaced at regular intervals, remnants of the wall that once divided the city. Here is the old Reichsbank, and alongside it signposts memorialising the owners of the fashionable department store that once stood in its place, who died in Buchenwald concentration camp...

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