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Considering how large the Wall looms over the Berlin of the imagination, especially for visitors, it is surprising to remember that the city has been without it for longer than it had it. The Berlin Wall as it lives in the imagination, with its vast concrete acreage, triple fencing, fakir beds, anti-vehicle trenches, dogs and guard posts was not completed until 1975.

East and West are also more perceived than actual. Neighbourhoods like Kreuzberg and Neukölln—each in varying phases of fashionability—are assumed to be former East Berlin neighbourhoods. In fact, they were working-class districts in West Berlin.