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I visited the Museum Island for the first time in about 1978 with my mother. To do so was still a Cold War adventure, involving a U-Bahn journey from Zoo station in the West. On its way the train had to crawl through Kochstraße station – closed since the day the wall went up – a pair of heavily armed soldiers slowly pacing up and down its dimly lit platform. Stepping off the train at Friedrichstraße station, we went through border control, had our passports stamped, and exchanged West for East marks, which was compulsory.