But like the rest of the country, the reconstruction of east Berlin took longer than expected and eventually stalled, causing much social misery in many of the eastern boroughs. Obviously, the west was also affected and started to descend into poverty. The high-profile Mitte borough has been mostly reconstructed now and has grown back together, once more being the seat of the German government. But in other places, the former partition is still apparent by empty land. Many predictions for the city’s future, such as a huge wave of migration that would boost its population turned out to be false, and some building projects that were initiated with these predictions in mind now seem needlessly large, and the attempt to develop a new city centre is eyed critically by many.
Today, Berlin is a thriving city that has been labelled by its mayor, Klaus Wowereit, to be “poor but sexy”. The visible scars of the division are being gradually removed, with only a few pieces of the Wall preserved as monuments, but many spaces within the city remain empty. There is some animosity between former West and East Berliners, who each feel misunderstood by the other, and like the rest of the country, Berlin is struggling hard to tear down the walls in the heads of people.