In 1945 Allied powers carved their respective occupation sectors in Berlin city, according to their own agenda, and with little regard to actual urban layout. The central district of Mitte, firmly in Soviet hands, became surrounded on three sides by West Berlin territory. When the wall was erected in 1961 it cut through the very heart of the city tearing through the public transportation network, and creating all sorts of anomalies.
Several metro lines which started off in West Berlin, had to traverse the East Berlin territory in order to reach their terminus stations. These trains were permitted to enter the East German territory but were not allowed to stop at intermediate stations, which become known as the Ghost Stations.
The Berlin-Friedrichstraße Railway Station became an even stranger anomaly. This station was a major transport hub in pre-war times was the only place where several West Berlin lines running through East Berlin territory intersected on Soviet territory. Furthermore, the next station in the westward direction was across the Wall in the democratic Western part of the city. Effectively the Berlin-Friedrichstraße Station was a hole in the Iron Curtain.
In order to patch it up the government of GDR created an elaborate maze of barriers and security checkpoints, separating the flow of east and west Berlin citizen at each step of the way. It was a place of numerous escape attempts of East Berliners trying to reach the west. The separate building created as a border crossing for West Berlin citizens become known as Tränenpalast ("Palace of Tears") because of emotional "Good-Bye's" that took place in front of the building.
The East German's also used the obscure service entrance to infiltrate its agents in the Western sector. The same passageway was used by members of West-German communist party and West-Berlin socialist party to pass without being checked or recorded. It was reportedly used as an escape rout by members of notorious Red Army Faction to avoid arrest in West-German and the station was also one of the stops on the route of the famous Paris-Moscau Express.
The barriers at Friedrichstraße Railway Station were one of the first to be removed after the fall of the Wall. The station today is still one of the busiest in Berlin.