Where was the Wall?
This is a question our guests often ask. Tour guides point out the painted remnants of the Wall called the "Eastside Gallery" or official commemoration sites. At Luise you do not have to look far to find the Wall, since the building itself was part of this inhumane border complex from 1961 to 1989.
The yearned-for West was right next door. It started at the bordering railroad tracks, which lead to the check point at the Friedrichstrasse station, Berlins only border crossing for commuter rails and passenger trains between East and West.
Especially in the first few years after the construction of the Wall, this stretch of railway was the goal of many trying to flee the German Democratic Republic. They attempted to jump onto trains or cross the tracks into the West--also from Luise, as eye-witnesses have reported.
As a result, the Ministry of State Security removed renters from the left half of Luise, which was turned into part of the border complex with walled up windows and interior doorways. This section of the building fell into disrepair and was first used once again after the renovation work for the hotel was completed in 1998.