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Early History of Berlin, Germany. The political home of Germany's Federal Government and the educational center of Germany, Berlin is the nation's capital and busiest city. Although major reconstruction projects have helped make Berlin an attractive, modern city, the shadows of World War II (1939-45) and the Berlin Wall still darken its recent history. This is the seat of German power, where Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) gained control in 1933 by marching through the Brandenburg Gate and taking over parliament in the Reichtags building. After World War II, Berlin turned into a Cold War battleground, separated into a Soviet-influenced East and an American-influenced West by the Berlin Wall in 1966. But, there are startling contrasts to war in Berlin, such as the intellectual and scientific blossoming of the Enlightenment during the 1700s and "golden" 1920s of the twentieth century. Always a cultural center, Berlin has continued this tradition with many museums and theaters, while Berlin's trade associations employ the majority of the workforce with apprenticeships and permanent jobs.