In an effort to preserve the historic elements of the Reichstag, several items remain from the era prior to renovation. This includes a stretch where Soviet soldiers left graffiti. During the time period after World War II, the Reichstag was in the British sector of influence, except for one corner that stood in the Soviet sector. Part of this corner is preserved to show what the Soviet soldiers wrote on the wall. The tour guide noted that most of the statements expressed relief at surviving the war, and a desire to return home. In addition to the writings, bullet holes can also be seen along this stretch of wall. I was continually impressed and amazed by the impact of division upon Berlin. The Reichstag sits geographically very close to the Brandenburg Gate, but they were once in separate countries. I was able to walk freely from one to the other, yet as recently as my own youth, that would have been impossible.