Road Scholar : Home
Berlin: Two Pasts, One Present

Program Number: 16952RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/16/2013 - 4/24/2013; 5/6/2016 - 5/14/2016; 6/17/2016 - 6/25/2016; 8/12/2016 - 8/20/2016; 9/16/2016 - 9/24/2016; 10/1/2016 - 10/9/2016;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Germany
Price starting at: $2,995.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 17; 7 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

In the Golden Twenties, Berlin commanded center stage as Europe’s most prodigious capital of art, music and science. Following the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, the city is once again at the cultural and architectural center of Europe. Experience the political life and mentality of modern Germany in expert-led lectures, field trips, meetings with contemporary witnesses and German politicians.


• Venture behind the scenes of German politics during a meeting with an assistant to a member of the Bundestag, or parliament.
• Meet with a contemporary witness at the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial Centre to talk about Berlin after reunification.
• Excursion to the Rococo-style Sanssouci — the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day on mostly flat city sidewalks. Standing for up to 1.5 hours a day. Stairs in historic buildings. Use of public transportation. Some program days may require walking up to three miles in a day.

Date Specific Information

4-16-2013, 5-6-2016, 6-17-2016, 8-12-2016, 9-16-2016, 10-1-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Berlin, 7 nights; departure.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Berlin
7 nights

Through lectures and field trips, gain deep insight into Berlin’s political, cultural and social evolution from the end of World War I until today. Delve deeper into the Cold War’s history during a meeting with a contemporary witness at Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial Centre. At the Bundestag, experience German politics firsthand and discuss today’s challenges during a meeting with a member of the parliament. During a full-day field to Potsdam, explore the palace and park of historic Sanssouci and see the location of the Allied conference in 1945. Enjoy the renowned art treasures of the Museumsinsel, visit the Allied Museum, and join a local expert for a walk through the Berliner Kiez to get an intimate look at city life. Meet and interact with Berliners, and enjoy a concert at the opera or the Berliner Philharmonie.


From warring tribes who put an end to the declining Roman Empire to Charlemagne’s unified Holy Roman Empire; from religious divisions ignited by Martin Luther’s 95 theses in Wittenburg to the nation-making force of Otto von Bismarck -- alternating unity and division are the hallmarks of German history. In 1961, a concrete wall divided Germany from the world. With the Berlin Wall’s fall in 1989, Germany showed the way for the new, embracing Europe of today.

Comfortable centrally located hotel in Berlin-Mitte.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Wolf Refardt

An expert on the military history of the 19th and 20th centuries, Wolf Refardt enjoys sharing his knowledge during his lectures and classes on the events of the Cold War. Wolf has published papers on themes that range from Sepulchral culture in enlightened absolutism to the development of public welfare in Brandenburg, and to the history of battles that took place during World War II.
Meals and Lodgings
   Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte
  Berlin, Germany 7 nights
 Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Hotel is located in the building of the former ministry of foreign affairs, has a classical facade and is centrally located but quiet. The former German politician Walter Rathenau stayed at what today is the Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte and many important social political and industrial innovations were thought out here.
  Contact info: Hedemannstraße 11/12
Berlin,   10969 Germany
phone: +49 (0)30 319 86 18 - 0
  Room amenities: Television, telephone, safe, internet access, W-LAN, hairdryer
  Facility amenities: There is a cosy hotel bar and internet is available in the lobby. Non smoking breakfast rooms, lounge, public business corner to check the internet.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: € 115 double, € 90 single Subject to availability and price change. Please contact the Program Coordinator to make arrangements.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM
  Additional nights after: € 115 double, € 90 single Subject to availability and price change. Please contact the Program Coordinator to make arrangements.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
2:00 pm Hotel check-in. 5:00 pm meet in hotel conference room for welcome meeting. You will be staying at Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte that night.
  End of Program:
9:00 am. Room check-out at 11:00 am. You will be staying at Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. A passport is required
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: There are frequent train service to Berlin from all parts of Germany.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Berlin
  Nearest highway: A 100
  Nearest airport:  Berlin-Tegel
  Transportation to site: From Berlin Brandenburg Airport take tram S45 from the railroad depot in the direction of "Bundesplatz”. Change at “Tempelhof” and take the metro "U6" in the direction of "U Alt-Tegel". Get out at "Kochstraße/Checkpoint Charlie". From there it is 450 m to the hotel. The journey takes around 55 minutes. If you want to avoid the tram you can take bus X7 in the direction of “Rudow” where you have to change to metro U7 in the direction of “Rathaus Spandau”. Change at “Mehringdamm” and take metro U6 in the direction of “Alt-Tegel”. Get out at "Kochstraße/Checkpoint Charlie". From there it is 450 m to the hotel. The journey takes around 45 minutes.
  From End of Program
  Location: Berlin
  Transportation from site: Walk to metro station "Kochstraße/Checkpoint Charlie". Take U6 in the direction of "Alt-Mariendorf". Change at "Tempelhof" and take tram S45 in the direction of “Berlin Brandenburg Airport”. Get out there and walk to your Gate. The journey takes around 55 minutes. You can also take the bus instead of the tram. Walk to metro station "Kochstraße/Checkpoint Charlie". Take U6 in the direction of "Alt-Mariendorf". Change at "Mehringdamm" and take U7 in the direction of “Rudow”. Get out at “Rudow” and take the bus X7 to the “Berlin Brandenburg Airport”. The journey takes around 45 minutes.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Depart the US on overnight flight
(Tuesday, April 16)
 Afternoon: International flight

Day 2: Arrival in Berlin / Welcome Dinner
(Wednesday, April 17)
 Morning: Arrival in Berlin, Transfer to the hotel, Check-in
 Lunch: Snack on own
 Afternoon: Arrival in Berlin, Transfer to the hotel, Check-in, free time
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at restaurant Entrecote and getting to know each other
Accommodations: Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: City tour Berlin
(Thursday, April 18)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room
 Morning: Introduction to the program by the group leader. Lecture: Berlin and Germany in the Past, Present and Future. Orientation city excursion by bus: Potsdamer Square (the new and old), Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, Jewish Museum (outside visit), Topography of Terror, Hitlers Bunker Site, Paris Square and Brandenburg Gate as Historical Symbol, Reichstag, Holocaust Memorial, New architecture of today (embassies etc.)
 Lunch: Lunch at restaurant Cafe Nolle
 Afternoon: Continuation of the city visit
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant
Accommodations: Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: The Third Reich and the GDR
(Friday, April 19)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room
 Morning: Lecture and discussion: The Third Reich and the GDR - Is it possible to compare facism and communism? Filed trip to the Allied Museum
 Lunch: Lunch at restaurant Haus Berlin
 Afternoon: Field trip to Memorial Center Hohenschoenhausen and meeting with an eyewitness
 Dinner: Dinner on own
 Evening: Concert at the Philharmonie
Accommodations: Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: German Bundestag
(Saturday, April 20)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room
 Morning: Field trip to the German Bundestag. Guided visit including a visit to the cupola. Meeting with a member of parliament: Questions and answers about current politics in Germany.
 Lunch: Lunch on own
 Afternoon: Meeting a witness: Berlin after German Reunification - Berlin as a capital, "inside walls" between East and West Berliners.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant
Accommodations: Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Sanssouci Castle and Potsdam
(Sunday, April 21)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Guided visit to Schloss Sanssouci. Guided city tour with on-site lecture on the history of Potsdam.
 Lunch: Lunch at restaurant Krongut Bornstedt
 Afternoon: Cecilienhof palace (Allied conference in 1945)
 Dinner: Dinner at restaurant Entrecote
Accommodations: Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Museumsinsel
(Monday, April 22)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room
 Morning: Lecture: "Museumsinsel, a European project and its history from 1800-2000"
 Lunch: Lunch on own
 Afternoon: Visit to museums of choice and free time to explore museums on own.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant and meeting with Germans
Accommodations: Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: "Berliner Kiez"
(Tuesday, April 23)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room
 Morning: Guided walk through a "Berliner Kiez" (quarter) to get an inside of the city life
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant
 Afternoon: Free Time
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner at restaurant Albrechtshof
Accommodations: Winter's Hotel Berlin Mitte
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Transfer to the Airport for international departure
(Wednesday, April 24)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room
 Morning: Transfer to the airport and departure
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Berlin Allied Museum
The museum, located in the former U.S. Army "Outpost" movie theater, documents the role of the Western Allies (U.S., France, and Britain) in the post-war period and the life of allied troops in Berlin. Address: Clayallee 135 Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm - Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun. Admission: Free For additional information, visit
  Anne Frank Center
The Anne Frank Center is the German partner organisation of the Anne Frank House, Amsterdam. A permanent exhibition shows the life of Anne Frank, in addition, the Center organizes various events especially for pupils and special exhibitions. Address: Rosenthaler Straße 39 Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm - Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun Admission: Free for Children up to 10 years For additional information, visit
  Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin
Works from all Bauhaus stages and workshops and from the trend-setting Gestaltungsschule (School of Design) from 1919 until 1933. The estates of Walter Gropius, Georg Muche and Herbert Bayer. Address: Klingelhöferstraße 14. Opening hours: 10 am to 5 pm - Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun,1st May, Ascension Day, Whitsunday, Whitmonday, German Unification Day For additional information, visit
  Berlin Wall Memorial
The documentary centre Berlin Wall is part of the memorial ensemble at the Bernauer Straße with memorial Berlin Wall, chapel of conciliation and the documentary center. Address: Bernauer Straße 111 Opening hours: 9.30 am to 7 pm - Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun ( from 04-01 to 10-31) 9.30 am to 6 pm - Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun ( from 11-01 to 03-31) Admission: Free, guided tour also free For additional information, visit
  Centrum Judaicum
Permanent exhibition about the history of the New Synagogue and the Jewish life in its surroundings; special exhibitions. Opening hours: Jewish holidays closed up 10 am to 8 pm - Mon, Sun ( 04-01 to 09-30 ) 10 am to 6 pm- Tue, Wed, Thu 10 am to 5 pm - Fri 10 am to 8 pm - Mon, Sun Address:Oranienburgerstr 28/30 For additional information, visit
  Charlottenburg Palace
Schloß Charlottenburg, the largest and most beautiful palace in Berlin, it is a shining example of baroque architecture. It was built between 1695-99 as a summer residence for Sophie Charlotte, the consort of Elector Friedrich III. Knobelsdorff constructed the eastern wing from 1740-46. From 1787-91, Carl Langhans constructed the palace theater as an extension to the orangery wing. Opening hours: 9 am to 6 pm - Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun. 'Altes Schloss' 11 am to 6 pm-Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun . 'Neuer Flügel' (04-01 to 10-31) 11 am to 5 pm- Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun . 'Neuer Flügel' (11.01 to 03-31) For additional information, visit
  DDR Museum Berlin
Everydaylife of a former state, multimedia-based and interactive: The GDR Address: Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 1. Opening hours: 10 am to 8 pm - Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sun 10 am to 10 pm - Sat For additional information, visit
  German Historical Museum
In June 2006 the Zeughaus has reopened for the public with the newly designed permanent exhibition "German History in Images and Testimonials". Covering 8,000 sq. metres of exhibition space, the exhibits from the DHM's own collections convey a vivid picture of the past. The Pei-Building behind the Zeughaus was opened on May, 24 2003. It houses the special exhibitions of the German Historical Museum. Address: Unter den Linden 2. Opening hours: daily 10 am to 6 pm For additional information, visit
  Hamburg Main Station
Painting, sculptures, graphics, photography, video, multimedia works, room, and light installations of the collections of the National Gallery, the Erich Marx Collection and the Friedrich Christian Flick collection with works by Andy Warhol Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Anselm Kiefer, Joseph Beuys, Duane Hanson, Paul McCarthy, Francis Picabia, Bruce Naumann, Jeff Koons, Martin Kippenberger, Pipilotti Rist. Address: Invalidenstraße 50-51. Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm - Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, 1st May, Ascension Day, Whitmonday, German Unification Day 11 am to 8 pm - Sat 11 am to 6 pm - Sun, Whitsunday Admission: Free for Children up to 16 years; every Thursday four hours before the closing of the museum for the permanent exhibition. For additional information, visit
  Holocaust Memorial
The memorial comprises 2711 concrete blocks and was constructed between 2003 and 2005 close to the Brandenburg Gate on the basis of a design by architect Peter Eisenman. The subterranean information centre situated in the south-eastern corner of the monument commemorates the victims and provides material on the historical sites of the destruction and on existing memorials. Address: Cora-Berliner-Straße 1. Opening hours: always accessible: field with the concrete blocks. 04-01 to 09-30: Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun, 1st May, Whitmonday 10 to 8 pm information centre, also on mon, 17.04., 01.05., 05.06., 12.06., 19.06., 26.06., 03.07. Mon. Center of Information closed. 10-01 to 03-31: Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sun 10 am to 7 pm. information centre winter. Admission: Free, donations are welcome For additional information, visit
  Jewish Museum
The museum’s permanent historical exhibition extends over 3,000 m² and invites visitors to journey through two millennia of German-Jewish history. Its depictions of 14 historical periods from the Middle Ages to the present paint a vivid portrait of German-Jewish life. Artistic and everyday objects, photos and letters, interactive displays and media stations together convey the history of Jewish culture in Germany and show how tightly Jewish life and German history are interwoven. Opening hours: Mon 10 am - 10 pm, Tue - Sun 10 am - 8 pm. Address:Lindenstraße 9-14
  Kulturforum Potsdamer Platz
Neue Nationalgalerie / New National Gallery: 20th century art: Collection of expressionist works, Bauhaus works, new objectivity, art in the period after the war. The permament exhibition usually isn't shown when temporary exhibitions take place. Opening hours: Tue, Wed, Fri 10 am - 6 pm, Thu 10 am - 10 pm, Sat & Sun 11 am- 6 pm. Address: Potsdamer Straße 50. Gemäldegalerie / Picture Gallery: European paintings from the 13th - 18th century. Masterpieces from all epochs, including paintings by Eyck, Bruegel, Dürer, Raffael, Tizian, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Rubens. Opening hours: Tue, Wed, Fri 10 am- 6 pm, Thu 10 am-10pm, Sat & Sun 11 am - 6 pm. Address:Matthäikirchplatz 4-6. Musikinstrumentenmuseum / Museum for Musical Instruments: Bach's harpsichord and its replicates as well as the biggest cinema and theatre organ in Europe (live demonstrations every Saturday). Opening hours: Tue, Wed, Thu 9 am- 5 pm, Thu 9 am - 10 pm, Sat & Sun 10 am - 5 pm Address: Tiergartenstraße 1. Admission:Thursdays from 6 pm free. For additional information, visit
As important exhibition hall in Berlin, the Martin-Gropius-Bau shows temporary exhibitions of international rank. Address: Niederkirchner Straße 7. Opening hours: 10 am to 8 pm - Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun, Ascension Day, Whitsunday, Whitmonday, German Unification Day. Admission: Depends on exhibition For additional information, visit
Altes Museum: Greek and Roman art and sculptures; Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection, Pergamon Museum: Antiquity collection, Museum of Islamic Art, Museum of Anterior Asia, Bodemuseum: Collection of sculptures, Museum of Byzantine Art, the coin cabinet, works from the Gemäldegalerie. Old National Gallery: 19th century art. Addresses: Lustgarten and Bodestraße 1-3. Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm - Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun, 1st May, Whitsunday, Whitmonday, German Unification Day 10 am to 10 pm - Thu, Ascension Day The Old National Gallery is closed on Mondays! Admission: Free for Children up to 16 years; Each Thursday 4 hours before closing admission free for all visitors For additional information, visit
  Wall Museum House at Checkpoint Charlie
Founded in 1962 beside the legendary Checkpoint Charlie border crossing, the history of the Berlin Wall, original objects from successful escapes under, over and above the ground. World-wide non-violent struggle for human rights. Opening hours: 9 am to 10 pm - daily For additional information, visit
  Zoo and Aquarium Berlin
Affectionately known as the Zoo on the south-west corner of the Tiergarten, this is Berlin’s favourite family spot - a wonderfully kept urban Zoo with a huge playground, restaurants, and coffee shops, providing a whole day’s worth of family entertainment. The Zoo is home to 13,700 animals and 1,400 species, its animals are part of local life and most Berliners will be aware of the news of a new arrival. Rare among city zoos, the Zoologischer Garten was founded in 1844 and was the first Zoo to be built in Germany. Under Friedrich Wilhelm IV it became a joint project by Martin Lichtenstein and Peter Joseph Lennè who had redesigned the Tiergarten and allocated the southwestern tip of the Tiergarten as a zoological garden. Opening hours: March 21st - October 16th: 9am to 7 pm, October 17 th - March 20 th: 9 am to 5 pm. Address: Hardenbergplatz 8 For additional information, visit
  Zoological Garden "Tierpark" Berlin
The "Tierpark Berlin" is the biggest landscape zoological garden in Europe. More than 7500 animals of 900 different species are represented in the enclosures. Opening hours: daily from 9 am to 5,6 or 7 pm (depends from month). Address: Am Tierpark 125 For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


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Before the Deluge, A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920's

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Berlin Map

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Berlin Noir

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Berlin Tales

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Berlin, Portrait of a City

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Eyewitness Guide Berlin

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Fodor's Berlin's 25 Best

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Lonely Planet German Phrasebook

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My German Question: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin

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Pocket Rough Guide Berlin

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Description: By the savvy editors at Rough Guide, these just-right guides are bundled with a pullout map.

The Berlin Diaries

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The Berlin Stories

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Description: "The Last of Mr. Norris" and "Goodbye to Berlin" find Sally Bowles, Fraulein Schroeder and the doomed Landauers caught up in the nightlife, danger and mystique of 1931 Berlin.

The Expressionists

Author: Wolf-Dieter Dube

Description: A general survey of Expressionism, presented by the senior curator at the Bavarian State Art Collection. With the use of many of the artists' own words, he tracks the movement back to such luminaries as Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and follows it through its years of dazzling creativity.

The Fall of Berlin 1945

Author: Antony Beevor

Description: Beevor captures the terrifying collapse of the Third Reich as Allied and Soviet troops advanced on Berlin in this richly detailed history.

The Germans

Author: Gordon A. Craig

Description: A gifted historian, Craig explores the complex paradoxes of German identity in this masterly portrait of German life, past and present, with chapters on religion, money, Jews, women, literature and society, Berlin and language.

The Ghosts of Berlin: Confronting German History in the Urban landscape

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The Innocent

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The Magic Lantern, The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague

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Description: With a chapter each on Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague, this eyewitness account by an astute journalist and historian shows these vibrant cities during a time of great change.

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

Author: John Le Carre

Description: The cold war spy thriller that established Le Carre as master of the genre.

The Tin Drum

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Description: Probably the best German novel written since the end of World War II, this is the surreal story of a mute dwarf named Oskar who lives through Nazi Germany and finds himself in a mental institution.

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