You’re right about Berlin holding onto its past. You might like an article I wrote on this subject https://bonjourberlin.com/2015/03/11/gdr-is-none-of-your-business-its-berliners/
But keep in mind that Berlin’s magic has a certain subtility that needs more time to discover. As with any place, a tourist’s perspective is always different than a local’s. Thanks for an interesting and complex post though😊