I was there (when the wall came down)

    In a few days, Germany and most of the world will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall. For me this is the right time to dig into some old photo albums and remember the days in November 1989. I was there. Right at that time, when history was written. The 9th of November was my first day at a TV-production company in West-Berlin. I was planning to do a few weeks internship as part of my communication & film studies. Little did I know, that it would become a 6-months full-time job, producing material for various German & international TV-stations from the crumbling DDR.

    Wigbert Boell - at the Berlin wallThat evening in November, we were watching the evening news with the team in order to prepare for the next day. So much was happening those days. When the ball dropped and Günther Schabowski announced the unimaginable, we first were silent in disbelief, before the director of the little production company quickly reacted and called every free-lancer to come in. Within 30 minutes I officially was made a TV-journalist and send out with my own camera team to “go to the Ku-Damm & make interviews”. There – around 19.30h – most people had not even heard about the news and thought we were “making jokes”. We then went to “Aufnahmelager Marienfelde“, where many of the official refugees from the weeks before were staying, before finally being also send to the “Bornholmer Str.“, where indeed the real “opening” did happen.

    It was cold and we made pictures and interviews for many hours until we ran out of tapes. At dawn the East-German border soldiers allowed us to warm up in their little control booth and they shared a coffee with us. We then went to the “Brandenburg Gate”, where hundreds of people had climbed the wall and performed a spontaneous sit-in.
    For 3 days I hardly slept and went all over Berlin – most of the time with my cameraman buddy, but sometimes also to show visitors around, who came from all over the world to witness history themselves. It was a crazy time and extraordinary happy days, before political and societal realities were settling in. Hopefully, I will find the time to digitalize some of the old tapes before the 30th anniversary.

    #fallofthewall25 , #mauerfall , #FalloftheBerlinWall , #FalloftheWall