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News Berlin: 9 November 1989

  1. Nov 9, 2009 #1

    jtbell

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    This is one of the handful of dates that I remember for where I was and what I was doing, as with the JFK assassination and the Challenger shuttle disaster.

    It was on a Friday. My wife (who teaches German) had gone with a colleague to Atlanta for a language-teachers' convention that weekend, and I was to drive to Atlanta the next day to join her. So I was alone in the house when I came back from work. It was a bit later than usual, so when I turned on the TV for the news, it was halfway through the 6 PM local news, just before the weather. I caught what looked like the tail end of an interview with a local resident about something that was happening in Berlin. It's unusual for our local news programs to have stories related to world affairs, so I figured something big had happened, and set the VCR (remember those?) to record the NBC Nightly News which followed at 6:30.

    That broadcast had Tom Brokaw reporting live from the Brandenburg Gate. At the beginning, a huge crowd was massed in front of the wall (the west side), and the East German police were shooting water from fire hoses on the other side, to keep people off. By the end of the broadcast, the police had given that up, people had climbed up on the wall from both sides, and had started chipping off pieces.

    I was so overcome by what I had seen that I left the house to go to campus, hoping to find someone in the computer lab or somewhere that I could talk to. Right after closing the door I realized that although I had my car key, I didn't have my house key! And my wife was out of town. So I ended up driving to a colleague's house, where we tracked down a locksmith and got him to break into my house for me.

    I've still got that recording of the NBC News broadcast, which I transferred to DVD several years ago. You can also find a link to a copy of part the broadcast here. (Actually, almost the entire show was given over to coverage of the events in Berlin.)
     
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  3. Nov 9, 2009 #2
    I was 10 months old.
     
  4. Nov 9, 2009 #3

    lisab

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    Wow...I bet you cried, Sorry (haha).

    I was 26, exactly :smile: and in college still (um, yes, I took the long route). There was no TV where I lived. I heard about it on the radio while I was jogging around Green Lake in Seattle...I remember it well. But I thought they meant, the wall had fallen because it was poorly made, hahaha. I wasn't really paying much attention, my focus then was on school (and jogging).
     
  5. Nov 9, 2009 #4
    I probably was crying ;) Such a beautiful day.
     
  6. Nov 9, 2009 #5
    I was almost a year and a half old. I have a piece of the Berlin wall mounted on marble.
     
  7. Nov 9, 2009 #6
    But did it stop illegal immigration?
     
  8. Nov 9, 2009 #7

    jtbell

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    While it was up, it did a pretty good job of stopping illegal emigration.
     
  9. Nov 9, 2009 #8

    lisab

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    The wall did some of that...but I think the sharp shooters in the watchtowers did a good deal of the dissuasion, though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  10. Nov 9, 2009 #9

    russ_watters

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    And there wasn't much illegal immigration anyway...
    The mines didn't hurt either!
     
  11. Nov 9, 2009 #10

    russ_watters

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    I was a teenager when it happened. I remember watching it on TV at home and realizing how profound it was, but I can't seem to remember quite the vivid details other people do about where they were and what they were doing at the time of such events.
     
  12. Nov 9, 2009 #11
    I was only 6 months old at the time. Glad I was alive when it happened though. Even if I can't claim to have even known about it till much later in life, it's nice to be able to say "this happened in my lifetime".
     
  13. Nov 9, 2009 #12

    Office_Shredder

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    It's amazing how much of a difference between east and west Berlin there is even today
     
  14. Nov 10, 2009 #13
    So did bullets. Corpses wont proceed with further attempts to immigrate.
     
  15. Nov 10, 2009 #14
    I remembered I didn't cared to much. If anything, the event constituted a reassurance that the changes sweeping through Eastern Europe at that time will continue. Although I was glad for the German ppl.

    I was 16 at the time, living in Romania in a town near the border with Hungary . We all hoped that the events started by Hungary in august 89 will have a "chain effect". They did. Berlin wall was a high profile event, with a lot of international coverage. In my country the moment arrived in mid December. Unfortunately, it wasn't peaceful as in other places. It was violent and ended up in bloodshed. In several city tanks where roaming on the streets. Fortunately, the army sided very fast with the population demanding a change of regime.

    I later learned about the "Prague spring". I think Prague Spring was a trully important event, and represents better than any other event the opposition of humans to the cancer called "communism"
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  16. Nov 10, 2009 #15

    mheslep

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    You had no information about the Prague Spring prior to 1989?
     
  17. Nov 10, 2009 #16
    How about the Hungarian revoltion or the Polish solidarity strikes??
     
  18. Nov 10, 2009 #17

    Borek

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    Symptomatically - I DON'T remember. I suppose that's because for us here, in Poland, that was just an echo of things that have happened earlier here.
     
  19. Nov 10, 2009 #18
    Of course we did, but not in newspapers, books, and so. Only what out parents friends would have told us. I had very little information because I wasn't very interested in my teen ages at all in history of Eastern Europe.
     
  20. Nov 10, 2009 #19
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  21. Nov 10, 2009 #20

    Borek

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