On 9 November, 30 years will pass since the fall of the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the Cold War. For many, the events of this November day came unexpectedly. Before that evening, member of the German Democratic Republic political bureau Günter Schabowski announced the opening of borders in passing during a media briefing in East Berlin. Hearing the news, the people of East Berlin flooded in their masses to the border. The first part of the wall to fall was the security checkpoint on Bornholmer Street. The guards called their superiors many times to ask for instructions on how to deal with the people crossing into West Berlin, but received no answer. At 11.29 p.m. they decided to lift the boom gate of their own accord, allowing thousands of people to step into freedom.
Through the eyes of the guards, this humorous film looks at this historic event.
Before the screening there will be a discussion between historian Karsten Brüggeman and Ambassador H.E Ms Christiane Hohmann.
East Berlin, 1989, the twilight of the communist empire. It starts with a few curious East-Germans gathering around the border-crossing between East and West Berlin at Bornholmer Strasse on the evening of November 9th, 1989. They had watched TV, just like chief border guard Lieutenant Colonel Harald Schäfer. They had all heard what an official announced: East-German citizens allowed to cross the border, effective immediately. Coming from a communist official, this couldn’t be a joke. For a nation kept behind gates and fences for 28 years, the news sounds so strange it could be true. As the handful of East Germans begins to grow, Schäfer needs something to calm his nerves and his stomach: an order! But his superior is in no condition to give orders, since he can’t get an order himself. Orders were apparently the first to flee the country. The crowd grows and West Berliners are now coming to watch, with TV crews in tow. Schäfer, orderless, confused, forced to assert himself so as to prevent a massacre, tries a different tactic: taking a decision instead of an order! Just as Schäfer’s men can no longer control the surging crowds, Schäfer takes a little decision that soon assumes a dimension that will literally change the world.
The event will be held in English.
The event is free of charge.
Event in Facebook.
Photo: Nik Konietzy (ARD/UFA FICTION)
The event is being supported by the Embassy of Germany in Estonia and Goethe-Institut Estland
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