tv DW News Deutsche Welle November 9, 2019 6:00pm-6:30pm CET
this is d.w. news live from berlin celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the berlin wall we'll go live to berlin's brandenburg gate for festivities that will include a keynote speech by germany's president also coming up on coverage of this historic anniversary at the berlin wall memorial the presidents of poland the czech republic slovakia and hungary joined the german leaders and berliners took place roses in the remaining section of the wall german president front steinmeyer hailed the role that those countries hajj and the events of $989.00. and we'll look back at that
historic night 30 years ago and the events that led up to the fall of the wall. omarion evanston it's great to have you with us germany is marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of the berlin wall events are taking place across the capital with a big celebration currently underway at the landmark brandenburg gate on november 9th 1989 communist east german authorities lifted travel restrictions and opened the border crossings to allow people to move freely to the west after decades of oppression and the fall of the berlin wall was the result of what's seen as a peaceful revolution that soon led to german reunification.
correspondent michelle is covering the event at the brandenburg gate and she joins us now so what is the mood where you are is any of the euphoria from back then noticeable tonight. but it was it is a celebration removed down of brandenburg gate where several 1000 people are gathering and those central celebrations are just getting underway you can hear the music in the background but of course 30 years ago around this time 6 pm berlin time nobody had an inkling before of the berlin wall was just a couple of hours away. so it's a celebrate remove as many people just talking to each other and also a lot of exhibitions going on small exhibitions reminding everyone that behind me where you can now freely pass through the round of bourke gates that was the who
which divided east and west was where nato met the warsaw pact it was the front line of the cold war. well it's going to be multi-faceted commemoration a vent what is on for this evening. yes we can already hear music behind me a lot of songs will be played among the song when i left which became something of a hymn of those people who decided to simply try their luck who fled hungary days weeks before eventually the berlin wall fell down the bottom one will be conducting beethoven's 5th symphony there will be a video installation at the same time going on behind me on that big globe that you see there and as you mentioned front protests time of the president will be speaking as well so very interesting dialogue also that we'll see on stay.
amongst those who witnessed those days and witnessed this major change also as a change of their own personal biography. the curve now reporting from berlin's brandenburg gate and say we will be checking in with you again a little bit later in the program said to stand by for us. while the festive commemoration of vent at the brandenburg gate this evening follows a more somber memorial that took place earlier in the day at barron which is one of the only places where a part of the berlin wall is still standing german chancellor angela merkel and other european leaders took part in a special ceremony to remember those who lost their lives trying to escape communist east germany. ceremonies in the heart of berlin commemorate the 30th anniversary of what's called the peaceful revolution. today this section of the wall is a memorial site but 3 decades ago it separated east and west germany and this
symbolic location is where the official memorial celebrations are taking place. the iron curtain is now history that's what these young people say they are from the so-called visit grug countries poland the czech republic slovakia and hungary their message 30 years after the fall of the wall europe stands united and in his speech german president funk steinmeyer emphasized the role of east european countries before the fall of the wall the openly demonstrated for more freedom. or did more. all of the infighting that's been born without the courage and desire for freedom that motivated the poles hunger ariens czechs and slovaks the peaceful
revolutions in eastern europe and german reunification would not have been possible does the guns on. this place and this day remind us of a great historical achievement. and they remind us that today we europeans are united in joy. so and so i'm going to find the chapel of reconciliation was built on the former death strip where the east german government demolished a church 4 years before the wall fell this chapel hosts regular ceremonies in honor of those who died during germany's hears of division. in the on the mentioned i pay tribute to those who were killed near the wall because they sought freedom i pay tribute to the 75000 people who were imprisoned because they attempted to flee east germany and. the 9th of november is
a day of destiny a day of horrible but also joyful moments in history that reminds us that hate racism and anti-semitism must be fought and. then a moment of solemn thoughts for the victims of a divided germany. and covering the main commemoration of vent at the brandenburg gate as our political correspondent michelle had a curfew and she joins us now once again so much higher the brandenburg gate can be really considered berlin's most famous landmark what does this place symbolize for germans. well it's symbols symbolizes change and civilizes really that the hopes of germany is here with the land of course being the german capital but that by no means was both in the 1st
years ago when the former allied forces had to talk about potential german reunification and also the decision making there are that's where it was in the talk that the brandenburg gate would once again be. the heart of the german capital the western capital of course having been born at that time these are all things we take for granted but when people lie and that in war most of all be wanted to get into the west they want to get into more free life and that is really working people are celebrating this evening around the brandenburg gate which initially more than 200 years ago was set up as a symbol of power of the process of empire here. at the brandenburg gate commemoration event thank you very much here. on now let's bring in peter craven who's with me here in the studio peter hello to
you there's been a lot of speeches today from different political leaders we heard from uncle americal earlier we heard from the german president or what was the central message from political leaders today i think the central message is very much that this was a peaceful revolution that there was no bloodshed and that has been echoed by all the political leaders and people here in germany are indeed rightfully proud of this fact it could of course have been so very different tournaments square in china just a few couple of months earlier and there was at least one prominent east german communist leader who actually applauded what took place there the robust approach of the chinese authorities so that kind of thing was avoided here in germany and that's important because obviously germany had. got a very difficult history with the nazi period and then the east german communist period so a bloodless revolution revolution is something indeed to be proud of and it is a model for many people coming to berkeley
a lot of the tourists or people from other countries outside germany who come to germany in these days and throughout the year they're looking for in some instances a model for how walls could come down liberty could be won in their own countries. peter craven we will be speaking again. in just a few moments adieu stay with me you're watching special coverage of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the berlin wall reporting on the commemorative events taking place here in berlin but now we have a look at how it all started on this day 30 years ago was. the wall must go what had seemed unimaginable became true on november 9th 1909. after 28 years a chink in the wall and suddenly immeasurable freedom. when i'm with my mother and my father over there can i go over there and see my parents yes. good luck with. that thus no
one dreamed that this was possible in their life a tough guy image upload the sushi it is just too good to be true millions of people have been waiting for this moment. so you've never been to the west no never what sort of feeling is that brilliant indescribable the atmosphere in the joy you can't believe it why it's crazy. logs and. 11 30 pm at berlin's bornholmer strasse the transit point the borders 1st began to open here freedom had finally won. now it's off to west berlin. destination the glittering came down from a not.
just and we just walked right through without being stopped it was fantastic. i just went over with my id was led in just went over there i asked if it was free yes they asked what we're playing to play with and what did you do here in western and no effort just went over there and stood there. i had my feet on the ground that was it 1st just went over there to see if it's true because now i can go back and forth at any time it's fantastic leaders was surprised and overwhelmed former an incumbent man at brandenburg gate. they spoke of the happiest people in the united europe a visions and ideas. leave the peace somewhere for the museum. but the people must be able to meet each other again freely not just for a few days but only in ways. one year later east and west germany were
united but bitter memories of decades of separation and a system of oppression remained. to tell a political correspondent for craven is still here within the studio here take us back to that day 30 years ago how surprising was it that suddenly the berlin wall the borders just were opened well let me begin with myself person i'm own example i was a young teacher working in berlin of the time and i had been playing squash in the afternoon and i gone home and jumped into the bath and then to the people who i was sharing a problem with of the time they came back to the apartment and they said this guy from the communist party nature i'm going to shove boskin has issued a crazy garbled message but it seems as though the wall is going to be open i'm lying in the bath and i say was a jump out to get right in broad brush off to the to the wall and it certainly came as a huge surprise and you know it was at that time i had a lot of contacts in east germany at least berlin i knew people i knew ecologists under churchill types and squatters and you. i knew activists and even all these
people who were in the know they somehow felt the war was going to come down some time maybe in their lifetime maybe not and then suddenly one afternoon there it was it was tumbling down the wall was falling and that because it came complete. answered the gloom for the vast majority of them peter you are living in a west berlin and so i mean you have the freedom to travel. i'd like to know how you felt at that news and also perhaps what did your east german friends tell you about how it made them feel it was i was overjoyed i was overwhelmed obviously i mean there were it's a cliche i know we climbed up on to the wall really very early in the evening and we were standing opposite to the people and we were using the german word via incredibly bull it was unbelievable it was hit it was head spinning it was doing difficult to combine for instance germans especially for activists east germans people who had been part of the opposition movement they were less overwhelmed i
think because they what they were looking for was not for the wall to come down and for east and west germany to come together necessarily although some of them would have been looking for that as well but what they were looking for was some kind of democratic socialism some kind of reform of eastern german society to make it a more efficient and war humane place so i guess there wasn't a sense necessarily on the night of november 9th that this meant that the east german state was really about to fail or was there i think everybody these german states was morally politically bankrupt and everybody knew this and i think from the joint demonstrations alexander plots on the 4th of november just a couple of days before the wall came down people knew that the game was up for these german leadership and peter we will be speaking more in just a moment but now also as part of the w a special coverage of 30 years after the fall of the berlin wall our reporters
happened taking us to kill locations where history was made and now care hard l. for as joins us now from somewhere in the german capital gary hart. there you are gary hart tell us where you are and what made this particular place important. well there and i'm in more than just an ass and behind me there been that you see there's more on schlosser 36 and that was the place where the international press conference that peter just mentioned in his little memory walk down memory lane at the press a press conference of going to schabowski where he actually announced that the wall will be open this happened right here in this building right behind me and it was a day of course of frantic activity behind the scenes in the east german government the politico was meeting and they decided something needed to be done the country was bleeding out of mostly young people who left the country via czechoslovakia via hungary and something had to be done so they suggested to lift travel restrictions
so that east germans who wanted to leave the country for good could leave via regular regular checkpoints in east berlin and that was then presented to the head of government of state relatively newly installed even kinds at the time who gave it the nod it was he took it then to the central committee where it was discussed and basically approved and then going to schabowski only joint this central committee session a bit later. after it started and then he was told to go and brief the press and chavous the only had been appointed as press spokesman 3 days earlier so he wasn't didn't really have any routine and i believe we can have a listen to this press conference right now ok that's what we do have a look at a full press conference and i believe will start right now. the east german
government was under growing pressure on the evening of november 9th 1909 spokesman . called a press conference. in a bid to quell the growing demonstrations communist authorities had agreed to allow east germans to travel without restrictions to the west. he was asked by reporters when this would take effect he looked at his notes. just as far as i'm aware it's effective immediately because. the east german regime was caught off guard across the border in west berlin camera teams waited for something to happen the announcement set off a tidal wave of east german citizens who wanted to enter the west hours later history was made as people began crossing the border freely and the berlin wall began to fall. with me here this evening is garrick didn't orphan who was at the time the reporter
for west german radio who was on his only 2nd trip to east berlin to report from this press conference. at the time did you know something big was going to happen the town was filled with rumors and especially tension and expectations but if it happens this evening or next day or some days later nobody knows exactly at that moment was any inclination that they were about what they have to do something because the g.d.r. was bleeding out to death in that moment because the citizens left over. the land and the young people the families who left the land so they had to do something did you when you went into the press conference how did it go for you i mean what was what was said did you understand what was going on and was was it palpable it was
in a way and knowing what they were because it deals all with reforming socialism and making the better but that was not the scene the people were interested in the moment in the world he wasn't really talking about opening the borders was not not at all no that was for him not interesting for him was reforming socialism interesting but at the very end he started to talk about it and that's the bit you missed right yeah. that's my. personal fail because i have to leave the press conference 5 minutes before it's and because i go up stairs to make my radio life sessions with my radio station in west berlin so i left the press conference 2 minutes before he said this historical sentence big disappointment for young young. reporter there so after the press conference the news what out was out something was brewing what did you do i went
to some boss in principle back where the people sit together drinking beer and didn't know anything and i went in and told them hey the borders open what will you do next and that's was very touching for as i'll talk to lots and then they started to go to the bar and i go with us to the checkpoint where more and more people who was present gathering and the pressure against the wall was growing growing every minute thank you very much didn't hole from a very disappointed young reporter at the time to have a have missed this very historic moment and of course what was would become a very historic night back to you. reporting for us thank you very much cat well the berlin wall is gone by many germans still perceive walls in people's minds stark differences and divisions between east and west remain the process of
reuniting germany is still a work in progress. this is dan i watched last in the middle of berlin the wall is still here but as a memory of the city's physical division ended long ago but there are still great differences between east and west incomes remain higher in the west that's visible in each paycheck. the income gap may have narrowed over the past 30 years but on average westerners still earn a lot more. reunification brought with it the collapse of almost all industry in east germany virtually nothing came along to replace it it wasn't for lack of money the government invested 1.6 trillion euros in the former east. but high paying jobs are rare in the east mind and 3 percent of major companies are in the west. another key difference in the number of leadership
positions in the east versus west after reunification the top jobs in politics education and commercial were filled by westerners what started as a quick solution to replace eastern germany executives has stayed almost entirely in place. federal judges university chancellor senior government officials corporate executives decision making positions are only filled by easterners. only 1.7 percent of top leadership jobs are held by eastern germans. there's also a lingering feeling of dissatisfaction in the eastern part of the country 57 percent of easterners according to polls consider themselves 2nd class citizens that discontent also comes to the surface in elections the far right populist alternative for germany is twice as strong in the east as in the west. recent election results have shaken the political establishment bringing east and
west together is proving much harder than expected great strides have been made since $1809.00 but experts say it will take decades more until the differences dividing germany a truly overcome. and let's talk more now to our political correspondent peter craven here in the studio peter so as we've been hearing there are still quite a lot of differences between east and west germany what can be done about sound on matters doesn't there will be just as there is a report that it will be decades before the 2 parts of east and west germany begin to grow together from that report and in general from my observations in the last couple of weeks amongst the figure 57 percent keeps going around my head there the people who say we heard it in that report so they feel like these 2 eastern germans who say they feel like 2nd class citizens these are people who are shut out they're marginalised they went through trauma they became very wounded from the 1990 s. where 75 percent of east germans lost their jobs and there is
a culture process going on there are good news stories out there but so many people say that they. are tired of being left behind and they're tired of being told by west germans this is something that still happens that people still haven't quite got it the west germans talk about is germans as people who moan to march through of. who are grateful for what has been given to them and that he leads is great humiliation and very very painful indeed and that is something that has to stop and indeed. spose there's also it's not an accident that in many of these east german cities and towns is where we're seeing a resurgence of far right tendencies so there's that rail link there there's a custom souls in the role of the call to you vocalize who gives a voice to the people who feel like 2nd class citizens all right peter craven our political correspondent always great to talk to you. you're watching d.w.
we've. been to every language that you have not seen this gets me and they help us make it to interact with society you want to know their story influence her fighting and reliable information for migrants. one 5th of the law it was the night when the seemingly inconceivable became reality the fall of the berlin wall 25 years later these events were recreated on a film set of bornholmer strasse and including the emotions that overcame many east german so.