Fall of the Berlin Wall eyewitness: ‘We took a picnic to the people from the East. It felt like a time to share...’

 

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The Independent Online

What happened was such a surprise. Nobody was really expecting the Wall to collapse when it did, but that night there was such a party atmosphere in Berlin. We couldn’t believe what was happening, there was such excitement.

The crowds came from the East and made such a noise when they came through. People were drinking champagne and partying and everyone in the West was celebrating too. It really was such an important day.

We took a picnic of chocolate, bananas and tea and handed them out to the people from the East, especially those with small children – it felt like it was a time to share and to celebrate. We made friends with one family who came to our house that weekend for dinner. We didn’t know them, but suddenly we had friends from the East.

Everyone from the East was given 100 Deutsch Marks and there were huge queues outside the department stores over the next few days. I spent a lot of time walking around and witnessing political meetings – lots of talks took place in front of the town halls.

I also went to East for the first time – I had no need to go before, but I wanted to see what it was like, what the buildings looked like, what sort of bread they had in their shops.

Jutta Hagow was a teacher in West Berlin in 1989

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