25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall

This is well worth an hour's watching - particularly if you are interested enough to be reading this thread . . .

"Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the BBC's John Simpson goes back to examine his reports and consider why history did not turn out quite the way he expected".


Note: ONLY 28 days left to watch on "i-play".

Of particular interest was to learn it was all a mistake . . . . and the "fault" of the BBC :) .

Apparently the East German Politburo, had decided to announce the they had decided to relax the conditions for applying for travel visas . . . FAILING TO BRIEF THE(IR) SPOKESMAN, OF THE DATE THE CHANGES WOULD BE INTRODUCED.

The programme shows the press briefing - which apparently was NOT intended to be broadcast live - but which was broadcast live!

The spokesman is asked when the changes ( . . . to the conditions for applying for travel visas . . . ), are to be introduced, and confused/having not been told himself, blurts out "Now".

The live broadcast was being monitored my the BBC, and the information about the travel changes was re-broadcast by the BBC . . . . without any specific details about the necessity (still) to apply for a visa (with different conditions), only that the the "changes" were effective "now".

The populous of East Berlin chose to interpret the information as they wanted, and (as they say), "the-Rest-is-History" . . . :) .
Cheers for spoiling the ending
 
I’ve got 2 sets of friends in Berlin. One couple were West (Spandau) & the other East (Marzahn).
The Wessies still to this day say ”Ugh, those over there. The bloody ossies! They cost us a fortune” etc.
The East couple, while liking the current status quo also look back to the GDR with fondness.
We were walking through Alexander Platz at night about 10 years ago. My mate (who I’m sure he told me once, years ago, that he had a blue passport in GDR times ?) pointed at some youths who were being loud and obnoxious & said “DDR? Nicht!”.
They’ve also said “don’t feel sorry for us, it wasn’t THAT bad!”.

So much for happy reunification.
 

The_Gremlin

Old-Salt
They were forced to comply at every turn. If they didn't they had restrictions imposed which could mean no promotion, no further education, travel restrictions (even worse than the ones already in place). All the social and sporting clubs were run by party members, all head teachers were party members. Local councils, foremen at work...all party members.
Everyone had to worry about the Stasi and the state authorities, even the heads of state themselves.
Did you know that when they searched the Stasi HQ after the wall had come down, in Erich Mielke's safe they found a brief case with compromising information on Hoeneker in it?
Socialism/communism relies on total subservience to the state, anything else and you will be in trouble.
How did they get into the safe?
 

The_Gremlin

Old-Salt
The "Official Secrets Act" is the absolute bottom rung of the security system ladder for our nation that has to be signed by any person before they even set foot in a military establishment, and that's before the lowest level of vetting is done. Really just an agreement that the person doing the signing will do the right thing thereafter or suffer the consequences.
Slightly off topic, but I've seen civvies walking around military establishments who I know to be convicted drug dealers and thieves.
 
Though I was in the mob when it happened, I don't actually remember it. I must have been off my tits that weekend... which I often was.
 
Cheers for spoiling the ending
Oh! . . . That wasn't the best bit . . . ;) !!





Edit: @ExREME..TECH you will have to wait until the very end/credits, to see who did the voice-over!

It was a surprise to me . . . Think Italian ?! ;) .
 
Last edited:

The_Gremlin

Old-Salt
This is well worth an hour's watching - particularly if you are interested enough to be reading this thread . . .

"Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the BBC's John Simpson goes back to examine his reports and consider why history did not turn out quite the way he expected".


Note: ONLY 28 days left to watch on "i-play".

Of particular interest was to learn it was all a mistake . . . . and the "fault" of the BBC :) .

Apparently the East German Politburo, had decided to announce the they had decided to relax the conditions for applying for travel visas . . . FAILING TO BRIEF THE(IR) SPOKESMAN, OF THE DATE THE CHANGES WOULD BE INTRODUCED.

The programme shows the press briefing - which apparently was NOT intended to be broadcast live - but which was broadcast live!

The spokesman is asked when the changes ( . . . to the conditions for applying for travel visas . . . ), are to be introduced, and confused/having not been told himself, blurts out "Now".

The live broadcast was being monitored my the BBC, and the information about the travel changes was re-broadcast by the BBC . . . . without any specific details about the necessity (still) to apply for a visa (with different conditions), only that the the "changes" were effective "now".

The populous of East Berlin chose to interpret the information as they wanted, and (as they say), "the-Rest-is-History" . . . :) .
Lots more on the normal BBC website (not i-player) today about this topic.
I can't post a link.
 

The_Gremlin

Old-Salt
Right up there at the top of my list of postings over the years and feel privileged to have been there whilst the wall was still up. Great memories of amongst other things, Ex Rocking horse, Ruhleben FIBUA complex, Grunewald, Checkpoints Alpha/Charlie, military train, shopping in East Berlin in No2 dress, guarding Rudolph Hess in Spandau prison, swimming in the Havel, marching down the Unter Der Linden with the Yanks and French as part of the annual allied parade, Battalion photograph on the steps of the Reichstag, proper winters and FRIS . Who said the army was dull?

Above all, marching with my Borderer brothers, pipes and drums leading, from the Olympic stadium onto the Mayfield to parade in front of Her Majesty - awesome!
Did you really drive to West Berlin via Checkpoints Alpha and Charlie? It was more traditional to arrive through Checkpoint Bravo. Although some people did drive around Berlin and enter from the East. The scamps.
 

Latest Threads

Top