Monday, November 9, 2009

The German 9/11

Is it coincidence? This history laden date when an iconic building burst to pieces and nothing was like it was before thereafter. - Im am NOT writing about the Twin Towers - instead the 9th of November in German date format 9.11. is the much celebrated 20. anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Even Google joins the celebrations all about with this Doodle Graphic

Everybody is being asked these days "Where have you been on that day"? and "Do you remember what you did on the 9th of November 1989.
Here is my story:
I worked for AMD at the time in the north German sales office near Hannover - a rather remote outpost on the global perspective of the CPU business. Two weeks before the 11/9 date I made up a visit to see customers in Berlin - not with the faintest idea on what was about to happen.  This meant to fly with one of allowed airlines of the former allied forces, that is you had to fly PanAm or BA through a special air corridor over the East German Communist territory.
So when the breaking news spread on the late evening of the 9th of November, quickly all travel slots to Berlin the next day filled within seconds. I was lucky to hold a valid reservation by pure coincidence on that very next day for Berlin.
So I took my video camera and made a record documenting the day - the 10th of November knowing that history was happening. The mood in Berlin was amazing - the whole City in "festival mode" people celebrating and cheering all about. At the same time it was unreal in a sense, a fairy tale atmosphere, where people felt like "give us a knock - we must be dreaming, it´s just too unbelievable to be true".
In retrospect, I should have brought my still camera as well and I could have taken some really historic pictures in high quality- what I do have is only a shaky VHS video but nevertheless it is a document of the rare luck of being at the right spot the right time.
As I think about it, I might edit out a 3min version and put it on YouTube...

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