Fall of the Wall - 25 years

Spanish TV crew first to film ‘Fall of Berlin Wall’

Spanish TV crew first to film 'Fall of Berlin Wall'
The Spanish film crew was on hand to see the first Berlin Wall checkpoint opened on November 9th 1989. Image: TVE/YouTube
A Spanish TV crew captured exclusive footage of the first people crossing the border from East to West Berlin on the historic night the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989, the 25th anniversary of which was celebrated in Berlin on Sunday.

The crew with Spain's national broadcaster TVE had gone to the Berlin Wall checkpoint at Bornholmer Strasse on November 9th 1989, after thousands gathered at the wall demanding to be let through in the wake of a decision by East German authorities to allow total freedom of movement for their citizens.

The Spanish crew were the only television journalists on hand at the checkpoint, and midway through an interview with one woman, there was a commotion with people turning towards the border post.

"Look, look," said TVE journalist Rosa María Artal as the border gate was opened and the first East Berliners made the historic crossing.

The TVE film crew then shot exclusive video footage of people crossing over after the collapse of the wall.

It later emerged that East German border guard Harald Jäger made the snap decision to open the barrier at Bornholmer Strasse amid confusion and without clear orders from above.

It was the beginning of a flood of people crossing over into West Berlin and soon people were drinking, dancing and embracing in the streets of West Berlin. Many people brought tools and began immediately to dismantle the hated symbol of German separation.

TVE did not trumpet their exclusive footage, however, merely including it in a report on the historic occasion, Spain's La Información news site reported.

Click here to see The Local's Germany great live blog of celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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