Original "Schabowskis-Note"

Highlight Exhibit at the Palace of Tears

Tränenpalast – Palace of Tears

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Original © Stiftung Haus der Geschichte

Günter Schabowski’s note for the press conference on November 9, 1989 is presented for the first time at the Tränenpalast in Berlin.
„As far as I know – effective immediately, without delay…” With these words on November 9, 1989, Günter Schabowski significantly contributed to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening of the GDR border. As a spokesman of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany politburo, Schabowski was answering questions at the end of a press conference, when he was asked by an Italian journalist, when the new travel regulations will be implemented. Schabowski quoted a proposed resolution from the council of ministers, which had modified travel regulations planned. The spokesman had made talking points accordingly in his notes. It slipped his attention that the travel regulations were to be implemented the next day with specific restraints and regulations. In the evening of November 9, 1989, after the press conference, thousands of East-Germans flocked to the border checkpoints of East-Berlin and demanded to be let into West-Berlin. Media reports only strengthened the impression that the border had already opened. The overwhelmed GDR-border guards finally let the people cross the border without the necessary identification papers. The Berlin Wall had fallen.

Tränenpalast – Palace of Tears
Reichstagufer 17
10117 Berlin

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