by Genevieve Long for The Epoch Times
NEW YORK—Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, several journalists who were there reminisced on witnessing history. During a forum at the German House in New York, they shared memories of the mood at the moment in history when the barrier between East and West Germany was shattered.
Tim Aeppel is a foreign correspondent based in Bonn, Germany, and covered the events before and after the fall of the wall for The Wall Street Journal. Aeppel was at Checkpoint Charlie in East Berlin on the night of Nov. 9, 1989 with East Germans.
Aeppel recalled that at one point, the border guards started handing out cards to a crowd of over 700 that had gathered. The crowd threw the cards on the ground in defiance, finally fed up.
“I realized that was a turning point,” said Mr. Aeppel, who was awake for the next 48 hours following the story. “The crowd was firm, but they weren’t hostile.”
The sheer historical significance of what was unfolding wasn’t lost on Aeppel.
“As a journalist this was the biggest thing I could have been covering other than a war,” he said.
Michael Meyer, who was also at Checkpoint Charlie that night, said there were moments of uncertainty about whether things would turn violent.