How an East German cameraman filmed the first major demonstrations in the GDR from the top of a church steeple in Leipzig. A month later, East Germany would effectively cease to exist. Part of our mini-series The Final Curtain.
Siegbert Schefke was officially unemployed after being fired from his job as a building engineer. Unofficially, he began to arrange for diplomats to smuggle videotapes from East Germany to be broadcast on West German TV stations. As it happens, most East Germans could also pick up Western TV on their receivers. Siegbert didn't really know how to use a video camera, but that didn't really matter, what mattered was that the world could see what was really going on behind the Wall.
How did Siegbert and his friend Aram Radomski end up filming the first major protest in the GDR on 9th October 1989? How did they outfox the Stasi and get the footage to the West? Find out in the newest episode of The Final Curtain.
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[01:08] Born in the GDR [03:50] From part-time revolutionary to full-time revolutionary [06:22] Smuggling videotapes to the West [08:40] Foreign diplomats & secret codes [11:11] The Monday Demonstrations in Leipzig [14:27] Making history [18:22] The day the Berlin Wall fell [21:12] What next?
Siegbert Schefke // short biography on Revolution89.de
The Monday Demonstrations in East Germany // on Wikipedia
A Peaceful Revolution in Leipzig // on Spiegel.de
'I was very angry for 30 years' // interview on AlJazeera.com
Sex, Karate & Videotapes: The VHS Craze of the 1989 Transformation // on Culture.pl
Written & produced by Piotr Wołodźko Edited by Adam Zulawski & Wojciech Oleksiak Scoring & sound design by Wojciech Oleksiak Hosted by Nitzan Reisner & Adam Zulawski