6 September 2009

Nikolaikirche ... open for all

On 4 September 1989 the "Monday Prayers" restarted at the Nikolaikirche in Leipzig after the summer break. Coindientally the Leipzig Fair was taking place and as was the custom western journalists found it relatively easy to gain accreditation and , more importantly, as per custom ,received permission to report from and to film anywhere in Leipzig. The role of the western media in directing attention on the GDR's second city in the hot autumn of 1989 has perhaps not received the attention that it deserves. About 1000 people took part in the peace pryaers and about 800 joined a demonstration with slogans such as "freedom of assembly, freedom of association", "for an open land with free people", which the Stasi rapidly tried to break up. All this was captured by western television. Another demonstration of would-be-emigrants gathered before Leipzig main station. afterwards towards the Leipzig main station. Two days later at a meeting to coincide with the Leipzig fair, Superintendent Christof Ziemer called for a process of renewal for society. The course was set for a snowball of protest that would culminate on 9 October, and one that was being observed far from Leipzig.


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