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 broadacst 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.
[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?
Written & produced by Piotr Wołodźko
Edited by Adam Zulawski & Wojciech Oleksiak
Scoring & sound design by Wojciech Oleksiak
Hosted by Nitzan Reisner & Adam Zulawski
And a special thank-you to Justyna Chaberek, our Berlin-based fixer and translator for this episode.