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#MauerStories: “My home became a refuge for liberated East Berliners”

Ades Zabel was watching TV – and suddenly, their East-German cousin appeared at the door.

West Berliners welcome East Berliners the day the Wall fell (Photo: imago images / photothek)

On the evening of November 9th, I had nothing to do and was watching TV with my cat Brigitte in my two-room apartment with stove heating on Urbanstraße.

Suddenly, the television programme was interrupted. Spellbound, I followed the live broadcast on SFB. I sat there, cried, laughed and was happy. Even though it wasn’t far from my place to the border, I didn’t even think to go there.

From watching TV to a state of emergency

Suddenly, around one o’clock, my doorbell rang. I had no idea who it could’ve been. It was my cousin from East Berlin! We fell into each other’s arms. We didn’t go to the border though, instead we went to Oranienbar and celebrated properly. The next day, my cousin moved in. And then my friend Adriano and his girlfriend Jana came and moved in, too. The three of them were afraid that the border would be closed again.

For about six months, my place was the “reception centre Urbanstraße” and Berlin was in a state of emergency for the next two years. The most exciting time of my life!

Ades Zabel is an actor, comedian, and DJ.

Drag artist Ades Zabel today in costume. They were watching TV when the wall fell.
Ades Zabel in full costume today.


Translated by Aida Baghernejad



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