"The Joyous Invasion", 11/12 November 1989: "The Joyous Invasion" (excerpts) [1/1]



November 11 - 12 1989
Duration: 19:25 min.
Created By: Erich Meyer

License: Creative Commons License

Excerpts from an amateur documentary chronicling a visit by East German citizens to the West German town of Braunschweig on the first weekend following the opening of the borders on 9th November 1989


crowd, fall of the Berlin Wall, freedom of travel, joy, shopping, visit, welcome gift, welcome money



Text in image

Erich / Meyer / braunschweig


Die / fröhliche / Invasion

Ein / historisches / Wochenende / in Braunschweig / 11./12. Nov. 1989

Miterlebt / aufgezeichnet / bearbeitet / von / Erich Meyer

[…] / Zeitung / Unabhängig – nicht parteige[...] / Nr. 263/44 Jahrgang Freitag 10 November 1989 / Die DDR öffnet ihre Grenze […]

Braunschweiger / Zeitung / Unabhängig – Nicht parteigebunden / Nr. 264/44 Jahrgang Sonnabend 11. November 1989 / Ost-Berlin: Die Grenze bleibt durchlässig

Auch in Magdeburg / SED-Chef abgelöst / Magdeburg (ddp) Die SED-Be- / zirksleitung Magdeburg hat das Polit- / büromitglied Werner Eberlein (70) als / Bezirksparteichef abgelöst

ZK der SED räumt auf – Mittag und Herrmann gefeuert / FDJ: Erich Honecker hat / die DDR – Jugend betrogen

Krenz plädiert für / Sonderparteitag

Günter Schabowski / SED-Politbüro

„Freude über / die Öffnung / der Grenze“


[Braunschweiger] / Zeitun[g] / Salzgitter-Zeitung/Wolfsburger Na[...] / 17/18/19 November 1989 / Herzlich willkommen!

Vorsorge für mögliche Besucherwelle aus der DDR / Sonnabend und Sonntag / Schalter und Läden offen

Guten Tag, / liebe Mitbürger / aus der DDR!


W. Pfeiffer.GmbH / [...]herrenbekleidung

HR / 55-68


Gehen Sie ruhig in die Luft / Austrian Airlines

Begrüßungsgeld / an DDR-Besucher / zahlt / die Stadt Braunschweig / durchgehend / bis Sonntag 23.00 Uhr / und am Montag ab 7.00 Uhr

Schalter 1




Stresa / [Ita]lienisches [Res]taurant



Sport Hause


Deutschland umarmt sich / Einigkeit und Recht / und Freiheit / Bild

100 Millionen Amerikaner / am Bild- /Schirm zu tränen gerührt

Moskau. London. Paris. Sofia.

Treffpunkt / City / Point / Treffpunkt

Wir akzeptieren / Ostmark / 1:10

Technisches Hilfswerk / Ortsverband / Braunschweig / H / W

Oberbürgermeister / Gerhard Glogowski

Dr. Rainer Zirbeck / Stadtkämmerer


Premium bananas / Chiquita







Strube / Obst Gemüse / [Nmr] / Braunschweig Großmarkt

Spezialität: / Täglich frische thüringe[...]


Neue Braunschweiger / am Sonntag / Grenzenlose Freude, / Tränen, Hoffnung

Aus aktuellem / Anlaß / Sonntag / von 10 bis 16 Uhr geöffnet


Die Braunschweiger-Wirtschaft / begrüßt die Besucher aus der DDR

Liebe Gäste aus der DDR / Genießen Sie Ihren Aufenthalt bei uns in / Braunschweig- und eine Tasse heißen / Kaffee/Schokolade. / Sie sind herzlich dazu eingeladen.

Würze der Natur



Ital. Eis-Cafe / Liro

11-12-11 / für Alle / D.D.R. / Bürger / ½ Preis


Wir haben für Sie / geöffnet: / Samstag, den 11.11. u. 8.30 – 18.00 h / Sonntag, den 12.11. u. 10.00 – 16.00 h


Reduziert / 19.90

Checkers / 49.90 / Checkers

Burg / passage

Eduscho / Cafe / Bar

Strube / liefert täglich frisch / Obst und Gemüse auf'n Tisch

Chiquita / Braunschweig / Grossmarkt

Hof / Apotheke

Ringhotels / Deutschland


Goldland / Oranges

Heimbs & Sohn / Braunschweig

Stadt Braunschweig / Katastrophenschutz / 1. Sanitätsbereitschaft


Norddeutscher Rundfunk


Movie / Wolters / Pilsener


Jetzt / 379.-

Guido's / Pizzeria / Ausser Haus Service / Pizza. Salate. / Spaghetti

Heute: / Für DDR Bürger / 1. Bier gratis

Märchenhafte / Geschenke / Großer / Spielwaren- und / Weihnachts-Markt / im 4. Obergeschoß



Woolworth / Geschenkideen

21.88 / Summe. Rückzahlung / Restbetrag. Zwischensumme / Rückgeld

Altenhilfe Lotterie

Viel / Glück!

H / Bohlweg- / Damm / 1 Hauptbahnhof / [...]

Coca Cola


„Die Mauer steht / gegen den Strom / der Geschichte.“ / (Willy Brandt, 1964)

Other items in this set


"My film, 'Die fröhliche Invasion' (The Joyous Invasion), which I made while a member of the BRAUNSCHWEIGER SCHMALFILM- UND VIDEO-CLUB (Braunschweig Short film and Video Club), uses video recordings from 11/12 November 1989. It's about the sudden, unforeseen visit of East Germans who, following the spectacular 'border crossing' on 9 November 1989, wanted to try out their new freedom and 'rolled' into the city of Braunschweig that wasn't far from the border. There were East German Trabbi and Wartburg cars everywhere.

This brilliant sunny weekend was a special experience for me too. Being an 'oldie', who has witnessed a number of historical events such as the Nazis, war, division, building of the Wall and others, I was, like many other people, totally taken aback by the new situation and the suddenness with which it happened.

It all started with Mr. Schabowski's legendary press conference on 9 November 1989. It went out on GDR television and I was able to receive it very clearly in Braunschweig. And then on Saturday morning, thus 11 November, I wanted to go into town to do some shopping. That was when I saw all the East German cars and anticipated what was going to happen. I decided to capture the happening on film since I'm a longstanding film and video amateur. I drove back to my flat, took my camcorder and started filming on the outskirts of the city already. Almost chronologically, I followed the stream of visitors towards the centre, observing them while they looked for somewhere to park as there was hardly anywhere left to park, and accompanied them to where they got their DM 100 'welcome money'. I was even able to stage a couple of brief, spontaneous interviews.

The atmosphere was indescribable. The joy, the way city residents welcomed the visitors, the outlay on the part of the city authorities and – and – and a readiness to help and invite the guests everywhere!

And after having had to wait so long, the East Germans were of course keen to exchange their Deutsch Marks for goods as quickly as possible. A bustle ensued in the streets and shops which far outdid the shopping fervour usually seen before Christmas!

I tried to capture as many individual scenes as possible and was by consequence, dependent on events. I ended up with a lot of material, no less because the same frenzy also took place on the Sunday. And although I removed a lot when I came to cut the film, I still ended up with a running time of 30 minutes for the finished film. Needless to say the image quality is not comparable with today's technology – I did only have a SONY V8 video camera at my disposal. It also wasn't possible to process the analogue picture material without compromising the quality and the VHS system I used for cutting is nothing like what's available nowadays.

In short therefore, it's a personal film that documents a once-in-a-lifetime event! Watch it and see for yourselves. And given that I'm of the view that films should be seen and not left to gather dust in a drawer, I have made it available for viewing and would be delighted if it can be topical again after so many years.

Much has been reported about the Wall, and with the result that everyone's most probably familiar with what happened. But since no television crews came to Braunschweig, I think my film actually represents a one-off report for the city, at least in its detailedness."

Erich Meyer