AP reporter recounts covering fall of Berlin Wall in 1989

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BERLIN (AP) — Frieder Reimold settled in on Nov. 9, 1989, to watch a televised evening briefing by Guenter Schabowski, a member of East Germany's Politburo.

About an hour into the rambling news conference, Schabowski mentioned that East Germany was lifting restrictions on travel across its border into West Germany.

Reimold, then the Berlin bureau chief of The Associated Press' German service, typed out what has become his iconic alert: "DDR oeffnet Grenzen" — "East Germany opens borders."

Less than one hour later, as West German broadcasters and West Berlin radio station RIAS began picking up the AP alert, East Berliners began jamming border crossings in Berlin.

"This was the alert that changed the course of the night," Reimold says.

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