Rumors flew around the city: Hospitals had been stocked with extra blood and beds; stadiums were readied to hold masses of arrested demonstrators.On his way home from work at the opera house in the middle of town that day, Leipziger Hans Georg Kluge remembers seeing the city filling with soldiers and police.
In September and early October, East German police had cracked down forcefully on protesters in Dresden, Berlin and Plauen. "It wasn't at all clear it would be peaceful." On Monday, Oct.
9, Fuehrer, Wonneberger and the others at the Nicolaikirche decided to go ahead with the scheduled protests.
Pastors Christian Fuehrer and Christoph Wonneberger had never seen so many people in the Nicolaikirche, an 800-year-old church in downtown Leipzig. 9, 1989, and the two young pastors knew they were on the verge of something huge.
Twenty years ago, the residents of Leipzig took to the streets under the banner 'We Are the People' and sparked peaceful protests that would lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall only a few weeks later.
All of East Germany, it seemed, was holding its breath.
"We were so worried they would come in and shoot everybody," said Dorothee Kern, then a graduate student in the nearby city of Halle.9 demonstration that rocked East Germany and helped pave the way for the collapse of the Berlin Wall more than a month later.'People Were Willing to Take Risks Outside Berlin' The events in Leipzig tend to be overshadowed by the sudden collapse of the Berlin Wall, which was photographed and filmed by hundreds of journalists and broadcast around the world. There are just a few grainy tapes of the huge Monday Demonstrations, and outside of Germany they have mostly been forgotten.Eventually, they attracted people eager to discuss a wide range of causes, from the environment to the right to travel freely.By the fall of 1989, the prayer meetings had evolved into a nationwide movement centered in Leipzig. 9, Leipzig hosted the largest protest demonstration in East German history: Between 70,000 and 100,000 peaceful demonstrators braved warnings from the feared Stasi, or secret police, and thousands of armed riot cops to march around the city center.In the end, the police did nothing, setting the stage for a peaceful revolution that swept across East Germany.