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  1. ITV Report

Woman who escaped East Berlin in 1965 reflects on 30th anniversary of wall crumbling

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Paul Davies

It was three decades ago - the world watched in astonishment as a communist empire crumbled. That symbol of division, the Berlin wall, brought crashing down.

Gabrielle Paissone was one of those watching from afar as Berlin, her city, was reunited.

"I saw it on the TV and I rung my family and they didn't know - they were asleep, they had to work. I said listen, the wall is crumbling the wall is coming down!"

Gabrielle Paissone was one of those watching from afar as Berlin, her city, was reunited.

As a teenager Gabrielle had escaped East Berlin in 1965 in the boot of a car driven by two French officers.

But fleeing Berlin meant Gabrielle couldn't see her family - her little brother and sisters - for 25 years.

Sitting in London 30 years ago she knew that was about to change.

Germans from East and West stand on the Berlin Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in November 1989. Credit: AP

Within weeks, her sisters Betina and Christine were able to visit her in London. A cherished video captured the moment they saw the queen.

Her sisters, both doctors, still live in a united Berlin. Gabrielle chose to stay in her adopted home.

She said: "It's perfect. I've got two children, a life here, both married, five grandchildren."

But those images of events starting to unfurl 30 years ago tonight will always bring a tear to her eye.