The fire brigade announces “State of emergency New Year’s Eve” – and the applause comes from the tape at the Brandenburg Gate – BZ Berlin

New Year’s Eve started quieter than in previous years in Berlin. Since 7 p.m. the fire brigade has been in the usual “New Year’s Eve”, as the helpers say.

According to a spokesman, there have been no special incidents so far. The police, which are deployed with around 2,900 people, made a similar statement. In the streets of Wedding, Kreuzberg and Neukölln, firecrackers and rocket shots could be heard over and over again in the evening. Compared to previous years, the noise level was initially limited.

In the Märkisches Viertel, in Gropiusstadt and on Hermannplatz, the police had to intervene because groups had gathered there. “Igniting pyro, firing alarm weapons, consuming alcohol – those from our college. The recorded personal data fill several advertisements, ”said the police on Twitter.

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According to the police, the Berlin cityscape is otherwise “unusually calm” on New Year’s Eve – even if it bangs “here and there”. “This shows that Berliners have so far mostly adhered to the rules, for which our head of operations expressly thanks”, the emergency services shared on Twitter.

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Especially on the streets, which are usually loud and chaotic on New Year’s Eve, the impression was also confirmed in the later evening. Officials on Sonnenallee in Neukölln repeatedly disbanded smaller groups of people. But according to a dpa reporter, there were hardly any people on the otherwise well-frequented Hermannplatz in the late evening. Also at Kottbusser Tor in Kreuzberg only a few were out.

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Fireworks were not allowed to be sold this year. The Berlin Senate also set up 56 prohibited zones in which the burning of firecrackers and rockets is prohibited. The sale of alcohol in retail stores was also prohibited from the early afternoon. With the measures, the Senate wants to ensure that fewer injured people need to be cared for in the emergency rooms, which are already busy, and that there are no large crowds in the pandemic.

Car and balcony on fire

The accident hospital tweeted around 8 p.m. Berlin from the first patient with “# Böllerschmerz”. How many people were injured as a result of fireworks was initially not known. The fire brigade also spoke of a much quieter New Year’s Eve compared to previous years.

Three and a half hours after the start of the operation at 7 p.m., the fire brigade reported almost 135 rescue operations and around 30 fire operations.

The emergency services had to extinguish a burning vehicle in Sömmeringstrasse in Charlottenburg. In the Falkenseer Chausee near Spandau, a balcony was on fire. But nobody was injured, said a fire department spokesman.

A small car burned out in Sömmeringstrasse (Photo: spreepicture)
A small car burned out in Sömmeringstrasse (Photo: spreepicture)

Applause from the tape at the Brandenburg Gate

At the Brandenburg Gate, where hundreds of thousands of people usually celebrate on New Year’s Eve, it remained largely empty. The great height fireworks that are usually ignited there had been canceled. ZDF will broadcast its New Year’s Eve show live from there. But: The applause came from the tape, Thomas Gottschalks greeted by video switch: ZDF broadcast its traditional New Year’s Eve show from the Brandenburg Gate without an audience on site.

Moderator Thomas Gottschalk will join the ZDF New Year's Eve show Welcome 2021 at the Brandenburg Gate (Photo: dpa)
Moderator Thomas Gottschalk will join the ZDF New Year’s Eve show Welcome 2021 at the Brandenburg Gate (Photo: dpa)

The television viewers could apply to be shown live from their living rooms. The moderators Andrea Kiewel and Johannes B. Kerner explained to the audience what is different in the Corona year: Normally hundreds of thousands are present at the party at the Brandenburg Gate. “Today there are two of us,” said Kiewel. Álvaro Soler and Vicky Leandros were among the first stars to appear on Thursday night.

Vicky Leandros appears in front of empty stands - a (probably also a bit sad) premiere for the singer (Photo: dpa)
Vicky Leandros appears in front of empty stands – a (probably also a bit sad) premiere for the singer (Photo: dpa)

The Brandenburg Gate was illuminated in the style of the Festival of Light during the show. The great Berlin fireworks display, which is usually ignited at midnight for Germany’s largest New Year’s Eve party, had been canceled.

The New Year's Eve party without an audience - an unusual sight (Photo: AFP)
The New Year’s Eve party without an audience – an unusual sight (Photo: AFP)

The police said on Twitter that their emergency services ensured during the ZDF show that no viewers would gather there and that the ban on gathering in the government district was observed.

In response to critical questions from Twitter users, the ZDF emphasized that the production would be “implemented taking into account all current regulations of the Infection Protection Act as well as all necessary security measures”.

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The health and protection of everyone involved in production is the top priority.

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