“Something’s happening in New York” This is how stern employees remember September 11, 2001

Wo warst du am 11. September 2001? Daran kann sich fast jeder noch erinnern. 20 Jahre nach den Anschlägen in New York berichten stern-Mitarbeiter davon, was sie mit diesem Tag verbinden.

September 11, 2001 – the date stands for itself. Everyone knows they mean the attack
s on the World Trade Center in New York, and almost everyone has a personal story to tel
l. The events have eaten their way not only into the political
and social, but also into the individual memory. 20 years after the attacks, stern employees remember how they experienced that 

Memories of September 11, 2001: “Turn on CNN”

Back then I was a freshly baked online editor for the “Financial Times Deutschland” and on my summer vacation near Florence. My friend was just getting ready for dinner in the bathroom, I was bridging the time in front of the telly. Italian TV only, I couldn’t understand a word, but pictures usually speak for themselves. Not this time. I didn’t understand what I was seeing. The smoke, the screaming people covered in white dust, the burning towers. The twins were still standing in the live images. First. Minutes later the first collapsed. I shouted towards the bathroom: “Come here quickly!” My brain didn’t provide a plausible scenario for

My brain did not provide a plausible scenario for these pictures. Regardless of the horrendous cell phone charges, I called the editorial office, a completely stressed colleague in the newsroom answered, outlined the known situation and hung up. Today I would have my US immediately via Skype -The American branch of the family contacted in Boston – did not exist then. We were no longer food. All appetite was gone. We sat on the bed in the small hotel room and stared with rapidly increasing horror at the images that now spoke for themselves. I felt An unbelievable solidarity with the Americans and, much later, a strange shame that the assassins came from my hometown of all places, from the very part of the city where I grew up.

Henry Lübberstedt, Geschäftsführender Redakteur

“Something’s happening in New York,” was the first thing I heard that afternoon on September 11, 2001. “Turn on CNN.” It was said that a small plane had flown into one of the twin towers. Accident? Terrorist attack? We stood around the television, the CNN presenters didn’t know anymore either, the cameramen, who were flying in helicopters around the burning building, stopped at the black plumes of smoke. And then we all saw it: the second plane. It was clearly a passenger plane and came far too low across the blue Manhattan skies. The second tower exploded. The entire editorial team immediately switched to crisis mode: the magazine had only just been completed, it was just being printed. The title, completely inappropriate, read “The Power of Genes – Why Women Park Badly and Men Don’t Listen”. So the star could not be at the kiosk this week. So the whole editorial team started producing a special edition that was enclosed with every issue: “Attack on America”.

Firefighters make their way through the rubble after the twin towers collapsed SERIES 20 YEARS 9/11 It was his first weeks as a correspondent in the USA: How Michael Streck saw the towers fall Reaching our New York office that day was extremely difficult. The phone lines were overloaded. We waited for the text announced by our correspondent Michael Streck – who had just escaped the inferno of the collapsing towers in the financial district. But the email didn’t come and our phones couldn’t get through to the office. Finally the doorbell rang, it was Michael Streck. “Is the text okay?” He had sent him off over an hour ago. Nothing reached us. We decided: He stayed on the line – and dictated his text over the phone, in Hamburg it was typed into the editorial system. Cornelia Fuchs, Senior Editor Stern Plus
Erinnerungen an den 11. September 2001:

Attacks in New York: “Is World War III breaking out now?”

I was a Community Manager at AOL at the time. We received a lot of concerned emails within minutes, the forums exploded with posts. We then spontaneously put a chat on the homepage and recruited volunteer moderators to somehow channel it all – the chat room, which had 100 people, was full within ten minutes. We then added eight more rooms over the middle of the day and rotated the chats on the homepage, so that at that time we had almost 900 people chatting at the same time. Organizing and coordinating this was a Herculean task – and so, to be honest, I hardly noticed anything about the actual situation.

Marco Palzkill, Product Manager

I was still working in sales on that day and at the time of the attack I was sitting with the buyer at Sportscheck on Mönckebergstrasse in Hamburg. The radio was on when it said an airplane had flown into the WTC. At first I thought of a Cessna and was amazed that something like this had never happened before – that is, that a small plane crashed into a New York skyscraper. Then came the news of the second plane impact, and of course it was clear that this was no longer an accident. Excited, we broke off our conversation. Downstairs in the sales room I saw the first pictures on the monitors and was shocked that they were actually large aircraft. But then I still couldn’t understand it. I was wondering if World War III is breaking out now. Even days after that, I was just stunned.


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  • "Da passiert was in New York": So erinnern sich stern-Mitarbeiter an den 11. September 2001
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