I forgot the most notorious picture:
One day after the event a couple of big concrete blocks were placed around the market. Apparently all the bollards surrounding the market cease to exist when they are covered by a red Christmas fence. Out of sight, out of mind.
And that didn't happen only in Berlin. Concrete blocks were added in other city's Christmas markets as well. And not only that, they tightened their security by increasing the personnel of the police force in those areas. Some even saw it necessary to equip their police with body armor and machine pistols.
Are there any public events left where you don't see the police standing next to you in full blown armor? Obviously, it's all for show right now, but looking at the greater picture the next generations are growing up with these high security standards and probably won't even see a problem when authorities abuse their power or when people are ripped from the last trances of their privacy. How many would resist a random body search on the street if they were asked by the police to comply?
I browsed through some eye witness testimonies (some are translated):
A 62 year old reported: "I have seen how there were four persons under the truck. They lay beneath it, they were stuck. Nobody could help them."
Havel, a Syrian from Aleppo* [...] rendered first aid. "It was dreadful." He has seen two dozen people on the ground, many of them with head injuries.
* There is a lot of news on Aleppo lately, so of course there just happens to be a Syrian from that city on this very night on this very Christmas market.
"There were at least three dead persons under the truck, even more dead persons lay on the ground of the Christmas market. And so many injured people. [...]"
On the ednge of the Christmas market a turkish physician, who still wore medical gloves, said she has helped for an hour and has tried to reanimate a victim. One person died, nevertheless. Also, she has seen several detached body parts.
Two American tourists, Luke Theis, 21, and Lara Colombo, 22, from Washington DC, heard the commotion. “We started seeing people running and hearing ambulances from all directions, so we walked over,” Colombo said. “It was carnage everywhere. There was blood on the floor.”
Theis added: “There were people lying on the floor. I’m not sure what their condition was. I could count about eight lying down. The biggest mental images I have is there were two rivers of blood going down the floor.”
An Australian student, Trisha O’Neill, said she saw the truck “crushing so many people. Then all the lights went out and everything was destroyed. I could hear screaming. We all froze. Then suddenly people started to move and lift all the wreckage off people, trying to help.”
A 21 year old Spaniard, Iñaki Ellakuria, describes how the truck hit him. The truck broke his left shin and fibula and the right foot.
Paris is 21 years old and was on his way to a bar nearby when the usually abstract fear of terror suddenly became very real. "Watch out, he has a gun" shouts a pedestrian - and means, apparently, the truck driver who just ran into the Christmas market around the Memorial Church. [...] "We left the S-station", he says, "many people ran towards us. I immediately thought it was an attack. And we feared for our mothers who were on the Christmas market." Police officers supposedly have shouted very loudly "go away, go away". Women began to cry, a man fainted. "Another shouted bomb, bomb. Only few people stayed calm and I saw many persons stock-still laying on the ground."
The testimonies don't add up AT ALL with the videos we saw.
I have trouble finding testimonies from Germans. It's as if this particular Christmas market is a big international event in Berlin. You find statements from a Spaniard, Englishman, Scotsman, American, Syrian, Bosnian, from Turks, then you have an injured person from Israel, a missing person from Italy... Add to this the Polish victim, the Pakistani first suspect and the Tunesian culprit. I barely find some Germans in the whole story.
I also thought about the yellow bus that you see in the photos. In the Morgenpost video you can see the bus blinking, so the engine was still running at that moment. A city bus in Berlin is indeed yellow but the next stop is not on the corner of this busy street but a bit further.
Looking at the timetable there is a bus stopping almost every minute, so it could be that this is just a random bus. But why wouldn't the bus driver, after seeing the obstacle in front of him, switch the lane for a few hundred meters and just drive around the truck. Why stop and leave the bus there the whole night? There is a good chance that this bus was the "traffic cone" I spoke about earlier. It occupies the whole lane, so if the truck was driving with this bus directly behind him and the bus stopped at the corner, then the truck had all the time it needed to reverse into the edge of the market and take its final position, though there would have been a second "traffic cone" necessary for the lane next to it. Also the bus would be perfect to bring all the crisis actors to the scene. (Same goes for the semi-trailer). It's not that unusual to use a city bus for a specific purpose. Just blend in something like underground substitute on the front as it is the case with this bus:
To end this post with a chuckle, here's a picture I found rather amusing:
A tree fell to the ground and the heavily spiked star broke one, I repeat, ONE spike. At least all visible Christmas baubles survived the fall... The woman in the background caring for the foil wrapped person completes the image just perfectly.