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Young Germans party on a Hamburg street
These Facebookers say they were invited to the partyImage: picture alliance/dpa

Unwanted 'friends'

June 4, 2011

A German girl had her sweet 16 birthday party ruined after inadvertently inviting every Facebook user on the web to come celebrate. Police in Hamburg cleared the 1600 "guests" from the premises.


Around 1600 people were cleared from the streets of a quiet Hamburg neighborhood on Friday, June 3, after police had cordoned off a house where a 16-year-old German girl had wanted to celebrate her birthday with family and friends.

The revelers outside - carrying posters saying "We love Thessa" - were celebrating the birthday, too, though they hadn't been invited - at least not intentionally.

The 16-year-old had posted an invitation to the party on the social networking site, Facebook, and accidentally listed the party as a public event.

After over 15,000 people responded confirming that they would attend the party, the 16-year-old attempted to correct the mistake by cancelling the party over the site. The cancellation was to no avail, however, and by early evening hundreds of young Germans from Hamburg and across Germany had already begun arriving.

"It was a great party atmosphere," said one visitor, Angelika. "It's almost like a festival here."

'We'll be back'

The young crowd had come equipped with t-shirts showing the profile picture of their newfound, unknown "friend."

Police stand guard at a cordoned-off house
Police cordoned off the house before the party beganImage: picture alliance/dpa

Some were even singing a song to the 16-year-old, the text of which had been disseminated over Facebook prior to the event.

"Thessa, oh Thessa, we don't know each other but it doesn't matter we're celebrating you and getting wasted."

A Hamburg police spokesman said 11 people had been arrested before the party was finally broken up at 1.55 am Saturday morning. One disappointed male, who wanted to give "Thessa" a birthday present, told Germany's daily Bild Zeitung that he would be back next year.

One officer sustained minor injuries, the spokesman added, and a handful of revelers were taken to a local hospital to be treated for alcohol poisoning.

A similar mishap occurred in November 2010 in Munich where an 18-year-old accidentally made an invitation to her birthday party public. Two-hundred people were forced from the doorstep by the police.

Author: Gabriel Borrud (dpa)
Editor: Andreas Illmer

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