Friday, May 01, 2009

from the "beginning of the end" dept.

A Historic Snip

In 1989 change swept across Europe. It's hard to believe that 20 years has passed since those amazing days when anything seemed possible. The reality didn't quite meet expectations, but back then the sense of hope and the smell of freedom in the air was intoxicating.

A lot of events contributed to the fall of communism... like this one: On May 2nd, 1989, Hungarian authorities began to dismantle their border with Austria. As it turned out, this was the first hole in the dike. It started as a trickle but the old-school communist leaders soon realized the flow couldn't be stopped. From the BBC:

On 2 May, Hungarian soldiers began to dismantle the barbed wire and electric fencing along Hungary's border with neighbouring Austria.

The communist governments of East Germany, Romania, and Czechoslovakia were furious. They feared that their own citizens would use this gap in the Iron Curtain to flee to the West. But Moscow did nothing. [MORE]

And so it began..


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