Tag: Fall of the Soviet Union

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Just this morning while running on my elliptical machine I resumed listening to the lecture series A History of Eastern Europe by Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius. It’s part of The Great Courses series. I’m now listening to the chapter about the 1980 strike at the Gdansk shipyard. I’ve also read about it in other books, […]

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1989

 

berlin-wall-falling-2I’m sure you’ve all been reading Titus’s dispatches from Romania with the same fascination I have; if not, I commend them to your attention. But you may have overlooked an especially interesting comment from Percival on Titus’s final dispatch:

Even in a year full of surprises, the events in Romania in 1989 still stick out. It all seemed to happen so fast, even to those of us over here who were paying attention.

The DDR was less a surprise, at least to me, because I had a friend in Berlin at the time. She was living close to the Wall and told me that the protesters had stopped chanting “Wir wollen aus” (dissident emigrants) and switched to “Wir bleiben hier” (revolutionaries). The penny had dropped, the worm had turned, and nothing could ever be as it had been again. But one minute Romania seemed like it was going to hang on, and the next Ceaușescu was giving that disaster of a speech on the balcony when he realized that it was only a matter of time before it all came down.