The man who pulled the Iron Curtain
But the man who made a crucial first breach in the Iron Curtain which divided Cold War Europe has received far less attention in the West.
He is Miklos Nemeth, an economist who became Hungarian prime minister in November 1988 and proceeded to tear up the rule book for leaders of communist bloc countries.
His assault on the Iron Curtain began, strangely enough, as he considered his country's budget for 1989.
He spotted a mysteriously large sum listed under interior ministry spending. When he was told it was in fact for renewing the barbed wire on the border between Hungary in the Cold War "East", and Austria in the "West", he "erased it immediately", he recalls.
Nonetheless, as the barbed wire began to come down and border controls were gradually reduced, he half expected an angry phone call from Moscow, and was relieved when it did not come.
comments powered by Disqus
- Judith Kelleher Schafer, 72, a historian of slavery and prostitution, dies
- Northwestern celebrates Garry Wills with a book in his honor
- Conservatives go after UCLA's historian James Gelvin
- Laura Hillenbrand writes her masterpieces despite suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- New PBS DVD From Henry Louis Gates Jr. Explores African Influence on the Caribbean