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
- Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
- U.K. Released Hundreds of Nazis After the Holocaust, Says Leading Historian
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- Historians Against the War gathering signatures for new resolution to AHA on alleged violations of academic freedom in Israel
- Academic Seeks Death Certificate for Outlaw Billy the Kid