Originally published 06/21/2013
Gyula Horn, a former leader of Hungary who in 1989 literally ripped a hole in the Iron Curtain, helping to set off months of tumultuous change in which Communist governments in Eastern Europe fell one after the other, died Wednesday in Budapest. He was 80.The Hungarian government announced the death. He had been hospitalized since 2007 with what was reported to be a brain malfunction.Mr. Horn’s life encompassed much of the history of 20th-century Hungary. His father, a Communist, was executed by the Nazis occupying Hungary in 1944. Gyula (pronounced JOO-la) also became a hard-line Communist, serving in militia units that hunted down government opponents during their revolt in 1956. The rebels lynched his brother, also a Communist.As foreign minister, as Moscow’s grip on Eastern Europe slipped, Mr. Horn proved nimble as a newly minted, nonideological, pragmatic reformer in helping to lead Hungary away from Communism. Elected prime minister as a Socialist in 1994, he angered Hungarians by cutting social programs to stanch raging inflation....
Originally published 06/06/2013
PARIS — Pieces of the Iron Curtain’s most iconic symbol, the Berlin Wall, are being put up for auction in Paris after being decorated by some of the world’s top artists.Slabs of the smooth concrete that divided East and West Berlin from 1961 until 1989 totaling 60 meters (66 yards) were given to artists including France’s Daniel Buren and the late Eduardo Chillida of Spain in the 1990s to be used as canvases.The result of their unique work is going under the hammer in central Paris on Thursday, under the title “Artists of Freedom.”...
Originally published 01/28/2013
Ron Radosh is a PJ Media columnist and Adjunct Fellow at the Hudson Institute.At the end of World War II, Eastern and Central Europe were “liberated” from Nazism only to see it replaced by a social order installed by the other great totalitarian nation, Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union. In his famous speech at Westminster College in March 1946, Winston Churchill told the world that “from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an ‘iron curtain’ has descended across the continent.” The left wing at the time saw the charge as outrageous and as warmongering. Anne Applebaum’s book not only confirms the accuracy of Churchill’s understanding that Moscow was establishing regimes that would attempt to duplicate the Soviet system, but she shows that the Soviet-led rulers of those regimes would attempt to eradicate any independent civil society and build a new human being — “Homo Sovieticus,” the new Soviet man — who would accept his essential role as the builder of Communism.
Originally published 01/17/2013
Robert Service: Review of Anne Applebaum's "Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956"
Robert Service is an author and professor of Russian history at the University of Oxford and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His latest book is Spies and Commissars: The Early Years of the Russian Revolution
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