The Fall of the Eastern Bloc. 20 years on

vikiradTG2007

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On Monday, the world will celebrate 20 years since the symbolic moment that heralded the end of Communism in Eastern Europe, the fall of the Berlin Wall. It's been 2 decades in which this whole area has been fighting hard to heal itself from the wounds inflicted by a dark half of a century, by a massive social experiment which failed spectacularly. And, in several parts of this former bloc, the wounds of those 45 years underneath the Iron Curtain's grip are still painfully obvious and no more healed than they were at the time when the regimes were overthrown.

Corruption still rages; bribery is the order of the day. "Freedom" of press just means that all the politicians are arguing and fighting on live TV for all the world to see. Politicians govern countries at their own whim, they don't care about political platforms, they just want to fill their own pockets and the ones of several businessmen allied to them. Public auctions are fixed, even though it is always denied. Deadlines are never obeyed. It's all a huge mess. And over here, this is especially painful since the Romanian people overthrew the Communist rule at the highest cost of any nation in the Eastern Bloc. People gave their lives for freedom... but their sacrifice seems to have been in vain so far.


How do others who live in the former Eastern Bloc feel about the significance of what happened in the autumn and winter of '89? How do people who viewed the events from the outside see all of this? I want to hear your opinions.
 

Cobol74

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To be fair if I was in a country that suffered 40 years plus of propaganda about the decadent West I probably would not know that you are not supposed to be corrupt.

In third world countries bribery is a daily hazard. This suits lots of people, the rich can get away with stuff, the Police can accept lower wages, the government can get a cheap Police force and the poor can go to prison.

The sad thing is we are now all sliding down that road to an extent. (Cobol74 shakes head in gross sadness).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/

Get out of that then. ... D'oh

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/6504478/Senior-MPs-push-for-bumper-pay-rise-after-expenses-cut.html

Personally I'd pay by performance, based upon the performance of the economy - get out of that one then. ...
 
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MacGuffin

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At the time the Berlin Wall fell, I was at a computer training course of the West German Air Force and I didn't find out about it until the next morning.

The new recon system I was trained for at the time, was aimed at Poland and Ukraine and was later scrapped due to the lack of a potential enemy and it also meant that I couldn't stay in the Air Force for life, as I originally intended, but had to leave after 12 years, because my unit and my permanent post were terminated.

So the fall of the Iron Curtain effected my life directly.
 

nomix

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It's indeed incredible to think that once upon a time, there was a climate of phear all over Europe. Good riddance.

There's an atom in me that wish I could've experienced traveling through eastern Europe before the wall fell. But I was born in 1988, so that would be quite difficult.
 

maxtortheone

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Try traveling through an poor former Eastern Bloc city. All the crappy buildings, emptiness, silence and dirt really make you feel you're living in pre-89 Europe.
 

Momentum57

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One of the best ways to celebrate the first 20 years of the east and west coming together is to look back on our past foolishness. The CNN documentary "COLD WAR" a 24 part comprehensive review of the policy(s) and policy makers is a wonderful way to celebrate. Big names from both sides of the divide, and some that would become big names like Condoleezza Rice who was just an aide to George HW Bush at the time.

All videos are available on Google
 

nomix

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Try traveling through an poor former Eastern Bloc city. All the crappy buildings, emptiness, silence and dirt really make you feel you're living in pre-89 Europe.
Yes, I've thought about that. But that's not the same, the level of freedom is greater today, so the experience would (luckily) be rather far from the eastern block era.

:)
 

vikiradTG2007

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Yes, I've thought about that. But that's not the same, the level of freedom is greater today, so the experience would (luckily) be rather far from the eastern block era.

:)
Yep, but in places, the atmosphere, the smell of desperation, they can be reminiscent of that era. Just visit one of the former coal mining areas in Romania and you'll know what I'm talking about.
 

nomix

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I get that. Especially Romania and Albania would seem like 'good' places to go to experience that.
 

nomix

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I missed the experience. I'm not saying it would be pleasant, but then again, I did stay for a couple of days in a Palestinian refugee camp, and I didn't find that too bothersome.
 

YF19pilot

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Today is a day of tragedy! This poor woman lost her husband! You terrible clots going on about freedom and unity, only tore apart and ravaged that which was her utmost desire and love in life!

The Tragedy of 9th of November 1989 - The Fall of the Berlin Wall.


Okay, back to reality...

Despite what violence prevails in the regions once held by the Soviet Union, I think this event; the Fall of the Berlin Wall; is probably the single most important event - and possibly the best thing - to happen to Germany; nay, Europe, perhaps the world; in all of the 20th century.
 

BlaRo

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Today is a day of tragedy! This poor woman lost her husband! You terrible clots going on about freedom and unity, only tore apart and ravaged that which was her utmost desire and love in life!

The Tragedy of 9th of November 1989 - The Fall of the Berlin Wall.
Woman 'married' to Berlin Wall for 29 years

Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer, 54, whose surname means Berlin Wall in German, wed the concrete structure in 1979 after being diagnosed with a condition called Objectum-Sexuality.

Mrs Berliner-Mauer, whose fetish is said to have its roots in childhood, claimed she fell in love with the structure when she first saw it on television when she was seven.

She began collecting "his" pictures and saving up for visits. On her sixth trip in 1979 they tied the knot before a handful of guests.

While she remains a virgin with humans, she insists she has a full, loving relationship with the wall.

Mrs Berliner-Mauer, who lives in Liden, northern Sweden, said: "I find long, slim things with horizontal lines very sexy.

"The Great Wall of China's attractive, but he?s too thick ? my husband is sexier."

While the rest of mankind rejoiced when the Wall, erected by the Soviets in 1961 to halt an exodus from East to West Berlin, was largely torn down in 1989, its "wife" was horrified.

She's never been back and now keeps models depicting "his" former glory.

She said: ?What they did was awful. They mutilated my husband."

She is said to have shifted her affections to a nearby garden fence.

Objectum-Sexual or objectophilia is feelings of love, attraction, arousal, and commitment for a particular object.

The mere thought of a relationship with an actual human being seems ludicrous.
:blink:
 
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settler

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In Poland symbolic date was 6 July 1989, date of first partly-free elections.

How life looked at the worst moments in 80'? You couldn't buy anything in shops, everyone had their monthly ration of milk, bread, meat and other stuff. To make a single phone call you had to wait like an hour. During martial law time you could leave your house during the night and many people were killed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martial_law_in_Poland).

It's personal topic for me because when my father was studying, after strikes at university, he spent 48 days in prison being beaten.

So what I think about what happened in 1989? It completely changed my country.
 

h-p

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When my father visited Leningrad in the 70s he complained slow border crossing to Soviet Union. He said that it was a lot quicker to go to Sweden. (it was, because you just drove cross the border instead of 6 hours wait :p) Russian border guards said it was Western propaganda, and you really can't cross international (or even regional) borders just like that.
 

nomix

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Well, 6 hours in a boarder check? I've done that in Israel.

:p
 

Plissken

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Felt like six hours trying to get through Heathrow. Come to think of it, I bet the Russians were more polite as well.
 

h-p

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It was six hours on a good day. Even now you have to be checked by seven different goverment organizations to get to Russia.

Or if you tried to take some money to USSR the border guard mumbled something. Only word understandable was "kapitalist" :lol:
 
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