1 July 2009

Hungary remembers opening of Iron Curtain with mixed feelings

ENI has posted this article about the weekend commemoration of the symbolic cutting of the Iron Curtain by the foreign ministers of Hungary and Austria. Of course, the 1989 event was PR - Hungary continued to police the border and GDR citizens visiting Hungary were still not allowed to pass through the Hungarian border in a westerly direction. The picture is of an East German Trabant - which for a few weeks in autumn 1989 became the rather unlikely symbol of freedom of movement between East and West. ENI also quotes from this statement by the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe on "Europe and the churches 20 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain", in which the CPCE noted that between 2004 and 2007 most central and eastern European countries had joined the European Union.
"However, not all the promises of the new freedom in Europe have been fulfilled," stated the church grouping, which gathers more than 100 Lutheran, Reformed, United, Methodist and other Protestant churches. "On the one hand are gratitude and joy at liberation from systematic and violent oppression and the positive experiences in growing together," it said. "On the other side, anxiety is growing about the great economic and social differences in Europe and a persistent mental division into 'East and 'West'."


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