• Kawasaki, Kanagawa

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In his May 17 article, “1989: A year of hopes turned sour that we all must live with today,” Roger Pulvers states that the massacre in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, was one of the most significant turn of events in the second half of the 20th century. Nineteen years later, the democratic world granted the same regime in Beijing the right to organize the Olympics. Twenty years later, there is no major Western company that does not have a representative office and interests in China. So, in what way was it a turn of events?

The author ignores the fact that semi-free elections were held in Poland on June 4, 1989, and that it was the very first time that people of the Soviet bloc were given a voice. They chose freedom that spread throughout the Eastern Bloc. Poland was the first country that sparked the glimmer of hope in Europe.

As for East Germany, the easing of travel restrictions was the beginning of the swift end of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet empire. The leader of East Germany did not flee the country soon after unification because of “the easing of travel restrictions.” He fled because he was not in charge of the country when the Berlin wall collapsed. He was afraid of being held responsible for the harsh policy of his totalitarian regime.

The fall of Berlin wall was the RESULT of the social movement against the communist regime that started in Poland and spread to other countries of Eastern Europe, including East Germany. It was a result of enormous effort of many people who had the courage to fight for freedom. It is a pity that 20 years later hardly any media in the democratic world notice it.

dorota halasa

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