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NEW YORK — My great-grandfather, Nikita Khrushchev, has been on my mind recently. I suppose it was the 50th anniversary of the “kitchen debate,” which he held with Richard Nixon that first triggered my memories.

But the funeral the week before last in Budapest for Gen. Bela Kiraly, who commanded the Hungarian Revolution’s freedom fighters in 1956, and last week’s funeral in Warsaw for philosopher Leszek Kolakowski, whose break with Stalinism that year inspired many intellectuals (in Poland and elsewhere) to abandon communism, made me reconsider my grandfather’s legacy.

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