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Era 8 The Collapse of Communism and the End of
the Cold War
Day Three, Session 5C Craig Benjamin
The Laboratory of Perestroika
  • Despite appearances at the time, emergence of
    General Jaruzelski in Poland on the night of 13
    December 1981 was the first sign of a reforming
    trend that was about to surface in Moscow itself
  • This trend (eventually given the Russian name of
    perestroika - restructuring) was based on the
    realization that the system was seriously sick
  • Realization first came out of the KGB, the only
    body with the means of knowing what was really
  • Jaruzelski had served for 25 years as head of the
    Polish armys political department, and as such
    was a close associate of the man who ran the KGB
    throughout the 1970s
  • With the collusion of Mikhail Gorbachev,
    Jaruzelski was destined to turn Poland into the
    laboratory of perestroika
Problems in the Soviet System
  • By the early 1980s it was obvious that the
    internal operations of the Soviet bloc were no
    longer working forty years of corrosion had
    sapped its strength
  • On the surface everything was in place
    underneath almost nothing was working well
  • In the age of the Inter-Continental Ballistic
    Missile (ICBM) the territory of the Warsaw Pact
    could no longer serve as an effective buffer zone
  • In an age of television, the gulf between living
    conditions in the East and West was evident in
    every home
  • As Solidarity showed, even the workers had no
    respect for the Workers State

Yuri Andropov
  • The career of Yuri Andropov provides the key to
    the collapse of the Soviet system
  • As Soviet ambassador in Budapest, Andropov had
    pushed for a strategy that substituted economic
    for political reform
  • He was also aware of how easily costly revolts
    like those that had occurred in Hungary,
    Czechoslovakia and Poland could spread to the
  • And later, as head of the KGB during an era of
    détente he was the person best placed to see the
    glaring contrast between external strength and
    internal decay

Andropovs Campaign Against Soviet Dissenters
  • In the 1970s Andropov waged a cunning campaign of
    persecution against Soviet dissenters
  • Instead of using mass terror, he limited the
    access of dissenters to the population at large,
    consigning some to psychiatric hospitals, others
    to foreign exile
  • He also gave Soviet Jews preferential permission
    to emigrate to Israel
  • But he also began to wonder why the finest minds
    in the Soviet Union had no love for communism.
  • List included Solzhenitsyn (political novelist)
    Nureyev (ballet dancer) Rostropovich (cellist)
    Sakharov (physicist) Bukovsky (biologist) and
    Almarik (mathematician)
Novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Nobel Prize
Winning Physicist Andrei Sakharov
Nureyev and Rostropovich
Nureyev - Corsair

Andropov and Reform
  • Concerned about this drain of outstanding talent,
    Andropovs penchant for reform figured in
    conversations he had with the young Mikhail
    Gorbachev (then Party Secretary) in the late 70s
  • But the Politburo was packed with anti-reformers
    when Gorbachev was finally given a senior
    position, it was only as Secretary of Agriculture
  • Then Andropov died of kidney failure, which gave
    the Brezhnevites a final lease of inaction
  • By 1984, the Soviet Empire was still intact,
    although its days were numbered
  • Before we explore the circumstances in which the
    final act was played out in 1989, we need to turn
    to a consideration of East-West relations during
    the preceding 40 years of the Cold War
Europe as the Main Theater of the Cold War
  • From start to finish, Cold War was focused on
    Europe, although later it included an Asian
    component and became truly globalized
  • Its entire dynamic developed out of the collapse
    of the Great Power Triangle of the Second World
    War, which left the victorious Western Allies
    face to face with the Soviet Union
  • Also grew from the inability of wartime allies to
    reach agreement on the fate of Poland, the future
    of Germany, and the division of Europe as a whole
  • Cold War came to a head with the expression of
  • Truman Doctrine and the implementation of the
  • Marshall Plan in 1947
  • It was already in operation during the Berlin
  • Blockade (1948-9) which led to the formation of
  • It did not end until the Iron Curtain was
  • breached some 40 years later!

Globalization of the Cold War
  • Globalization of the war took place in the 1950s
  • Natural outcome of a confrontation that pitted
    the dominant power of the Eurasian landmass
    against a power that could project forces all
    over the world by land, sea and air
  • Also pitted one bloc which aimed at worldwide
    communist revolution against another bloc
    committed to democracy, capitalism and free trade
  • Fueled by decolonization, which left a string of
    unstable, ex-colonial countries open to Cold War
    competition, or in the Middle East to rivalry
    over its oil resources
  • Globalization was finalized in the 1950s by the
    invention of ICBMs, which put the earth in
    constant danger of nuclear attack

SM Titan I
12 russia
Military Phase of the 1950s
  • In military terms, the Cold War passed through
    several distinct phases
  • In the 1950s, when the USA held a distinct
    advantage in weaponry, Soviets could not risk a
    major clash
  • Then Britain (1952) followed by France (1960)
    also developed nuclear capacity, and NATO
    published its doctrine of overwhelming
  • Wars were fought by the communists in Korea
    (against the US-led forces) in 1950-1 and
    Indo-China where defeated French troops gave way
    to Americans in 1954
  • Europe, although bristling with weapons in two
    armed camps, did not erupt
Into the 1960s
In the late 1950s the game changed, as first
through launching Sputnik (1958) and the U2
rocket incident (1960) the Kremlin could
demonstrate it had bridged the technological gap
  • Superpowers both poured vast resources into the
    Space Race and the deployment of ICBMs
  • USA won the race to put a man on the moon, but
    there was no certainty where the military
    advantage lay
  • USSR seemed to be building a remorseless
    superiority in nuclear and conventional weapons
  • Pressure on Europe was somewhat relieved by the
    realization that if ICBMs were launched, they
    would pass over the North Pole, not Europe
  • Eventually a nuclear stalemate was reached,
    ensuring that the European conflict remained cold

The 1980s
  • Cold War tensions increased to an even higher
    level in the 1980s with the development of a more
    deadly generation of missiles
  • These included the Soviet SS-20s and the American
    Pershing 2 and Cruise Missiles
  • In 1983 President Reagan announced a
    multi-billion dollar Strategic Defense Initiative
    (popularly known as Star Wars) - a plan to set
    up a space-based anti-ICBM defense system
  • But the world was increasingly weary of the
    weapons race each side possessed the kilotonnes
    to destroy the world many times over
  • Movies like Dr Strangelove had made the point
    that military planners had gone mad, but the
    atomic peace held

Dr Strangelove Ending
Political History of the Cold War
  • Political rhythms of the Cold War followed these
    military developments
  • Tensions highest in the 1950s, and reached
  • their peak in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962
  • Later in the 1960s both sides lost their
    expectations of a simple victory, if hot war
    broke out
  • Russians were almost paralyzed by the Sino-Soviet
    split in 1969 and the USA embarrassed by its
    inability to defeat the tiny state of Vietnam
SALT Talks and Afghanistan
  • So by the 1970s both sides were prepared to give
    greater emphasis to a process called détente
  • This led to Strategic Arms Limitation Talks in
    Vienna, and the Helsinki Act of 1975
  • But in the 1980s tensions rose again after the
    Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (1979 the
    Kremlins Vietnam) and the declaration of martial
    law in Poland (1981)
Afghanistan 1980 Mujahadeen anti Soviet forces
Soviet troops in Kabul
Cultural Relations
  • Cultural relations between all sides in the Cold
    War were small in scale and content
  • Soviet performing arts groups who toured the West
    included the Bolshoi Ballet and the red Army
  • In return, various western orchestras and the
    Royal Shakespeare Company toured the USSR
  • The Soviet bloc set great store in the Olympics,
    where state-sponsored athletes performed very
  • But sport became a political weapon when the
    Americans boycotted the Moscow Games in 1980, and
    the Soviets retaliated by not turning up to the
    LA Games in 1984
Bolshoi Ballet at the Detroit Opera House
Actors form the Royal Shakespeare Company on tour
in Prague

Moscow 1980 Los Angeles 1984
Diplomatic Relations
  • Diplomatic relations were almost at a standstill
    between the warring parties
  • Security Council of the UN was virtually
    paralyzed for 40 years, most frequently by the
    Soviet veto
  • War between spies reached grotesque proportions,
    and Western intelligence organizations were
    penetrated at the highest level by Soviet spies
  • In the 1950s, in the era of Senator Joe McCarthy,
    fears about the activities of communist agents in
    the USA caused a totally unreasonable witch-hunt
  • American embassies in Moscow were so riddled with
    bugging devices that they had to be abandoned
  • There was absolutely no trust between West and
The Origins of Détente
  • Origins of détente go right back to the start of
    the Cold War
  • Stalin once offered to permit the reunification
    of Germany in return for America pulling out of
  • In 1955 when Eisenhower met Khrushchev, the West
    was surprised by far-reaching Soviet proposals
    for disarmament
  • In 1959 Khrushchev went to Camp David, and
    British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan went to
  • But all these hopeful developments were thwarted
    by the U2 crisis, the second Berlin crisis, and
    most particularly by the Cuban missile crisis
Harold Macmillan
U2 Crisis
  • The U2 was an American high altitude spy-plane
  • In 1960 a flight from Turkey was shot down by the
    Soviets over the Volga River
  • Eisenhower at first denied all existence of the
    plane, until Khrushchev produced the pilot!
Second Berlin Crisis
  • Berlin crisis of 1961 had been brewing for years
  • Stream of refugees fleeing from East to West
    Germany was an embarrassment to the Soviet bloc
  • (10,000 crossed in the last week of July 1961
  • Then on 13 August 1961 the Wall went up, testing
    the young President Kennedy as never before
  • He did not respond militarily, but instead staged
    a propaganda coup
  • Standing beside the wall he shouted defiantly
    Ich bin ein Berliner
  • (This actually meant I am a donut! He should
    have said Ich bin Berliner)

Kennedy 'Ich bin ...' kennedy_berlin.html
Cuban Missile Crisis
  • The Cuban crisis the following October brought
    the Cold War to the brink
  • Kennedy was convinced he had failed to impress
    the Soviets with Americas determination, and
    wanted to demonstrate firmness
  • When aerial photographs revealed Soviet missiles
    in Cuban silos only 90 miles from the coast of
    Florida, he decided the Kremlin must back down
  • For a week the world held its breath, and then
    the Soviet missiles were withdrawn
  • The US agreed to withdraw its own missiles from
    Turkey in return, and to refrain from attacking
United States diplomats at the UN demand that
the USSR withdraw its missiles from Cuba. In the
foreground Adlai Stevenson says to the Soviets
You are in the courtroom of international
opinion now!
Disarmament Talks
  • Disarmament talks dragged on for decades
  • In 1963 the Moscow Agreement banned nuclear
    testing in the environment, but only after
    enormous environmental damage had been done
  • The first round of SALT I talks reached an
    interim agreement in 1972 after four years
  • SALT II was blocked by the US Congress in 1980
  • The Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) began
    in Madrid in 1982
  • All these inter-government dialogues took place
    in an environment of large anti-nuclear protests
    that broke out in the 1960s and 1982

President Jimmy Carter and Soviet General
Secretary Leonid Brezhnev sign the Strategic Arms
Limitation Talks (SALT II) treaty
June 16, 1979
  • Direct European involvement in Cold War diplomacy
    inevitably took second place to the main
    US-Soviet confrontation
  • But West German Chancellor Willy Brandt played a
    major diplomatic role through the institution of
    an Eastern Policy (Ostpolitik) in 1969
  • Brandt broke the ice by communicating directly
    with the DDR government for the first time since
    the war
  • His hope was that if dialogue could be maintained
    for decades, eventual reconciliation could be
  • By ending the boycott of the DDR, Brandt helped
    diffuse the threat-laden atmosphere of the 1960s,
    and opened the way for an era of détente

West German Chancellor Willy Brandt visits East
Germany, 1970
Meaning of Détente
Détente is a French term, meaning a relaxing or
easing the term has been used in international
politics since the early 1970s. Generally, it may
be applied to any international situation where
previously hostile nations not involved in an
open war "warm up" to each other and threats
de-escalate. However, it is primarily used in
reference to the general reduction in the tension
between the Soviet Union and the United States
and a thawing of the Cold War, occurring from the
late 1960s until the start of the 1980s.
  • So détente is a deliciously ambiguous
    diplomatic term
  • It can mean relaxation or a mild spell of
  • But it is also the French word for the trigger of
    a gun

Nixon in China
  • Apart from Ostpolitik and the progress of SALT I,
    an important spur to détente must be sought in
  • In 1972 US President Nixon visited the aging
    Chairman Mao Zedong, which brought China into a
    previously bi-polar world
  • The Soviets were forced by this to attempt to
    stabilize their European flank, leading directly
    to the Helsinki Conference on Security and
    Cooperation in Europe, which ran from 1972-75

President Nixon dines with Mao Zedong, February
Helsinki Final Act
  • From the Soviet perspective, Helsinki Act took
    the place of a German peace treaty that never was
  • From the Western viewpoint it marked the
    recognition that Soviet dominance in Eastern
    Europe could never be removed by force
  • Europes existing frontiers were guaranteed by
    the Act, and measures for economic cooperation
    were also included
  • The Act also contained an
  • agreement promoting increased
  • communication and contact
  • between East and West, and a
  • provision for the respecting of
  • human rights by the Soviets

President Ford signs the Helsinki Accords, 1 Aug
Pope John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher and
President Reagan
  • Late in the 1970s three new faces appeared in the
    West - a Polish Pope (Karol Wojtyla) Margaret
    Thatcher (the Iron Lady of Downing Street) and a
    retired film actor who became President of the
  • Pope toured Poland in 1979, drawing wildly
    enthusiastic crowds, and speaking out against
    repression and tyranny
  • Reagan soon called the Soviet Union the Evil
    Empire, and between them the three breathed new
    fire into East-West relations
  • Each opposed communism on moral grounds each was
    more popular in East Europe than West and each
    was unhappy with the détente accommodations of
    previous decades
Illusions of Détente
  • By the 1980s hard experience showed that the West
    was suffering from three illusions
  • One was the idea that over time the two sides
    would converge the truth was they were
    becoming further apart with every day that passed
  • Another was the idea that communist regimes
    should be judged according to their degree of
    subservience to Moscow, which meant repressive
    regimes lake that of Ceausescu in Romania were
  • The third was the idea that only by speaking
    kindly of the Soviets could they be appeased yet
    the Soviets appeared not to respond to kind words
  • Others (who had the ear of Thatcher and Reagan)
    argued that the only strategy with any hope of
    success was to raise the tensions in East-West

Mikhail Gorbachev
  • In the midst of these divisions Mikhail Gorbachev
    (b. 1931) emerged in March 1985 as the fourth
    General Secretary of the CPSU in three years
  • He was chosen by the Party apparatus, and had no
    democratic credentials, yet he was also the first
    Soviet leader to be untainted by the Stalin era
  • He was also friendly, intelligent and spoke
    without notes
  • Margaret Thatcher declared Here was a man we
    can do business with! king/russia
Early Months
  • Gorbachevs early months in office were spent in
    reshuffling the Politburo, in the ritual
    denunciation of previous leaders, and in a
    campaign against corruption
  • The style of Soviet leadership had obviously
    changed, and the world waited to see if the
    content would change with it
  • Gorbachev seemed to have most room to maneuver in
    foreign policy, so it was assumed he would soon
    make a move on East-West relations
Talks at Reykjavik
  • Talks were scheduled between Reagan and Gorbachev
    at Reykjavik in Iceland for December 1987
  • In the middle of the talks Gorbachev suddenly
    proposed a sensational 50 cut in all nuclear
  • Reagan was taken by surprise, but the treaty on
    the reduction of Intermediate-range Nuclear
    Forces was signed
  • It appeared as though Gorbachev was intent upon
    stopping the Cold War in its tracks

Reagan and Gorbachev meet in Reykjavik, Iceland,
December 1987
Prelude to Disintegration
Gorbachev greets Party members at the 70th
Anniversary of the revolution
  • For the first two to three years after Gorbachev
    appeared, the political map of Europe was largely
  • In Western Europe the presence of American forces
    was still a determining factor and in Eastern
    Europe people were still shot for trying to cross
    the Iron Curtain
  • In November 1987 Gorbachev presided over the 70th
    Anniversary celebrations of the Bolshevik
    Revolution in traditional style
  • Yet Europe was fast approaching a brink of
    unimaginable proportions and as the clouds of
    Cold War lifted, new exciting vistas were glimpsed

Timetable to Collapse
  • Within two years of Reykjavik the Soviet Union
    had relinquished its grip on the satellite states
    of Eastern Europe
  • Within three years political union had moved to
    the top of the agenda in Western Europe
  • Within four years the Soviet Union itself had
  • As Western Europe integrated, Eastern Europe

Disintegration of the Soviet Bloc
Gorbachevs Assessment of the Soviet Crisis
  • Gorbachevs analysis of the crisis of the Soviet
    Union in the late 80s was explicitly stated in
    his book Perestroika (1989)
  • Amongst other factors he pointed to in this sorry
    catalogue were
  • That further expansion of the Soviet arsenal
    would not lead to greater security
  • Military spending had already reached such a
    level that improvements in civilian living
    standards were impossible
  • Communist planning methods had failed and the
    technology gap with the West was widening every
  • Party itself was corrupt and dispirited the
    young were turning their backs on Communism the
    citizens had lost patience with empty promises
  • War in Afghanistan also proving a bottomless
    drain on resources and men
  • Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe was paying no

Gorbachevs Strategy
  • Gorbachevs strategy was first to try and defuse
    the Cold War climate of fear and hatred upon
    which the old system had thrived
  • And then to move on to the even more difficult
    area of internal reform
  • On the external front he was brilliantly
    successful, being hailed like a conquering hero
    on visits to the USA and West Germany
  • He was also glad to welcome President Reagan to
The Reagans leaving after the Moscow Summit,
Internal Policy Perestroika
  • Gorbachevs internal policies were outlined in
    two programmatic buzz-words that went round the
  • The first of these was Perestroika
  • Perestroika (restructuring) imagined the
    injection of capitalist market principles into
    economic management, and of non-Party interests
    into political life
  • Glasnost wrongly translated as openness, but
  • actually the Russian word for publicity (the
  • of silence)
  • Intended to encourage Party officials to try and
  • come up with solutions to problems whose very
  • existence had never been openly acknowledged
    before now
  • Gorbachev wanted to stimulate debate, so it was
    essential his outspoken views be published
  • So the party began to talk openly, then the
    media, then the public
  • For the first time in four decades people were
    free to talk openly without fear of the secret
  • So Glasnost did eventually turn into openness,
    and into an unrestrained and unstoppable torrent
    of argument
  • The strongest point of agreement was the
  • near-universal denunciation of communism!


  • Gorbachev soon found himself in a very difficult
    position, because in spite of his liberal
    reputation in the West, he was a convinced
    communist who wanted to revitalize the system,
    not dump it
  • He stood for democratization, but not for
  • He was appointed to the position of President,
    and never faced a real election in his life
  • He did open up the central Party organs by
    injecting hand-picked new members, but he never
    granted free elections
  • He refused to decollectivize agriculture or
  • desubsidize prices delayed the legalization
  • of private property and only toyed with
  • market reforms
  • Result was that the planned economy
  • system began to collapse before the market
  • economy could start to function

Gorbachevs Dilemma
Gorbachevs Misjudgment of the Effects of Glasnost
  • Beyond doubt Gorbachev was a political tactician
  • great skill, able to coax the conservatives and
  • the radicals at the same time
  • But he did not win great public confidence within
    Russia, and was regarded as a typical Communist
  • Gorbachev and his allies seemed to ignore the
    implications of removing coercion from a machine
    that had known no other motivation
  • They abandoned the Partys dictatorial powers
    (the equivalent of the spine of the beast) and
    were then surprised when the limbs stopped
    responding to the brain
  • They also persisted in thinking of the vast,
    disparate Soviet Union as a natural, national
    entity, rather than a patchwork of ethnicities
    held together by coercion
  • As they tinkered, the whole system began to

Causes of the Collapse of Communism
  • Debate and discussion continues on the causes for
    the collapse of communism in Europe and the
    Soviet Union
  • Political scientists focus on systemic political
    causes economists on the failings of the economy
  • But equal attention needs to be paid to the role
    of ordinary citizens, particularly for Eastern
    Europeans who struggled with the absurdities of
    life under communism
  • In retrospect, it was as though a generation
  • which had lost the pervasive fear of Stalins
  • terror simply decided that enough was enough
  • As the Party bosses lost the will to enforce
  • authority, millions of people lost the
  • inclination to obey

The Role of Independent Culture
  • Aspects of national culture independent to the
    communist structure also played a critical role,
    especially religion
  • Artists and true Christian believers were often
    the only people in a society who could even
    imagine a world without communism
  • When the first cracks began to appear, it was
    because of the activities of independent groups
    within society
  • And these first cracks opened up in Poland chvisitp.htm
The Polish Catholic Church in Krakow
Poland 1989
  • In Poland by the late-80s material conditions
    were spiraling downwards at an alarming rate, and
    renewed massive strikes loomed
  • In their desperation, Party bosses turned to the
    leader of the banned Solidarity organization,
    Lech Walesa
  • Early in 1989 they called round table discussions
    with a view to set up a power-sharing arrangement
    with a still-illegal organization
  • Resulting agreement saw Solidarity allowed to
    compete with the Communist Party in a limited
    number of parliamentary elections

Solidarity Wins the Election!
  • The elections were sensational, and Solidarity
    swept the board in every constituency they
  • Many prominent communists were not re-reelected,
    even when they were the only candidate on the
    ballot, because people just crossed their names
Tiananmen Square
  • In June 1989 the Chinese Communist Party showed
    the world how it dealt with similar popular
    uprisings in China
  • Coincidentally, Gorbachev was visiting Beijing
    on an official visit and personally witnessed the
    massacre of thousands of young Chinese protesters
  • Later, when he visited East Berlin for the 40th
    Anniversary of the DDR, he told Party officials
    that they should not expect Soviet troops to help
  • There was to be no Tiananmen Square in Europe!

Events in August and September
  • In August the bewildered Polish communists
    invited Solidarity to form a national government
    under their own continuing communist state
  • Tadeusz Mazowiecki, a devout Catholic, was
    accepted as Premier, and took his seat in the
    Council of the Warsaw Pact
  • Hungarian party officials then began to engage in
    their own round-table talks with opposition
  • And regular demonstrations broke out all over
    East Germany organized by the Protestant Churches mazowiecki.htm
Tadeusz Mazowiecki (left), Prime Minister of
Poland in 1989
The Avalanche in Hungary!
  • Reform quickly turned to avalanche!
  • As early as January 1989, political parties had
    been legalized in Hungary
  • Then on 23 October the Hungarian Peoples
    Republic was abolished
  • The Hungarian communists admitted the Opposition
    into parliament, and at the same time turned
    themselves into a social democratic party
Hungarys Communist Party leadership Faces the
reality of defeat, Oct 1989
The Berlin Wall Comes Down!
  • Even more astonishingly, in Berlin on 9 November
    1989, East German border guards stood quietly by
    while crowds on both sides of the Berlin Wall
    began to demolish it with gusto
  • The communist government of the DDR had
    apparently lost all will to fight!

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

  • Meanwhile, in Prague on 24 November, Party boss
    Dubcek appeared side-by-side with dissident
    Vaclav Havel on a balcony in Wenceslas Square
    before adoring crowds
  • Remaining pockets of communist opposition were
    then finished off completely by a subsequent
    general strike
Crowds in Wenceslas Square, Prague, Nov 1989
Alexander Dubcek (left) and Vaclav Havel,
November 1989
The Velvet Revolution
  • The velvet revolution was over as quickly as it
    had begun
  • One political commentator described the timetable
    of events in this way
  • In Poland it took ten years, in Hungary ten
    months, in East Germany ten weeks, and in
    Czechoslovakia ten days!
  • Finally, over Christmas, a bloody uprising broke
    out in Bucharest, where the hated Romanian
    Securitate defended itself to the death
  • This resulted in the death of Nicolai Ceausescu
    and his entire family
Ceausescu dead!
Events in Eastern Europe 1989-90
Gorbachevs Role?
  • This is the subject of one of your essay
    questions, because Gorbachevs role in all this
    is continually being reassessed
  • Some argue that he was the architect of the
    entire revolution, and must be personally
    credited as the man who ended the Cold War and
    lifted the Iron Curtain that had divided Europe
    for 40 years
  • Others suggest that his role, though clearly
    honorable, has been exaggerated
  • They suggest he was not the architect of East
    Europes freedom, but rather the lock-keeper who
    saw that the dam was about to burst, and simply
    opened the floodgates to let the water flow out
  • Beyond doubt is the fact that his role ensured
    that the bursting of the dam was not accompanied
    by violent catastrophe, as it so easily could
    have been
The West
  • As these extraordinary events unfolded, Western
    Europe stood by watching and astonished
  • This was accompanied by an extraordinary degree
    of relief
  • The war between East and West had remained
    cold throughout, and now the West had won it
    without a shot being fired
President Bush Snr announces Victory in the
Cold War!