- What moment stands out for you in the events of 1989?
- What do you think led to the unrest in East Germany?
- What is the larger context within which you interpret the events of 1989?
- Why didn’t authoritarian states succeed?
- How did East Europeans react to the arrival of pluralism?
- Why did the revolutions of 1989 happen so fast?
- What images of 1989 stick in your mind?
- Why did things go so badly in Yugoslavia?
What images of 1989 stick in your mind?
There are some terrific images. You see the ones about the Berlin Wall, or Dubcek and Havel together, which was amazing. I liked what Garton Ash said about Dubcek, “Looked like he’d just stepped out of a black and white photo.” That was a good way of describing it. But, one of the great, great images is Ceausescu talking to that big crowd just before he had to flee, and he kind of looks up, and you can hear vague sounds in the background. He looks up, and kind of goes, like this, like he’s going to quiet the crowd. But they’re the most ineffectual little funny, funny movements. That, for me, that was one of the striking images.
How to Cite
Gale Stokes, interview, "What images of 1989 stick in your mind?" Making the History of 1989, Item #711, http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/items/show/711 (accessed December 18 2014, 9:14 pm).