- Vladimir Tismaneanu: What source do you use in your classroom to help students understand the events of 1989?
- Vladimir Tismaneanu: How do you teach the letters found in Adam Michnik's book?
- Vladimir Tismaneanu: How do you teach Adam Michnik's book in the classroom?
- Vladimir Tismaneanu: How do you help your students interpret the passage you read about an independent, self-governing union?
- Bradley Abrams: How do you help students make sense of 1989?
- Bradley Abrams: What sources do you use to teach 1989?
- Bradley Abrams: What else is significant about the Declaration of the Creation of Charter 77?
- Bradley Abrams: How did the regime respond to Charter 77?
- Bradley Abrams: Why is the 28th of January remarkable?
- Bradley Abrams: How do you put the anti-Charter into context for students?
- Padraic Kenney: What is remarkable about the poem and the leaflet together?
- Padraic Kenney: How should students interpret the poem?
- Padraic Kenney: What is significant about the poem?
- Padraic Kenney: Does this poem help explain the strike?
- Padraic Kenney: How do you analyze the leaflet?
- Padraic Kenney: What is significant about the leaflet?
- Padraic Kenney: What sources help us understand the strikes?
- Maria Bucur: Is there a particular source that is important to study?
- Maria Bucur: How do students study 1989 in your classroom?
- Maria Bucur: What is difficult to understand about the "Common European Home" speech?
- Maria Bucur: What is important about Ceausescu's last speech?
- Maria Bucur: How do you help students understand Ceausescu's last speech?
- Maria Bucur: What is unique about viewing Ceausescu's last speech?
- Bradley Abrams: How do you use the Charter Declaration and the anti-Charter together with students?
Maria Bucur: How do you help students understand Ceausescu's last speech?
The only way that I can try to convey the depth, the richness of this moment is by contrasting it with other moments in this kind of public speech-making by Ceausescu, so what I do is I show them a clip of another meeting in the same square where you can see the crowds basically chanting doing what they’re supposed to be doing and Ceausescu looking very confident and speaking with a different kind of voice and so giving them that kind of, you know, other context. Then I ask them to contrast it with, well how is this different.
The parts of the clip that the students understand on the basis of the contrasting between before and during 1989 are Ceausescu’s persona looking very different, they don’t pick up necessarily on the voice and kind of his tone, because when it’s a foreign language it’s harder. Sometimes they pick up on the body language and I try to exaggerate it by picking a previous clip where he is very dapper looking. What they don’t pick up because they really can’t is this notion of how the Securitate is part of the crowd and how people are kind of made to participate in this so I have to describe it to them. That’s not something that would be apparent to them.
Um, and, of course, that issue of the Securitate being present there does raise the question of how is it that the booing starts and how does the Securitate react to that? How is that part of the story and sometimes they do ask about it, so, okay, so what happens to the Securitate if I tell them the story, you know, after they start booing? Of course, that’s something that there’s a lot of contention about. Some historians think that actually it’s some Securitate folks who start the booing, but it can’t be proven.