Browse Items: Dissidents
Prior to the historic roundtable talks between Polish Communist officials and leaders of the opposition that eventually took place from February to April 1989, Solidarity activist Andrzej Stelmachowski secretly met with Secretary Jozef Czyrek, a member of the Polish Politburo. While their occasional meetings to discuss the content, structure, and composition of the upcoming talks were….
In the beginning of 1989, Henry Kissinger met with Mikhail Gorbachev for an informal conversation about the future of U.S.-Soviet cooperation, particularly concerning economic opportunities in the Soviet Union. The problem for U.S.-Soviet trade was the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to the 1974 U.S. Trade Act, which banned normalized trade ("Most Favored Nation" status) with countries that had….
On 23 June 1988, the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party (Communist) Central Committee established a committee to analyze Hungary's political, economic and social development during the preceding thirty years. The issue of the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary became a political flashpoint. Was 1956 an attempt to establish an independent Communist movement separate from Soviet authority, or was….
In the summer of 1989, Slovak dissidents decided to commemorate the anniversary of the Warsaw Pact invasion by publicly laying flowers at various locations in Slovakia where citizens had been killed in 1968. They announced their plans in a letter to the Slovak government dated August 4, 1989. Copies of the letter were produced in samizdat (clandestine press) and secretly distributed throughout….
This report, from September 1, 1988, details the meeting of a diverse coalition of Polish opposition members, consisting of trade unionists, academics, journalists and representatives of the Solidarity movement. They agreed that their major priorities were for talks with the government regarding the status of unions, pluralism, and economic and political reforms. They agreed to the….
By the summer of 1988, Mikhail Gorbachev's reform policies, glasnost' (openness) and perestroika (restructuring), had begun to change the political landscape of the Soviet Union. When President Ronald Reagan visited Moscow in the summer of 1988 for a political summit, he gave a series of speeches applauding the progress of Soviet reforms but also demanding further achievements. In this speech….
In May 1988, President Ronald Reagan traveled to the Soviet Union for a summit meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev. While in Moscow, he addressed a group of students at Moscow State University, using this forum as a chance to publicly announce his support for the Gorbachev's ongoing reform efforts. In this excerpt of his speech, he condemns the opponents of Gorbachev's reforms, and uses a popular….
In 1976, the government of Czechoslovakia arrested the Czech psychedelic rock band, the Plastic People of the Universe, for disturbing the peace. In the subsequent trials, the band members were convicted and sentenced to 8 to 18 months in prison. In response to the arrest of the band, a group of Czech artists, writers, and musicians, including Vaclav Havel, circulated a petition for their….