In 1976, the Czech psychedelic rock band, the Plastic People of the Universe, were arrested and tried by the Czech Communist government. The government convicted the band for disturbing the peace, with the band members serving 8 to 18 month sentences. In response to the arrest of the band, a group of Czech artists, writers, and musicians, including Vaclav Havel, circulated a petition for their….
Memorandum of Conversation Between Egon Krenz, Secretary General of the Socialist Unity Party and Mikhail S. Gorbachev
The new Secretary General of East Germany, Egon Krenz, traveled to Moscow on November 1, 1989 to meet in person with Gorbachev and assess the situation in East Germany and discuss possible paths forward. Throughout the lengthy meeting, Krenz and Gorbachev spoke openly about the challenges that now faced the GDR. Gorbachev, for the most part, remained hopeful that the new GDR leadership could….
The Helsinki Declaration of August 1, 1975 was a turning point in Cold War relations inside European borders. The Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact countries celebrated the acknowledgment of their national boundaries; a desired goal since the end of World War II. West European democracies celebrated the Warsaw Pact countries' willingness to adopt ten major points of international diplomacy. One….
After gaining the position of General Secretary of the Communist Party, Mikhail Gorbachev set the Soviet Union on the path of reform with perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost' (openness). He had followed his domestic changes with a general arms reduction throughout Eastern Europe in 1988, extending the reach of his reforms. On 6 July 1989, in a speech made in front of the Parliamentary….
On September 18, 1990, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher addressed the Czechoslovak Parliament in Prague. In her speech, Thatcher raised three main points that reflect the major tenants of her European policies in the wake of the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe. First, she highlighted the long history of cooperation and cultural ties that existed on a bilateral level between….
On November 3, 1988, Margaret Thatcher became the first British Prime Minister to make an official visit to Poland. In her toast given at a state diner in the Radziwill Palace in Warsaw, Thatcher highlighted the long historical relationship between Poland and the United Kingdom, especially the cooperation between the two powers during the Second World War. Along with offers of assistance and….
On March 21, 1990 British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher hosted a delegation from Czechoslovakia, including the newly elected president Vaclav Havel. One of Prime Minister Thatcher's major initiatives following the collapse of communism was the creation of the "Know How Fund," a fund created to assist economic, political, and cultural development in Eastern Europe. Relative to what other….
As part of a public demonstration of support for the newly-elected governments in Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom's Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, traveled throughout the region in September 1990. Not only did this provide her an opportunity to discuss important matters for Britain's foreign policy but also she could use the attention she brought with Western journalists to allow the new….
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….
Ten days before the Geneva summit that marked his first meeting with new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, President Ronald Reagan delivered this radio address to Soviet citizens. The New York Times characterized the speech as a “folksy but firm presentation of his views” and noted a “marked difference in tone” from Reagan’s earlier rhetoric. During his first three years in….
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev initiated the October 1986 weekend summit at Reykjavik, Iceland with President Ronald Reagan after progress in arms negotiations had slowed following their first meeting in Geneva the previous November. The meeting was billed as an “interim summit” in preparation for a more substantial one in Washington. At the conclusion of two days of intense bargaining….
As the Cold War wound down, NATO’s mission underwent a gradual shift from one of insuring the security of member nations through the deterrence of military aggression to one of fostering the integration of Eastern European countries into a new world order. At the fortieth anniversary NATO summit held in Brussels at the end of May 1989, the heads of the member states issued a declaration that….
On December 3, 1989, following the summit meeting in Malta between US President George H. W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, in which the leaders attested to an historic shift in US-Soviet relations, Bush traveled to Brussels to report on the meeting to a special summit of NATO leaders. The next day, Bush delivered a speech in which he discussed the issue of German reunification.….
Soon after President George H. W. Bush learned the news that the Berlin Wall had opened allowing East Germans to crossover into West Berlin, his press secretary convened an impromptu press conference in the Oval Office. Bush’s wary responses to reporters’ questions, included in the excerpt below, left an impression that he was less than moved by the historic event. The Washington….