During a set of oral history interviews conducted in Braşov, Romania, in the summer of 2003, “C,” “E,” “O,” “M,” and “L” discuss how the transition to a democratic system and a market economy have impacted politics, the economy, and women’s professional and everyday lives. Their reflections offer insights into the varied ways that women have been affected by, and perceive….
In this oral history interview conducted in Braşov, Romania, during the summer of 2003, “E” discusses traveling under Socialism. She notes that, despite the fact that the country was led by an uneducated dictator, people—that is working people—always received a two week, state-subsidized vacation. Since this benefit is no longer guaranteed by the State, a number of women felt this….
During a series of oral history interviews conducted in Braşov, Romania, during the summer of 2003, “S” and “M” discuss the various strategies they used to procure food and concoct meals for their families during the period of rationing in the 1980s. Meanwhile “E” offers insight into Romanian hospitality, stressing that even in the midst of mass shortages, women managed to lay out….
During a set of oral history interviews conducted in Braşov, Romania, during the summer of 2003, “F” and “R” talk about rearing children under Socialism. For “F” it was a mixed-blessing, since she adored her infant son, yet had to do so under less than optimal conditions. While for “F,” caring for her son was a chore as a result of the manifold shortages in the 1980s, for….
In this collection of oral histories, “V” and “L” reflect on marital relations under socialism. According to “V,” men’s upbringing in the family played a fundamental role in shaping their attitudes toward wives. Thus it would seem that socialist policy and propaganda that promoted equality between women and men had little effect on men’s attitudes toward women—though they….
In this collection of oral histories from Romania, subjects “R,” “I,” “M,” “E,” and “N” talk about their experiences of work during the socialist period. Although “R” and “M” worked in male-dominated fields and faced harassment by their male colleagues, “M” was able to overcome these difficulties by playing the role of the oddball woman. Meanwhile, “I”….
Chancellor Kohl and President Bush Discuss Influx of East Germans and Kohl's Meeting with Michael Gorbachev
One of the most significant problems for West Germany after the opening of the intra-German border was the massive influx of immigrants from East Germany. Under the West German Basic Law, East Germans who fled to the West could instantly claim West German citizenship. Hundreds of thousands of East Germans came to the West each month in the search for better employment opportunities. They also….
In this telephone call between West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and U.S. President George H. W. Bush, the two leaders discussed the developing situation in East Germany. The chancellor had just returned from a trip to Poland, where he met with the new Polish government discussing financial assistance. The news of the Berlin Wall opening up on November 9, 1989, forced him to cut his visit….
The fall of 1989 was a turbulent one. A new reform-oriented government had been elected in Poland, new elections were scheduled in Hungary, and East Germany had a new leader, Egon Krenz, who was speaking openly about reforms in the GDR (German Democratic Republic, also known as East Germany). In this telephone conversation, U.S. President George H. W. Bush discusses the situation in Poland,….