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Gorbachev Discusses the Impact of Western Goods in the Eastern Bloc

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At a March 10, 1988, Politburo meeting, Mikhail Gorbachev (leader of the Soviet Union) delineated his concerns about the growing influence of Western goods on Eastern bloc countries. He recognized that there existed minimal economic trade within Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and indicated the importance of rebuilding trade within COMECON (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance) to... Read More »

Gorbachev's TV Address on Interethnic Relations

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This statement is an effort by Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to recognize, but also restrain and control, growing evidence of nationalist sentiments across the Soviet Union. In this televised broadcast, Gorbachev focused on the possible negative implications of such sentiments, including threats to social order, conflict between ethnic groups, and chauvinist behavior. While... Read More »

Guenter Schabowski's Press Conference in the GDR International Press Center

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Günther Schabowski, the spokesman for the East German Communist Party Politburo, played a vital role in the toppling of the East German Communist government in the fall of 1989. During a press conference on November 9, 1989, a reporter asked him about new travel regulations issued by the government that seemed to indicate the possibility of easier travel into West Berlin through the Berlin... Read More »

Havel's Independence Day Address, 1990

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Every political upheaval is followed by a "morning after." In 1990, the new Czechoslovak President, Vaclav Havel, gave an important speech commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Velvet Revolution (the end of Communism in his country). In addition to celebrating the tremendous achievement of growing democracy in his newly-independent country, Havel also added a note of caution with his... Read More »

Havel's New Year's Address to the Nation, 1990

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The dissident Czech writer Vaclav Havel endured decades of political persecution before being elected Czechoslovakia's (later divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia) first post-socialist president. That Havel, who had been imprisoned multiple times for his participation in the Prague Spring of 1968 and the signing of Charter 77 Manifesto, became president is an important indicator of the... Read More »

Humor for All Occasions: GDR Jokes B

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George Orwell once wrote, "Every joke is a tiny revolution." In state-socialist societies that had (or have) totalitarian characteristics, individuals found clever ways to carve out areas of freedom for themselves. These may have been areas of social freedom (with family and close friends), physical freedom (at one's small garden cottage), or mental freedom (through humor). There were risks... Read More »

Hungary's Prime Minister discusses the Future

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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... Read More »

Interview with Sa’ida Jarallah

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Read the excerpt on this page of an oral history interview taken by Professor Ellen Fleischmann. In it, Sa’ida Jarallah, one of the first Palestinian Muslim women to study abroad, discusses her life, especially the social and cultural aspects of growing up as a young woman in the 1930s.

This source is a part of the... Read More »

Japanese American Incarceration at Amache, Colorado, Interview

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(Yoshimitsu) Bob Fuchigami is a Nisei (2nd generation) Japanese American, born in 1930 in Marysville, California. His family operated a farm prior to World War II. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he and his family were removed to the Merced Assembly Center, California, and later to the Granada (Amache) incarceration camp, Colorado. He currently resides in Colorado. In this interview... Read More »

Japanese American Incarceration at Amache, Colorado, Interview

Source

Norman I. Hirose is a Nisei (second generation) Japanese American born in 1926 in Oakland, California. He grew up in Oakland and Berkeley, California. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Hirose family was removed to the Tanforan Assembly Center, California (a converted racetrack), and later to Topaz incarceration camp, Utah. Authorities in charge of the camps organized recreational... Read More »

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