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20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

When pro-democracy protesters smashed through the Berlin Wall 20 years ago, they shattered Communism’s grip on Central and Eastern Europe. But not all the region’s residents will be celebrating this anniversary. According to a recent survey, up to 40% of them believe that life was better before the fall of the wall, a feeling fueled by high unemployment rates and tepid wage growth; in 1989, the average Central European’s income was half of a Western European’s, and today, it’s 60%. Before yearning for the good old days, though, the nostalgic should heed Jan Grzebski, a Polish railway worker who fell unconscious in 1988 and woke up 19 years later. “When I went into a coma, meat was rationed.” Now, he said, “there are so many goods in the shops it makes my head spin… . I’ve got nothing to complain about.” — TB

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 09

Democratize
20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

 

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