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1989: Then, and Now

"Today, Eastern Europe is again Central Europe-which it has always been historically, culturally and philosophically." 
(Zbigniew Brzezinski March 7, 1990) 

Fall 2009 marked the 20 year anniversary of the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. The Revolutions of 1989, sometimes called the "Autumn of Nations," was a revolutionary wave that swept across Central and Eastern Europe in the autumn of 1989, ending in the overthrow of Soviet-style communist states within the space of a few months.

The political upheaval began in Poland, continued in Hungary, and then led to a surge of mostly peaceful revolutions in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria. Romania was the only Eastern-bloc country to violently overthrow its communist regime and to execute its head of state.

The Revolutions of 1989 greatly altered the balance of power in the world and marked (together with the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union) the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the post-Cold War era.