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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » November 18, 2009
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From the Editor-in-Chief
November 18, 2009   
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Lech Wałęsa in front of the Brandenburg Gate pushing the first of 1,000 dominoes symbolizing the Berlin Wall-this is a truly theatrical scene, but then any symbolic evocation of the past is condemned to being theatrical. Twenty years ago nothing was make-believe, though the scene then also seemed like a huge theater performance, unfolding according to a joyous script with a happy ending.

The toppling of the wall ended the second chapter in the fall of communism (the first was the 16-month Solidarity festival in Poland in 1980-1981 and Gorbachev's perestroika). It was also the start of chapter three-stitching together a world divided by the Cold War. Germany made its own fascinating contribution to history here, uniting politically and economically despite difficulties and despite having to reconcile two different mentalities.

I hope great works have been written that describe these processes and analyze them in depth. Just as Poland with Prime Minister Mazowiecki and Deputy Prime Minister Balcerowicz built the first ever road from communism to capitalism, Germany immersed itself in a costly experiment joining what had been divided. The result could be two essential textbooks for anyone who might face similar challenges in future.

There are many divided countries across the world. People from the worse off part steal across to the better off one, often risking their lives. These risky paths are nothing compared with reunification. I wonder how many citizens of South Korea are prepared to set off down that road.
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