Monday, 19 August 2019

paneuropäisches picknick

Held on this day in 1989 the peace protest known as the Pan-European Picnic in the border town of Šopron (formerly Ödenburg), Hungary on the Austria border sponsored in part by the former Archduke of both nations is considered by many to be the final death-rattle of Communism, presaging what was to follow in Central Europe, signalling the end of accommodation for protracted situations like Romanian refugee camps in Hungary or the East German encampment at the Prague embassy. Borders were eliminated for a space of three hours during the exchange and many took advantage of this window, with border guards given orders not to interfere. Presently, few signs remain of the walls that separated east from west.