Skip to comments.John Paul II’s 1983 Visit to Poland: Anniversary Reflections
Posted on 11/11/2013 6:39:01 PM PST by marshmallow
It was sixty years ago that the Hungarian émigré historian, John Lukacs, published his first book, The Great Powers and Eastern Europe, a masterful treatment of the subject, whose conclusion, including an elegy on the lost world he left behind, has haunted me for years. Surveying the wreckage of that shattered and divided world, he declared that only the magnetic force of a rejuvenated, remade, and truly united Western Europe, one that has recovered the erstwhile spiritual greatness of that Christian continent, can eventually develop enough attraction to penetrate the steely barriers separating the West from Eastern Europes modern police state.
That was written in 1953, beneath the cloudless skies of the Eisenhower years, which means that thirty-five more years would need to elapse before the world could witness the final and conclusive collapse of the Soviet Empire in Europe. It all started a quarter century ago, in other words, beginning with the so-called Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia in November of 1989, which smashed the fist of the single-party Communist state, leaving the rest of us, especially those smugly ensconced amid the flesh pots of the capitalist West, in a state of stunned surprise.
How, we asked ourselves, could a people divided for more than forty years by such a massive and impregnable symbol of Soviet sanctioned oppression as the Iron Curtain, come suddenly together in spontaneous and joyous fashion to dance atop the ruins of the Berlin Wall?
Under the impact of what idea or force of history did the whole Marxist superstructure of violence and deceit suddenly fall away, its final implosion taking place before the eyes of an astonished and grateful world? Was it merely the weight of so many outmoded and discredited economic policies that brought down the beast? The inherent illogic of socialist doctrine finally.........
(Excerpt) Read more at crisismagazine.com ...
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