The format aims to highlight selected key events in 1989 by way of personal recollections and to examine their significance for current developments. The format focusses on eight selected dates/events of the year 1989, deliberately excluding the Fall of the Berlin Wall as this event retrospectively overshadows all others, which were not any less meaningful for later developments.
27 June 1989: First breach in the Iron Curtain at the Austrian-Hungarian border
In conversation: Erhard Busek, former Austrian Vice Chancellor, and Holly Case, Professor of History, Brown University.
28 June 1989: (In)famous speech by Milosevic on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo Polje
In conversation: Ivan Vejvoda, IWM Permanent Fellow, and Vuk Velebit, political analyst (Talas.rs) and civic activist
11:30 – 12:15 Poland
24 August 1989: First non-communist government since 1948 elected in Eastern Europe
In conversation: Andrzej Waśkiewicz, Head of the Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw, and Aleksandra Głos, Jagiellonian University, Krakow
13:30 – 14:15 USSR/ Ukraine
8 September 1989: The Rukh Constituent Congress – a Precursor to the Collapse of the Soviet Union
In conversation: Volodymyr Kulyk, National Academy of Sciences, Kyiv, and Kateryna Ruban, PhD candidate in History, New York University
30 September 1989: Genscher’s Balcony speech at the West-German Embassy in Prague
In conversation: Ralf Beste, German Ambassador to the Republic of Austria and Dagmar Rychnovská, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna (IHS)
15:30 – 16:15 Bulgaria
10 November 1989: Todor Zhivkov ousted and replaced by Petar (Petur) Mladenov
In conversation: Georgi Pirinski, former vice-premier and former foreign minister of Bulgaria, and Jana Tsoneva, PhD student in Sociology at Central European University (CEU).
20 November 1989: Civic Forum rally in Czechoslovakia, estimate of 500.000 protesters
In conversation: Philipp Ther, Professor of Eastern European History, University of Vienna, and Jennifer Bergerova, BISLA/Bratislava.
17:30 – 18:15 Romania
25 December 1989: Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu sentenced to death and executed
In conversation: Victor Neumann, Professor of History and Theory of History, West University of Timișoara, and Raluca Alexandrescu, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest, Romania.
In cooperation with
Europe’s Futures – Ideas for Action
A strategic partnership initiative of IWM and ERSTE Foundation
On November 4 and 5, the IWM will further arrange two evening events dedicated to literary reflections on 1989 in cooperation with ÖGL (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Literatur).
György Dalos, Dževad Karahasan, Tanja Maljartschuk
1989 – Jeder Aufbruch verlangt nach Geschichten, Teil I
4. November 2019, 18:00 Uhr
Österreichische Gesellschaft für Literatur, Palais Wilczek, Herrengasse 5, 1010 Wien
Noémi Kiss, Thomas Perle
1989 – Jeder Aufbruch verlangt nach Geschichten, Teil II
5. November 2019, 18:00 Uhr, IWM
On November 7 a political debate organized in cooperation with the Czech Embassy in Vienna will focus on the changes in the years after:
Jiří Přibáň, Martin Milan Šimečka
Thirty Years After: Europe’s Unfinished revolution?
November 7, 6:00pm, IWM