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Eastern Europe

Life Underground in the GDR

John Feffer | Posted 10.12.2013 | World
John Feffer

In the early days of dissent in East Germany, the state and the Stasi were dedicated to eradicating all signs of opposition. As Thomas Klein, a leading oppositionist from those days, explained to me, they didn't even know the size of their dissident circles until after 1989 when the Stasi files became available.

Both Sides Now

John Feffer | Posted 10.09.2013 | Arts
John Feffer

Most people of a certain age in East-Central Europe have seen both sides of the major split of the 20th century. They grew up under Communism, and then after a certain point they suddenly were living under capitalism.

The Rebirth of the East European Countryside?

John Feffer | Posted 07.25.2013 | World
John Feffer

Throughout the region there has been an emptying out of the countryside. Farms have either disappeared or become more efficient, so fewer farmworkers are needed. It's the common story of modernity: a rural generation becomes an urban one.

Groundbreaking Gay Pride Parade Marred By Violence

Reuters | Posted 02.02.2016 | Queer Voices

* Some 200 protesters try to stop around 40 gay marchers * At least 10 arrested, some injuries as missiles thrown * Mont...

Adventures in Romania

John Feffer | Posted 09.20.2013 | Travel
John Feffer

For one day in Romania, I decided to go off the grid, more or less.

The Stasi's Long Shadow

John Feffer | Posted 09.14.2013 | World
John Feffer

It's been 24 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the effective end of the East German state security service known as the Stasi. But the Stasi issue continues to haunt Germany.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria: Europe's Oldest Inhabited City

Jennifer Walker | Posted 09.12.2013 | Travel
Jennifer Walker

As the bus drove through Plovdiv's suburbs, after a two-hour journey from the capital Sofia, I felt like I was visiting an old friend. Plovdiv is one of the World's most ancient cities and Europe's oldest inhabited city -- even beating Athens.

Regime Change in Hungary

John Feffer | Posted 09.11.2013 | World
John Feffer

As Hungary expert Charles Gati points out, the Orban government has promoted not simply a particular agenda but an entire system change. We talked about the geopolitical implications of Hungary's turn to the Right.

Training the Next Generation

John Feffer | Posted 09.08.2013 | World
John Feffer

There is a great unease among young people in Europe today. The impact on politics has been considerable. Fewer young people are voting in European parliament elections. At the same time, support has surged among young people for extremist politics on the Right.

Catharsis in Serbia

John Feffer | Posted 07.05.2013 | World
John Feffer

"This government is composed of the people who were involved in the destruction of the country. But we, each citizen of this country together with those of us who were opposed, in some way allowed that. So this is a bigger question of responsibility. How could we have stopped them?"

Yugoslavia Could Have Been a Leader

John Feffer | Posted 07.01.2013 | World
John Feffer

It's not surprising, given its relative material wealth and relative freedom, that Yugoslavia was first in line of all the Communist states for consideration as a member of the European Community.

Heading East

John Feffer | Posted 08.27.2013 | World
John Feffer

When the Berlin Wall fell, a tremendous number of people headed for the West, permanently. But not everyone moved from east to west.

We Were So Close to Preventing Genocide

John Feffer | Posted 08.26.2013 | World
John Feffer

Yugoslavia. The very word conjures up images of war, fratricide, and genocide. But imagine if the tensions that escalated between Serbs and Croats in 1990 were somehow addressed and war averted.

Life in Fast Forward

John Feffer | Posted 08.24.2013 | Books
John Feffer

The late 1960s, with the explosion of youth movements, the Vietnam War, and the transformation of popular culture, offered a grand opportunity for the reinvention of self. So, too, did the late 1980s, particularly in East-Central Europe.

Reviving Slovak Civil Society

John Feffer | Posted 08.20.2013 | World
John Feffer

Although much of the focus of the world's attention in 1989 was on Prague and Vaclav Havel, the civic movement Public Against Violence played an equally important role in ensuring that the revolution in Czechoslovakia was "velvet."

Poland's Remarkable Round Table

John Feffer | Posted 08.19.2013 | World
John Feffer

The Round Table lacked perhaps the drama of the Berlin Wall's collapse or Vaclav Havel's leap from prison to presidency. But its patient politicking also represented an alternative to the violence of Romania's revolution and Yugoslavia's descent into war.

Squat Paradise

John Feffer | Posted 08.18.2013 | World
John Feffer

It was an exhilarating time to be young in November 1989 and living in East Berlin. It was not only the physical Wall that fell on November 9. It was also the many invisible walls that closed off anyone who didn't conform.

Challenging Gentrification in Eastern Europe

John Feffer | Posted 08.14.2013 | World
John Feffer

Certainly 1989 was a watershed year for politicians, political scientists, and human rights activists in East-Central Europe. But the people that really must have felt the ground shake beneath their feet were: real estate developers.

Roma Politics

John Feffer | Posted 08.13.2013 | World
John Feffer

A key question facing Roma politicians is whether to run as candidates with the major political parties or to push forward with a Roma-identified initiative.

Hungary: The Cancer in the Middle of Europe?

John Feffer | Posted 08.07.2013 | World
John Feffer

Something is dreadfully wrong with Hungary. Worse, what's wrong with Hungary is not unique in Europe. What's eating away at a free society in Hungary has metastasized.

The Ghettos of Eastern Europe

John Feffer | Posted 08.06.2013 | World
John Feffer

The experience of today's ghettos has many echoes with the past. Consider for example the Stolipinovo neighborhood in Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city.

Playing Catch Up in Eastern Europe

John Feffer | Posted 08.05.2013 | World
John Feffer

We talked about the growing divide between the Balkans and the rest of Europe, the expectations that EU accession have produced, and what it means that Bulgarians like Turkish soap operas so much.

Here I Am: Speaking out from the epicenter of the HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Lucy Chesire | Posted 08.04.2013 | Impact
Lucy Chesire

In a few days, June 9th-12th, a very important conference is set to take place in Lithuania that will bring all those interested in harm reduction tog...

Curating the Curators

John Feffer | Posted 08.03.2013 | Arts
John Feffer

There is an art to curation. Curators must not only choose the works for an exhibition, which involves making aesthetic judgments about "good" and "bad" as well as what fits together according to the exhibition's theme

Truth Wins

Edward Jacobs | Posted 07.31.2013 | World
Edward Jacobs

First and foremost, it is crucial that governments enforce a zero-tolerance policy for all anti-Semitic and other xenophobic behavior. Equally imperative is to distinguish between Nazi-era crimes and those committed by the Communist regime.