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Tag Archives: European history

Review of Beyond the wall: A history of East Germany by Katja Hoyer

I first met my friend Gunter at a scientific meeting on the Greek Island of Crete in 1986. He was from East Germany. I knew his published work at the time, and when I shared my unpublished data, he agreed to send me some Drosophila stocks that would advance my research.At the meeting, he and the other scientists from behind the “iron curtain” had no western currency, so as to discourage defections. Collections were taken up for them among the western...

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Capitalism prevails

I’m reading Homelands: A personal history of Europe by Timothy Garton Ash. The book is organized by decades, and the decade of 1980-89 was a historically significant one for Central Europe. By the end of the decade, the “communist” dictatorships in Poland, Hungary, East Germany and Czechoslovakia had collapsed.Real history resists simplification, but to simplify, the seemingly permanent division of communist East and capitalist West succumbed to the...

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