- Title: Hungary prepares for 30th anniversary of fall of Iron Curtain
- Date: 15th August 2019
- Summary: SOPONKOHIDA, HUNGARY (FILE - AUGUST 2009) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) OLD WATCHTOWER BEHIND TREES AND NEW MONUMENT TO PAN-EUROPEAN PICNIC AND THE EAST GERMAN REFUGEES VARIOUS OF MONUMENT PART OF OLD IRON CURTAIN FENCE AT BORDER CROSSING LEFT AS A MEMORIAL BARBED WIRE AND BARRIER
- Embargoed: 29th August 2019 13:15
- Keywords: iron curtain border crossing Berlin Wall anniversary Hungary Austria East German refugees
- Location: HEGYESHALOM & SOPONKOHIDA, HUNGARY / BERLIN, GERMANY
- City: HEGYESHALOM & SOPONKOHIDA, HUNGARY / BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Hungary
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA003ASBVQRR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Thirty years ago at a small road on the border between Hungary and Austria, hundreds of East Germans broke through a border gate and made their way to the West from one of the most oppressive of the communist regimes.
The event helped pave the way for the fall of the Iron Curtain and the reunification of Germany.
Hungary planned to open its border with Austria symbolically for three hours at the 1989 picnic but hundreds of East Germans, who had gathered in the hope of a chance to flee, broke through before the official opening.
Less than a month later, on September 11, Hungary formally opened its border with Austria and historians estimate that more than 60,000 East Germans had left via Hungary by early November, when the Berlin Wall came down on the night of November 9, 1989.
Almost 30 years later, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban next Monday plan to visit the Hungarian border town of Sopron where the Iron Curtain was first cut through.
A ceremony scheduled for the event foresees speeches of the two leaders and meetings between eyewitnesses.
(Production: Michele Sani, Tanya Wood)
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