‘Step Border’ exhibition on the 30th anniversary of the pan-European picnic

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Visitors attend the opening of the exhibition entitled ‘Step Border’ on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the pan-European picnic and the beginning of the dismantling of the iron curtain between Hungary and Austria in Debrecen, Hungary.

The exhibition in shows the period from the demolition of the iron curtain to the opening of the Hungarian border and from the peaceful revolution to the German unity.

The Pan-European Picnic was a peace demonstration held on the Austrian-Hungarian border near Sopron, Hungary on 19 August 1989, the day before the Hungarian holiday commemorating Stephen I of Hungary.

Click on photo to enlarge

They were joined by hundreds of East Germans who took the opportunity to rush across the border into Austria and from there to West Germany. Hungarian border guards declined to shoot, and in the subsequent weeks thousands more made the crossing. Three months later the Berlin Wall fell and the path to the end of communism in Europe and the continent’s unification was irreversible.

Photos: EPA-EFE/Zsolt Czegledi

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