Campaign: 2000s

My Story - Zdzislaw Nagengast

In 2007 I was working as a business consultant. My partner asked me to join him at a meeting to see how we might be able to help a small non-profit develop a strategic plan. I had to travel to a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia and had another in a long string of bad travel experiences. I was tired and frustrated. John Mroz met us at my partner’s residence and we proceeded to dinner, a 30 minute drive. I sat in ...more »

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Campaign: 1980s

Who are you really, John Mroz? - 1981

The EastWest Institute was born in the East. It was begun over a beer in a Chinese restaurant with a modest proposal from Co-Founder Ira Wallach. "If you could do anything to make the world a safer place for my grandchildren, John, what would you do?"At the time of this unexpected conversation in 1981, the realities of a deepening Cold War had set in and the possibility of ending the Cold War was amongst the most distant ...more »

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Campaign: 1980s

Why are you Helping the Communists?

When she initiated her partnership with the Institute for East West Security Studies (IEWSS), EWI's former name, on the Academic Board, Dr. Catherine McArdle Kelleher suspected that the Resident Fellows Program had the potential to become something exceptional. The idea of bringing young leaders from Eastern Europe to work in partnership with a new generation of Western leaders inspired a revolutionary idealism. The extent ...more »

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Campaign: 1980s

Lowering the Nuclear Threshold - 1986

In 1986 an untested Soviet leader began employing a new political lexicon, and his expressions generated controversy and suspicion. As if proposing "substantial reductions of all forces in Europe" were not sufficient, there were also unimaginable words from a Soviet leader such as "dependable verification" and "on-site inspections." Given previous deceptive Soviet slogans like Stalin's "world peace campaign," the West ...more »

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Campaign: 1980s

Morning in Moscow - 1987

The arrival of General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev on the world stage produced an endless debate in North America and Western Europe. Is Gorbachev, perestroika, glasnost, for real? Most analysis fell into the classic categories that readily divided liberals and conservatives throughout the Cold War. The EastWest Institute opted for a different approach to the Gorbachev phenomenon. While governments and NGOs the world ...more »

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Campaign: 1980s

Potsdam Revisited - 1988

The Seventh Annual Conference for what was then IEWSS took place in Potsdam, the historic suburb of Berlin where Truman first hinted to Stalin about a potential new super-weapon called the atomic bomb, and where the victorious Allies conferred over the fate of a devastated Europe. Remarkably, within a year and a half of EWI's own "Potsdam Conference," the representatives of the East German government would watch in disbelief ...more »

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Campaign: 1980s

Nudging Behemoth - 1989

By 1989 the communist movement was going through its final convulsions on the world stage. The ideology laid out in the Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels, imported to Russia by Lenin, imposed on East Europe by Stalin and exported to the developing world by his successors had lost whatever was left of its legitimacy. For those mired in the past, the Cold War lingered on without direction and without end. For those ...more »

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Campaign: 1980s

When the Guns Fell Silent

The battle was to commence right here, along the deep fault in the German soil troops from the Warsaw Pact would exchange fire on NATO's elite divisions. Only a decade after the Cold War, it is easy to forget just how close it all came. The Berlin airlift, the Cuban missile crisis, an accidental misreading of an antiquated radar station on the Baltic Sea - each could have commenced the final chapter in human civilization. ...more »

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Campaign: 1990s

Truth and Love will Win over Lies and Hatred - 1990

"Please don't talk about the good Soldier Schweik," implored Vladislav Hancil, the former head of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. "I don't like this book, it's too painful for me...because it's so true. We Czechs, we're not fighters, but how could we be...between Germany and Russia? In spite of this, we do find ways to come out of dreadful situations all right." It didn't look like events were going to be "all ...more »

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Campaign: 1990s

The Huns in Reverse

The earliest written records of Bardejov come from the yellow parchments found in the Ipatyiev Monastery dating back to 1241. The paved rectangular square and the cobblestone roads leading up to the magnificent ecclesiastical buildings are traced back to 1505, a building period where prosperous merchants laid the foundations of Bardejov's gothic and renaissance architecture. The exceptional Jewish Quarter, with its remarkable ...more »

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Campaign: 1990s

The Debt Bomb & the Collapsing Cores - 1992

By the end of the 1980s, concerned businessmen and philanthropists were aware of a potential disaster looming on the horizon. The United States had been running enormous deficits for more than a decade and the cost to the Federal government was ballooning into the trillions of dollars. At precisely this time period the Cold War was ending, and debates about a Marshall Plan for Eastern Europe were beginning in earnest. ...more »

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Campaign: 1990s

Not a Second to Spare

The tale may well be apocryphal, but as an allegory it bears repeating. As the democratic revolutionaries led by Vaclav Havel gathered in the Magic Lantern Theater during the November Changes, they recognized that the collapse of the communist regime was as much about inferior economic planning as failed ideology. Well-stocked shelves and disposable consumer incomes would soon be demanded, and given that the economy was ...more »

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