1990 / Year One

The year 1990 was a turning point in overcoming the communist heritage and shaping democracy in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. That year brought the first fully free parliamentary, presidential and local government elections in most of the CEE countries. It was also in 1990 that the two German states were reunited, which had (still has) consequences not only for the Germans themselves, but also for their eastern neighbours, Poles, Czechs and Slovaks (then: Czechoslovakia), who had to re-establish their relations with their old/new neighbour - with whom they also had an unsettled history dating back to World War II. The year 1990 was also the beginning of a new era for the Baltic States, such as Lithuania, which was the first country of that region to declare its independence after 50 years of Soviet rule.

On 26th April 2021, a meeting with Rafał Dutkiewicz, former mayor of Wrocław, was held and it subject was: "1990. The beginning of self-governing Poland from the perspective of Wrocław ”.

231 students and teachers participated in the meeting.

It was the fifth in a series of meetings organized by the Krzyżowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe, the purpose of which is to present the circumstances of the historic breakthrough that led to the collapse of the communist system and the beginning of democratic changes in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

On 20 April, Dr Inga Vindhdnaitė, a political scientist from Vilnius University, gave a lecture entitled "Lithuania's re-establishment of independence. Challenges the country faced".

It was the fourth of a series of lectures organised by the Krzyżowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe, which aim at explaining the circumstances of the historical breakthrough which led to the collapse of the communist system and the beginning of democratic changes in Central and Eastern Europe.

Audio recordings of the lecture, in Polish and Lithuanian, are available below.

The year 1990 was a turning point in overcoming the communist heritage and shaping democracy in Central and Eastern European countries. That year brought the first fully free parliamentary, presidential and local government elections in most of the countries.

The year 1990 was also the beginning of a new era for the Baltic States, such as Lithuania, which was the first country of that region to declare its independence after 50 years of Soviet rule.

What was the situation in Lithuania in 1990? What challenges did the country, which formally was a Soviet republic and part of the USSR, face? What price did Lithuanians have to pay for their freedom?

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