The Largest Human Rights Movement in the East

We think of human rights movements in terms of voice: the voices of protest, the voices of the marginalized, the voices of the silenced. In East-Central Europe prior to 1989, the faces of the human rights movement were the signatories of Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia, the dissident writers in Hungary, the Solidarity trade union leaders… Continue reading The Largest Human Rights Movement in the East

Read More →



In her book Oni (Them), the journalist Teresa Toranska profiled Poland’s hardcore Stalinists, what the Poles used to call beton or concrete. When the book came out in 1985, it became an underground classic. The world of the “true believers” was in its twilight years, and soon it would be extinguished altogether. But with her… Continue reading Them

Read More →

Eating History

The GDR Museum in Berlin is actually two museums in one. And these two parts, both devoted to everyday life in the German Democratic Republic, subtly contradict one another. That might not have been the intention of the museum founders. But this tension actually captures the ambiguities of East Germany and the ambivalence that many… Continue reading Eating History

Read More →