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     title=Europe's changing face
    byline=Jolyon Naegele
 telephone=619-0932 (editor)
    editor=Phil Haynes

content= // actualities in audio services //

anncr:      The Voice of America presents focus!

Music:    "Focus"  theme in full.  Establish, then lose under:

anncr:   Correspondent Jolyon Naegele is wrapping up a ten-year
         stint covering Central and Eastern Europe for the Voice
         of America, the past several years working out of our
         bureau in Prague. It has been a period of monumental
         change for much of Europe, politically, socially and
         economically. In this focus report, Jolyon takes a look
         back at the some of history-making events he has
         witnessed and reported on.

Text:    Ten years ago, when I started out with V-o-A, the
         countries of Central and Eastern Europe were still
         vassal states in the Soviet Empire.  Their ability to
         resist complete domination by the Kremlin depended on
         their relative strategic importance, their past records
         of insubordination and the vigor and negotiating
         abilities of their communist leaders.

         But for the average citizen in these states, day-to-day
         concerns involved trying to stay out of trouble by
         avoiding political involvement, be it with the
         communists or with illegal opposition groups.  Moreover,
         much of the time was spent trying to get by in a world
         of shortages where most basic consumer goods were
         difficult, if not impossible, to find.  There was plenty
         of free time to spend with friends, to read or go to the
         theater. Friendships were deep but one could never be
         totally sure whether a friend, neighbor or acquaintance
         was  not a police informer.

         Many people lived in fear of the police.  But despite
         the suppression of basic freedoms, such as the right to
         free speech, free assembly, and travel, life across the
         region for most people had some semblance of normalcy.
         Patriotic and nationalist feelings, though largely
         suppressed by the authorities, were nevertheless
         increasingly palpable in the late 1980's -- particularly
         in Hungary, Poland and most parts of Yugoslavia.
         Hungarians and Poles were undergoing waves of nostalgia
         for the territories they lost to their neighbors -- in
         Hungary's case after the first world war, in Poland's
         case during the Second World War.

         But what in one country was little more than nostalgia
         in another country was the germination of nationalist
         intolerance and hatred. Albanians in Macedonia and in
         Serbia's autonomous Kosovo province were facing
         increasing ethnic repression, as were Turks, Gypsies and
         other minorities in Bulgaria. Serbs were striving to
         abolish the autonomous status of Kosovo and Vojvodina
         and integrate these lands into Serbia, regardless of
         their large non-Serbian populations.  Wherever one went
         the tune was the same.

Tape:    music cut #1     song - ko to kaze ko to laze srbija je
         mala (establish and under)

Text:    "Who says ... Who is lying, that Serbia is small? It is
         not small."  Serbs would sing this popular refrain as
         they flexed their muscles to deal in turn with their
         Albanian, Croat, Muslim and Hungarian (Vojvodina)

         The roots of the future disintegration of the Yugoslav
         and Czechoslovak federations were taking hold.  Slovenia
         and Croatia were increasingly desperate to rid
         themselves of the burden of financing the poorer
         Yugoslav Republics to the South.  Even the communist
         authorities in the Czech lands were tired of subsidizing
         Slovakia at the cost of neglecting Czech industry and
         infrastructure. The Czechs had suffered more under
         communist rule than had the Slovaks.

         But while entire countries struggled under authoritarian
         regimes and decades of neglect, there was much suffering
         at a more personal level. As I was taking up my
         assignment in Central Europe almost ten years ago, the
         body of abducted Polish solidarity priest Jerzy
         Popieluszko had just been found. In the months to come
         the public learned in court testimony that police
         officers had kidnapped and murdered father Jerzy.  Four
         police officiers were convicted for their roles in the
         abduction and murder. But just how high up in the
         interior ministry and party apparatus the case went is
         still not entirely clear.

         My first story about Czechoslovakia involved the murder
         of a Czech railroad worker, Frantisek Faktor, who while
         trying to flee across the iron curtain was followed into
         Austria by Czechoslovak border guards who shot him in
         the back and left him to bleed to death. Like the
         Popieluszko affair in Poland, Mr. Faktor's murder showed
         the world the ruthlessness of the police states in
         Central and Eastern Europe and the lack of respect the
         authorities there had for their neighbors, be they
         individuals or nations.  Four years after Mr. Faktor was
         murdered, the iron curtain was torn down. Now after
         nearly five more years, his two murderers are finally
         being brought to justice.

         It was ten years ago, in Bulgaria, when communist
         authorities were preparing to launch the forcible
         assimilation of their ethnic Turkish population of
         nearly one-million, ordering them at gunpoint to change
         their Islamic names for Slavic christian ones and
         banning them from speaking their native Turkish
         language.  Western reporters who tried to drive into
         ethnic Turkish districts were turned back at roadblocks
         or detained.  The Bulgarian Turkish story was one i
         would return to repeatedly over the next few years. In
         mid-1989, Bulgarian authorities finally allowed me to
         travel into the Turkish districts. At Djebel, South of
         Kirdjali, I talked with a group of very scared men in
         the large washroom of a mosque.

Tape:    cut #2 - villagers - establish and fade

Text:    Speaking in Turkish, the men described renewed official
         efforts to suppress the Turkish language, including
         beatings and bans on residents leaving the village, even
         to go to work.

         I was back in Sofia by dusk and quite worried that the
         police might try to seize the interviews I had recorded
         in Djebel. I became so nervous that, in the middle of
         the night, I checked out of the hotel and drove out of
         the country, crossing into Yugoslavia before dawn.

         The interviews with the Turks of Djebel were broadcast
         on V-o-A that week. The following weekend unrest erupted
         in Turkish communities in Eastern Bulgaria and soon
         spread. Bulgarian authorities began expelling Turkish
         inhabitants, sending whole trainloads to Austria.
         Bulgarian leader Todor Zhivkov delivered a speech,
         blaming an unnamed American radio reporter for fomenting
         unrest among the Turkish population.  I was flattered
         but a bit scared.  President Zhivkov announced he was
         openning the borders and letting all Turks leave.

         While Bulgaria proved to be the beginning of a political
         trend, there was  no  single catalyst setting in motion
         the chain of events that five years later led to the
         collapse of the iron curtain and the demise of communist
         rule in Eastern Europe.  Rather, there were numerous
         developments, many of them unrelated and unforeseeable
         in their impact.  Although communism had managed to win
         widespread support among a large share of Europe's urban
         poor in the late 1940's and 50's, disenchantment grew as
         the Soviet bloc increasingly lagged behind the West in
         technology and living standards.  Yet public
         dissatisfaction was largely mute -- out of fear of
         government reprisals.

         This was to change, however, by the mid-1980's, as
         concepts such as civil society and pluralism began
         taking root in large parts of East European society.
         But before democratization really began to accelerate in
         1988, only a handful -- such as Hungarian dissidents
         Gaspar Miklos Tamas and Miklos Haraszti and Polish
         dissidents Janusz Onyszkiewicz and Jacek Kuron -- had
         the courage to declare openly that their goal was to end
         the communists' monopoly on power and install a
         parliamentary democracy and a free market economy.

         [ Opt ] being a Western reporter in the communist world
         was somewhat paradoxical. Unlike the people I wrote
         about, I was free, the bearer of a U-S passport, who
         carried foreign ministry press accreditation cards for
         most of the countries I traveled in.  I could move from
         country to country as the need arose.  Sure, there were
         hassles at the border.  My pockets and bags were
         searched on more than one occasion by vigilant
         Czechoslovak, Romanian and Soviet guards. [ End opt ]
         But for the tens of millions of East Europeans living in
         communist subjugation a decade ago, freedom of speech
         and the freedom to travel were still little more than a
         dream that future generations might one day enjoy. For
         many, freedom from totalitarian opression was simply

         Thus, the changes that shook the region in 1989 were
         truly monumental. In a matter of months, in one state
         after another, one- party rule and Centrally planned
         economies were abolished, the ever present secret police
         was disbanded, and agreements were reached on
         withdrawing Soviet troops.

         These really were, as the song goes, "days of miracle
         and wonder". Over the past few days I have been
         listening to many of the recordings of interviews,
         speeches and demonstrations gathered during those
         turbulent times.

         Some of the recordings of events before the revolutions
         of 1989 still showed there was cause for hope, as when,
         on a visit to Poland in 1987, pope John Paul the second
         delivered a sermon about the meaning of solidarity to
         one-million Poles in an immense field near Gdansk.  The
         pope succeeded as no one else in raising the Poles from
         their post-martial law lethargy to unite in bringing
         down communist rule.

Tape:    act #3     Pope John Paul

         "Solidarnosc to znaci jeden I drugi a skoro brzemia.  To
         brezmia miesal nie razem, we wspolnoci a wiec nigdy
         jeden preciw drugiemu..."

Text:    "Solidarity means...A burden shared by all, in unity,
         and never again one against another."  With those words
         from the pope, the Gdansk field mass ended in a march
         toward the city center that was violently broken up by
         police as demonstrators chanted, "do  not  beat your
         brother, be a Pole."

Tape:    cut #4    demostration chant: "niebij brata bedz
         polakiem! (Establish and fade)

Text:    This and other such recordings still send chills down my
         spine, like the sounds of Czechoslovak police ordering
         the use of water cannon to flatten a crowd of believers
         at a prayer vigil in Bratislava in 1988:

Tape:    cut #5     Police radio sound (establish and fade under

         "Vodne diela tlacit, tlacit, tlacit. Tu gamma jedna,
         gamma jedna dava pokyn pre vodne diela tlacit tou vodou
         ludi von prijem, bety 71, 2 az 4 tam to vytlacit pred
         tym divadlom vodou, rovnat ti pred divadlom, prijem."

Voice:   "Water cannons, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, this is gamma
         one, gamma one, is ordering water cannon to squeeze
         those people, over, beta 71, two through four, force
         those people from in front of the theater, flatten them
         in front of the theater, over."

Text:    The Voice of America broadcast this and other excerpts
         of the recording, refuting the communist-controlled
         Czech media's slanted version of events.  The
         authorities responded to the broadcast by immedately
         halting all further mention of the vigil. In the words
         of one faithful listener in Bratislava, the muzzled 1968
         reformer Alexander Dubcek, that recording showed these
         people for what they really were -- that they were
         completely out of touch with society.

         Mr. Dubcek, bitter that the best years of his life were
         lost, wanted his honor back.  He wanted to play an
         active role in rebuilding Czechoslovakia, something most
         people found almost laughable in a police state where
         even the word "reform" was taboo.

         When I met Alexander Dubcek for the first time, on a
         cold november morning in 1987 at his home in Bratislava,
         I was impressed by his determination. Within months he
         began a crusade in the Western media to win
         rehabiliation.  He was initially afraid of reprisals if
         he were to be interviewed by the Voice of America. But I
         told him that he was not going to win much sympathy at
         home by sparring with the authorities -- as he was doing
         -- on the pages of the Italian communist daily, L'unita.
         He had to speak to his people directly, and what better
         way than on the most widely listened to foreign
         broadcast in Czechoslovakia.

         In June 1988, Czechs and Slovaks heard Mr. Dubcek speak
         on the V-o-A. He was cautious but calculating. He
         succeeded in projecting an image of decency and
         humanity, something totally lacking in his successors.
         He even sang a song for V-o-A listeners, a Slovak
         rendition of the popular tune, "Green, green grass of

Tape:    cut #6  dubcek song (establish and fade under)

Text:    Two months later, on the 20th anniversary of the Soviet
         invasion of Czechoslovakia, ten-thousand people gathered
         in Prague's Wenceslas square demanding freedom and an
         end to the 19-year-old Soviet military occupation.  They
         also chanted Alexander Dubcek's name, over and over

Tape:    cut #7     crowd chant:  "Dubcek, Dubcek, Dubcek"
         (establish and fade under)

Text:    The police were taken by surprise and needed two hours
         to muster riot squads who brutally beat marchers and
         passersby in front of the national theater.  Thus began
         a series of demonstrations that continued on a near
         monthly basis until november 1989, when the number of
         regular protesters finally surpassed 20-thousand, but
         within days multiplied into the hundreds of thousands.

         But the protests and Mr. Dubcek's name were heard well
         beyond Czechoslovakia's borders -- in Hungary, for
         example, which was racing toward establishing a fully
         fledged parliamentary democracy at a time when
         Czechoslovak communist officials were still rejecting
         any suggestion of dialog with the opposition.

         On october 23rd, 1989, about 100-thousand Hungarians
         gathered spontaneously in front of the parliament
         building on their lunch-hour to witness interim
         president Matyas Szueroes' stepping onto a balcony to
         read a document ending Hungary's status as a communist
         "people's republic."  He concluded by telling the crowd
         that the country was finally on the road to liberty and
         democracy.  In Mr. Szueroes' words, "This nation
         deserves happiness and wealth at last, long live the
         Hungarian Republic, may it be happier than its
         predecessors."  Perhaps never before, or since, did the
         Hungarian state anthem sound so beautiful as it did on
         that autumn afternoon as 100-thousand people sang to the
         accompaniment of a military band.

Music:   cut #8  Hungarian anthem (establish and fade under)

Text:    Tears rolled down nearly every cheek in the crowd.  I
         went back to my hotel room to file a story but found
         myself overcome with emotion. Of course reporters strive
         to remain objective, but when a nation finally emerges
         from decades of oppression and has reached the threshold
         of freedom without bloodshed or violence, surely even
         hardened reporters can shed a tear of joy. How many more
         years, I wondered then, would it be before the other
         nations of Central and Eastern Europe would also be

         As it turned out it would only be a matter of days.

         The sounds of Czechoslovakia's "Velvet revolution", from
         the street demonstrations of november 1989 to Vaclav
         Havel's inauguration, are a vivid memory and still cause
         a lump in my throat.  On international human rights day,
         december 10th, three weeks after the velvet revolution
         began, Vaclav Havel spoke to an immense crowd gathered
         on wenceslas square about setting a new course in the
         post-communist world.

Tape:    cut #9            Havel

         "Pravda a laska musi zvitezit nad lzi a nenavisti..."
         Crowd chants of, "at' zije havel..."

Text:    "Truth and love must prevail over lies and hatred..."
         The crowd burst out in chants of, "Long live Havel".
         The next day the slogan was emblazoned on posters of Mr.
         Havel that were pasted up all over Prague.  The campaign
         to put the long persecuted playright in the presidency
         had begun and less than three weeks later, he was

         On december 29th, as the just-appointed chairman of
         parliament, Alexander Dubcek, escorted Vaclav Havel
         through the 500-year-old Vladislav hall of Prague castle
         to his inauguration, I thought to myself, "this is it, a
         dream come true. Czechoslovakia is free." An older
         communist foreign ministry official sidled up to me and
         said, with a look of resignation: "well, it's all over".

         Afterwards, president Havel threw open the windows of
         the castle, ending the stuffiness of recent decads, to
         speak to a crowd of well-wishers assembled below. He
         promised not to disappoint them and to lead the country
         peacefully to free elections without sullying, what he
         termed, the clean face of our revolution.

Text:    Minutes later in the adjacent cathedral of Saint Vitus,
         the nearly 90-year-old cardinal Frantisek Tomasek then
         celebrated a mass of thanksgiving, the centerpoint of
         which was Antonin Dvorak's "Te deum".

Music:   cut #10   dvorak's "te deum" (establish and fade under)

Text:    Dvorak's wild mixture of Native American Indian drum
         beats and Czech sacred music somehow set the tone for
         the first term in office -- six months -- of the offbeat
         dissident playwright-turned-president.

         The rapidity with which Czechoslovakia emerged from half
         a century of  totalitarian rule and transformed itself
         into a parliamentary democracy with a stable free market
         economy was staggering.   President Havel took on the
         role of conscience of the nation and as  such, through
         thick and thin, has remained the most popular politician
         in the country -- that country now being the Czech
         republic, which emerged with the divorce from Slovakia
         that took effect on January first 1993.

         President Havel's erstwhile political rival, Vaclav
         Klaus, prime minister for the last two years, has
         repeatedly contradicted and challenged the president on
         a range of issues.  Mr. Klaus's rightwing Civic
         Democratic Party won the largest number of votes in the
         Czech Republic in Czechoslovakia's parliamentary
         elections two years ago. In Slovakia, Vladimir Meciar's
         leftwing populist movement for a democratic Slovkia won
         the most votes on a platform of slowing down
         privatization and achieving sovereigntry for Slovakia.
         The result was what most analysts had predicted would be
         the worst-case scenario -- political forces leading the
         country in two diametrically opposite directions.

         Two weeks after the elections, Mr. Klaus and Mr. Meciar
         reached  agreement that the Czech and Slovak budgets
         would be completely  separated, effective January 1st
         1993, and thus the two economies would go their own
         separate ways.  Mr. Klaus said he had done all he could
         and a better solution was  not  possible.  When a few
         days later the Slovak parliament voted in favor of
         Slovak sovereignty, president Havel submitted his
         resignation within minutes.  His resignation speech
         closed with the same presidential fanfare what heralded
         his joyous inauguration.

Tape:    cut #11  fanfare (establish and fade under)

Text:    But this time, as the last bars of the fanfare faded
         out, many Czechs and Slovaks were left with a deep sense
         of emptiness, not just that they were leaderless or that
         the velvet divorce was irreversible and the 74-year-old
         Czechoslovak state doomed. Once again the fate of the
         nation had been decided wtithout the public having been
         consulted. Most Czechs and Slovaks opposed the split at
         the time and most Slovaks still do.  A refrendum might
         well have come out against the split, forcing prime
         ministers Klaus and Meciar into compromises neither was
         willing to make.

         [ Opt ] Czech prime minister Klaus pledged that the new
         Czech Republic would uphold the democratic and humanist
         ideals upon which Czechoslovakia was founded by its
         first president, Tomas Masaryk. But there were serious
         and justified concerns that the populist Slovak
         government would renounce Masaryk's ideals of national
         coexistence to the detriment of the country's
         minorities. Slovakia remains a region of political and
         economic instability wile the Czech economy has
         weathered the split and strengthened admirably. [ End
         opt ]

         The end of communist rule and the rise of market forces
         not only  changed the political and economic life of the
         states of Central and Eastern Europe but radically
         altered personal relations as well. Friendships were
         sorely tested or broken as people's priorities changed.
         There was less and less time to spend with friends and
         as price controls were lifted, less money was available
         to spend in a restaurant or theater.  People became more
         self-reliant and in some places considerably more
         agressive. The crime rate soared as a result of
         amnesties, unemployment and open borders which enabled
         everyone, from petty criminals to organized crime
         bosses, to look for new opportunities.

         In october 1989, the morning after East German communist
         leader Erich Honecker was replaced, I was in Frankfurt,
         West Germany, attending a conference on the future of
         Europe and shared a breakfast table with the editor of a
         Soviet foreign policy journal.  I asked the man whether
         with Mr. Honecker gone one could expect East Germany to
         abolish the communist party's leading role in society.
         "Typical American question," the Russian snarled, "the
         party general secretary resigns and the first thing you
         Americans ask is, 'when will the communists throw in the
         towel?'"  The Berlin wall was opened less than three
         weeks later and within a year Germany was united.
         Two years after that, the Soviet Communist Party was
         banned and the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Who would
         have believed it?  To have had the experience -- to me,
         the privilege -- of witnessing and reporting on the
         these events of the the past ten years, is something for
         which I will always be grateful.

Music:     "Focus" theme (establish and under).

Anncr:   You have been listening to focus on the Voice of
         America. Our program on the changing face of East and
         Central Europe was written by Jolyon Naegele, edited  by
         Phil Haynes, produced by _________ and directed by


13-sep-94 8:42 am edt (1242 utc)

source: Voice of America

A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
Alapitvany tamogatja.

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