The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop

The picnic

In August 1989, a group of Hungarian activists did the unthinkable: they entered the forbidden militarised zone of the Iron Curtain – and held a picnic. Word had spread of what was going to happen. On wisps of rumour, thousands of East German ‘holiday-makers’ had made their way to the border between Hungary and Austria and packed the nearby camping sites, awaiting an opportunity, fearing prison, surveilled by lurking Stasi agents. The highest state authorities were choosing to turn a blind eye – but that could change at any moment. The stage was set for the greatest border breach in Cold War history: that day hundreds would cross from the Communist East to the longed-for freedom of the West. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Soviet Union – the so-called end of history – all would flow from those dramatic hours.


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SKU 9781847927798 Category

Author Matthew Longo Published by The Bodley Head ISBN 9781847927798 EAN 9781847927798 Bic Code Cover Hardback