Recovering Europe's past

As the disfigurement of the Cold War recedes, Europe is reclaiming a brighter, better history

David Frum

I last visited Berlin 20 years ago, in the summer of 1990. My wife and I traveled through newly ex-communist Poland, Hungary, both halves of the soon to be disunited Czechoslovakia, and East Germany. I extracted my own paint-tinted block from the still standing Berlin Wall with a hammer and chisel.

Back then, Berlin was two cities with a kill-zone in between. We visited the east during the day, but spent our nights in the west: At the mid-point of the trip, after having gone two long weeks without a decent cup of coffee, with two weeks more to go, a respite of capitalist indulgence seemed called for.

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