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    On the downfall of communism. 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe

    4-5 April 2019, Warsaw

    The year 1989 saw a culmination of many years of dissident efforts which meant freedom and democracy for East-Central Europe. The rise of a number of sovereign countries brought joy and high hopes for their citizens, but also doubts and anxiety as to what the future might hold.

    Thirty years later, experts from different countries will meet in Warsaw to discuss these turbulent events, their interpretations today and the legacy of the fall of the Iron Curtain for the next generations. The conference is organised on the anniversary of the conclusion of the Polish Round Table Talks which were the first in a series of negotiations between communist authorities and the opposition in several countries of the Eastern Bloc.

    Languages of the conference: English and Polish (simultaneous translation will be provided)



    Please note that there are two seperate venues for the conference:

    Day 1, Thursday 4 April 2019
      The Presidential Palace; attendance by invitations only (online livestreaming will be provided)

    Days 2, Friday 5 April 2019
      Rzeczpospolita Palace (Plac Krasińskich 3/5), part of the event open to the public


    Conference / Warsaw 2018

    04/04/2019 Thursday

    Presidential Palace
    Termination or continuity? Dismantling communism in 1989 in different countries of Central and Eastern Europe
    Andrzej Paczkowski
    Attila Pók
    Wojciech Roszkowski
    Oldřich Tůma
    Manfred Wilke
    Piotr Gursztyn (moderator)
    Lunch break
    On the chessboard of empires: 1989 from a global perspective
    A. Ross Johnson
    Łukasz Kamiński
    James Mark
    Rimvydas Valatka
    Małgorzata Bonikowska (moderator)
    Coffee break
    Breakthrough – transformation – post-communism. Assessment after 30 years
    Florin Abraham
    Wanda Jarząbek
    Csaba Gy. Kiss
    Mark Kramer
    Andrzej Zybertowicz
    Michael Žantovský (moderator)

    05/04/2019 Friday

    Solidarność as an inspiration? In search of a common Central European heritage
    Ákos Engelmayer
    Alvydas Nikžentaitis
    Martin Pekár
    Wolfgang Templin
    Bronisław Wildstein (moderator)
    Coffe break
    Disputes over 1989. A socio-political perspective
    Igor Caşu
    Adéla Gjuričová
    Peter Jašek
    Michał Łuczewski
    Mikołaj Mirowski (moderator)
    Lunch break
    1989 in cultural memory
    Jaak Kilmi
    István Kovács
    Andrzej Szczerski
    Paweł Ukielski
    Barbara Schabowska (moderator)

    About the series

    The conference 'On the downfall of communism. 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe' is a part of a common cross-national framework of academic meetings '1989. Changes and challenges' devoted to the legacy of years 1989-91 which will be held in 2019 in different European countries.

    Learn more about the framework


    logo of PL Ministry
    In cooperation with
    logo of Kancelaria Prezydenta RP
    logo of Polish History Museum
    logo of ENRS
    logo of Biblioteka Narodowa
    Event organised as a part of the 1989. Changes and Challanges framework
    logo of 1989. Changes & Challenges PL