Sopron, Hungary: the picnic that changed the world

Twenty-five years ago, a diplomatic picnic helped bring down communism in Eastern Europe. Who would have thought that in the end the Iron Curtain would be brought down not with a bang, but with basketfuls of sandwiches and hot dogs? And yet that is what happened. On August 19, 1989, at the instigation of the Austrian Euro MP Otto von Habsburg (a name of some resonance in these parts) and the reformist Hungarian Minister of State Imre Pozsgay, it was agreed to hold a “Pan-European Picnic” just outside the Hungarian town of Sopron, right on the border with Austria.

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