Yesterday Germans and Europeans celebrated the fall of the Berlin wall 20 years ago. While one could argue against the single minded focus on DDR here in Sweden, at the expense of other ex-conmmunist countries, there is no doubt that this is a date to remember.
The wall was a very strong symbol for the Europe that once existed on both sides of it. The Sex Pistols sang about it. So did the Swedish punks Ebba Grön. And its fall was probably the strongest symbol of a revolution we all lived through, in one way or another. I am no doubt west european, but we also lived through this period in history, albeit on the other side of things.
20 years later one can pretty much choose between seeing how much has changed - the maladets! blog itself is an evidence of an european continent without efficient borders*. One could likewise despair how little has actually changed. In spite of Moldova not existing 20 years ago, the newly ousted president Voronin did, and held executive powers in the soviet republic Moldova.
Yes... the post-sovietic countries didn't develop as quick or in the ways that the world expected 1989. Old elites managed to stay in power, but history didn't rest. The last couple of years we have seen progressive upheavals in several countries with less than perfect democracies - Ukraine, Georiga, Moldova and I would say also Bulgaria, even if the revolution took place in a normal election.
These revolutions were driven by the strongest force in life - youth. Eastern European countries now see the first generation born after communism mature, with new expectations. They carry on the good work their parents did 20 years ago, and I think these Europeans are the one's we should remember now.
This post goes out to you, Bulgarian bloggers, environmentalists, Moldovan peaceful democracy protesters and all other heroes I never had the chance to meet.
*There are bordes, but they apply only to those with the wrong passport. The border between Moldova and Romania is open for me, while closed for Moldovans.