When Poland flings open its western border to the EU, the back door to the east will slam shut, leaving Belarus and Ukraine in a geopolitical gray zone.
In his day, he was known as “Red Elvis,” the most popular American entertainer from East Berlin to Vladivostok. Now, 30 years after he took the communist world by storm, mention of Dean Reed in central Europe evokes little more than snickers or shrugs.
As Jaroslav Klenovsky approached his shattered hometown, he encountered a sight that remains seared in his memory. Armed young men were escorting thousands of women, children, and elderly people out of the city. The German population of Brno was being expelled.
Barely 7 feet high and painted in pale yellow and brown, the wall along Maticni Street has been condemned as a “wall of shame” that is drawing new dividing lines 10 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
It is hard to explain the appeal of the mysterious white cylinder, about four feet tall, sealed with a blue vinyl covering. The unwieldy home appliance, which East German engineers designed as a “portable sauna,” is one of the main attractions at a Berlin exhibit.