Ignoring the element of Soviet domination and its collapse during the end of communism in 1989 leads to a skewed view of that part of history and a misunderstanding about the concept of nation-states in Europe.
In Washington, they are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the end of communism but while listening to the politicians talking about its demise, one would never know how it actually ended. Was it a fall, an overthrow, or a defeat of communism?
There are different interpretations of what actually happened to bring about the end of communism and within the political sphere, these interpretations become especially important. And while it is clear communism ended, the question is also what came next?
Those who are celebrating the 30th anniversary also are not sure what came after communism. They speak of the return of democracy, but not always in a positive light.
“Poles were the first to come out of the closet and their success encouraged Hungarian communists to swiftly negotiate a handing over of power,” said Daniel Fried, former US ambassador in Warsaw.
He added that action was what led to the Velvet Revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
However, Fried is not delivering the most politically, sociologically and historically accurate interpretation of events. He ignores not only the facts concerning those five states, which includes the separation of Czechia and Slovakia, but also what occurred beyond them.
Were the Round Table talks only a Polish-American initiative? Were they kept secret from Moscow? One needs only to look at Wikipedia to find out that there were national movements appearing in every Soviet republic before the Round Table, their aim more often than not to gain autonomy and independence.