On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the downfall of the communist regimes in East-Central Europe and the end of the Cold War, the Institute of Contemporary History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in co-operation with the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic are organizing an international conference entitled DROPPING, MAINTAINING AND BREAKING THE IRON CURTAIN: The Cold War and East-Central Europe Twenty Years Later (20 and 21 November 2009). Renowned historians from both sides of the former Iron Curtain divide will utilize two decades of research in the field to evaluate questions about the role of East-Central Europe in the Cold War, the origins and end of the bipolar conflict, and the consequences of the Cold War for the 21st century. The following historians have confirmed their participation: Oliver Bange, Csaba Bekes, Thomas Blanton, Laszlo Borhi, Anne Deighton, Leonid Gibianskii, Hope M. Harrison, James Hershberg, David Holloway, Michael Hopkins, Mark Kramer, Richard Ned Lebow, Petr Lunak, Vojtech Mastny, Timothy Naftali, Vladimir Nalevka, Christian F. Ostermann, Silvio Pons, Alex Pravda, Vilem Precan, Hans Ruggenthaler, Svetlana Savranskaya, Bernd Schaefer, Vit Smetana, Georges-Henri Soutou, Rolf Steininger, Dariusz Stola, Sona Szomolanyi, William Taubman, Oldrich Tuma, Odd Arne Westad. The conference will take place in the Liechtenstein Palace in Prague. It will be preceded by a panel discussion, in which esteemed academics together with former dissidents will assess the following question: “How Well Did the Cold War Experience Prepare for Membership in NATO and EU?“ The antecedent discussion will take place in the Straka Academy, the seat of the Czech Government, on Thursday evening, 19 November 2009.
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