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The Picnic : An Escape to Freedom and the Collapse of the Iron Curtain, Hardback Book

The Picnic : An Escape to Freedom and the Collapse of the Iron Curtain Hardback



A gripping reconstruction of the world-changing day when hundreds of East Germans broke across the border to the West, leading to the collapse of the Berlin Wall. 'Engrossing and dramatic . . . captivating' William Boyd, New Statesman'Intensely moving' Sunday TimesIn August 1989, a group of Hungarian activists did the unthinkable: they entered the forbidden militarised zone of the Iron Curtain - and held a picnic. Word had spread of what was going to happen. On wisps of rumour, thousands of East German 'holiday-makers' had made their way to the border between Hungary and Austria, awaiting an opportunity, fearing prison, surveilled by lurking Stasi agents.

The stage was set for the greatest border breach in Cold War history.

The fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Soviet Union - the so-called end of history - all would flow from what happened next. Drawing on dozens of original interviews with those involved - activists and border guards, escapees and secret police, as well as the last Communist prime minister of Hungary - Matthew Longo reconstructs this world-shaping event and its tumultuous aftermath. 'A pivotal – and exhilarating – moment in 20th century history. . . gripping' Observer'Evoke[s] the dramatic events in vivid colour . . . fascinating' Katja Hoyer, Telegraph *****‘Captivating . . . a vivid, fast-paced narrative’ New York Times* A GUARDIAN BIGGEST FICTION AND NON-FICTION FOR 2024 * A WATERSTONES ‘BOOK YOU NEED TO READ IN 2024’ * A FOYLES TOP TEN READ FOR JANUARY 2024 *


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