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George Soros on Europe after the Berlin Wall

Soldiers standing behind a fallen section of the Berlin Wall

At a time when few expected the defeat of Soviet rule in Central and Eastern Europe, George Soros saw reason for hope, believing that even small cracks in Communism’s apparatus of control and repression could ultimately inspire more sweeping changes.

Starting in the early 1980s, he gave scholarships to Eastern European intellectuals and supported dissident groups (such as Charta 77 in Czechoslovakia and Solidarity in Poland). In the years that followed, as Soros opened a number of local foundations intended to help the former Eastern Bloc’s transition from Communism to liberal democracy, the Open Society Foundations were born.

Now, 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Soros reflects on the significance of that historic moment, and the work that continues today.

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