Remembering the fall of the Iron Curtain
New monument at the Austrian-Hungarian border unveiled
Vienna, 19 August 2013 – On 19 August 2013, a monument was unveiled at the Austrian-Hungarian border where former Austrian Foreign Minister Alois Mock and his Hungarian counterpart Gyula Horn cut the barbed wire fence of the Iron Curtain on 27 June 1989. The monument was previously positioned at the place of the "Pan-European Picnic" near Sopron, Hungary, which was held precisely 24 years ago on 19 August 1989. The place at the border symbolises the beginning of a new era of freedom for both Hungary and Europe as well as the dawn of a new Europe.
"The peaceful political change of 1989 was the great triumph of the citizens of the former Eastern Block countries. For decades they had been paving the road towards this change with immeasurable willpower. Despite all risks and disadvantages, despite the danger to life and limb, these people fought courageously for their freedom and faced the totalitarian regime with resolve", Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said and continued: "The peace project of Europe is a backbone, a unifying and identity-establishing foundation of modern-day Europe where lookout towers and barbed wire are a thing of the past. It is indispensable that the young people of today are provided with the knowledge of the tragic past of our continent. Bearing the past in mind, we are called upon to recognise the potential inherent in Central Europe today and put it to dedicated use."
The commemoration ceremony was held by the Hungarian Ambassador to Austria, Vince Szalay-Bobrovniczky and the Head of the Cultural Policy Department of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Eichtinger in the presence of the Mayor of Sopron, Tamás Fodor.
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