Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Sarajevo, Croatia, Czech Republic,
Old East/West Germany, Hungary, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Yugoslavia. Voyvodina, Moldavia, Montenegro. Armenia,
Belarus, Chechnya, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine. Gypsies,
Ustashi, Holocaust, Milosovic, Karadic, Ethnic Cleansing, Kings and Queens,
Genocide, Revolution . . .
Eastern Europe? Central Europe? East Central Europe? Southwestern Europe?
Southeastern Europe? The Balkans? What name shall we use? The
"groupings" are illusive and changing - based on myth, tradition, dreams,
treaties, geography, trade-offs, history, symbols, perceptions, prejudice,
power politics, arrogance, ignorance, and HOPE. The concepts of "Balkans"
and "southern" bring erroneous or incomplete images of unique civil wars,
hatred, barbarism, primitive, poor, irredeemable. The concept of "central"
brings the same erroneous or incomplete images of uniquely civilized, developed,
"western" values. Is it any wonder that the nations bordering the "western"
and "civilized" nations such as Germany and Austria exert enormous effort
to link themselves to them and distance themselves from "the other." Is
"it" a region? What is "it." The reader will need to make his/her
own distinctions. Whatever else, the "civilized" nations of the world
in the 20th Century have treated this area with disdain, indifference,
frustration, and reacted with ignorance, hubris, cruelty, and
For 30 years, I have spent large chunks of time in this area, in all
of the countries, making friends (and enemies), driving into every large
city and small hamlet, listening - and caring. I have spent considerable
time being "interviewed" by the secret police of each nation that had them
- because it was always assumed that I must be either Jewish or a CIA agent.
They could not seem to grasp that I was only an ordinary and intrigued
human - perplexed by the beauty, cultures, complexity, talents, cruelty,
myths, courage, suffering, strength, dreams, yearnings, of people, personalities,
in an area of the world that had always been powerless and faced with the
kind of CHOICELESS CHOICES that few Americans could understand. Small
countries hemmed in on all sides by big bullies whose interests could always
be imposed. Threatened nations and regions and provinces surrounded
by danger and enemies. Human beings, like us, who have the same needs for
recognition, stability, a better future for their children, community, and
food and clothing and shelter.
Each year I go, at least twice, particularly to Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia,
Albania, Slovenia, Romania and Hungary. On 9/11, I was on the border
between Macedonia and Kosovo. As I continue to go to EE, I will add
to and continue to revise the material for the following countries.
From April 1997 to October 2002, this Web Book was accessed 11,500,000
times. I am no longer keeping track.
Primarily for Netscape
None of the following may be reproduced in any manner.
Internet Book Copyright, K. Feig, last full upgrade, August
KEY: To understanding Eastern Europe on a regular
basis. Folks, particulary students should read this site at least WEEKLY
and go through for research. Outstanding daily press releases, Radio
Free Europe interviews of Eastern European leaders and their biographies
and speeches, outstanding Special Reports and Special Analyses, quotes of
ALERT: Central Europe
Formerly a central, critical source with ews that needed to be checked
often. It covered so much that the American news including CNN didnot cover.
Now it is a fornightly Journal of Politics, Society and Culture. It
is still imperative. Reviews, features, interviews, opinion, and in-depth
analysis of cultural and ethnic diversity from Central Europe to Central
Asia. Many important E Books on European Affairs. Its
1999 and 2000 archives are very helpful. Remember, the focus and slant
is Central Europe - not the "Balkans" or "Southern Europe."
ALERT: European Internet
Click to every country and region. You could spend the weekend here
and end up knowing a great deal about every East European country.
Critical site. Premier collection of current news.
TOL - TRANSITIONS ONLINE
Leading Internet magazine covering Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans,
and the former Soviet Union. Czech nonprofit dedicated to strengthening
independent journalism, TOL based in Prague and uses a network of
local correspondents to provide unique, cross-regional analysis. Timely
reporting, In-depth analysis, cross-border perspectives. Only magazine
to cover all of the region's 28 post-communist countries. Free
2 month trial membership here. Or One Year Student Membership is $12.
ALERT: The BBC
The real news. And excellent articles. Search for the country
you wish to know about.
Service - Soooooooo important and soooooo good. Can't leave
home without it. Click to EUand read the Talking Points. "Enlarging
Europe" - Click on it to the map of the old, new, and wannabe countries and
then get quick facts on population and economy by clicking on each of the
"red and yellow" countries.
Today - Another excellent but slightly different BBC offering.
ALERT: Radio Free Europe/Radio
Liberty Newsline: Outstanding news, articles,
- Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia-Montenegro
Radio Free Europe - Latest News from the Balkans
Politics, Arts & Culture, Business, Health & Medicine, International,
Science & Tech, Sports.
ALERT: NJI -
NETWORK OF INDEPENDENT JOURNALISTS
Online - For Global Professionals
Subscribe for $1.99 a
here. "Or $5.95 a month. No other company aggregates the range
of content that EIN does 365 days per year. It's focused. It's updated everyday.
It's delivered to inboxes and on the web. It's human edited and filtered.
It's moderated. All users are encouraged to sign up today! Benefits: EIN
News Services Account -- only $5.95 per month! Unlimited access to all Country
News Sections via e-mail and on the web. Choose from 254+ daily e-mail
newsletters No risk, 100% 7 day money back guarantee. Help Desk
Assistance." and then the
ACTION: Pick a country and and join the discussion on issues.
Talk, react. Easy to do.
- Country Watch
Superb, brief information on every country in world. Year 2002.
Key data, history, culture, economy, agriculture, environment.
Click here and you get current news, maps, sign-up-country-review in PDF.
Political History, government, offices, foreign affairs, defense, leader
biographies. Economic History, key data, macroeconomic, global rankings,
trade, GDP, population, development, technology. Investment overview,
social-cultural overview, environmental overview, etc. To access some
of it you must be a subscriber. If the country is the one you are
researching for the quarter or semester, it might be well to pay the $39
for full access or the $39 for the country forecast.
Europe - Excellent wide summary information. One year old to November
2001. Focus on Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova. Then Click to
Or Country Analyses
for all of Europe.
ALERT: Economic Reconstruction
and Development for SouthEast Europe. (European Commission and
the World Bank).
What's happening in all of Southern Europe. Click on the map
Actually for some (not all) of these nations in turmoil, Lonely
Planet gives some of the clearest, tightest, and most up-to-date summaries
on the range of subjects. Search by country.
Online Jim Lear News Hour
Check it periodically. Often deals with Eastern Europe. Go to Past Programs
and find many articles and programs on Eastern Europe. Use also subject box,
"Foreign Correspondence." Many articles, interviews. Click on Special
Reports - then Europe.
European Studies at Institutions List
List of universities and think tanks with programs in East European Studies
present on the Internet.
THE COUNTRIES OF EASTERN EUROPE
For all countries, excellent update sources are the Daily or Weekly On-Line
Magazines and Newspapers. They integrate the present with the past.
PLEASE USE FOR EACH COUNTRY. Also please remember that many of
these countries are either very poor, or in political turmoil and
instability, or devasted environmentally, or without continuous water and
electricity, or in "war," or all of the above. Many talented computer
folks have emigrated. So important sites go down or disappear all the
time. Servers operate sporadically. Be patient with them. Many
of these nations want desperately to communicate. If you find a chat,
please talk to the folks.
PLACES - some are dated for obvious reasons such as war, devastation and
Albanian World Wide Web Home Page
- A SPECIAL EFFORT
The Award Winning comprehensive gateway to the new Albanian pages on the
WWW. Contains much new information. Covers not only the country
of Albania, but Albanians - because "Albanians cover a far larger territory
than the country. DATED. Site Folks
No longer have money or time to upgrade.
Alexander Palace Time Machine:
A SPECIAL PLACE
Alexander Palace, home of the last Tsar. Tour the Palace Parade Rooms,
rooms of Nickolas II, rooms of Aleksandra, children's rooms, palace treasures,
Faberge, the palace today, history of the characters in the story.
Russian Studies: A SPECIAL PAGE
No better source on Russia, done so beautifully by students at Bucknell
Treasures of the
Czars: A PREMIER WEB SITE
One of best sites on Web. Received accolades across Net. Major exhibition.
All the history and culture you could wish for. Don't miss "Playground of
ALBANIA: The Surprise - On Again, Off Again
2001. Well wasn't that interesting! On
September 9, I flew from Albania to Macedonia. So much to say about
current Albania. I have been in the "High Lands," on the ocean, in
the "City." Impossible to describe right now. On September 11,
I was observing the gathering of weapons on the Macedonian/Kosovo border,
and headquartered in Skjope. Then it took 8 days to get back to America.
So involved now in those events, and the panels I must be on. And
need to go to Georgia and Azerbaijan. No time to update Albania, but
so much about it to ponder.
Off again to Albania, a country poorer
than my last "visit" if that were possible. I will be there
in September 2001.
1999. In September 1999,
I could only shake my head. Ten days ago on a fairly cold dark morning,
5 a.m., I was standing outside the Hyatt Hotel in Belgrade waiting for my
Serbian "organizer" friend to pick me up in his "good" car with "good" gas
for the tough drive to the "border" or field where I would walk across with
my luggage to the KFOR tanks and meet my ride to Prishtina, Kosovo. A
major "learned" Italian reporter from a lead Rome newspaper who had spent
much time in Belgrade walked out and joined me. He was waiting for
the van that would take him back to Budapest on his seven hour drive. He
asked me where I was going and I said, "Kosovo." "Tsk, tsk," he reacted.
"I hope you do not think those Albanians are human, because you will
get killed." He added, "I have known many Albanians and been to Albania
and they are all animals - lazy, dirty, ignorant, criminals. The KLA
are all drug lords, and the Albanians in the country of Albania just want
to take over Kosovo and then Serbia." I was really too tired to either
argue or try to deal intelligently with that kind of stupidity.
You see, I had heard it all before, in fact relentlessly in the time I
had spent in Belgrade. I heard it previously in the years before in
every Eastern European country. I heard it in Sarajevo right after
the war as well as in Croatia. Across Europe, from the mouths of officials,
professors, reporters, "common" folks. The Albanians of Albania and whereever
else they might abide, are surely the Gypsies and black people of Eastern
Europe. The stereotypes seem familiar in terms of stereotypes (not
history) to me as I stand there in that brisk darkness to the words
I heard coming out of Americans across the USA in the Sixties, Sevenites
and even today. My mind floated back to statements that African Americans
are genetically dumb, can't learn, take drugs, are vicious, and on and on.
And I reminded myself that "smart" people, reporters, professional
people in America said those things and sometimes still do. I knew
I could not say to this erudite Italian that some of my best friends are
Albanian. Or that I knew remarkable bright Albanians in Kosovo, Macedonia,
and Albania, or that ..... That response would have overwhelmed me
with its triteness. Is it not sad that all I wanted to do or could
think to do was just beat the heck out of him! What a limited, ignorant
impuse of mine. Yet it was all I had left in me as I was leaving Serbia.
I wrote this following portion of the Albanian Essay
in December 1997 and August 98. I leave it up for contrast and to give
pause and thought.. My "dated" comments are in
Pundits wrote that
Albania, the most isolated, controlled of all EE nations, would never succumb
to the revolutionary fever spreading across Europe. Yet it did, and in face
of the worst poverty of any of these nations, is making a valiant attempt
to build an open society, or so I believe when I am there and see the EXTREME
difference between life in the old days and now. In the next to last election,
however, manipulation, violent police intimidation, fraud marred the process
- with beatings and arrest of the opposition supporters in that old ruthless
When I stand on the coast of Albania, I know it
is one of the most beautiful countries in its natural form that I have ever
seen. A writer in 1913 called it "a most singular country" or "a most marvelous
country." Others have referred to it as the "Switzerland of the Balkans"
or as the "rock garden of southeastern Europe." But its uncommon isolation
from the world, arising generally from its rugged, mountainous terrain and
its government has led foreigners to speak of it as "the Tibet of Europe"
or as a country more mysterious than central Africa. And it is such
a young nation - in terms of integration into the modern world. Look
carefully at a map and note the countries and therefore the conditions
which surround it. Like other eastern nations, its destiny is not its own
alone to decide. I think it clear that one major key to the
future of Albania lies in the Kosovo situation - or so I have been saying
for 5 years. The Serbs will not leave Kosovo alone - and when the 90%
of the population which are Albanian get too desperate as they are bound
to do, the region will explode - unless international wisdom and courage
pervails which seems unlikely. And no matter what, Kosovo will be independent
ultimately, regardless of anything anyone says or does, regardless of any
great event in 1300 BC on a nondescript field - unless of course, Serbia
kills most or the Albanians in Kosovo.
Perhaps one should remember that Albania shrouded itself in complete
isolation for many years. Actually, the renaissance and reformation passed
it by during Turkish rule. During all wars, other nations have used it as
a battleground. Until 1990, Hoxha for decades had banned religion, automobiles,
foreign credits, and sealed tight the border. Clannish home-grown communism,
atheistic, a prison. Hoxha wrote: "The Albanian people will eat grass rather
than renounce their defense of Marxism-Leninism." By the time he died in
1985, the isolated, destitute humans, with a per capita country annual income
under $900, were eating grass. The size of Maryland, Albania has the only
"untouched" seacoast in the area. And it is, in a classical sense, the most
beautiful and untouched of its neighbors in Eastern Europe. In Tirana, one
can see several new hotels built by Europeans and Japanese sprouting up.
Does Albania want any other country's land? Sure - in Greece and
On October 24, 1997, Dr. Elez Biberaj, Chief of
Albanian Services for the Voice of America, an Albanian native who earned
his Political Science PhD at Columbia University, came to the Bay area to
San Jose University for a small seminar. In 1993, he had written, "The
future of Albania looks bright but it will have to overcome substantial
problems." When asked if he still believed his statement, he pointed to the
bright side: 1) Despite his past record, the Albanians are willing to give
President Nano a chance; 2) Nano "really enjoys the international support
now" - but that comes with a tremendous price; 3) "the US is very supportive
right now of Nano." But, he added, "the situation is very dangerous.
If this government fails, it will be anarchy. And that would
bring into question the very existence of Albania as a country." Greece
might well move on the south and Italy on the North, for example. He
offered other observations. "Albania lacks a center." "Regional differences
in every country exist, but ethnic differences are not at the core in Albania."
In the economic area, in the 20th Century, Albania
has not been a viable nation, noted Dr. Berija. Regional integration
is all it has going for it. Nano has no choice but to do what the IMF
says Albania must do - with all of the attending negative public reaction.
His conclusion when pressed: "The future is bleak and interesting,
but the Albanian people have seen worse."
The same afternoon, I listened to and questioned
the brilliant Dr. Gramoz Pashko, Head Economic Advisor to the Albanian Government
and the man who represents that nation to The IMF, the World Bank, etc. A
former professor of economics at the University of Tirana, he was also a
deputy Prime Minister in the first post-communist government in Albania as
well as a candidate for Prime Minister in 1996. He had just flown in
from Brussels. He is more confident - because of the assistance now
pledged by the IMF and surrounding nations such as Greece, Italy. The
Albanian government must meet the IMF conditions. Albania just agreed
to raise it value-added tax from 12% to 20% and to close the last two banks
and to end all pyramid schemes. These steps may be draconian, but,
says Dr. Pashko, they are essential. He believes the country politically
must come together - "because it must. It no longer has the luxury
of division and undermining in a political sense." Its inflation rate
is only about 48% and its unemployment rate is only about 20%. It has
resources and talent. And it has support. No one wants it to
disintegrate because it would cause great turmoil in the region.
Albanian World Wide Web Home Page
- A SPECIAL EFFORT - (Site now "out of business")
Covered not only the country of Albania, but Albanians - because "Albanians
cover a far larger territory than the country, and to speak of Albania only
would mean excluding half of the ethnic Albanian population. Albania
has a population of about 3.3 million, with seven million Albanians who live
in their ancestral lands in the Balkans."
Statement gives a certain insight into
the concept of nationhood! Albania
continues to undergo profound social, political, and economic change. I
suppose the best outside view of conditions comes from the US Travel Advisory.
"Facilities for tourism are not well developed and many of
the goods and services taken for granted in other European countries are
not yet available. Hotel accommodations are limited outside of Tirana. Major
roads are passable, but often in poor repair. Travelers have reported attacks
by bands of thieves in all parts of the country. There are no commercial
domestic flights and few rail connections. Albania has a high rate of violent
crime. The influx of refugees from Kosovo has increased the potential for
criminal activity, especially in the northeastern part of the country. Criminal
activity outside Tirana is especially prevalent. Medical facilities
are limited, and medicine is in short supply. There are periodic outbreaks
of polio, cholera, and dysentery. " August 14, 1998 the US ordered all
diplomats out of the country for fear of terrorist attacks."
Sounds quite dismal, does it not? But
peruse the following sites and get a different opinion. One can still
go to Albania and meet the folks without getting killed!
As always, I feel sad, grateful for the sharing and insights I receive
from Albanian humans - and hopeful, in the very longggggggg run.
Albania Information Center - Probably the Widest Coverage for
Well, here's the news!
Well, I do not necessarily agree, but here is the current one! "This
pint-sized, sunny slice of Adriatic coast has been ground down for years
by poverty, blood vendettas and too many five year plans. For years boatloads
of refugees have fled for a better life elsewhere, but Albania still manages
to pack a wild punch of traditional Mediterranean charm and Soviet-style
inefficiency. It is a giddy blend of religions, styles, cultures and landscapes,
from Sunni Muslim to Albanian Orthodox, from idyllic beach resort and rocky
mountain peak to intensely cultivated field. Relics from one of the longest
dictatorships in Eastern Europe rub shoulders with citrus orchards, olive
groves and vineyards. Decrepit, Chinese-built factories stand next to
breathtaking mosques; ornately decorated Orthodox churches face off 'Soviet
Brutal' palaces of culture. Kicked around by the Balkan big boys for millennia
and turned upside down by its very own Maoist Cultural Revolution in the
1960s, Albania is now tentatively embracing democracy, the outside world
and a few foreign travellers. Some things won't ever change, though: the
spectacular forested mountains, the warm Mediterranean sun, and the
heart-rendingly blue waters of the Adriatic all endure the country's ups
Because of the turmoil and disruption, many of these pages are not available
currently. Some which remain are outdated. Many others are new.
I leave many of these up - as some are coming back online.
Virtual Albania Online
Nicely presented quick tour of Albania. District by district with
Albanian Daily News
Report of Independent Albanian Economic Tribune. Current, sorta.
Headlines at least. For any more, you must pay and it is not worth
Origins to today, chronology of events, historical figures, population.
Decent on VERY brief history.
Albania - Land of the Eagles
Good information to 1998. Politics, international issues. Business, travel,
history, culture, art, education, sport, vocabulary, city guide.
Useful for sumary of relations between US and Serbia for control of Kosovo
information and chronology. Includes same Albanian culture, history
sites as other sites.
Human Rights Albanian
"With the rapid repatriation of over 450,000 Kosovar refugees from northern
Albania to Kosovo by 2000, Albania was once again able to turn inward and
focus on internal reforms. Problems remained with regard to corruption, excessive
force used by the police, trafficking of women, and controls on the media."
Heritage History of
"Albanian Shqipnija or Shqiperia, officially Republic of Albania (1994
estimated population 3,374,000), 11,101 square miles (28,752 square kilometers),
South Eastern Europe, on the Adriatic coast of the Balkan Peninsula; bordered
by Yugoslavia (North), Macedonia (East), and Greece (South). Except for the
fertile Adriatic coast, Albania is mountainous, rising to 9,066 feet (2,763
meters) at Mountain Korab, on the Macedonian border. More than 90% of the
population is ethnically Albanian; the Albanian language is an Indo-European
tongue with two dialects. Greeks are the largest ethnic minority. The population
is predominantly Muslim, with Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox minorities.
Tiranë (1994 estimated population 400,000) is the capital of Albania
on the Ishm River. The city, founded in the early 17th century by the Turks,
was enlarged (1920) when it became the capital. Tiranë was held (1939-43)
by Italy during World War II."
History of Albania
From the Illyrians, Greeks, Romans, through the Byzantine Empire, medieval
culture, the Ottomans and the harsh nature of Turkish rule, Albanian nationalism,
independent Albania, King Zog, WWII, after the war.
Jewish History of
The land and the people, the language, food and drink, music."
Democratic Party of Albania
The party, people, press, feedback - very interesting. "The
Democratic Party is the first opposition party in Albania after 50 long years
of communist totalitarism. Its foundation in December 1990, marked the end
on the one-party state system. Although very young in age and despite the
enormous difficulties and violence by the State Sigurimi (the
then-communist secret police), in the first multi-party general elections
in March 1991, the Democratic Party managed to obtain a considerable number
of seats in the Parliament, thus becoming the first opposition parliamentary
group in the Albania's history of the last 50 years."
Albania Factbook 2002 - All the Statistical Data You Could Want
Albania Country Profile
Quick, current info. Geography, population, economy.
Excellent vignettes from the CIA World Fact Book
Watch - Albania
The President's Office
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Excellent site, should be commended. Long but veryyyyyyy interesting statement
on Kosovo and Albania's position.
Albanian Ministry of Defense
- at Least It is Current
And fairly interesting
Chamber of Commerce and
Industry - Tirana
Current, every contact you would need. But limited for anything
Interesting facts such as the world's only recently living saint is an
Albanian - Mother Theresa.
Ada Air - Albania's Airline
Well, at least it has the current? schedules to Kosovo and Skopje.
Airline looks a little scary but it is just fine. And it is
remarkable to fly on a sunny day from Tirana to Skopje. And look down
all the way. Can actually see Alexander the Great riding across the
Rescue of the Jews
Author insists that 100% of Albanian Jews rescued during WWII.
Jews of Albania and their Salvation During the Holocaust. "Too little
is known worldwide about the fact that only Albania in Europe protected its
own Jews during the Holocaust while also offering shelter to other Jews who
had escaped into Albania from Serbia, Austria, and Greece." And
War and International Community's Miscalculation - ESP in 1998
By Shinasi Rama, Columbia University. Brillliant 32 page research article.
From International Journal, Spring 1998. "Policymakers and analysts
that have followed closely the political process in Kosova, are puzzled and
perplexed by the recent developments. For most of them, the most disturbing
aspect of the Serb-Albanian War is that the Albanians have definitely switched
en masse from their exemplary non-violent Ghandian behavior to the more
traditional, and their opinion the more effective method of realizing their
goal of gaining the independence of Kosova. The main concern of policymakers
is that the longer the Serb-Albanian War lasts, the more the chances are
increased that a part of the Albanians in Albania, if not even the Albanian
government itself, will have no other choice but to support the Albanians
in Kosova and fight on their side. The possibility that the further prolongation
of the conflict in Kosova will spillover and destabilize Macedonia
appears almost certain.
Given the geostrategic position of the peninsula, and in particular, the
key geopolitical position held there by the Albanians, the failure of the
international community to adopt a strategic approach that might lead towards
a realist and definitive solution of the Albanian problem in the former
Yugoslavia, that is, at least, the acceptance of the independence of Kosova
as a possible option, is bound to have grave consequences for the long term
interests of the powers which have vital interests in the region. Especially
true for the long term interests of the US. The emergence of KLA and the
growing distrust in the intentions of the international community are indications
that the emergence of a political class which will be extremely realist in
its foreign policy assumptions is more likely, especially when one considers
that the future Albanian politicians will come from a traditional non-Hoxhaist
background. The consequence of the failure of the international community
to act properly is that its ability to influence the future developments
in Albania and the Balkans will be greatly hampered. With their state, or
without any state, Albanians will continue to be a factor of primary importance
in the region and for the security of Europe and the Mediterranean basin.
- "Greater Albania"
Click on the map and visit the major cities and towns, places of interest
in Albania and Kosova.
BULGARIA: Mixing Sophistication and Crudity
THE KING HAS RETURNED!!!!
Bulgarian history is a fascinating subject. Bulgaria had an impressive record
on human rights and was moving ahead - and then disaster. But I can't help
but be "hit over the head" when I am standing in Bulgaria in the midst of
the near subsistence living of so many of the people. It is hard to avoid
in this country no larger than Ohio. I remember the past - when in spite
of the "secret police," one could enjoy the beauty and serenity of the
monasteries in the mountains and the sea breezes on the beaches.
When I was last in Bulgaria in January 1997, the country was in terrible
shape. But Bulgaria's economy appeared to be improving rapidly after
the 1996-97 crisis that brought down the Socialist government of former Prime
Minister Zhan Videnov and later prompted establishment of a currency
stabilization board. "Direct foreign investment in Bulgaria has picked up
a bit during the one-and-a-half years of rule by the Right-of-Center Alliance
of Democratic Forces (ODS) government. But it is still small compared to
other East European nations in transition. One major reason why was cited
by former U.S. Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, who visited Bulgaria
and was quoted as saying: 'Those who do not know about Bulgaria think it
is as unstable as Yugoslavia. But it is in fact an island of stability in
the Balkans.' Bulgaria's biggest problem remains corruption. "A distraught
woman waiting in line to get medical treatment said: 'There is virtually
nothing you can do without knowing the right people in the right places.
You cannot graduate university unless you pay, and you cannot get a tooth
filled unless you pay.'"
In spite of my many visits, I wrote in 1999 that I could not summarize
that situation better than the Wall Street Journal of April 22, 97:
"For all their promises, Bulgaria's Socialists (really the former Communists
in drag) succeeded only in leading most Bulgarians to destitution. Macroeconomic
stabilization was never achieved; inflation hit 300% by the end of last year,
rendering wages and pensions almost meaningless. Other structural reforms
were neglected... State-owned companies, two-thirds of which lose money,
still make up some 90% of the economy. Crime and corruption flourish. Perhaps
Bulgaria's dive into the economic abyss was a necessary evil. The country
was never galvanized by an anti-Communist movement or the visionary leadership
of a Vaclav Havel or Lech Walesa. It was only the toxic combination of soaring
inflation, empty store shelves, a banking crisis and the cold shoulder from
frustrated multilateral lenders that forced Bulgarians into the streets early
this year and ushered an anti-Communist, pro-Western president, Petar Stoyanov,
into power. Like other Eastern countries at square one of the recovery process,
the lack of solid institutions, laws and political processes mean that
personalities are that much more important. On that score, at least, Bulgaria
seems to be in better hands than ever before. President Stoyanov is a staunch
partisan of reform. That he speaks with brutal candor about the difficult
reform task ahead is an encouraging sign. Mr. Kostov, who will probably become
Bulgaria's next prime minister, said, 'It is important now that we
convince the world that a relapse into the past is out of the question.'"
As always, I feel sad, thoughtful about what my Bulgarian friends have
shared with me for so long about the agonizing history of their country -
and hopeful, in the long run.
Wonderland Bulgaria - SPECIAL SERVICE
First rate Bulgarian news source. And the land, history, culture, folklore,
the people. Check the archives
HERE that are
so important. "We have named our site Wonderland Bulgaria because in any
country's past and present, in its way of life and customs, in its traditions
and culture, in its character and nature, there have existed a great number
of really unbelievable, wonderful, fantastic things. They all together are
combined to form that marvellous kaleidoscope, underlying its unique and
original charm and making it different from the rest, simultaneously throwing
across time and space those visible and invisible bridges which connect
it with other lands and nations. Therefore, we seek to show as much as
possible of the peculiar aroma, flavour, spirit and magic of WONDERLAND
Bulgaria Online - All the News that's
Fit to Print!
on the Internet
Extensive site. Facts, news, what's new.
Bulgarian Index - publications related to Bulgaria from more than 20
newspapers, magazines, news agencies and radio stations.
Current, solid collection, extensive, by month, by day. First rate articles
from many sources on 400 subjects.
- Great Recipes
Bulgarian Biweekly Economic
Review - By Paris Financial Daily. Excellent source,
daily and biweekly. Introductory page looks like it is in Bulgarian
but the news is in English!
Bulgaria is situated in Southeastern Europe, in the central part of the
Balkan Peninsula. It borders on Romania to the north, Yugoslavia and the
Republic of Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south and the
Black Sea to the east. Bulgaria covers an area of 110 993.6 square kilometres
and its population numbers about 8.5 million (1992). Its territory is about
the same size US state of Ohio.
President of the Republic
Important to read his articles, speeches, interviews.
Ministry of Foreign
Comprehensive and interesting. Click around.
Republic of Bulgaria, Ministers,
Council - Good Site
Ministry of Economics
- Also Very Interesting
Embassy of The Republic of
Bulgaria - W.D.C.
General history and information. Latest news.
International relations. A Message from Ambassador Philip Dimitrov.
" My country has much to be proud of creating a successful foundation
for a modern, democratic, and free society. We have emerged from our recent
Communist past as a full partner in the international community, dedicating
ourselves to free market principles and to strengthening political, economic
and security cooperation on all levels. In recent years, Bulgaria and the
United States have developed strong bilateral relations. The United States
has been supportive of Bulgaria's efforts to develop a multi-party democracy,
a pluralistic society and a free market economy. Bulgaria has contributed
to U.S. efforts to promote stability, peace and economic integration in
Southeastern Europe. Our website includes a wealth of information about current
events in Bulgaria, and about issues of interest to both our nations."
for Bulgarian Studies
Very dated but still a decent array of information and analysis and sites.
Country Overview, Online News, State & Politics, Foreign Affairs,
Law, Economy, History, Culture, Society, Ethnic Issues, Religion, Environment
Human Rights, Media, Science & Education, Geography, Travel. Art,
literature, trade and much more. From the Slavic Studies Web.
The Threshold of
History - Bulgaria in the Last 1000 Years
Very nice extensive analysis.
Heritage History of
Good tight summary. "Bulgaria, officially Republic of Bulgaria (1994
estimated population 8,800,000), 42,823 square miles (110,912 square kilometers),
South Eastern Europe, on the Eastern Balkan Peninsula. It is bordered by
the Black Sea (East), Romania (North), Macedonia and Yugoslavia (West), Greece
(South), and European Turkey (South East). Central Bulgaria is traversed
from east to west by the Balkan Mountains; the Rhodope range, with the country's
highest peak, Musala Mountain (9,592 ft/2,923 m) is in the southwest. The
principal river is the Danube. The population consists chiefly of Bulgars
(86%) and Turks (9%). The Bulgarian Orthodox Church is the predominant religion,
but most Turks and some ethnic Bulgarians are Muslims. Bulgarian is the official
Internet Resources on
Bulgaria with emphasis on politics and elections
Distinguished Bulgarian Rulers
The People of
"Although Bulgaria, like most countires in the world, is characterized
by a large ethnic and religious variety, the major portion of its population
are Slavonic-speaking Bulgarians - 86 per cent."
Salvation of Bulgarian
Jewry During WWII
Use with care. Substantive site with excerpts from documents
and histories. Thesis is that despite an alliance with Germans, Bulgarians
and King Boris resisted Nazis Jewish orders and saved 50,000 Jews.
But seems to ignore the destruction of Jews in Bulgarian-held areas.
Other sites on this subject include
Conspiracy to Rescue Jews and Symposium,
Saved the Jews?"
The Jews of Bulgaria:
Splendid Site !
Jewish History of
Excellent comprehensive analysis from the ancient world through WWII,
Holocaust, communism to today.
Bulgarians on Board the
Rights Report 2001
"Abuses against Roma and restrictions on Islamic practitioners, and trade
in arms in violation of a U.N. embargo offset improvement in other fields
in Bulgaria, notably in freedom of expression. Roma were victims of police
brutality and violent attacks by private citizens who acted with impunity."
RECOVERY, CHALLENGE, DESPERATION
This section pinpoints the desperate times of Bulgaria almost five
years ago. The December 96-January 97 Uproar, the April
97 Election, and Impact. All of the sites and
quotes in this chapter, highlighted in navy blue are KAPUT!
I am leaving them up because on a close reading,
it became clear that together they portray a stunning picture of the trials
and deprivation of the Bulgarian humans in their movement from totalitarianism,
Soviet style to freedom with its enormous costs and challenges. Readers,
students can decide how much different Bulgaria is today from that
The December 96-January 97 Uproar
Drums and Whistles Mark Bulgarian Protest - CSM,
Jan. 17, 97
"Every day at 4 o'clock, the streets of this capital
echo with the sound of drums, rattles, and whistles as tens of thousands
of people begin their new afternoon routine: collect in front of the presidency
building, march en masse to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and chant for
the overthrow of the government. Taking their cue from neighboring Serbia,
people in cities across Bulgaria have been taking to the streets every day
for nearly two weeks to express outrage against their political leaders -
former Communists who have refused to implement key economic reforms. 'The
protests are just a symptom of the profound political, economic, and social
crisis in the country," says Ognian Avramov, an adviser to outgoing President
Bulgaria: A Nation in Revolt - RFERL, Jan.
"Like many of their former comrades in Hungary,
Poland and even Romania, they wanted a return to the safety and predictability
of communism: cheap food, cheap housing and a comprehensive network of health
services provided more or less free by the state.... But faced with the task
of fitting Bulgaria into a new mold, the victorious Socialist Party prevaricated.
Restructuring and privatization efforts were more or less halted, as were
currency and economic measures aimed at stabilization. Even agreement on
a policy towards NATO and European Union expansion was made impossible by
suggestions that Bulgaria might be better off orientating itself towards
Bulgaria's Fresh Start - WSJ, April 22,
"On Saturday, Bulgarian voters laid the blame for
their economic misery right where it belongs: at the feet of the Socialist
Party. The winner of the weekend parliamentary elections, Ivan Kostov's 15-party
United Democratic Forces, is expected to emerge with 56% of the total vote.
That's enough to claim some 136 seats in the 240-seat Parliament... The new
government inherits a mess...Cleaning up Bulgaria's economic Chernobyl will
mean, at the least, moving against a large number of corrupt interests who
have profited by plundering state assets and tapping into old Communist
connections. They will want to thwart or hijack the privatization process.To
their great credit, Bulgarians have placed their confidence in a group of
political leaders who, for the first time, made no promises of quick fixes
or instant wealth and security."
New Bulgarian Leaders Face Tough Reforms - France
Presse, April 20
"Anger over an economy in which 2.5 million people
must make do on pensions of 17 dollars a month exploded into a series of
street demonstrations that finally forced the socialists to agree to early
elections. But the new ruling alliance, if it wishes to succeed, will have
to persuade Bulgarians to accept new sacrifices. And, in a country with few
illusions where 32 percent of the population wants to emigrate abroad, this
is likely to be no easy task."
New Bulgarian President - Interview with Radio
Free Europe, February, 97
"Ladies and gentlemen, I come from a country which,
unfortunately, is experiencing a severe economic crisis, which is even suffering
from a bread shortage. I come from a country in which for 45 years there
was a shortage of freedom, a shortage of freedom of speech. All this should
have turned us into pessimists...But I believe Bulgaria will manage to overcome
its greatest historical challenge -- to join the European family. Culturally
and geographically, Bulgaria is part of Europe. Bulgaria will become a part
of Europe spiritually and economically as well. I firmly believe in
The Desperateness of Life, 96-98
Bulgarians Tired of Leading a Dog's
"The reference to stray dogs is more than an image.
Some 30,000 of the mangy creatures prowl the streets and often bite hapless
Sofians who, like them, are scavenging through the dustbins for a morsel
to eat. France has just donated 2,500 anti-rabies vaccines to Sofia hospitals
which face an increasing number of patients needing treatment for dog bites.
Since March last year, the price of goods has rocketed by 2,000 percent...
Three out of four Bulgarians live in economic hardship while a further 16
percent live below the poverty line." "With my pension, I can barely feed
myself. I buy three large loaves a week and never eat meat," Slavcho Georgyev,
75, stated. "Like most of the country's 2.5 million pensioners who account
for nearly a quarter of the Bulgarian population, Georgyev has to make do
with some 26,000 lev (some 17 dollars) a month. The sum is derisory in a
country where electricity bills have soared 400 percent since the start of
the year, while heating has increased by 150 percent and the price of petrol
by 480 percent."
The public health sector is also near collapse. "We don't have enough medicines
to save patient's lives. We are short of antibiotics and clotting agents."
"A woman who is about to give birth has to take surgical gloves, sewing thread,
nappies and medicines to hospital with her," a nurse said. "The risk of infection
is enormous. It's a nightmare," she added. Many old people cannot afford
to buy medicines and, hardly surprisingly, Bulgaria's doctors' union says
the mortality rate is escalating. Conversely, the nation's birthrate is the
lowest in Europe. But some 250,000 orphans live in appalling conditions.
Sixty percent of orphanages have virtually no heating and children also suffer
from malnutrition. At one centre for handicapped children four children starved
to death recently. In this context of widespread misery, one person attempts
to commit suicide every 40 minutes in Bulgaria.
Bulgarian Election Meaningless for Ghetto Dwellers
- Reuters, April 17, 97
"The Gypsies and ethnic Turks who live in the notorious
Stolipinovo ghetto in Bulgaria's second city hold out little hope of change.
About 50,000 Gypsies and ethnic Bulgarian Turks, some crammed 20 to
a room, live in run-downapartment blocks in the Stolipinovo quarter of Plovdiv.
The chairman of Bulgaria's Roma foundation said most Stolipinovo inhabitants
were unemployed and relied on welfare benefits, which had not been paid for
months. ..The Gypsies, nomadic until the 1960s when the communist government
began a campaign of assimilation, severely curbing their religious and cultural
traditions and forcing them to settle in Soviet-style collective farms or
in housing projects. More then 70 percent are believed to be jobless and
the same number are thought to be illiterate. Some Gypsies scratch a living
by collecting waste paper and bottles for recycling."
89% of the Bulgarian People are Facing Poverty
- MPA, April 6, 97
UN Assessment Finds Bulgaria on the Brink of Humanitarian
Embassy cable from Sofia, March, 97.
RULERS OF BULGARIA
Rulers of Bulgaria
- Full list with Biographies
Simon the Second: King
of Bulgaria - His personal site.
CROATIA: The Country Without Roofs
THE NEW GOVERNMENT AND PEACE
The Country That Broke the Stalemate. Ambivalence describes
the reaction and views of most Non-Serbs to Croatia. One fact, however, seems
ignored. For better or for worse, it was the Croatians and their amazing
military campaign of Summer 95 that broke the stalemate, regained the territory,
scared the Serbs, and made the Dayton Accord possible. What that says in
reality remains to be seen. Does Croatia bear some responsibility
for the destruction in Bosnia? Yes. Was it also responsible for making
a brokered peace for Bosnia possible? Yes.
From the ashes of former Yugoslavia, the independent Croatian state arose,
the fulfillment, in the words of President Tudjman, of the Croats'
"thousand-year-old dream of independence." Yet few countries in Europe
have been born amid such bitter controversy and bloodshed. The savage
war left about one-third of Croatia in ruins and resulted in the flight of
a quarter of a million of its Serbian minority. Croatia's unique position
on the crossroads of Europe - between Eastern and Western Christendom, the
Mediterranean, and the Balkans and betwee the old Habsburg and Ottoman empires
- has clearly been both a curse and a blessing, inviting the attention of
larger and more powerful neighbors. Its history speaks of vigorous
turbulence and drama.
For years after an initial trip in the early Sixties, I could not return
to Croatia, haunted with what I knew (and what few wrote about) of the terrible
abuse of the Ustashe Nationalists against the Jewish, Serbian, Gypsy citizens
in their midst with a ferocity and barbarism that outstripped the Nazis.
I could not go back to Zagreb and gaze at the Cathedral. I could
not go back to Jasenovic and shudder at the pictures of the hacked up bodies
in my mind. I could return over and over again to all the Killing Centers
of the Nazi regime, but I could not come back here. I did not know
then what I know now of the Serbian participation in freeing its space of
its Jewish and Croatian citizens with a speed and precision that was
A very few of us knew without exception that all these countries
would emerge as free nations some day. We knew about the need to be
free that we observed in all our special time spent in those countries. We
also knew that when that happened, we would be able to write the history
of the Final Solution and Holocaust in the countries that eluded our analysis.
And now it is happening.
I did not return, however, because of the Final Solution but because of
the War. Early on, I realized that my "friends" in Serbia were fabricating
the worst kind of propaganda and the Western nations believed it and the
Serbs began to believe it. In spite of all my antipathy toward
Croatia, it did not take a rocket scientist to realize that the Ustashe was
not alive and well and that the problems erupting were not the same. It
did not take a rocket scientist to realize that stark Serbian aggression
and Serbian insistence to realize its centuries-old insistence of Greater
Serbia was not a Civil War. And so I spoke out across the country in
panels and speeches and TV - and faced my Serbian friends' charges of "traitor."
And of course, my knowledge required that I go to the War, into Croatia
and the Krajina and Bosnia and see, discover what it meant to be in war zones,
jumping over land minds, feeling the shock waves of blasts. And respond
to the refugees, the orphans, and the terrible aggression of the Serbs. I
returned to a country in which I believed its nationalist portion had "sinned"
during WWII. And watched its humans being treated with such disdain
by the Serbian majority that had considered Croats almost non-citizens since
the beginning of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. And so
I jumped in to help - just a little. And I learned.
I saw Tudjman once and spent time with his Ministers. He is a very strange
fellow - an enigma to me. But the Croatians have become humans to me
and I thank my many Croatian friends. I also now have had the opportunity
to spend time in all parts of Croatia. The wonderful islands, the not-so
wonderful beaches. I have driven my car along the border, through hundreds,
it seems, of bombed out villages where not one structure is without bomb
or bullet holes. I think of Croatia in those areas as towns and villages
WITHOUT ROOFS. THERE ARE NO ROOFS
ANYWHERE. NO ROOFS.
Croatian Home Page - THE
PREMIER CROATIAN SITE I
Tied to Croatia Net. Country of a thousand islands. Culture, history,
independent news, politics, tourism. Kornati National Park. 10 pages
on the Croatian islands. Brief overview of Croatia's history, from its early
days to present. Political system, executive branch, legislature,
judicial system, science, music, sport. War damage, economic problems,
the future prospects. Armed services of Croatia, recent events.
Relations with many of Croatia's neighbors, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Slovenia,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, agreements. Essays, photos, articles, poetry,
Croatia Net - THE PREMIER
CROATIAN SITE II
Croatian Web Central
Extensive resources on Croatia, some dated. Information on many
subjects, from Croatian wines to Croatian literature. Important
on Dalmatia. "The fairy tale about Dalmatia can begin at any place and any
time - in a boat on the sea, under the olive tree in a valley, in a vineyard
on the slope of the hill, on the city square under the church tower, in the
morning when the sun comes out and everything is silvery, at dusk when moon
appears and everything is golden, at night when everything turns to stars,
during daytime when everything comes to life, with the bustle of its busy
"Before the current war, the republic of Croatia, after Slovenia, was
the most prosperous and most industrialized area of the former Yugoslavia,
with a per capita output about one third above the Yugoslav average. Croatia
was especially strong in tourism, with its Dalmatian coast representing the
most important Yugoslav attraction for foreign visitors. The war, including
the seizure by Croatian Serb separatists of approximately one third of Croatia's
territory, including the road and rail links to coastal tourist sites,
had a devastating effect on the Croatian economy."
"Situated, approximately, 9 nautical miles from the city of Split, in-between
the islands of Brac and V. Drvenik, you'll find "an oasis of untouched natural
beauty," the Dalmatian island of Solta.
The Tourism Extravaganza
Stop here before you take your trip. Full range of politics,
history, current issues.
Welcome to Croatia
Visit all cities and major towns by clicking on map.
Full-scale Croatian Homepage. The range of information from
history to politics to art and culture. All the political parties. "The Croatian
political system is democratic and based on a respect for human rights, law,
national equality, social justice and multiple political parties."
Welcome to Slavonski Brod -
Lovely Tourist/History Site
- The Capital of Croatia
Zagreb is more enticing and complex than portrayed here.
Best Maps of Croatia and
Wonderful Net access. Just click on any place from hundreds of listings,
and presto, you are there. Keep on top when you are studying this issue.
Once there, you can move with an arrow anywhere.
Could be called "The Official White & Yellow Pages of Croatian Internet
Community." Currently contains over 6,000 links to various Croatian
web sites and e-mail addresses." Compared to several other nations, the Croats
have been unusually busy creating new Internet sites.
History, politics, government, economy, international relations.
And the range of News
HISTORY AND CULTURE
Full summary, from a common perspective.
History - Well Presented and Interesting
Language: Basics - Learn the basic language here
Croatian Cuisine -
Recipes for lamb soup, potato soup, Istrian cannelloni, calamaries with
potatoes, carp slavonian style, Dalmatian fritters.
Croatia: Myth and
Online essays on attacks on Croatia that author says are untrue. Such
as the following. A Croatian Ustase terrorist assassinated King Alexander
("Reality: King Alexander Karageorgevic was assassinated by a Macedonian
named Vlada Gheorghieff, a member of the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization.
Gheorghieff did not flee to the Vatican. He was attacked on the spot by French
police and died the evening of the assassination.");
All Croatians were Fascists during WWII and all Serbs were pro-allied ("Reality:
Both Croatia and Serbia had pro-Axis governments during World War II. All
of the nations of Yugoslavia had elements which supported the Axis and all
had elements that were anti-Axis during the War. However, it was the Croatian
dominated Partisans, led by the Croatian Josip Broz Tito which formed the
only true anti-Fascist fighting force in Yugoslavia and the most formidable
Allied force in occupied Europe during World War II"); the basket of human
eyeballs; two million Serbs died ("Myth: Between 500,000 and 2,000,000 Serbs
were murdered by the Croatian government during World War II. Reality:
The exact number of war victims in Yugoslavia during World War II may never
be known due to fifty years of intentional disinformation by the Yugoslavian
and Serbian governments, Serbian exile groups, and others. However, it is
likely that approximately one million people of all nationalities died of
war-related causes in all of Yugoslavia during World War II and that as many
as 125,000 Serbs died of war-related causes in Croatia during the War.
The question of war losses during World War II represents the most divisive,
heated and emotional issue among all of the nationalities of the former
Yugoslavia during the post-War period").; borders were drawn to benefit Croatia
("MYTH: The Serbian-Croatian border was drawn up secretly by Tito, a Croatian,
in 1943 benefiting Croatia at the expense of Serbia. REALITY: Croatia's border
with Serbia is essentially the same as in 1848 and 1918 with the exception
of those lands taken from Croatia and given to Serbia and Montenegro
under both Yugoslav regimes. This mythology is a recent creation of the Serbian
government and has been given wide circulation by Serbian apologists"). ;
Serbs have no rights in Croatia; Croatian coat of arms is a Fascist symbol.
"Serbia chose Communism, expansion, war, and the continued myth of Yugoslavia.
The Serbian leadership chose to launch an all-out war of aggression against
her neighbors to force them to accept the Myth. When the entire free world
finally recognized that Yugoslavia was indeed a myth, Serbia simply
recreated it with the stroke of a pen backed by a few thousand tanks. "
Rich extensive page on an unfortunate "happening" from one strong point
of view. "May of 1945 was one of the most tragic months in the entire
Croatian history. A huge disarmed Croatian Army was handed over to
Tito by the British Command. The henchmen of Tito did not limit their
slaughterhouse tactics to the members of the Croatian Army or its civilian
followers. As soon as Tito was in power, he set up concentration and slave
labor camps throughout the country. Hundreds of thousands of citizens of
all ages, sexes and from every walk of life were imprisoned, tortured, and
finally liquidated. Croatia became an immense graveyard - her ravines, forests,
and rivers all crowded with corpses. Few of these people were "war criminals,"
that is, individuals who themselves had killed Communists.
The British military authorities bear a moral responsibility. The British
were obligated by the Geneva Convention to accept the Croatian surrender
and to give the retreating Croat Army and civilian population sanctuary to
protect them from Partisan vengeance. Although the American authorities do
not bear the same degree of responsibility for Tito's policy of genocide
by Serbian-led and staffed forces, nevertheless American recognition and
support of Tito from 1942 to 1945 vied with the assistance offered this usurper
by that credulous politician, Winston Churchill. This dual support vitally
helped the establishment of Communism in Croatia. And the same support has
continued to this day through the truly massive outpourings of the dollars
of the American taxpayer!'"
And then from the LA Times, "Yugoslav Killing Fields: A Grisly
Secret Comes Out, November 4, 1990 * Atrocity: Communists executed thousands
after the war. Those who revealed it hope the message is heard.
Overview of History and
Culture - Range of information
Government of the
Republic of Croatia - Official Page
Republic of Croatia
- Office of the President
President Stjepan Mesic . Read his speeches and actions.
What WAS even more interesting is what WAS on the site.
Tudjman's biography and his speeches in English. For example,
in January 1998, his interesting interpretation of events:
"Throughout the period since its establishment Croatia has faced
predominantly biased misconceptions and misunderstandings. To all the creators
and guardians of the Versailles order it was almost the chief culprit for
the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, and it even achieved its State
and its independence against their will. Subsequently, contrary to many
predictions, it did not yield to aggression, but it has emerged victorious
from many political-diplomatic and military battles, it has liberated
its formerly occupied areas, and proved to be one of the key factors in the
solution of the Bosnian crisis. Based on the stability of its sociopolitical
and economic order, and on the maturity of its policy, Croatia has clearly
defined its identity and Euro-Atlantic vocation as a Central European and
Mediterranean country, while opposing each and every Balkan regionalism.
It is only by virtue of its successes, and by its constructive readiness
to cooperation with international factors in the resolution of the
war crisis in the former Yugoslavia, and currently in Bosnia, that Croatia
has gradually overcome all vicissitudes and misunderstandings - until the
world grasped and accepted its key role in the creation of peace and a new
international order in this seismic region. With our vigorous democratic
order and stable economic system, and strengthened international position,
we now look to a new period of internal development and gradual integration
into the Western economic and security system. Many challenges await us on
that road, and continued obstacles, stemming not only from old understandings
and from the abovementioned frustrated views, but also from special interests.
Therefore, we can certainly expect that we shall continue to be faced with
political and economic efforts of a shorter and longer duration, detrimental
to our country."
Politics - Reach Any
Government, Political Person, Group
And also here.
Relations - DATED
THE NASTY BUSINESS
ABOUT THE JEWS AND JASENOVIC AND ANTISEMITISM IN WWII
The Effort to Turn the Finger on Serbia With Some Justification - and the
Effort to Reduce the Effect of the Ustashi.
Fact: During WWII, the
Ustashe Nationalists committed dreadful crimes and slaughtered thousands
and thousands of people. Now we know that the Serbian Nationalists
also participated in their brand of Final Solutions. (Alongside almost
all the other nations of Europe). The following writers provide us with the
information on the Serbian participation, which is slowly coming to the fore.
Much of it is factual. But much of it was written to politically
counteract the Serbian propaganda that the Ustashe was in power again. The
articles are important - but of course must be read cautiously. Yet the issues
must be considered. I have been to Jasenovic recently and what is written
here is not exactly accurate in a descriptive way. The full range of
issues is treated in Part Two of this Eastern Europe Internet Book - on the
Holocaust in Croatia. Return to the Index and "click."
in Serbia in WWII - SITE DOWN
"Even today Serbia carries a halo of a heroic small martyr-country which
had supposedly made a great contribution in the battle and for the victory
of the anti-Hitler coalition as one of the members of that coalition. This
is completely untrue. Serbia was not one of the miserable occupied countries
exposed to the German terror. During the whole war, Serbia was the most
trustworthy ally of the Third Reich on the territory of Europe under the
Nazi domination. Unlike in the other lands of former Yugoslavia there was
no organized, and even less widespread, armed anti-Hitler movements in Serbia.
Two months ago it was reported in an Israeli newspaper that "one member
of the Serbian parliament accused the Jews of stabbing Serbia in the back
with a knife."
"It seems that a newspaperman from "Borba" was right when he concluded
his article with the following words: 'The deceptions by propaganda about
the lack of antisemitism in Serbia do not line up with reality: Antisemitism
has always existed in Serbia and history continues with its unbroken continuity.
The same as the statements from some Serbian intellectuals that only
'propagandistic lies claim that Serbs liquidated Jews during the Second World
War.' The above is stated by Serb Dr. Ljubo Tadic, professor on the
Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, and by professor Dr. Andrija Gamsa of
the Faculty of Law, who is sadly - a Serbian Jew."
of the Ustasha Genocide - Published in Belgrade, 1993
Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac
and Saving the Jews in Croatia during WWII
Important article based in part on fantasy. That Israel would make
Stepinac a Righteous Gentile is as far from reality as one can get. Some
Croatians saved Jews, but no one will yet give Stepinac an award for doing
so. But perhaps . . .
vs. Serb Treatment of Jews in WWII - Serbs exploiting Jewish
by Philip J. Cohen, Midstream: MIDSTREAM:
A Monthly Jewish Review November 1992. Important article. NO LONGER
AVAILABLE ON LINE
"Belgrade has promoted the myth of Serbian kinship with the Jews as fellow
victims of Nazi oppression, while concealing the true extent of Serbian
collaboration with the Nazis. It is ironic that Serbia is now seeking Jewish
support for a war in which both the idealogy and methodology so tragically
echo nazism. The European Community, the Helsinki Commission, the United
Nations, and the US have all condemned Serbia as the aggressor. Western diplomats
have characterized the current Serbian regime as "a lying, terrorist criminal
organization." Serbia, however, claims to be the victim and campaigns for
Jewish sympathy and support, exploiting the powerful symbolism of the Holocaust.
Serbia's professed solicitude for the Jewish people must be
Jasenovac: The Truth About
the Lies of Dr.Bulajic
One man's objection to the current material on Jasenovac. Losses
Established on Wrong Basis. Manipulation. Accusations of Bulajic
and Yugoslavia Against Croatia on the Internet. Author writes: "Dr. Bulajic,
a Yugoslav communist diplomat, now Director of the Museum of Victims of
Genocide in Belgrade, became known for his activities in proving that
enormous human losses occurred in Jasenovac, especially after the publication
of my book "Population Losses of Yugoslavia in the World War II" in the edition
of the Yugoslav Society of Victimology in 1989."
The Truth About Memorial Center
Jasenovac - A Different View
About Civil Wars in Ex-Yugoslavia
Really nasty, distorted non-factual material, but reflective of a stream
of stuff that came out during the Bosnian Crisis. "Truth is the first casualty
of any war. One can hardly find more illustrative example of this fact than
the case of civil wars in ex-Yugoslavia. In trying to find an excuse to a
ruthless military occupation of strategically important Balkan Peninsula
the bottomless pit of Western "morality" showed its face. Surpassing any
Goebbelsian dream relentless propaganda left no stone unturned. Is
there any truth that subservient Western media did not distort? Any-one
in the West concerned about democracy should take note."
REPUBLIC: Havel's Open Society
Smaller than South Carolina, the Czech Republic is served well by
some of its past traditions - which one can pursue on this site. It struggles
like the others, however, with both reconciliation with the past and building
foundations for an open future. Prague is truly the "city of a thousand spires,"
rich in history and culture. It is well on the way to becoming integrated
into the Western Europe mainstream - from which it believes it came. Why
is it succeeding when so many other countries are facing poverty and disruption?
Theories abound. Perhaps its history of "nearness" to Western
Europe and its previous experience (however short) with democracy, plus its
economic resources, special leadership, and its central geographic location
may assist ponderers in their conclusions. People do suffer in the
Czech Republic. The environmental problems are staggering. Just
drive north from Prague to Germany and see what I mean. It has ethnic minority
difficulties. The economy needs strengthening. But optimism is
I suppose there are few places I have not been in this intriguing country.
But many many years ago in 1965, I started walking through Terezin
or Theresianstadt as the Nazis called it - as I have done several times since.
I have written extensively about it. It is the one place I would
always go back to.
"Czechoslovakia's "Velvet Revolution" in November 1989 was probably the
most unequivocably positive of eastern Europe's anti-Communist upheavals,
as the Czechs and Slovaks shrugged off 41 years of Communist rule without
a shot being fired. But the euphoria and unity of those first few months
evaporated more quickly than anyone could have imagined. Just three years
on, the country split into two separate states: the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The Czechs - always the most urbane, agnostic and liberal of the Slav nations
- have fared well, enjoying much longer periods of political and economic
stability, and attracting more Western investment than their former eastern
Superior news site. Daily reports from the Republic, press surveys, links.
Also covers Slovakia.
"Internet's premier Czech information resource for everybody." Updated
About the Czech
City Net: The Czech
Czech Tourist Pages
The big one! It has it all - including history, articles, culture.
Czech Republic - Lonely Planet
Facts, environment, history, travel, economy, culture, where to go.
Sites in the Czech Republic
THE JEWS IN
Prague Jewish Museum's
Theresienstadt - Terezin
- the Nazi Concentration Camp
Visit to Terezin
Excellent articles on the widest range of major issues in the critcal
years from 1996, 1997.
Czech Republic and the European
"Comprehensive information on the efforts that the Czech Republic puts
into its preparation for EU membership, as well as on the progress of the
accession negotiations." From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Site.
And then the focused material on the
2002 Delegation of the European
Commission to the Czech Republic.
of Foreign Affairs
Extensive site covering the range of relations of the Czech Republic,
from joining NATO to reimbursement of Holocaust victims.
"Thirty years after Soviet tanks rolled into Prague to crush the Czechoslovak
experiment in "socialism with a human face", there is still ambivalence about
the meaning of the event. As ministers lay commemorative wreaths at
the Czech radio building - which has come to be a symbol of resistance -
Czechs at either end of the political spectrum disagree about the value of
the 1968 reforms." Helpful summary. And then the excellent
capsule by Radio
The 8 in Czech History - Site Gone
But, Intriguing article. "It is said that, in the twentieth century, years
ending in the number eight have been critical for the Czech lands. But "eights"
marking great changes have also cropped up in earlier centuries. In 1348,
Emperor and King Charles IV founded a university in Prague - today's Charles
University. In May 1618 Protestant nobles ejected the imperial governors
from a window of Prague Castle, and that touched off the rebellion of the
Estates that ended with the definitive subjection of the Czech lands to the
Habsburgs and their incorporation in the Austrian monarchy. In the unsettled
year of 1848, when unrest swept across Europe, the people of Prague too rose
up in revolt, but their defeat led to the Austrian government's implementing
an even more repressive regime. In 1878 the Czechoslavonic Social Democratic
Party came into existence in Prague - the first party of the working class
in the Czech lands. In the twentieth century "eights" have been true milestones
in the development of Czechoslovakia." And then 1938 and 1948 and 1968
Good history. " The concrete structures stretching out in long lines
along the border are a reminder of the tragic days of September 1938, and
will continue to speak to future generations of the efforts and the abilities
of the nation, as well as of its bravery and commitment to self-defence,
which in the end came to naught."
Heritage History of the
"Czech Republic (1994 estimated population 10,408,000), 30,443 square
miles (78,847 square kilometers), central Europe; bordered by Poland (North),
Germany (North and West), Austria (South), and Slovakia (East). The republic
comprises the traditional Czech lands of Bohemia and Moravia and Czech Silesia.
The two main geographic regions are the Bohemian plateau (West) and the Moravian
lowland (East). The Sudetes Mountains in the north separate Moravia from
Czech Silesia. The country is landlocked, and the chief rivers-the Elbe,
Vltava (Moldau), and Oder-are economically important. The population is largely
Slavic, consisting chiefly of Czechs (81%) and Moravians (13%). Roman Catholicism
is the largest religion, but there are sizable Protestant (notably Hussite)
groups. Czech is the official language."
Jewish History of
Czechoslovakia - Important Material
Parliament of the Czech
Committees, documents, actions, members.
Prague Post Online
Good daily online newspaper. Breaking news, excellent articles,
& CZECH-GERMAN RELATIONS
Sudeten Deportations Began 51 Years Ago
Profile of the Sudeten
Czechs as Victims of
Profile of the Benes Decrees
LIFE AND LIVING
Kitchen - Great Czech Web Recipes
Well organized Chat Room in the Czech Republic. Join it.
Education to Prevent
a Race War - SITE DOWN
"About two hundred thousand of the ten million inhabitants of the Czech
Republic are Romanies. Only about a quarter of them are employed. The others
live on the dole or receive other forms of social welfare. The high rate
of unemployment among Romanies and their different life style have led to
animosity on the part of the white majority: long-term sociological research
has registered three-quarters of the population as feeling aversion towards
Romanies. This situation cannot be changed by increased efforts to promote
toleration on the side of the white majority alone. Romany leaders agree
that the Romanies themselves must take the initiative and start working on
their integration into the larger society. One way to do this is through
in the Czech Republic
Background and current efforts on a long-term and sensitive challenge.
What Happened to the DDR?
To focus on the former East Germany (the DDR) through the Internet has
major limitations. Germany has hundreds of Web sites and many give openings
to the present in the DDR. The
past remains somewhat Web elusive and
must be book-and article-focused. How remarkable it was to stand in Berlin
as the Wall came down. I had been in East Germany many times in the
Sixties and Seventies doing research on the concentration camps, visiting
all the East German camps (always accompanied by a member of the Stashi from
morning to night). I paid the Security Office to be accompanied and
was thus able to go to all those camps. Driving into East Germany from
the North, I spent many nights in East Berlin and twice crossed over
to West Berlin. The Wall and the terrible difference between the two
never left my mind. But when the Wall came down, I spent one day riding
back and forth, back and forth on the SBahn and UBahn - and then walking
across and over and across and over. It truly blew my mind. But
I and my students had expected what happened and could not understand why
the media and the pundits were so adamant that it would not happen.
I also knew four things: 1) that integration would be much more complex,
difficult, and long-time in completion than Kohl admitted; 2) that in the
process, my East German friends and colleagues would suffer much - perhaps
more than they knew; 3) that my West German friends after the euphoria subsided
would grumble and moan about the surtax all would pay to support the integration,
and whisper about their "scruffy" brethren; and 4) that the property restitution
issue would be almost impossible to resolve in this lifetime. But the
sustaining facts are these: the East Germans are improving,
the West Germans did pay and continue to pay, the process has proceeded,
and the full integration will occur. That reality seems to me to represent
one of the major miracles of 20th Century Europe.
German leadership wanted to see Berlin as the capital of this new, united
Europe. And it has happened! And the German political leadership has been
pushing very hard for currency union. The Newsweek Bureau Chief remarked
in April, 1998: "It has to do with the German past as much as it does with
the German future. The leadership of Germany believes that it has to constantly
prove to the rest of Europe that we're not the old Germans. We will never
be dangerous to the continent again. And, as a result of that, they say they've
got to keep integrating Europe further and further. This whole business of
the past creeping up on you all the time is present everywhere in Germany.
You've got to credit the West Germans. They did do a lot to acknowledge the
past. Children do study the Holocaust and the history of WWII. Certainly,
in East Germany, none of this happened because the Communists in East Germany
said we were Communists, therefore, we were the good Germans; we were the
victims. And the Austrians claimed they were victims too. But the West Germans,
at least, acknowledged it. But it's still a very sort of tortured thing."
Germany Information -- German
Embassy/German Information Center - SPECIAL SITE
This Week in Germany. Very helpful, factual site. Current news and important
back issues. History, culture, the works!
The German 1848
Revolution - 150 Years - and the German-American Dimension: A VERY SPECIAL
Major symposium. Links to dozens of articles and sites.
Germany - SPECIAL DOCUMENTS
Important primary documents from the end of the classical world through
the 20th Century. Includes Poland statements-1939, WWI, tripartite agreements
of Axis powers, Wannsee Protokol, Holocaust, Nazi Era, surrender documents,
East Germany. Most in translation.
"Former home to the Habsburg Dynasty, one of the important castles in
the German speaking countries. It was here Mozart gave his first concert
in 1762. Hundred years later the castle was home to Emperor Franz Josef I
and Empress Elisabeth." Tour the castles rooms and gardens.
Comprehensive information on Germany's people, constitution, history,
political system. Special sections on politics, business, science and culture.
Germany Alert - Excellent
News and Analysis Current Site
The German Way and
Books, education, religion, people, schools, travel, links to the German
Zone of Austria, Germany, Switzerland . Wealth of information, including
page of teaching resources. Read about the Autobahn, German beer, TV, banking,
movies. Many pages on contemporary Germany.
The Mighty Deutsche
Preussen Lebt Noch!- The
A few pictures and sources, particularly on Pomerania. Site dedicated
to "Prussia's Past and Future."
Page of German
Central, connects to all the parliaments, government.
"The Trabant, affectionally called "Trabi," was one of only two car models
available in former East Germany. Typically one ordered the car at age 18
(upon getting a driver's lisence) and then held on to the precious
order confirmation for more then ten years before one could call a car ones
own. With Germany's reunification the Trabbi became a nostalgic collector's
item. Check out the original brochures advertising the car." "This
car, which originally wasn't destined to be a car, created one of the biggest
mistakes in automobile history."
THEN - THEN THE MARSHALL PLAN
Justice and Freedom: The German Revolution of 1848-49
"The dream of German unity had been dreamt before. Long before the post-World
War II division of Europe and long before 'silent revolutions' in Eastern
Europe ended that division, there was another time when Germans took to the
streets to demand freedom and unity and for a few months seemed to achieve
their goal. This month in today's free and united Germany, its citizens recall
and honor those revolutionaries of 1848. And by the same token, they reflect
on how their history might have been changed if the revolution of 1848 had
achieved its aims.
Germany before 1848 was fragmented and retained much of the feudal system.
It was a place of many large and small principalities, many of them ruled
by absolute sovereigns; it seethed with territorial rivalries and conflicting
interests. Its people were the aristocracy and the downtrodden masses of
peasants and land workers, as well as tradesmen, craftsmen and small shop
The revolution of 1848/49 remains a pivotal moment in German history and
it is far from forgotten."
The German Revolutions of 1848 - SITE
Important article. "The long-term consequences of
the failed revolution lasted well into this century. The 1848 revolution
represented a great opportunity to adapt the political power structure
to the changed economic realities. But it was not to be. The Prussian bourgeoisie
put up one more challenge to the Junker rule in the Constitutional Conflict
from 1862-66. But it was defeated once again, this time by Otto von Bismarck,
chief minister in Prussia since 1862. And when this same man proclaimed William
I German Emperor on January 18, 1871, the path was set for Prussia-Germany
to develop economically into the most advanced country in Europe which was
governed by a pre-industrial, agrarian, and noble elite that was painfully
aware that time was not on its side."
A German Perspective
Vital article. "Looking back at these events, one might wonder how much
different those 150 years of German history might have been if the German
Revolution had been more--well, revolutionary. Can the Forty-Eighters really
be accused of failing because they did not resort to more radical methods?
What if they had proclaimed a republic and incited followers to overthrow
their monarchs following the French example of 1789? Would this have resulted
in similar bloodshed and turmoil, or might a democratic United State
of Germany have evolved? What remains is the memory of the many honorable
citizens who espoused noble ideas in the best of German traditions even though,
through no fault of their own, they lacked the political skill to implement
Forty-Eighters in America - 150th Anniversary Assessment
"The Forty-eighters, as they are generally called, contributed to American
life a large number of individuals of whom every American can be proud. This
interaction of the German emigre group on American life and on the American
background on them constitutes a fascinating and an unusually fortunate moment
The Marshall Plan, 1947-1997: A German
View- SITE NO LONGER UP
By Susan Stern. "That the Marshall Plan is still
very much alive in the minds of ordinary people 50 years after it was announced
is quite remarkable. Without the Marshall Plan, what would have happened
to Europe, and indeed the world, in the aftermath of World War II? What direction
might the East-West conflict have taken? The Marshall Plan is one of the
most visionary Plans history has known, a landmark in the aid annals, and
it brought huge returns to all involved - to the benefactor, the United States,
and to the beneficiaries, the countries of western Europe. And perhaps most
of all to West Germany."
Marshall Plan - US Exhibit
"As the war-torn nations of Europe faced famine and economic crisis in
the wake of World War II, the United States proposed to rebuild the continent
in the interest of political stability and a healthy world economy. On June
5, 1947, in a commencement address at Harvard University, Secretary of State
George C. Marshall first called for American assistance in restoring the
economic infrastructure of Europe. Western Europe responded favorably, and
the Truman administration proposed legislation. The resulting Economic
Cooperation Act of 1948 restored European agricultural and industrial
productivity. Credited with preventing famine and political chaos, the plan
later earned General Marshall a Nobel Peace Prize." Here is the document.
Then click to the famous
For European Recovery:
The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan
A Survey of the Marshall Plan and its Consequences."The history of the
Marshall Plan remains as astonishing for those who already know it as for
those who discover it for the first time." Interesting, important essay.
RESTITUTION, WAR CLAIMS
The Internet is filled with this information. Simply go to Google
Office of the Federal Republic
German Aid to Bosnia - SITE GONE
Important, extensive, article. Clearly, without Germany, whatever the
controversies, republics in the former Yugoslavia would not be free, and
Bosnia would not be on the road to recovery. Milosevic would have won,
with Karadicz and Mladic standing by his side, smiling. "A strong supporter
of the peace process in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany has sent some of
its best people to the region and contributed roughly $11.5 billion in financial
aid. Over the course of the Bosnian war, Germany opened its doors to about
350,000 refugees, more than all other western nations together, and provided
them with shelter and assistance. After the Dayton Peace Accords were signed,
many Germans went to Bosnia to help with implementation. In addition to German
troops in Bosnia maintaining the peace and securing a safe environment, police
officers, diplomats, members of parliament and technical experts were among
those who brought their skills to the country, training local police, ensuring
fair elections, coordinating civilian efforts and mediating disputes. Financial
aid from Germany is being used to rebuild the country's economy, meet the
needs of returning refugees, particularly for housing, and intesify efforts
to reestablish trust between different ethnic communities."
Declaration of Reconciliation, January 1997
Official document contains some very surprising and disappointing parts.
The "both sides" stuff is fairly nauseating. Here is a taste. "In the
document, Germany acknowledges responsibility for its role in developments
that led to the 1938 Munich Agreement and the forcible breakup and occupation
of Czechoslovakia. The Czech Republic regrets the forcible expulsion of the
Sudeten Germans and particularly the excesses that contradicted humanitarian
principles. Both sides regret the suffering inflicted upon innocent
Education in Germany
Excellent summary of the wide ranging efforts Germany has taken - more
than any other country in the world - which is unfortunate and dangerous
considering the actis of both aggression and indifference by every nation
in the world.
Restitution for National Socialist Crimes, January 1998
Remarkable, highly commendable effort, considering all the other countries
that have done nothing, including, of course, Switzerland.
- Five Years On
"Five years of unification have resulted in neither economic miracles nor
social catastrophes. Rebuilding the eastern German economy has been more
difficult than optimists had expected, and deep-seated differences in outlook
more enduring. The eastern economy has, however, rebounded, and the economic
disparities between the two halves of the country are narrowing. More
importantly, there are also unmistakable signs that easterners and westerners
alike are coming to terms with the unprecedented social and political situation
created by unification. Unification remains a process still underway, but
a process whose benefits are steadily outweighing its burdens. The
ongoing process of unification will continue to reshape Germany through the
rest of the decade. Much remains to be done in bridging the gaps between
the two halves of the country. Reducing unemployment in the east and bringing
its environmental infrastructure up to the level of the west's, for example,
will take time and money. But having weathered the economic collapse of eastern
Germany and the deep recession of the early 1990s, Germany stands well-positioned
on the fifth anniversary of unification to address the tremendous challenges
BERLIN, THE WALL,
All you ever wanted to know. Includes detailed tour.
A Concrete Curtain
- The Life and Death of the Berlin Wall
Excellent photo exhibition and history of the Berlin Wall sponsored by
the Caen Memorial and the Deutsches Historisches Museum of Berlin.
The Rise and Fall
of the Berlin Wall
Interactive exhibit on news coverage of the Berlin Wall from its construction
in 1961 to its destruction in 1989.
Project: The Berlin Wall 1961-1989 - Dated but a Few Good
Excellent summary links to history of Berlin Wall, its destruction, its
Exhibition - The Berlin Wall
Background information on the Berlin Wall. Discusses the reasons the
wall was erected, the construction process, its dimensions, its dismantling
Wall - Comprehensive List From All Vantages
Freie Universitaet Berlin
Berlin Airlift Veterans
Airlift history, President Truman, Generals Clay and LeMay, week by week
history, stories."In 1948, 50 years ago, Germany's capital Berlin was cut
off from the outside world by a Russian blockade. In an unprecedented
effort, Berliners were supplied over the air for 462 days. During that time
the men and women assigned to the airlift conducted over 250,000 flights
that delivered more then 2 million tons of food and supplies to Berliners.
Without this ingenious and heroic effort, Berlin would not have
survived that year. The original members off the airlift have put together
a Web page with history, photographs and personal accounts."
US Air Force Berlin
Facts, photos, history.
Land of Swiftly Changing Borders
Hungary has made the greatest progress along with the Czech Republic and
Poland. Its rich history is perceptible through these sites. Smaller than
Indiana, Hungary has so much variety, it seems larger. Already on the road
to economic reform before the revolution, it also has always seemed somewhat
freer to me for the past 30 years, as I have come in from other countries
- especially Romania. Lake Balaton for years has been my favorite sailing
As most know, Hungary is one of those countries in the past century whose
borders have changed overnight, depending on the way the world's wind blows.
Typically, one friend's family over the past 3 generations has changed its
nationality 6 times living in the same house. Americans would have a difficult
time with this concept, particularly as changing nationalities meant forcibly
changing language and often religion. An Hungarian writer says it
well (if slanted). "This small country is one of the great survivors
of history: states and empires emerged, expanded or disintegrated and
disappeared abound it. Hungary and the Hungarian nation survived the devastation
of the Tartars and Turks, Habsburgs and Russians in the Carpathian Basin;
survived the fact that it belonged among the losers of both world wars. A
stormy history? The national anthem describes the Hungarians as 'people
torn by fate.' So we are not extra-terrestrials. We learnt and
became tempered in the tormenting storms of the world."
Helpful to Hungary's relative prosperity is the fact that it was probably
the most Western-oriented economy in East Europe before the transition to
a market system. It slowed down almost to a halt by 1994, but has improved
significantly since. Clearly, with starts and stops, Hungary is headed
for a "Western" future.
The Hungary Page: A
VERY SPECIAL PLACE
I love this page. Go to it and you will see why. The Gypsy
music that starts up immediately is mesmerizing. I keep it on for the
music! There's a much here: politics, history, culture,
great maps, list of Hungarian Nobel Prize Winners, Famous Hungarians, Treaty
of Trianon, Olympians, Louis Kossuth, the coat of arms, maps. Ignore the
politics and listen and look.
- A SPECIAL PLACE
"Who has ever been able to explain where love comes from? It is a complex
of physiological and psychological processes, inexplicably beautiful, uplifting
and down-to-earth. It is much the same with cities, though their allure is
easier to explain. That is the sort of magnetic quality that Budapest radiates.
Peaceful and bustling, a big metropolis and yet friendly, it treasures the
old and embraces the new." I don't know if I would use the word "love"
in describing my feelings about Budapest, but it has always been one of my
favorite cities, even when the Hungarian Secret Police were "interviewing"
us in the sixties and seventies.
It is the music, the Hungarian String Quartet in the Palace courtyard,
the Hungarian Folklorico Ensemble, the wonderful Ibusz goulash parties for
"tourists," the ever-fascinating Danube, even the Budapest Circus and the
Budapest Zoo. When there was nothing in the stores and electricity
was rationed, the cafes and music and soup and Tokai were always there -
served with that Hungarian flourish. Liszt in the background, zithers
pounding away, and the Gypsy violins with such life and sadness intertwined.
This site gives a small tour, maps, detailed history. From the
Castle District to Parliament to the Palace to the Islands, bridges - complete
with the history of each one and nice photos.
Revolution, 1956 - 40th Anniversary Report: A SPECIAL REPORT
By Radio Free Europe. "Budapest, 18 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- It
was an event that shook the world and affected history. Forty years ago this
fall, Hungary took up arms against the Soviet Union in a bid for independence.
For a few days it appeared that the revolution would triumph. Then Soviet
tanks rumbled in, crushed the uprising and installed a puppet regime." The
Road to Revolution, Revolution/Defeat/Aftermath, Childhood Memories.
Outstanding special report.
Slide show, chat room, history, business, people.
2000 - A Tour of Budapest -
Geography - Good Maps
Hungarian Home Page -
Culture, Geography, Travel
and Radio on the Internet - Wonderful Music !
Hungary Visual Tour - Photo
Tours of the Sites
Lake Balaton Online
For over 30 years, Lake Balaton has been one of my favorite places on
earth. I came out from the other Eastern European countries, after
weeks of unpleasant research, and always headed for Hungary, and then immediately
to Lake Balaton. I would go up and down this largest lake in Western
and Central Europe, rent a sailboat, and sail the lake for 3-4 days - to
forget what I had just seen. Nowadays, however, all the tourists in
the world seem to have found it and it is packed. I still love this
place. Wonderful site.
Lonely Planet --
Good start for country. Use Lonely Planet for start for any country
Maps of Budapest
Can't leave Hungary without history and images of Transylvania.
LIBRARIES, JOURNALS, ON-LINE BOOKS
The Hungarian Quarterly
"Central Europe's best English-language journal" (The Irish Times). "An
established international journal of the arts and society providing an
independent, lively and inside view on the economy, society, history and
culture of a country in the throes of unprecedented change. Publishes the
best of contemporary fiction and poetry in quality translation, book reviews,
essays on archeology, music, fine arts, theatre and film, exclusive interviews,
important documents and background information not available elsewhere in
English. Four issues a year."
Hungarian History: The Corvinus
This amazing Virtual Library presents many on-line books on Hungarian
history, written by leading scholars. Critical site. Print off or download
the material from the 50 or so writers and read them all. I have selected
a few here. These Virtual Library "books" are identified with an asterisk
*. "There were a lot of anticipated, but unexpectedly fast changes
lately in Central and East-Central Europe and the Balkans. Researchers,
historians, diplomats, professors were scrambling for information on historical
and artificially created states of the area. Unfortunately, there were very
few - fair and objective - books available on Hungary. To help to fill the
sudden demand, we have distributed thousands of books on the subject among
university, research, media and government libraries. Now, we are on the
Net. The number of works appearing on this home page are growing fast. Please
revisit us from time to time. You will find a lot of useful information on
the history of Europe, Hungary and the Danube Basin."
Part I: Background and Developments Until 1945: Struggle Along
the Danube, WWI Consequences, Between the World Wars, the Peace Treaty, WWII,
the Plight of Satellite Diplomacy, End of Independence, Chaos. Part
II: Diplomacy in the Shadow of the Red Star: the Western Attitude, The Yalta
Agreement, Soviet Attitude, Hungarian Expectations, as a Republic, Economy,
Deadlock, Burial of Hopes.
Strong article. Here is a taste: "The geographical position of
Hungary has made it a meeting place of expansive forces which on several
occasions in her history became a swirling whirlpool. To survive in this
critical zone of Europe a different kind of statesmanship has been necessary
from that practiced in nations more favored by geography. When the
stage was set for the Second World War, Hungarian statesmen had to choose,
not between good and bad, but rather between evil and lesser evil. They could
not freely choose their course of actions, but did rightly or wrongly what
they considered necessary for the survival of their nation. The main actors
in this drama have disappeared from the public scene. A few of them
have perished in Germany, others in the Soviet Union. Many were executed."
New Central Europe: Czechs and Hungarians -
Another remarkable, scholarly on-line book. From Habsburgs to Soviets
-- and Beyond, The New Europe That Failed. Federalist Experiments, Revisionist
Challenge, Czechs and Hungarians, Collapse in Central Europe, Munich: The
Tragedy of Appeasement, From Munich to Moscow, Hitler's New Order, Federalist
Interlude, Europe's Coming Partition, Churchill's Bargain. Yalta: Tragedy
of Liberation, Stalin's New Order, From Potsdam to Prague, Benes and The
Russians, The Iron Curtain and the Cold War. Cold War Becomes Detente, Collapse
of Eastern Europe. One Thesis: "The New Europe That Failed .
After the First World War, when the peace treaties were written in
Paris, the victorious Western democracies were masters of the European continent.
Twenty years later, in September 1938, the Western powers capitulated
to Adolf Hitler in Munich, and the Paris peace settlement lay in ruins. The
Western-made "New Europe" was in shambles. The crisis began in the moment
of victory, and in spite of periodic respites it never really ceased. The
war had sharpened the rivalry of the European nations, a morbid rivalry which
had been the most significant cause of the war itself; and the peace did
nothing to lessen these international hatreds. Winston Churchill coined the
maxim "The redress of the grievances of the vanquished should precede the
disarmament of the victors." A critic remarked: "Where and how this should,
or could, have been done, fairly or safely, is not stated" and certainly
the redress of grievances was an immensely difficult and complicated
task. Had it only been tried, even a failure could have been called pardonable;
but it was not tried, honestly and sincerely, in all the time that the Western
democracies were masters of the European scene." These articles do, of course,
present a minority historical view.
Hitler: Scholarly Article
"To be able to understand the relationship that developed between Hungary
and Hitler's Third Reich which led to the tragedy of the Hungarian nation,
it is essential that one becomes cognizant of the historical facts ."
American Chamber of Commerce
Governmental WWW - Index to all the Government Pages
Hivatal: The Hungarian Parliament
Prime Minister's Office,
Hungary - And All the Ministries - The Home Page of the Hungarian
Treaty of Trianon
Several events have shaped Hungary's history and the myths and current
resentments, beliefs. None have been more powerful than the WWI treaty
which took territory from Hungary - in part because it was aligned with Germany
and Austria, and fought with them. Here are a few examples of current
Peace to End
Carved Up Alive at Trianon
Case Study on
Trianon: 600-page analysis - all here.
Budapest Sun Home Page -
HISTORY, POLITICS IN HUNGARY
The only Interwar Years/WWII ruler without a ship or a sea! The
memoirs are old (1950s) but interesting the first time through. And
they are on this site to read.
The Forward to
by Andrew Simon.
I am not really sure of many who would agree with Simon's summary - certainly
not the hundreds of thousands of Jews who went to Auschwitz in the last months
of the war. "Admiral Horthy, privy to the domestic policies of the
Habsburg empire at the highest level, naval hero, last commandant of the
Austro-Hungarian Navy, Regent of a destroyed country that he led into relative
prosperity against great odds, an anti-Bolshevik, a prisoner of the Nazis,
was a statesman. Having traveled the world while in the navy, speaking six
languages, he was not a narrow-minded Nationalist but a patriot who greatly
preferred the multi-ethic, multi-religious, multi-lingual diversity of the
Monarchy in which he grew up. Above all, he was a gentleman in the oldest,
truest sense of the word."
Decent outline of Hungarian history from one person.
Large collection of Budapest related pages - culture, business, goverment,
Hungarian Human Rights Foundation
Hungary - An
"Do extra-terrestrial beings exist? - the Nobel Prize winning Italian
physicist, Enrico Fermi, was once asked by his disciples in California. Of
course, Fermi answered - they are already here among us, they are called
Hungarians." So begins this nice place on the web which notes that
"this small country is one of the great survivors of history: states
and empires emerged, expanded or disintegrated and disappeared abound it."
"Hungary has long been a citadel of Western thought in Central Europe.
Magyar tribes established the Hungarian State in the Carpathian Basin in
896. Long after Attila ravaged Europe, the Magyar Chieftan Vajk converted
to Christianity, established Hungary as a Christian power, and received his
crown from the Pope, thus becoming István Király (King
Stephen), Hungary's first Christian King in the year 1000. He was later canonized
as St. Stephen of Hungary. Hungary has also been known for its tolerance
which had its foundations as far back as St. Stephen as shown in the remarkable
"Make the strangers welcome in this
land, let them keep
their languages and customs, for weak
and fragile is the
realm which is based on a single
language or on a single
set of customs."
List of Servers in Hungary, the electronic library, the virtual museum,
information about Hungarian cities, towns, villages.
Mill-centenary of the Hungarian
Celebrates the Hungarians settling in the Carpathian basin 1,100 years
ago. Really a basic academic course in Hungarian folklore, anthropology,
religion, history. The story of the unification of the 7 Hungarian groups.
What's New in Hungary?
New services and pages to the land and cities, and history. In chronological
Bank Report on Hungary
I must confess it is not only Lake Balaton that lures me to Hungary -
but the food. Even in the old days, when I was researching the
concentration camps in all the countries of Eastern Europe, and when,
understandably there was little more than basics in all these countries -
in Hungary I could always eat elegantly. Elegantly of the wonderful
Goulash Suppe (not stew), the cucumber salad with sour cream, the spaetzle,
the Hungarian style cauliflower and mashed potatoes, eat the great Hungarian
bread (langos), finish with the Hungarian crepes (Palacsinta) with the chocolate
and almond topping, drink Tokai, and listen to the wonderful Gypsy music.
Later as conditions improved, I learned to respect the remarkable meat
and game cooking skills. It was in Budapest that I ate my first wild boar
(not that sissy white stuff grown domestically in Mendocino county in
California). The pheasant dishes. And deer. Growing up in Montana,
we had lived on game meat cooked brilliantly by my mother. But the
"Venison with Forest Berry Relish" in a game restaurant in Budapest in the
Sixties - oh my goodness!
Incredible! Hundreds recipes for Hungarian food to die for. As she explains:
"all of these recipes are heirloom recipes, handed down through many generations.
Some are hundreds of years old, some dating to pagan times. They are
peasant dishes which took advantage of the bounty of the land, requiring
slow cooking while the farmers worked in the fields. These are stick to the
ribs, clog your arteries food. But they are exceptionally flavorful and
This site gives some famous food and drink recipes.
MACEDONIA: And Its Place in Balkan Power Politics
I will be in Macedonia in September.
The Macedonian situation (serious!) is all over the news (August 2001).
I leave the reader to search the Web news sites. Well I was there
on September 11!
Macedonia is wee country, the size of Vermont.
And yet it has played such a role in history. My own pictures in my head
are of beauty and simplicity, art, serenity, awful poverty, and a singular
staying power. The Bulgarians destroyed the Macedonian Jews with Hitler's
help during WWII. The great and small powers have partitioned it. Macedonian
nationalists have assasinated figures they did not like. The last time I
sat on the shores of Lake Ohrid overlooking the border, there was no serenity
left. The paths we were going to use to cross over into Kosovo with our guide
were land-mined. The war in BH, the results of the UN sanctions, the Greek
actions and sanctions, and now the Kosovo disaster have left this country
nearly at bare bones - to say nothing of the assassination attempt on the
President which left him in the hospital for some time. A few years ago,
a bomb blew out his right eye, imbedded 3 pieces of shrapnel in his head,
and gave him a brain hemorrhage. Neurosurgeons from the US, France, Greece
flew in to operate. He lived and is back. No one has ever been arrested.
It is a complex situation in Macedonia - and the material on this site
shows that well - but the extremes are being reached. And if they are, the
extremist fringes in Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria may well win - and involve
Turkey also. And thus NATO and the US - between rocks and hard places.
Again, it is a question of badly-used history taken to the extreme.
I have tried to keep the opposing views separate in the following sites as
much as possible to give the viewer an opportunity to go to see what basically
are two simple but starkly opposing "theses."
The best place for first rate current infomation and analysis. It
is, of course, from one very biased point of view.
Soros Page: SPECIAL EFFORT
Geography, history, economy, culture, cities.
Republic of Macedonia: FAQs:
A SPECIAL SITE
Having just returned from Macedonia, I can
speak for the enormous difficulties facing that nation and its need to focus
on the deluge of refugees, relief workers, humanitarian aid. I am leaving
all the sites up because they are very important, and my colleagues there
tell me they intend to put Macedonia back on line whenever they can.
Philip II of
FACTS AND QUESTIONS
Macedonia FAQ: King
Marko - A Legend And Reality
FAQ: Macedonian uprisings In the 19th And the Beginning of 20th
For the Macedonian people, as for neighboring peoples in the Balkans,
the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century were full of armed
insurrections aimed at the overthrow of Osmanli political domination. And
the formation of national states.
FAQ - Who are the Macedonians, ETC
The Partition of Macedonia in 1913 and its Consequences. Macedonians
as Minority in Bulgaria. Amnesty International on Behalf of the Pirin
The Macedonian Greek Conflict - From the Distant Past to Today
- SITE DOWN
A very tough and complex issue. This comprehensive
article lends understanding to the Macedonian view. Here are a few
excerpts: "Lots of books have been written about Macedonia, but many
of them simply serve to justify the aspirations, propaganda, and the partition
of Macedonia of 1913, by the neighboring countries such as Greece. These
sources are, therefore, biased. The Greek pages about Macedonia rely strictly
on their very own Greek propaganda sources. In order to find the real truth
about Macedonia, one has to rely on the independent and neutral sources when
looking into history. This page is such case, which browses historical
independent and neutral facts, to show the truth about Macedonia against
the century-old Greek propaganda.
The end of World War II brought both joy and sadness to the Macedonian people.
Joy because the Macedonians were finally recognized as a distinct people
with their own nationality, language, and culture in Yugoslavia. The possible
unification of all three parts of Macedonia failed, however. Great Britain
intervened and blocked that idea, afraid that the Macedonian unification
would endanger her interests on the Balkan peninsula.
Macedonia seceded from Yugoslavia and became a sovereign state by a popular
referendum held in September 1991 when the majority of voters chose independence.
Greece immediately demanded from the international community not to recognize
Macedonia. Greece alleges that:
1.The Macedonians should not be recognized as Macedonians because the Macedonians
have been of Greek nationality since 2000 BC.
2.Those Macedonians whose language belongs to the Slavic family of
languages, must not call themselves Macedonians
because 4000 years ago, the Macedonians spoke Greek and still speak nothing
3.Macedonia has no right to call itself by this
name because Macedonia has always been and still is a region of Greece.
The people of Macedonia affirm that:
1.The ancient Macedonians were a distinct European people, conscious and
proud of their nationality, their customs, their language, and their name.
The same applies to the modern Macedonians today.
2.The ancient Macedonians regarded the ancient
Greeks as neighbors, not as kinsmen. The Greeks treated the Macedonians as
foreigners ("barbarians") whose native language was Macedonian, not Greek.
3.Macedonia was never a region of Greece. On the contrary, ancient Greece
was subjected to Macedonia. In 1913, modern Greece and her Balkan allies
partitioned Macedonia. If today a portion of Macedonia belongs to Greece,
it is by virtue of an illegal partition of the whole and occupation of a
part of Macedonia. These assertions will be shown to be true in the eyes
of history proving the absurdity of Greek allegations against the
people of Macedonia.
The claims put forward by Greece that the ancient Macedonians were Greeks,
that their native language was Greek, and that Macedonia was region of Greece,
are all false. The historical truth is that Greece was inhabited by ancient
Greeks, Macedonia by ancient Macedonians. Today, it is the modern Greeks
and the modern Macedonians who occupy those lands. It is a total absurdity
to hear the Greeks of today claim they are the Macedonians, the Greek
Macedonians, the only and true Macedonians. How can they be 'the only and
true Macedonians,' when today's Greek population of Aegean Macedonia
immigrated there just 80 years ago joining that small Greek minority of 10%?
How can they overlook the atrocities they committed on the people who proudly
called themselves Macedonians? What about the statistics and maps made by
neutral and independent ethnographers, slavists, and writers, to prove the
existence of the Macedonian nation? What about the ethnic Macedonians whose
discrimination by the official Greek government was witnessed by the independent
Human Rights Watch / Helsinki and Amnesty International in 1994? The
existence of the Macedonian nation and the ethnic Macedonian minority in
Greece can not be questioned. There is, however, a great deal of irony
surrounding the issue. In spite of the truth about Macedonia and the Macedonians,
many Western countries have not yet recognized the Republic of Macedonia
under its constitutional name but under the reference "Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia."
How it is possible that the Western countries have
chosen to follow "democratic" Greece where lies prevail over the truth? The
European Court found the Greek embargo illegal and put Greece on trial, but
did nothing to stop it while it was so harmful to the Macedonian economy.
Greece is a member of the European Union, NATO, an important ally that occupies
a very strategic position. On the other hand, all other countries that do
not belong to those organizations have recognized Macedonia under
its constitutional name. Russia and China are among those countries. The
question now is if the West is willing to risk losing Greece for the small
landlocked Macedonia? It is clear at least that by standing silent on the
issue, they are actually taking an active role in Greece's mean politics,
however.The truth about Macedonia slowly but surely is coming to the top,
working towards a final end to the century-old shadow of Greek lies and
of the Idea of a Macedonian Nation
The Aegean Part
Of Macedonia After the Balkan Wars
For a Macedonian State
Idea Of Macedonian Liberation Between the Two World Wars
Establishment Of the Macedonian State In the Second World War
Prime Minister, 1998 - .
Important document. " Macedonia sees itself as a promoter of harmonious
relations with neighbors and it aspires to grasp the possibility to distance
itself, physically but also terminologially and psychologically from the
Bosnian crises. Being aware of the fact that the world continues to identify
the Balkans with Bosnia - with which Macedonia has no common border -- Macedonian
diplomacy insists on the use of the term South Balkans as locating the Macedonian
state in that region. The climate in the south of the Balkans is after all
normal, and in its heart is Macedonia, a country that resembles yet is so
much different from Balkan countries."
President of Macedonia, 1999-: Boris Trajkovski
President of Macedonia, 1991-1999
Macedonian Question in Foreign Relations
From its inception in the 19th century to today.
LIFE, TIMES, TROUBLES,
Excite Travel - Macedonia - SITE KAPUT
- TOO POLITICAL!
EXCITE wrote in early 1999: "For the moment, Macedonia
is the eye in the middle of the storm. The only Yugoslav republic to secede
from Yugoslavia without bloodshed, this tiny country remains surrounded by
other Balkan states that are still battling it out. And unfortunately, its
unruly neighbors keep threatening Macedonia's uneasy calm. So far, though,
Serbia's simmering war in Kosovo and Albania's growing chaos have not undermined
Macedonia's fragile democracy. The country's ethnic Albanian minority, which
has been a potential source of instability, has agreed to become part of
the ruling coalition. If things go as planned, Macedonia may become that
most valuable of entities: a buffer state, blunting the sharper edges of
neighbors. Macedonia, however, has more to offer
the world than just a role in foreign policy. Set on a high plateau, its
scenery is striking: The stark landscape is dotted with medieval monasteries,
exotic Eastern architecture and aged cities. These monuments date from the
years when Macedonia was ruled by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Ottoman
List of World
Wide Web and other Internet Resources about Macedonia
and the Arts
Poetry, literature, music, art.
The Cultural Life of Macedonia
Another well done cultural portrait from music through all the arts.
"Macedonian Makedoniya, officially Republic of Macedonia (1994 preliminary
population 1,936,877), 9,925 square miles (25,713 square kilometers) in the
South central Balkan peninsula; formerly a constituent republic of Yugoslavia.
Macedonia is bordered by Yugoslavia (North), Albania (West), Greece (South),
and Bulgaria (East). The country is largely mountainous and is bisected by
the Vardar River valley. The population is about two-thirds Macedonian, and
many belong to the Orthodox Church. There is a sizable Albanian Muslim minority,
concentrated mainly in Western Macedonia. Macedonian (related to Bulgarian)
is the official language."
Institute of Macedonia
Strong page with a range of links.
Macedonia: What's New
Facts, figures, geography, major cities, other places of interest, documents
and materials, culture, other resources. Extensive site but dated.
Skopje: Political, Economic,
and Cultural Center of Macedonia
to DESIDERATA: The Stairway to Heaven
"Finding a peaceful corner in this tormented world is not easy. But it
is not impossible. Our Stairway to Heaven, called Desiderata was designed
for the purpose of offering a haven for escapism. We would like to promote
Macedonia as one such Desiderata Place offering attractive stairways
to the heaven of the South Slavs; as a rich and interesting archaeological
locality ideal for research; as a holy place with numerous churches and
monasteries abounding in invaluable icons and iconstases; as a cradle
of the ancient Slavonic culture and education and a home to the first Slavonic
University in the Balkans."
THE NASTY CHALLENGE
Many, many pages and many sites. All worth reading to understand the
dangerous, long history, and intensity of this troubled situation. From this
site and its links alone, the printed material is two inches high. Needs
to be read through. This business of who is or isn't a nation is very wearing
and very dangerous. Everything in this category is from a Greek stance. Histories
included here, however, have value and should not be discounted.
A Brief History
Black Hand Over
Quotes from the Pozzi book again. This 1935 book really gets around.
It is being used for every Balkan controversy.
"The case is that Mrs. Karakasidou a fabled anthropologist has found
Macedonians of the Slavic persuasion under every stone of the Greek
Province of Macedonia. She found so many that decided to publish a study
on the subject and send her manuscript to Cambridge University Press. The
CUP in turn , turned down her manuscript citing unsubstantiated claims of
possible boycots in Greece. The lameness of the excuse does not warranty
an answer, yet a lot of people have used it as a clutching straw to attack
Greece yet another time."
A central site to the controversy.
The "Macedonian Question":
A Historical Review
The Macedonian Affair:
Historical Review of Attempts to Create Counterfeit Nation
"Today, Greece has many serious reasons for refusing to recognise the
so-called 'Socialist Republic of Macedonia'. The most important of these
reasons are as follows: First, the fact that for forty years Skopje was the
leading edge of Tito's policy of expansion: a policy which in other respects
relied on a simplistic and ignorant view of the history of the area. This,
with justice, creates a feeling that expansionist designs on Greece are being
Second, the claim made by Skopje that "the whole of Macedonia has never
been liberated" and that "only that part of it which is controlled from Skopje"
is free, is an indirect but clear questioning of Greek sovereignty.
Third, the use by Skopje of the denomination of Greek Macedonia is also
a questioning of Greek sovereignty, especially in conjunction with Skopje's
persistent refusal to accept the placenames used in the area since the Balkan
Fourth and last, by using the name Macedonia Skopje is lodging a cultural
claim against Greece, since what is geographically 'Macedonian' is being
appropriated so as to turn it into 'nationally Macedonian'. Greece
rejects the claim advanced by Skopje for recognition of a 'Macedonian' minority
for the very simple reason that, since the Greek-Bulgarian exchange of
populations in 1919 and the departure of the 'Slav-Macedonians' in 1949 there
has been no Slav minority in Greece."
The Vision of
POLAND: The Solidarity Beginning
So many sites. Considered a "large" country in Europe, its size is less
than New Mexico. A country always on the verge of greatness or division.
I think that without the Polish Solidarity movement, the changes and
movement in Eastern Europe might have progressed more slowly. The news
of what the Poles were doing always gave heart and possibilities in other
more restricted countries. My feelings about Poland are, of course,
torn. I spent so many years early on, looking for, finding, sitting
by myself in isolated places in all of the camps and killing centers.
And yet, I agreed some years ago to assist in Warsaw in conferring
the Righteous Gentile Award on a Polish Christian who had saved Jews. As
a Gentile, I met with groups of Polish Christians who had risked their lives
to help - no small matter. The only way to understand Poland is to
read its history and understand the staying power of its past in its present
- and its future. Will this country emerge from that past strong and
healthy? The answer is simply - yes.
The Official Web Site of Poland
Natural environment with links to geography, cities, historical regions,
climate, ecology. Society with history, archaeology, social organizations,
unions, minorities, religions, political parties. The Polish State and all
governments, politics, law embassies, military. Culture and Art and museums,
galeries, music, literature, theatre, cinema, media. Science and Education,
Economy, Internet. Sport and Tourism, Health.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
First-rate range of excellent information. Foreign policy, NATO.
Basic Facts focuses on political leadership and foreign policy, year
by year. Poland Seen Abroad - with superb music sites. Curent
"Month in Poland."
Crisis - Polish Position
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland profoundly
deplores the humanitarian disaster now unfolding dramatically in Kosovo.
Thousands of civilians being driven out of their homes, and out of Kosovo,
in fear of their lives and stripped of their identity cards by Yugoslav
troops, police and paramilitary units prove irrefutably the facts of
blatant violation of fundamental human rights by the Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia. It is impossible to accept the policies of accomplished
facts being generated in today's Europe. The MFA resolutely
protests against and strongly condemns the Yugoslav Federal government's
policy of sustained ethnic cleansing, pacification of Albanian villages and
reprisals unleashed upon the Albanian intelligentsia."
Explore Poland - Regions,
Businesses, Sights, Sounds
Go Poland - Regions, Cities,
Art, places, history, culture.
Economy, society, education, foreign policy, privatization, trade, health,
tourism, home news, culture.
Polish World - Central
and Critical Site
Extensive categories from arts & culture, to business & economy,
education, government & politics, news, history, entertainment.
Anniversary of Independence, 1918-1998
The Flame that Never Died.
of the Winged Horsemen: Art in Poland, 1572 -1764
From the Polish
From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs superb site: September
1939 - 60th Anniversary, The Polish Question (1940-1945), Origins of the
Enigma / Ultra Operation, The Warsaw Uprising (1944), Auschwitz-Birkenau,
Wartime Losses - Polish Painting. Excellent material.
Krakov - Good
Site of one of Poland's Major and Most Historical Cities
100th Anniversary of the Discovery of Polonium and Radium
Polish Nobel Prize
of Polish History
BUSINESS AND POLITICS
Extensive economic and commercial information.
Embassy of Poland in the
US - Superior Embassy Site
and Politics: Connections
The President of Poland
Movement in Poland
Good site, good history of a core component.
: Award - Lech Walesa
Twenty leaders and revolutionaries of the 20th century who helped shaped
the political and social fabric of our times.
by Jerzy Buzek, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland
Geremek, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Poland On the U.S. Senate's
Ratification of the NATO Accession Protocols
by Bronislaw Geremek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland
at the ceremony of deposition of Protocols of Accession of the Republic of
Poland to NATO
Priorities of Poland's Foreign Policy
in NATO: A Perspective
From the Ambassador
Cost of NATO
Articles by Polish & US Officials
Crosses Issues Solved
"It is an undeniable fact that a gap exists between the true state of
Polish-Jewish and Christian-Jewish relationsand the way that the mass
media interpret these relations. For almost fifty years, an officially imposed
silence shrouded these matters. A great void was left by the former censorship,
which tolerated no exchange of ideas on the subject. This had very negative
effects for Poland, because it extended far beyond national boundaries and
disfigured any approach to Polish-Jewish problems. In this bulletin we adopt
a comprehensive approach to the subject of the Jews in Poland, to the history
of Polish-Jewish relationships, to Jewish culture and to current problems,
with an emphasis on matters having to do with the Polish-Jewish,
Christian-Jewish dialogue." Under Events, an excellent summary of
Polish-Jewish events around the world. Interviews, reviews, the Pope's
Under One Heaven:
Poles and Jews
And Thou Shalt not Kill. The Internet Issue of Weiz, is
no longer offered. But take a look. Very important work being done.
"Selection of essays published over many years by the highly respect
Catholic monthly, Wiez
(The Bond). And
Contributors include Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the first post-communist Prime
Minister of Poland, Wladislaw Bartoszewski, a hero of Zegota (the
underground organization dedicated to rescuing Jews from the Nazis);
Stanislaw Krajewski, one of the leaders of the remaining small Jewish community
in Poland: an archbishop, two priests, a rabbi from Chicago, and a score
of writers, historians and survivors. Since the Holocaust - the greatest
crime in the history of mankind - anti-Semitism has been universally condemned.
In Western public opinion, some sort of equation exists between
anti-Semitism and Nazism. Any government, institution or individuals that
openly profess or practice anti-Semitism exclude themselves from the family
of nations sharing common democratic values. The democratic elements in today's
Poland are eager to reach an understanding and ongoing cooperation with the
Jewish Diaspora. This book about Poles and Jews represents an honest effort
to confess fully and truthfully what was wrong in the past as a step toward
establishing a new and better future. It is an effort and a gesture, which
deserves attention, encouragement and a constructive response. Jan
Nowak-Jezioranski Annandale, March 1999."
The Jewish Community of Poland
News, organizations, outstanding
links (one of the best
collections of sites I have seen).
Hitler exterminated 500,000 Gypsies in WWII. The Croatian Ustasha tried
to kill all of Croatia's and almost did. Now they are under siege again.
Old hatreds make them the scapegoats for hard times throughout Central Europe.
500,000 Gypsies live in Eastern Europe - half of the world's 10 million.
Existing at the margins of society, violence is normal for them - in Poland,
Bulgaria, Russia, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia
and in Romania with the world's largest Gypsy population (between 1 and 2
million). The fighting in former Yugoslavia has destroyed many of them. Few
Web sites come to their aid or even mention them. See the Holocaust section
under "While the World Turns," for information during WWII. When we
come across current material, we will try to list it here.
The Paris of the Balkans
When I travel through what seems like a vast country, I remind myself
it is smaller than Oregon. I have always been drawn there since
the early 60s - entranced by my images of the past, angered by my many
experiences with the Securitate and the realization of their torture of their
citizens in their midst, fascinated with the stunning gymnasts, awed by the
beauty of Transylvania. Drawn by a need to somehow understand a man
who visits such horror and cruelty on his own people for so very long.
Starving them, turning off their heat and lights in the dead of winter,
throwing their children into stinking orphanages that I stumbled into in
the early 80s, taking their fine minds and spirits and achievements and forcing
an entire nation into banality. Make no mistake. No Eastern European
country suffered as much as Romania during the Iron Curtain years.
Yet, look at its recent past. When Romania was recognised as a State
in 1862, Bucharest naturally expanded. After 1918, when Transylvania was
reunited with the rest of the country, the city developed into an acknowledged
European centre of culture and good living, earning it the nickname "the
Little Paris of the East." Literary and artistic salons, like that of the
Princess Bibesco, flourshed. french architects, who had contributed so much
to its style, its treelined boulevards and elegant fin de siecle architecture
in the 19th century, again added grace to its buildings. An Arc of
Triomphe was erected in 1935 on the handsome Soseaua Kiseleff, itself longer
than the Champs Elysee and alive with blossom in the spring. Boulevard cafes
proliferated. The Parisian comparison was fully justified.
Now I have met Presidents and Ministers, brilliant doctors and nurses
trying to meet the health challenges with no equipment, ordinary folks hoping
the suffering will end, students, businessmen, politicians - the new ones
and the "old ones." Analytically, clearly Romania is poised to overcome
its difficulties - slowly but certainly - if it can just stay the course.
I think its history shows that it can.
Romanian Education Network:
REMARKABLE, SPECIAL EFFORT
Organization and a data communication system connecting Local Area Networks
to a national communication infrastructure. Aim of this technical complex
is to offer the participants - universities, cultural and scientific
nonprofit institutions - the means to communicate with each other
as well and to have access to Internet.
Here is a clickable list of
all the linked educational institutions. Visit my favorites: The University
of Bucharest and The University of Iashi.
Virtual ROMANIA - The Home
Page: A SPECIAL SITE
Site so comprehensive that most start here. Difficult to reach the information
through any other route. News, history, geography, economy, people, arts,
huge gopher source of articles, orphans and adoptions, politics.
Romania's leading Think Tank.
A & A Bears
Great home page by two twenty-two year old graphic designers from
Center for Political
Studies and Comparative Analysis
Romanian Think Tank.
Embassy of Romania, Washington
Well-done, helpful place.
Great Service. "Handy English to Romanian dictionary. Program provides
virtually instant access to over 12,000 words and terms."
Rights Report on Romania, January 1998
Wide-ranging penetrating study (the penetration is not necessarily accurate
Romania - This is very helpful!
A really "swell" home page by a very talented, creative Romanian
Jewish Community of
"For some, the name Kishinev has sinister connotations, recalling grim
photos of piles of bodies--Jewish victims of the terrible pogroms which
occurred there at the turn of the century. Today, these tragic scenes
have happily given way to scenes of joy--scenes of a vibrant, spirited Jewish
life. After decades of war, destruction and oppression, the Jewish community
of Kishinev is experiencing a renaissance, unprecedented in modern times.
Permanent Mission of Moldavia
to the UN
Information, press releases, speeches, history.
Romania.org - One of
the Better Romanian Sites
"As a national institution, the Romanian Academy represents the highest
cultural forum both in humanities and natural sciences. During its existence,
the Romanian Academy has made an extraordinary contribution to the promotion
of the Romanian culture and to the development of a fruitful national scientific
activity. With few exceptions, its members have been the most important and
representative Romanian personalities." The Romanian Academy,
although not "pure" during the Ceausescu years, built on one of the finest
scholarly traditions in Europe and never sold out like so many. In
fact, I have since met individual members of that Academy who as brilliant
academicians ended up spending some years as janitors and brick layers because
of their independence.
Romanians and their
contributions to the World - Nice
"General Information about Romania, Tips for Business Travelers and browse
some Investment Related News and Information."
A superior Romanian medical resource: dictionary of medicine, Romanian
medical organizations, the Nobel Prizes for Medicine and Physiology. Information
available in Romanian and English.
40 categories, hundreds of recipes. Yummers.
Bucharest - A City of Boulevards
Take a walk through a city I think is lovely. And on a very
Bucharest Home Page
Full, complete guide. Tour, history, photos.
Carefully conceived and interesting page. "Roman remains, feudal fortresses
and castles, Byzantine "painted" monasteries and decorated village houses
testify to a richly historic past. Romanian castles are one of the attractions
of this country with a thousand of faces, while "Dracula" castle is only
one among hundreds of noble castles and palaces. "
Timisoara: A Good
History, Culture Site
Transylvania: A Legendary
I have always been charmed by Transylvania. Maybe part of it was
because it seemed away from Ceausescu and his Securitate, and it seemed to
have a life of its own. Also, parts reminded me a little of my home - Montana.
Take a look.
What a very special page about a place on earth where few Americans have
1999 - What's
"Ten years after communism died, Romanians still await better times."
"Romania is like a ship without a compass. After 10 years, there is
confusion and depression."
ECONOMY - AND THE CRITICAL PRIVATIZATION CHALLENGE
Romanian Business Journal
The best Business Journal in Eastern Europe. Dynamic, far-sighted,
creative, informative. Business, tourism, politics. Cutting-edge.
This Journal and its professionals pave the way for the future. I met
at length with its charasmatic, dynamic, and insightful Director, Dr. Viorel
Salagean - and the Deputy Chief Editor, Cristina Ion. Perhaps it was the
honest and tough-minded conversation, the tea, the realism, and realistic
optimism - but I came away confirming my observations that however difficult
the task ahead, Romania had a decent future in the European Community. And
on the plane to Sarajevo, I talked with 4 American businessmen who insisted
that in several important areas, Romanian companies could compete with the
best in the world. They were in Joint Ventures in furniture, toys,
The Economic Legacy
Outstanding, clear article. "Romania under Ceausescu will go down
in the history books as a sort of economic curio; a failed social experiment.
However to the Romanian people his policies were very real and his legacy
will undoubtdedly affect many generations to come."
LEARNING ABOUT ROMANIA
Hotels and Travel
- Good Links
Romanian Travel Guide -
Excellent Travel Page
But the music hurts my dog's ears.
Tourism in Romania
History of Romania
Coup d'Etat of
Sobering page. Sobering music. Sobering photos of the Ceausescus, alive
and dead. Sobering full transcript of their
"trials."From the Romanian
of the Romanians by Ion Calafeteanu
One of the finest designed, illustrated, and written country histories
on the Web. A must. "Unlike all the other peoples of south-east
Europe, unlike the Hungarians and the Poles, the Romanians were the only
ones who maintained their state entity during the Middle Ages, along
with their own political, military and administrative structures." "The
victory of the revolution opened the way for a re-establishment of democracy,
of the pluralist political system, for the return to a market economy and
the re-integration of the country in the European economic, political and
cultural space. "
History of Romania
Comprehensive, thorough treatment. Discusses the growing Antisemitism
and cruelty of the Twenties and Thirties, the formation of the Iron
Guard, the nasty pogroms, the Jewish laws, the Holocaust in Romania, the
horrible Bucharest pogrom, the pogroms to the north ("half of the 320,000
Jews living in Bessarabia, Bukovina, and the Dorohoi district (which was
in Old Rumania) were murdered during the first few months of Rumania's
involvement in the war, i.e., up to Sept. 1, 1941"), .the creation of the
terrible Transnistria reservation, the government's refusal to deport Jews
to the "East," the end of the war. "Fifty-seven percent of the Jewish
population under Rumanian rule during the war (including the Jews of Bessarabia
and northern Bukovina) survived the Holocaust." Also covers strong
Jewish resistance and leadership, the struggle to repatriate deported Jews.
And then the problems and challenges through Communism and to current
"Aiming to reveal the part played by the Romanians and their ancestors
in world history, this work sets forth, in a very brief and accessible manner,
the most significant events and salient people who have made up the Romanian
saga from its beginnings to the day." Early, Geto-Dacians, Roman Dacia,
Romanian Principalities, The Middle Ages, Nation Building. Modern Age, Greater
Romania, From Democracy to Dictatorship, The Communist Regime, The Return
Enemy Within: The
Romanian Intelligence Service in Transition
Interesting but not thought to be very accurate. "Thus, as long
as the Romanian secret service continues to function without a clear legal
basis of budgetary allotment, and the fate of Romania's policy is decided
behind closed doors, the enemy within will destroy Romania's fragile path
to democracy and to a new destiny."
And Present Danger To Democracy: The New Romanian Security Services Are Still
"Conclusion. In Romania, despite some positive changes that have
occurred in the last few years, like the slow but sure advance of a market
economy, freedom of political activity and of travel, a free press and the
emergence from international isolation, many critics of the present regime
argue that Ceausescu's legacy lives on and still remains strong. Indeed,
the country's rulers are all reformed communists, much of the old state socialist
economy is still in place, and the communist nomenklatura has retained its
influence and used its connections to flourish in the private economy.
But more than that, unlike the situation in other former East Central
European communist countries, the main danger to Romania's "original democracy"
is much clearer and present: the communist secret police, the Securitate,
has been reborn in the form of at least nine new security services structures.
Based on the legacy of the former Securitate's methods, these successor services
have managed in the last few years to greatly increase their power and, as
a proper parliamentary scrutiny is still far from being achieved, they could
very easily push Romanian society toward authoritarianism, especially when
democratic institutions and processes are new and untried."
YEARS AND THE REVOLUTION
Outstanding site on this unusual subject.
"This Website is dedicated to a period of Romanian history, shaped by
the communist Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. The content of this site is a loose
collection of material we gathered over the last years from different sources."
Chronology, pictures, Romanian Revolution, articles.
December Revolt and the Coup D'Etat, 1989
"In many ways Ceausescu was a victim of his own ego and the myth of his
invulnerability, reinforced by the perception, both in Bucharest and the
West, that Romanian citizens were largely docile and politically apathetic.
As a result, he came to believe that he could rely primarily on the Securitate
to maintain power while alienating the one group that was capable of overthrowing
him, the Romanian military.
Ceausescu also misjudged the extent to which the Romanian people could
go on suffering severe deprivation in order to achieve his goal of repaying
Romania's foreign debts. To the end, Elena and Nicolae Ceausescu never
grasped the fact that the more the Romanian people had to endure, and
the more ruthless the Securitate was in suppressing the growing unrest and
dissent, the more explosive the situation had become.
The popular revolt and coup of December 1989 will forever be synonymous
in Western eyes with the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. How ironic
it must seem then that while the rest of Eastern Europe is experiencing a
flowering of democracy, some Romanians feel they are still suffering under
a powerful political police apparatus, and a 'neo-Communist' ruler, as the
government of President Ion Iliescu is derisively called by some opposition
groups." Covers Romanian Security and Intelligence Organizations, Soviet
Ties to Romanian Security, The Pressure Builds, The December Revolt and Coup,
The Coup D'Etat, Origins of the National Salvation Front (NSF), Was Moscow
Behind the Coup?, Words of Support from Moscow, Role of Securitatea in the
December Revolt and Coup, Remnants of the "Securitatea" join the Army and
By Day History of the Romanian Revolution
of the Secret Closed Trial of Nicolae and Elena Ceausecu
Military base Tirgoviste - December 25th 1989. ( Prosecutor Gica POPA
. General Gica POPA, "killed himself" in March 1990 !).
"CHIEF PROSECUTOR: Esteemed chairman of the court, today we have to pass
a verdict on the defendants Nicolae Ceausescu and Elena Ceausescu who have
committed the following offenses: Crimes against the people. They carried
out acts that are incompatible with human dignity and social thinking; they
acted in a despotic and criminal way; they destroyed the people whose leaders
they claimed to be. Because of the crimes they committed against
the people, I plead, on behalf of the victims of these two tyrants, for the
death sentence for the two defendants.
PROSECUTOR: Did you hear the charges? Have you understood them?
CEAUSESCU: I do not answer, I will only answer questions before the Grand
National Assembly. I do not recognize this court. The charges are
incorrect, and I will not answer a single question here.
PROSECUTOR: This situation is known. The catastrophic situation of the country
is known all over the world. Every honest citizen who worked hard here until
22 December knows that we do not have medicines, that you two have
killed children and other people in this way, that there is nothing to eat,
no heating, no electricity.
PROSECUTOR: It is very difficult for us to act, to pass a verdict on people
who even now do not want to admit to the criminal offenses that they have
committed during 25 years and admit to the genocide, not only in Timisoara
and Bucharest, but primarily also to the criminal offenses committed during
the past 25 years. This demonstrates their lack of understanding. They not
only deprived the people of heating, electricity, and foodstuffs, they also
tyrannized the soul of the Romanian people. They not only killed children,
young people and adults in Timisoara and Bucharest; they allowed Securitate
members to wear military uniforms to create the impression among the people
that the army is against them. They wanted to separate the people from the
army. They used to fetch people from orphans' homes or from abroad whom they
trained in special institutions to become murderers of their own people.
You were so impertinent as to cut off oxygen lines in hospitals and to shoot
people in their hospital beds. The Securitate had hidden food reserves on
which Bucharest could have survived for months, the whole of Bucharest. We
ask for the death penalty."
Interesting comparison article. "They were dangerously mad people
with no limitations on their power."
Parenthood: Ceausescu's Cruel Law
One of the worst deeds in Post WWII "civilized" world by a President who
received two American State Visits. "His ministerial palaces and avenues
paled next to another of his schemes for building socialism: a plan to increase
Romania's population from 23 million to 30 million by the year 2000. He began
his campaign in 1966 with a decree that virtually made pregnancy a state
policy. "The fetus is the property of the entire society," Ceausescu proclaimed.
"Anyone who avoids having children is a deserter who abandons the laws
of national continuity."
Ceausescu's Fortune - The Public
In March, 2000, Romania auctioned off Ceausescu's "things."Stunning site.
Amazing the luxury of the "Dictator" as his people starved and froze
to death. Cars - full descriptions and pictures inside and out; boats
- pictures inside and out of his "yachts"; residences, pictures of closets
and closets of clothing; and other goods.
Pictures of his palaces (not for sale). For example, Primaverii Palace:
Outside & Gardens, Halls, Conference room, Livingrooms, Bedrooms,
Bathrooms & Pool, Therapy facilities, Green House, Underground halls,
THE DRACULA LEGEND
1997 - The Dracula
Conferences, reports, articles.
Stoker/Dracula Centennial Conference: Dracula Studies Home Page
An Ongoing Project Dedicated to Scholarship in Dracula Studies.
Children of the Night
- Make My Day!
Elizabeth Miller, a professor with the Department of English at Memorial
University of Newfoundland (in Canada). "I am very active in Dracula Studies,
having given papers on everyone's favorite vampire in Canada, the U.S., Ireland,
Germany, and Romania. I have recently completed writing a book entitled,
Reflections on Dracula. It covers a variety of Dracula-related topics
in essay form." Her web site is devoted to Dracula-related topics.
Count Dracula Sites
- A Journey
Dracula: The History
of Myth and the Myth of History - by Elizabeth Miller
Dracula's Home Page
Designed to accompany discussion of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, enjoying
in 1997 the centenary of its publication.
Dracula Tour - E.
The Historical Dracula
Author writes: "I have decided to cover a range of topics dealing
with Stoker, Dracula and vampires, with interviews and articles.
During the past couple of years, I have been interviewed dozens of times
by various media (radio, television and print). I am including the text of
some of those interviews."
to Dracula's Castle - A Window Into East European History
I have been here. It is lovely in the sunlight - but as dusk approaches,
shivers! Step in - now. Listen to the voice of the Count: "If only
these walls could speak... They would tell you about my six years rule over
Wallachia. About the wars I fought against those pagan foes. The Ottomans
were threatening all of us... I stood up against those eunuchs, I fought
them, I punished them...impaling they taught me... impaling they got... The
wrath of the Ottomans came upon us after all those Crusades....Christendom
was under assault."
The Vampire, Dracula and Incest:
The Vampire Myth, Stoker's DRACULA and Psychotherapy of Vampiric Sexual
Dracula - History and Legend
The Legacy of Elena
Intriguing biography but conclusion is serious and damning long after
her death: "The legacy of Elena Ceausescu has been a society unprepared
and unwilling to see women enter positions of power. The traditionally
patriarchal structure of society itself only re-enforces this. The women
who have held positions of influence are few and obscure in the face of Elena
The Government of
A brilliant, full service site. All the ministries and persons.
NATO Workshop - Vienna
The President's nearly brilliant speech: "European Security: Legacies
of the Past, Challenges for the Future."
The Official Visit
to the US - July, 1998
The President's reception by the Americans and his impression upon them
was quite remarkable. I went to the luncheon at the Commonwealth Club
and was most impressed. Meeting with his aides was helpful also. He
was introduced by former Secretary of Defense William Perry with former Secretary
of State George Schultz at his side. I remember when Ceausescu came.
What a contrast! My God! I have also met Iliescu - and
Constantinescu radiates civilized leadership. Which the Romanians deserve.
His speech at the Commonwealth Club follows:
Constantinescu at the Commonwealth Club of California, July 20, 1998."
President of Romania
Background, speeches, official visits.
Parliament of Romania
- Extensive Site
Go to this site, scroll down, and click on the sites of all the major
THE EU, AND NATO
Provides a synthesis of news and commentaries in Romanian mass-media
about Romania's accession to EU and NATO.
Romania: The Long
Way to Integration
"Every Wednesday, our site provides the latest information about Romania's
accession to EU and NATO. We promote an active approach, by providing interviews
and analyses signed by our own team. You can suggest debate topics." News,
interviews, archives, commentaries.
Romania and NATO:
"Knocking on an Open Door"
US Abassador Rosapeppe, 1998.
US Embassy in Bucharest - Well Done
for a Change
Obviously, this is not my favorite US embassy. Maybe they are "shaping
The United States and Romania:
A Strategic Partnership
An Address by Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of State, Bucharest
University, Bucharest, Romania, March 19, 1998.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Romania - A Very Pleasant Page
What a wonderful setting. "The National Brukenthal Museum in Sibiu is
well-known as an institution of European prestige and one of the greatest
Romanian museums. Its collections were constituted by baron Samuel von Brukenthal
(1721-1803), governor of Transylvania between 1777-1787. In 1790 -
three years before the Louvre was opened - the collections of Samuel von
Brukenthal could be visited. The official opening of the museum took place
on the 25th of February 1817; it is the first museum in Romania that has
been functioning ever since."
National Museum of Art
"Romania's leading art museum was founded in 1948 to house the former
Royal Collection along with those of various other museums in the country's
capital. The aim of the museum is to provide a comprehensive view on Romanian
art from the early Middle Ages to the present, in as broad an European context
The Famous Museum of the Romanian
I spent one of the most enjoyable days of my life in this remarkable museum.
It is not only a museum! Travel here is a must. Received The
European Museum of the Year Award 1996.
Museum of the Romanian Peasant
- Part II
"The Museum of The Romanian Peasant is part of the large family of European
Museums for Folk Arts and Traditions. An impressive collection. Its efforts
go beyond the door of the Museum: openings, concerts and conferences, and
also publications and unconventional ideas, like the Missionary Museum or
the Village School, for instance." Includes pottery, costume,
textiles, wood, furniture, religious objects collections.
History of the Museum
"The history of The Museum of The Romanian Peasant covers almost a century
of restlessness, bringing together times of international praising with moments
of obstruction and anxiety related to the very situation in the country."
Museum of Traditional
Another favorite place. "Built up between 1963 and 1989, as the
most elaborate scientific-documentary and technical collection and archives
(pictures,photos, films) dealing with pre-industrial folk technology in Romania.
Offers a brilliant demonstration of life and material continuity in this
part of Europe."
- From A to Z
One of the finest comprehensive efforts to focus on the arts.
Romanian Mozart Society
Enter and read, listen. Note the struggles to continue Romania's strong
The Romanian Orphans
I first discovered by chance the horrible orphanages in the early 1980's.
The sights, smells, sounds of stunning, unrelenting, misery have never
The Future of Children
- The Romanian Orphans
"Unraveling the mystery of the future of Romanian orphanage children:
how to get them out of institutions--either returned to their families, or
else adopted internationally or adopted within Romania." Truly remarkable
Web page and remarkable effort.
History of a Romanian Disaster
"By then there were more than 150,000 children in Romanian orphanages.
News reports transmitted around the world showed images of malnourished
children lying neglected in dirty cribs. Many of these toddlers, at the age
of two and three, still hadn't learned how to talk or walk. Some were dying
of infectious diseases. Romanian doctors had been forbidden to acquire medical
information from other countries, thousands of children contracted
HIV in a misguided attempt to improve their health through blood transfusions.
As a result half of Europe's AIDS effected children, some 2,300, are Romanian.
One thousand children have already died from the disease in Romania. "
of Romanian Orphans in Canada:
"At the time of adoption every one of the Romanian children
was developmentally delayed. Many had eating problems; they either refused
to eat solid food or ate too much. They would lie in bed quietly without
signalling to their parents that they had woken up. Researchers
concluded this was an adaptation to life in the orphanage where there was
no one available to attend to them.
LIGHT: THE ROMANIAN GYMNASTS
Official Romanian Gymnatics
Romania Lovers Alliance is a club of Romanian gymnastic lovers (or people
who simply loves Romania); Romania produces the most powerful, most beautiful,
and most consistent gymnast in the past and in the present. However, the
Romanian gymnasts are often not notice or did not receive the fame they deserved.
The all members of the Romania Lovers Alliance are supporters of Romania,
our highest goal is to make the Romanian gymnast noticeable to the world.
Vows: Gold-medal gymnasts exchange gold rings.
Parker's Simona Amanar Page,
Ambitions: Simona Amanar,
Gymnast in the World: Simona Amanar
Marinescu and her Special Dog,
The Official Alexandra
Marinescu Web Page
Milosovici: The Road of a Champion,
The Milo Net:
Dedicated to Lavina Milosovici,
Lavina Milosovici Page
Tribute to Daniela Silivus
RUSSIA: A Future Still Open
Over the years with all my journeys to Russia and my projects there,
and in comparison to today, two personal understandings jump out. Now there
is truly freedom with all its problems. The KGB no longer brings me in for
scolding or interrogation. The other is that it is now UNSAFE - unsafe because
of criminal activity, unsafe to any ordinary Russian who wants to live, be
healthy, earn a living, go to school, have a future. Americans have
a peculiar view of freedom because they have always had it. "Yes, but
they are free," we say. And the Russians value their freedom. But
I wonder how long we would ignore the horrible deprivations that come from
freedom quickly attained. Would we , with equanimity, go hungry, without
medical care, watching our children become uneducated and unsafe for 10 long
years - with no end in sight? My mind is filled with rich images
of the USSR. But mostly it is filled with portraits of the courage
and determination of all the Soviet citizens I met and worked with underground,
whose husbands and friends were in the gulags. I never understood how
they stood it. I went in and out as an American, protected. They lived
there - unprotected. And that UNPROTECTEDNESS exists today in full
force, having taken new forms.
Alexander Palace Time Machine:
A SPECIAL PLACE
Alexander Palace, home of the last Tsar. Tour the Palace Parade Rooms,
rooms of Nickolas II, Rooms of Aleksandra, childrens rooms, palace treasures,
Faberge, the palace today, history of the characters in the story.
Russian Studies: A SPECIAL PAGE
No better source on Russia, done so beautifully by students at Bucknell
Nicholas and Alexandra:
The Last Imperial Family of Tsarist Russia: A SPECIAL, MAGNIFICENT
Exhibit from the State Hermitage Museum on tour/online. Exquisitely done.
Nothing quite like it.
Art and Architecture: A SPECIAL PLACE
Sources are outstanding in width and depth.
Archives: The Best of the Net - SPECIAL ARCHIVES
Vital Library of Congress exhibit. Destiny and life of the Russian people.
First time Russian university scholars, students had primary documents to
work with, and now Americans can use them also. Translated documents on USSR
critical to study of its history.
Treasures of the
Czars: A PREMIER WEB SITE
Also located HERE.
One of best sites on Web. Received accolades across Net. Major exhibition.
All the history and culture you could wish for. Don't miss "Playground of
I do not know of any country that has more
LUCIOUS pages than the following from Russia!
The PBS series. "Russia's ten centuries tell a tale of enduring ambivalence
toward the West in all its manifestations: from ancient Byzantium to contemporary
America. From the West came religion, military prowess, radical ideas,
architectural forms, art, and music. To the West Russia gave ethereal icons,
beautiful art and churches, haunting music, brilliant prose and poetry,
supreme athletes and dancers, and path-breaking cinema. With the collapse
of the Soviet Union and its Communist alliance, Russia is again undergoing
great changes, attempting to blend traditional ways with ideas from abroad.
Personal interpretation of Russia's cultural history by one of America's
pre-eminent Russian scholars, James H. Billington. Viewers are taken on a
remarkable journey through history to twentieth-century Russia."
On line Kremlin Tour. The main sights of the Moscow Kremlin. Excellent.
Official Site of the Russian National Tourist Organization. "A
visit to Russia today is an encounter with an undiscovered land. With the
dissolution of the Soviet Union visitors have a fresh opportunity to explore
a vast array of exciting and ancient cultures, from the glittering
imperial Russia of St. Petersburg to the timeless village life of Siberia
Exhibitions: Wonderful, Creative Site - Such a great place!
Playground of the
Remains one of the finest sites.
Wide-ranging business and cultural page. The New Moscow.
The Arts, Virtual Reports, Education.
Russia on the Web
Carefully selected major categories. Information, News, Sites,
Russia-West Projects, Business, Culture, Art, Education, History, Language,
Literature, Philosophy, Religion, Society & Politics.
Russian Dacha Page
"It's late March and the snow begins to melt in Central and North Russia.
In the city, snow is already gone. Watching bright sunshine of coming spring
and wet bare soil of the lawns, many dwellers of Russian cities and smaller
towns begin to prepare for the new dacha season..."
"For nearly one thousand years Russia was the center of the highly
spiritual art of icon painting. The iconist believed that the hand of God
was at work. Today a few surviving artists still paint in the tradition and
technique of the iconists preserving the faith, hopes and dreams of the Russian
people. We believe this art is the Faberge of the nineties because of its
increasing rarity. Miniature work is being done by the best artists today."
Resources Home Page
Arts, Life/Work, Health, Politics, Activism, Academic. Organizations,
Make your Macintosh speak Russian. Follow 4 easy steps and presto, you
have Cyrillic text!
Internet list of lists. If there is more information on any area you wish,
click to here. It will be there somewhere!
Its the longest rail journey on earth. 6000 miles from Moscow to Vladivostok.
Join a photo journey across Siberia. Excellent pictures. I almost took part
of this trip. But the first class all-foreigner train from Moscow to St.
Petersburg with the grates in the floor for toilets cured me of the urge.
Cultural and historical information on Russia from 850AD to the present
time. Includes interactive time line, reference section and discussion
Sites - From Bucknell
Studies Material - From Bucknell
Library of Congress provides a milestone: the first public display of
the hitherto highly secret internal record of Soviet Communist rule.
System: From the Soviet Archives
Short pieces on the internal workings, repression and terror, secret police,
the gulag, deportations.
Today, History, Culture
The Moscow Times -
Leading news site. Current.
Russia Today - Excellent News
St Petersburg Times
Premier English language newspaper for Russia. Current news - and its
extensive archive is crammed with valuable articles and news.
PLACES: HISTORY, CULTURE -
100 Russian Cities on the Web
Spend a day or two with the Pictures at the Exhibition, in all regions,
with film, weather, maps, dictionaries, flags. Award winning site.
on Neva: Sankt-Peterburg.
Good pictorial tour if you have time for the download.
to the Caucasus -- Rostov-on-Don
Great Site but photos take a long time to download. Magnificent history
of this region.
Irkutsk: Capital of
"Siberia Belies Its Somber Image" is a "NYT" article included with this
home page. Wide and free, Siberia and Irkutsk are rich in spirit and culture.
I found it a modern city and the territory around it beautiful. Yet, as I
was there, I thought of previously trying to help a prisoner of conscience
in one of the Gulags, for any knowledgeable person is aware of the
dark shadows of millions of deaths lurking not so far away in kilometers
and not so far away in years. Still, any visit to Lake Baikal leaves one
with the remembrance that it is the deepest and rarest lake-sea in the
Capital of Russia - Good Quick Tour of Moscow and Kremlin.
Kremlin Tour - Wonderful
World around Baikal
The "Lake" of Russia and its Electronic Magazine.
A "FEW" CZARS
Great - NEAT!
"Ivan IV, know as Ivan the Terrible, b Aug 25, 1530, czar of Russia 1547-1584,
He centralised the administration of Russia and expanded the boundaries of
the Russian Empire."
Also, "Peter I, known as
the Great, b. June 9 (N.S.), 1672, d. Feb. 8 (N.S.), 1725, tsar of Russia
(1682-1725) and the first Russian emperor (from 1721), was an unusually powerful
and prepossessing ruler; his military achievements and westernizing reforms
of the Russian government, army, and society laid the foundation of the modern
"At the end of his reign he left his Polish mistress of 13 years, Maria
Naryshkina, and returned to his wife, Elizabeth, who had suffered from his
infidelity and neglect for years. He was a troubled and broken man. One fall
he and Elizabeth travelled to the south of Russia. There, on November 19,
1825 in the town of Taganrog, it is claimed to have faked his own death,
disappearing to become a monk named Kuzmich, wandering the forests of Siberia
for years afterward. The Soviet Government fanned the flames of these rumours
when it announced his coffin had been opened in the 1920's and was found
to be empty."
"Considered Russia's last true autocrat, Alexander III was the epitome
of what a Russian Tsar was supposed to be. Forceful,formidable, fiercely
patriotic, and at 6' 4" towered over his fellow countrymen. He was the embodiment
of the fabled Russian bear. He came to power at a critical point in Imperial
Russian history. The Industrial Revolution had finally come to Russia and
capitalism was taking root. Foreign investment within the country was at
an all time high. His Father, Alexander II was within hours of granting the
country its first constitution."
Life and fall. Well done site. And then to
here - and
and Alexandra - The Love Affair that Shaped History
of Czar Nicholas II
Of the most significant things that Nicholas did to "dig his own grave,"
maybe the most substantial was his resistance to ideas other than his own.
Czar Nicholas II
- Center of Controversy
Nicholas II -
The Last Czar of Russia
His life and death.
Coronation Ceremony of the Last Russian Czar
Clicking Anastasia - From Lost
Great site, history, internet game. Look and play. "The family was
dead. Were all their secrets? What happened to the Romanov fortune? Was it
lost? Or hidden? And if hidden, where? Now two new revolutions -- one of
Russian hope and freedom, the other of bits and microchips -- may help solve
the mystery. Can you find the Tsar's lost millions? Others are already
My Name is
My parents, where I lived, my sisters and brothers, would you believe.
"After I was gone a number of curious things happened. Many people went around
claiming to be either me, one of my sisters or even Aleksey. A Polish girl
named Franziska Schanzkowska - who couldn't even speak Russian - turned up
in Berlin claiming to be me! How anyone could have believed her is beyond
my comprehension. She didn't look like me at all. Our family rejected her,
but a few people who hardly knew me claimed they recognized her to be me.
This went on and on for many years.
Site - Links, Links!
Real Man and the Cartoon Character
The Life and Death of the Real Rasputin. Anastasia: The movie and
the real princess.
"I have paid for them with my blood. I shall be killed. I am no longer
among the living. Pray, pray, be strong, think of your blessed family."
The Romanov Execution
- Central Site
Timeline - Face to Face with the Czars
A History of the Romanov Family and the Imperial Dynasty. At its
height in the mid-nineteenth century, the empire of the Romanovs comprised
more than one sixth of the earth's surface. It was a "whole world,
self-sufficient, independent, and absolute"--flaunting the greatest wealth
in Europe. Its culture, both rich and brilliant, would continue to
shine, decades after the demise of its imperial benefactors. This was the
world that ended with the murders of the last of the Romanovs: Nicholas II
and Alexandra, and their five children.
HISTORY AND DOCUMENTS
Abdication of Nikolai
II, March 15, 1917
Tsar's abdication document translated. "May God help Russia."
Assembly of the Russian Nobility
Ancient assembly with news, history, royal family information.
History of the Jews of Russia. Important exhibition and material.
The Middle Ages, Development of Modern Anti-Semitism, Jews in the
Russian Empire, in the Soviet Union, Nazism and the Holocaust, 1941-Present.
War in Moscow, October '93
of Russian History
Cold War Hot
History of Russia and the Former USSR.
Best of illustrated histories. Impressive.
Milwaukee Public Museum
Understanding them. Icons are central to Russian culture.
Lenin Home Page
Gorbachev WWW Gateway - Loaded Site
Exhibition, history, civilization, a "culture of splendor, wealth and
beauty almost unparalleled."
History: From Bucknell
Premiere history page. Best on Net for Russian history.
A university's Russian Department's thorough and comprehensive history.
Read all the important documents in English.
Extensive - seems to cover everything. Probably as much as
any ordinary human could know.
And then to the Stalin
ART AND LITERATURE
Central site. Links to all other Dostoevsky pages. Online
writings. To understand Russia, you must read Dostoevsky. Click to biographical
information, pictures, text in English of "Brothers Karamazov." Excerpts
or entirety from "The Double," "Crime and Punishment," "Notes from Underground,"
"The Dream of a Ridiculous Man," "The Grand Inquisitor."
Wonderful Russian on Russian culture including daily life, politics, law,
economy, literature, music, humor, science, and links.
The Incomperable Bolshoi
Theatre, Ballet, Opera
In the early Sixties, the Bolshoi Ballet full corp came to the US. I
went 7 nights in a row and watched Swan Lake 7 times. My dream was
to sit in the Bolshoi Theatre and see it again. On a cold Christmas
Eve night in Moscow in the Eighties, I got my wish. I kept looking up to
what had been the royal box, expecting the Czar to rise and clap.
Christmas Eve at the Bolshoi! History, composers, artists,
To sit in the theatre where Barisnikov and Nureyev danced cannot be
duplicated. I have seen them both outside of Russia - but it is
not the same!. Take a look and explore.
Dining with the Czars
An imperial fascination with porcelain. The services in rich
Faberge Eggs - Mementos From a Doomed Dynasty
From PBS. What an incredible site. "In the harsh light of historical
hindsight, the Fabergé Imperial Easter eggs can be seen as nothing
more than the frivolous indulgences of a decadent monarchy. But stripped
of revolutionary ideology, they endure simply as fragile mementos of the
doomed Russian dynasty, each not only an artistic masterpiece, but a remarkable
reflection of the joys and achievements of a family at the crossroads of
history." And then to the wonderful, wonderful
The Faberge Exhibition
- History's Master Craftsman .
Icons: What Are
the Romanovs: Treasures of the Imperial Court
Literature - 3 Favorites
And Nobel Laureate
in Literature here
Not to be missed if you go to Russia, but here is a taste.
of Fine Arts.
Perhaps THE premier museum outside of the Hermitage. At least I
like it and it is better organized than the Hermitage.
Art and Architecture: A SPECIAL PLACE
Sources are outstanding in width and depth. What a lovely, breathtaking
RUSSIAN ICONS - THE LOVE
OF MY LIFE
The finest collection on the Net. Only regret is that there is no collection
of Rublov icons as viewed on the Kremlin grounds.
Here it is. So many hours I have spent wandering the halls in the decrepit
buildings filled with history. The collection, news, tours and lectures,
SLOVAKIA: Overcoming a Nasty 60 Years
Newly a nation, about twice the size of New Hampshire, struggling, impeded
by its past. Contains some of the worst ecological damage in Eastern Europe.
When driving, one must leave the windows shut, regardless of temperature.
This half of the former Czechoslovakia contains beautiful places, interesting
humans, and the reality that it was the least advanced economically of the
former Republic. The split was bound to occur, but the impact on Slovakia
has not been positive. It has such a long way to go - and its leadership
is not the liberal or democratic-speaking types we like to see. Perhaps
most important, it is almost impossible to find a current history that does
more than mention the WWII years in two sentences. No country enjoys
initially facing those years, but Slovakia has not begun to confront them.
That reality remains troubling for Slovakia's future.
Using these two fine Web sites gives the reader information about every
aspect of Slovakia. The best history is by city and region
Store - Information about Slovak Republic
Does seem to have just about everything from geography and politics to
history, photos, language.
About Slovakia , the most CURRENT NEWS, Economy News, Opinion Polls,
Business, Photo Gallery, Documents, Links.
All the News that's fit to print!
Spectator - International Weekly
Current, intensive, very helpful.
Central and East
European Legal, Political, Business and Economics Resources
Central research tool. Strong emphasis on government, academic, news,
from Albania to the USSR.
Central Europe Online
Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Poland. Daily news, weekly industry
Embassy of the Slovak Republic
Eye of the
Beholder - Virtual Tour Around Slovakia
Geography and Natural
Includes a photo tour.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Outstanding English Site. Slovakia and the EU, NATO, diplomacy,
policy, cultural and economic dimensions of foreign policy, documents,
treaties. All the important subjects covered.
Dictionary, recipes, geneology, tours, slide shows.
Slovakia.ORG - The Guide to the
Includes Slovakia Today - A Monthly Review of Current Events, and
history, economy, culture, politics, society. Hosted in Canada. Very
helpful. The history section is extensive.
Slovak Republic -
Basic tour that covers everything - if you are traveling there.
The First Unofficial
Guide to Slovak Economy
Helpful, but somewhat sporadic.
Excellent, news, chat, forum, business, info about the country.
Next Best Thing to Western Europe - and THEN SOME
Slovenia is perhaps my favorite place. I flee there from war, sadness,
destruction, bombed buildings, refugees, orphaned children, lost families,
grinding poverty, sick cancer patients with no place for help, hopelessness,
and fatigue. It is not perfect. But it has been spared
the War. There are roofs on all the houses and no bullet holes. And
there really is no place like Lake Bled, no place. The Slovenian Coast
differs sharply from the surrounding areas. The alps are breathtaking.
What more can one want? A green and diverse country that lies between
the Alps, the Mediterranean, and the Pannonian plain, embracing all the beauties
of the Old Continent with none of the crowds and dirt. Snow-covered mountains,
the loveliest Mediterranean coast, beautiful karst caves, thermal springs,
deep gorges created by clear mountain rivers, wide vistas of slow flatland
rivers, mountain and disappearing karst lakes, ancient villages and medieval
towns, old castles and modern entertainment centers, innumerable vineyards
producting top quality and some of my favorite wines, mysterious primeval
forests, the famous Lipizzaner horse stud farms. A range of decent to excellent
accommodations and genial hosts without the stiffness of some of the "developed"
The country's biggest problem is making the world aware of its identity.
Worse, it is often lumped with neighboring Croatia. But the
differences are stark. Quietly, Slovenia has acquired the attributes
of statehood and democracy. Most significant, no bombed-out
buildings, sandbagged windows or runaway inflation intrude upon the