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1981: Poland's state of emergency

Poland. 1980-1981. On Aug 31, Lech Walesa launches Solidarnosc as a platform that rapidly evolves into a wider social movement and extends its influence beyond the Polish borders to the rest of Eastern Europe.

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This week, academic and eastern Europe expert Jacques Rupnik, of Sciences Po in Paris, looks at the events leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Rupnik explores five decisive events in the history of eastern European nations: Berlin in 1953, Budapest in 1956, Prague in 1968, Poland in 1980-1981 and the arrival of Mikhail Gorbachev as Soviet leader.

All these issues, he argues, are irrevocably linked to the final collapse of the Iron Curtain and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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