- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 11, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In his Op-Ed column “Rebirth of an old scourge” (Opinion, Sunday), Jeffrey T. Kuhner perpetuates a misconception of history.

The fall of the Berlin Wall was not the defining moment marking the collapse of communism. Communism had been crumbling for a number of years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It started in Poland with the recognition of the first labor union independent of communist dictatorship, Solidarnosc, in 1980. Though suppressed, Solidarnosc went underground, and in April 1989, it emerged, was re-legalized and won the elections to the Parliament. The communist rule ended in Poland and then in Hungary and Romania. The rest of Eastern Europe followed.

East Germany was still in the communists’ grip, and East Germans did comparatively little to free themselves. They wanted to get to West Germany. The fall of the Berlin Wall is a symbol of the East German communist regime’s capitulation. Mr. Kuhner is right that communism is not dead. Under a softer camouflage of socialism, it is rampant in Europe and rearing its head in the United States.

EDWARD TARCHALSKI

Potomac

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