The Demise of the Soviet Bloc

Invitation to the talk of professor Mark Kramer “The Demise of the Soviet Bloc” (Prague, ÚSTR, 01/23/2013)

The talk will give an overview of the collapse of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989. The events of that year resulted in part from sweeping changes in Soviet policy, in part from the courageous actions of individuals and groups in Eastern Europe, and in part from the loss of will among hard-line East European Communist leaders as they realized, to their horror, that the Soviet Union would no longer come to their aid with military force. The rapidly improving state of East-West relations was an important backdrop for the process, giving Soviet leaders greater confidence that Western governments would not seek to foment anti-Soviet uprisings or exploit changes in Eastern Europe against the USSR. In addition, an element of chance and contingency contributed to the auspicious outcome in the fall of 1989, especially to the opening of the Berlin Wall, which occurred as much through inadvertence as through design.

Mark Kramer is Director of the Cold War Studies Program at Harvard University and a Senior Fellow of Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. He has taught at Harvard, Yale, and Brown Universities. Professor Kramer is the author of Crisis in Czechoslovakia, 1968: The Prague Spring and the Soviet Invasion; Soldier and State in Poland: Civil-Military Relations and Institutional Change After Communism; The Collapse of the Soviet Union and others.




The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes would like to invite you to the talk of professor Mark Kramer from the Harvard University “The Demise of the Soviet Bloc”, which will be held on Wednesday 23rd January 2013 at 4:00 PM at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Siwiecova 2, Prague 3. The talk will be given in English. For registration to the talk please send an e-mail to or call +420 221 008 396.