In politics and contemporary history, the Iron Curtain , after its namesake from the theater building, denotes both the ideological conflict and the physically sealed border that divided Europe during the Cold War . From the Second World War up to the revolutions in 1989, it formed the dividing line between the market- oriented democratic states in the west and the planned-economy- led, real-socialist dictatorships in the east. After Yugoslavia turned away from the Soviet Union in 1948, Hungary , Romania and Bulgaria cut themselves off from Yugoslavia at their borders in a similar way to the “capitalist” states.
During the First World War , the term was borrowed for the first time from the theater sector into political-military contexts; the authorship is unclear. The British historian Patrick Wright attributes the first use to Violet Paget , who used the term in early 1915 under the pseudonym Vernon Lee on Bach's Christmas music in England and Germany and the "monstrous iron curtain" that now separates the two countries. The Belgian Queen Elisabeth , who came from Germany, told Pierre Loti in 1915 about the estrangement from her German relatives: “An iron curtain has fallen between my family and me”. On February 29, 1916, the German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg used the term in his significant "U-boat memorandum" - he described the plan, which was often considered at the time, to separate England from the outside world by means of a submarine war " like through an iron curtain ”.
In 1924, the British ambassador in Berlin, Edgar Vincent , said the demilitarized Rhineland (then occupied by Allied troops ) should be an 'iron curtain' to protect France from future attacks by German troops.
In the 1920s, the phrase about the Iron Curtain was occasionally used in writings about the First World War. In an essay in 1930 , the intelligence service Herbert von Bose spoke of "the iron curtain of the hostile fronts" that crisscrossed Europe during the war.
The Lisbon correspondent Max Walter Clauss (1901–1988) used the term on February 18, 1945 in an article on the front page of the National Socialist weekly newspaper Das Reich .
A week later, in the same newspaper, Joseph Goebbels used the term in a reaction to the results of the Yalta conference : In the event of a German surrender, “an iron curtain would immediately come down on the territory occupied by the USSR , behind which the mass slaughter of the peoples would begin "; the British newspaper The Times adopted the formulation.
On July 5, 1945, Konrad Adenauer used the term in a letter to journalist Hans Rörig, referring to the perceived threat from the Soviet Union:
“I see developments with [increasing] concern. Russia is lowering an iron curtain. I do not believe that the Central Control Commission will in any way influence the administration of half of Germany, which has been entrusted to it. "
The reference of this metaphor to the Soviet Union can be proven long before the end of the Second World War. In 1918, the year after the October Revolution , the Russian author Wassilij Rosanow wrote in his polemic The Apocalypse of Our Time : “With rattles, creaking and screeching, an iron curtain descends on Russian history [...]. The performance is coming to an end. ”In the English-speaking world, Ethel Snowden used the term“ iron curtain ”in 1920 in a positive travelogue about“ Bolshevik Russia ”. Apparently in contrast to a negative use of the term, she wrote about her enthusiastic arrival in St. Petersburg: "We were finally behind the 'iron curtain'!"
Winston Churchill then coined the term in the beginning of the Cold War as a term for the isolation of the Eastern Bloc from the West: First he used it to refer to the Red Army on May 12, 1945, a few days after the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht , in a telegram to the US -President Truman : “An iron curtain is drawn down upon their front. We do not know what is going on behind. " Voted out in July 1945 , Churchill as opposition leader formulated on March 5, 1946 in his speech" The Sinews of Peace "(" The tendons (= the strength) of peace ") in Fulton, Missouri in the presence of Truman:
“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an Iron Curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow . ”
“From Szczecin on the Baltic Sea to Trieste on the Adriatic, an iron curtain has come down on Europe . Behind it are all the capitals of the old states of Central and Eastern Europe . Warsaw , Berlin , Prague , Vienna , Budapest , Belgrade , Bucharest and Sofia . These famous cities and the surrounding populations are all, I have to put it, under Soviet control, and are subject, in one way or another, not merely to Soviet influence, but to a very high, and in some cases increasing, control from Moscow. "
This speech is considered - not least because of this formulation - "as a fanfare for the Cold War".
The rifts between East and West deepened in 1947 when the US President announced a new political course with the Truman Doctrine : America would stand by all states threatened by (Soviet) communism; the war-torn European economy it offered the " Marshall Plan " with reconstruction aid. Josef Stalin then forbade the Eastern European countries to participate; After the currency reform and the introduction of market economy principles in the three western occupation zones of Germany including West Berlin in June 1948 , the Soviet Union blocked the supply of energy and food to West Berlin, whereupon the Western Allies built an airlift that lasted until 1949 . The division of the world into two camps and the associated actual establishment of an increasingly strictly controlled border, the Iron Curtain, were cemented.
During the Cold War, the term Iron Curtain was given two different meanings as a political issue: On the one hand , in a bipolar world (oriented towards the "Poles" Moscow and Washington) it denoted the comprehensive systemic contrast between the "East" and the "West" and the interface between the two systems. On the other hand , the term brought to the point the peculiarity of the external border of the Warsaw Pact states in Europe after the departure of Albania and referred to the nature of these "special" borders.
Even if the Iron Curtain hit Germany particularly hard because of the division , not only the Berlin Wall (August 13, 1961 - November 9, 1989), the inner-German border and the Czechoslovak border fortifications to the Federal Republic were included. It stretched across Europe from the Barents Sea to the Black Sea .
- Inner German border
- Berlin wall
- Border fortifications from Czechoslovakia to the Federal Republic of Germany and Austria
- Border fortifications between Hungary and Austria
- Border fortifications from Bulgaria to Greece and Turkey
There were other fortifications between:
- Hungary and Yugoslavia
- Romania and Yugoslavia
- Bulgaria and Yugoslavia
After the so-called Tito-Stalin break on June 28, 1948, Yugoslavia was no longer an Eastern Bloc state and later founded the movement of the non-aligned states with Egypt , India and Indonesia . On the grounds that there was never an “iron curtain” on the Austrian-Yugoslav border, the “Spiegel Online” editorial team corrected an editor in 2017 who nevertheless used the term for this border. Because only Eastern Bloc countries would have delimited themselves with the help of an iron curtain. In a video for the exhibition “100 Years of Border III: 1946–2018. Living with the border ”(ie the southern border of Styria ), which took place from February 1 to May 19, 2019 in the“ Museum of History ”in Graz , does not even use the term“ Iron Curtain ”for the given period. There is also no mention in the video of the fact that the border between Austria and Yugoslavia made the Cold War tangible.
If related to Albania is an "Iron Curtain" speech, then in most cases is only the self-isolation of decades Stalinist or Maoist- ruled State meant. Because “Albania did not need walls or border fences. […] There were no private cars and even travel within the country was only permitted with the approval of the authorities. Every stranger immediately caught the attention of intelligence agents. "
Nevertheless, the European Green Belt project also includes the land borders of the former Yugoslavia in the west (with Italy ), in the north-west (with Austria) and in the south (with Greece) as well as the land borders of Albania in the pan-European biotope network of the same name and speaks of a "Former iron curtain".
The term Iron Curtain describes not only the real border fortifications, but also the politics of demarcation in a figurative sense . In contrast to the fortifications, which were only built by the corresponding Eastern Bloc states, this policy was also pursued by the West in a wide variety of fields in the post-war years. It did not only exist physically, but also in politics, at the UN , in the media, in sport and in the economy and found its extension to the countries of the Third World , where numerous proxy wars were fought between East and West .
Economic division of Europe
In particular, the Iron Curtain was a limit to prosperity that can still be felt today. After the Second World War, the SMAD (Soviet Military Administration in Germany) established the planned economy in the east and the parties of the KPD and SPD merged to form the SED. Under their guidelines, the anti-fascist-democratic reconstruction began and the highly armed large corporations of the war were nationalized in order to break their warlike power and denazify East Germany. At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, the USA, Great Britain and the USSR agreed on three forms of reparation: the dismantling and confiscation of foreign assets, deliveries from ongoing production and the use of German labor. These were implemented in the Soviet occupation zone, following the protocol of the Potsdam Conference , and had a more than twice as large destructive force on the factories and works in East Germany as the destruction of the war itself, and also generated a revenue deficit through the reparation payments from the ongoing Business. The lack of industrialization and strong destruction of the countries of Eastern Europe that are suitable for RGW merged, and also the economic and technological embargo of the Western powers, the so-called COCOM lists, led to a not made up for shortfall in revenue of East Germany, and saw to it that strongly required investments in infrastructure and operations not made and modern technology could not be used.
Meanwhile, the occupying powers introduced democracy and a market economy in the west. The establishment of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC), the Marshall Plan and the renunciation of reparations and dismantling led to a steady and rapid reconstruction of the whole of Western Europe, the level of industrialization of which before the Second World War was far superior to that in Eastern Europe. The favorable geographical conditions also contributed to well-functioning trade between these countries. It was precisely this creation of prosperity and attractiveness in the West in connection with its media dissemination via television and radio that led to an increasing movement of refugees from the East.
The Iron Curtain left its mark in all neighboring countries. Much neighborly relations between states on both sides of the curtain disappeared over the decades. Especially in the economic area, this border was a dead border, so that existing businesses there migrated (see border area ). As a result, many residents migrated from these areas. The language barriers also increased, as hardly anyone in the western countries learned the language of the immediate but inaccessible neighboring country. On the eastern side, exclusion zones were often kilometers wide and confiscated by the military after the residents had been resettled, often involuntarily (e.g. vermin action ).
Border security and fatalities
The regulations for the right of retention of people in the exclusion zone have become more and more restrictive over time and the border fortifications have been expanded more and more efficiently. Typical features of the Iron Curtain in the sense of a fully developed border regime after the construction of the Berlin Wall were "barbed wire, shooting orders [...], dog running systems, watchtowers [...], self-firing systems, minefields [...] and kilometers-wide [...] restricted areas on the eastern side . ”The entire border“ secured ”in this way was completely sealed off. The main aim of this was to prevent people from communist-ruled states from fleeing to European countries ruled by politicians who were not loyal to Moscow. Despite the danger to life and limb, numerous people tried to flee to the West. Those who failed in the attempt were z. B. in the GDR sentenced to long prison terms for " illegal border crossing ". In 2013, a source of 1,684 dead as victims of the GDR border regime went from the Iron Curtain. Valid figures on successful and failed escapes do not exist to this day.
In the years up to 1989, almost 800 people were killed on the border between Czechoslovakia and Austria , 129 of them trying to escape. The rest were soldiers who died from accidents in the mine belt or from suicide .
A piece of expanded metal fence as it was installed on the inner-German border
"Border breakthroughs" at the inner German border (secret document of the NVA 1979)
Freedom of travel
After 1961, trips for GDR citizens under 65 to so - called non - socialist countries were only possible on application, only on certain occasions and usually only if a return to the GDR was likely (e.g. children or spouses left behind, no "Western relatives "). From 1964 onwards, all pensioners were allowed to visit relatives in the West once a year; later, further travel facilities were made easier. Similar regulations existed in other Eastern Bloc countries. There were also more restrictive travel conditions, for example in Romania or the USSR.
The situation was different in Yugoslavia, a socialist but non-aligned state: for Western Europeans, entering and leaving was no more complicated than it was in Italy or France. Yugoslavia was also the only socialist country whose citizens could travel visa-free to Western Europe, North America and other parts of the world. The economy benefited from the foreign exchange of the millions of western tourists who came to the Mediterranean coast each year. Furthermore, guest workers from Yugoslavia came to Germany, Austria and Switzerland as early as the 1960s due to the recruitment agreement . Thanks to President Tito's (foreign) policy , the Yugoslavs enjoyed a western lifestyle and freedom of travel even then. Refugees from the GDR who had managed to get to Yugoslavia were immediately given a FRG passport at the embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Belgrade, with the knowledge and tolerance of the Yugoslav government, which granted them the same freedom of movement as other German citizens. Returns to Hungary or Romania were based on ignorance of the relevant secret agreements with subordinate police stations, which were soon shut down. Despite the diplomatic entanglements that were to be feared with Yugoslavia, especially with the GDR, GDR refugees were also allowed to leave Yugoslavia unmolested via the alleged “Iron Curtain” on the border with Austria or Italy.
Attempts to overcome the systemic contradiction
After the cooling of the relationship between the western and eastern world powers until the beginning of the Cold War , there were a. efforts by Christian circles to overcome the Iron Curtain. At the first assembly of the World Council of Churches in Amsterdam in 1948, the Czech theologian Josef Hromádka said:
"No curtain, be it made of gold, silver or iron, should separate us from one another: all national and class prejudices must be erased [...]"
In Austria, the Iron Curtain was due to the treaty stipulated Austria's neutrality in cultural, if not softened at the political level towards its northern and eastern neighbors something. Austrians were able to enter Hungary much earlier than other Western Europeans without a visa . Conversely, however, no Hungarians were allowed to travel to Austria.
Opening of the iron curtain
In Europe, the border installations along the Iron Curtain were first dismantled by Hungary on May 2, 1989. The symbolic opening of a border fence on June 27, 1989 by Foreign Ministers Alois Mock and Gyula Horn near Sopron is then considered the first "official" opening of the Iron Curtain, even if a piece of the desolate border fence that had already been dismantled was rebuilt for this purpose. Despite the dismantling of the technically completely outdated fence, the Hungarians wanted to prevent the formation of a green border through increased guarding of the border or to solve the technical problem of securing their western border in a different way. After the border installations were dismantled, the stripes of heavily armed Hungarian border guards were tightened and orders to fire were still in effect. As a result of the dismantling of the old Hungarian border fortifications, the borders were neither opened, nor were the previous strict controls removed and the isolation by the Iron Curtain was still fully intact over its entire length.
The opening of a border gate between Austria and Hungary at the Pan-European Picnic on August 19, 1989 then set off a chain reaction, at the end of which there was no longer a GDR and the Eastern Bloc collapsed. The first mass exodus was 661 East Germans across the border from Hungary to Austria. The idea of opening the border as part of a celebration came from Otto Habsburg and was brought to Miklós Németh , the then Hungarian Prime Minister, who promoted the idea. The Pan-European Picnic itself then developed from a meeting between Ferenc Mészáros from the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) and the President of the Pan-European Union Otto von Habsburg in June 1989. The local organization in Sopron took over the Hungarian Democratic Forum, the other contacts were ongoing about Otto Habsburg and the Hungarian Minister of State Imre Pozsgay . Extensive advertising for the planned picnic was made among the GDR vacationers in Hungary through posters and leaflets. The Pan-European Movement distributed thousands of leaflets inviting people to a picnic near the border near Sopron. Many of the GDR citizens understood the message and came here. The local Sopron organizers knew nothing about possible GDR refugees, but were thinking of a party with Austrian and Hungarian participation. During the picnic under the direction of Walburga Habsburg and the "symbolic" opening of the border that was carried out there, the refugees walked west in three big waves through the iron curtain, at this point a barbed wire entanglement. It was the largest movement of refugees from East Germany since the Berlin Wall was built in 1961.
The picnic patrons who were not present at the event, Otto Habsburg and the Hungarian Minister of State Imre Pozsgay, saw the planned event as an opportunity to test Gorbachev's reaction to the opening of the border at the Iron Curtain. In particular, it was checked whether Moscow would order the Soviet troops stationed in Hungary to intervene. Because in the spring of 1989 there were still military operations against demonstrations in the Soviet Union in Tbilisi and the Baltic States, and in the summer of 1989 it was unclear whether the Soviet Union or other Eastern Bloc states would intervene militarily if an inopportune anti-communist and anti-Soviet development came about. On June 4, 1989, the GDR leadership publicly welcomed the violent suppression of student protests on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, which was to be understood as a threat that such a thing would also be conceivable in the GDR. According to a report by the then GDR ambassador in Budapest, Gerd Vehres, dated August 11, 1989, the ambassadors of the Eastern bloc states considered different reactions to the planned pan-European breakfast to be appropriate; Vehres pointed out the particularly problematic consequences of the complete opening of the border planned at the picnic.
After the Paneuropean picnic, Erich Honecker dictated to the Daily Mirror on August 19, 1989: “Habsburg distributed leaflets far into Poland , on which East German vacationers were invited to a picnic. When they came to the picnic, they were given presents, food and German marks , and then they were persuaded to come to the West. ”Although the Hungarian operational group of the GDR Ministry for State Security had information about the pan-European picnic, they reacted the officers did not and the Stasi had no choice but to organize the return transport of the abandoned vehicles. According to its files, the Hungarian State Security Service had also known since July 10, 1989 that an event was planned at the border on the basis of a suggestion by Otto von Habsburg; On July 31, 1989, the Hungarian "Defense Against Internal Reaction" informed their superiors about its preparations.
After the mass media had spread this opening of the border, 240 people crossed the Austro-Hungarian border three days after the Pan-European Picnic; Hungarian border troops only partially tried to prevent border crossings by force of arms. While more and more East Germans, informed by the media spread of the flight at the Paneuropean picnic, now successfully escaped on their own, there were attempts on August 23 and 24, 1989 to follow up on August 19 with another picnic. Habsburg and Pozsgay were not involved in these retro events and the Hungarian defense prevented them from crossing the border with warning shots and sent the GDR citizens back. But with the mass exodus at the Pan-European Picnic, the hesitant behavior of the SED leadership and the non-intervention of the Soviet Union, the dams broke. Now tens of thousands of East Germans, informed by the media, went to Hungary, which was no longer ready to keep its borders completely sealed or to oblige its border troops to use armed force. The leadership of the GDR in East Berlin did not dare to lock the borders of their own country completely.
The increasing pressure from GDR citizens willing to flee led to the fact that the Hungarian authorities did not carry out any controls on the western border with Austria on the night of September 10th to 11th, 1989, resulting in a mass flight of GDR citizens who were in camps near the border persisted, allowed to Austria. Increasingly, refugees tried to get to the West via West German embassies in Budapest, Prague and Warsaw. By the time the Berlin Wall fell, around 50,000 people left the GDR for the Federal Republic of Germany.
The opening of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 and the inner-German border in the days that followed was an important milestone in the fall of the Iron Curtain; the former is also a symbol of the end of the Cold War . The Czechoslovakia strengthened its border fortifications still starting in December of the same year. The rule of the socialist rulers in the Eastern Bloc eroded by these interlinked events since the summer of 1989, so that by December 1989 the systems of government in the GDR, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Romania changed.
In complete misunderstanding of the linguistic image , the opening has since then been very often referred to with the term fall of the iron curtain - probably due to a mental mixture of "fall of the wall" , which in the original actually describes the opposite process of closing to separate the stage and auditorium .
Status of the Iron Curtain in the Present
Today many of the former border strip areas are protected biotopes. Despite efforts to use parts of the strip of land for agricultural, commercial, traffic or residential purposes, the European Green Belt project tries to create a biotope network that is as coherent as possible along the 8500 km long former borders. On the strip of land along the former German-German border, an almost 1,400 km long green belt was created as part of the Green Belt Germany . The memory of the division of Europe and its overcoming is to be kept alive by a long -distance cycle route operated by EuroVelo called " Iron Curtain Trail ", which was officially opened in 2014. In 2019 the Iron Curtain Trail was certified as a cultural trail by the Council of Europe .
Monuments to the victims of the Iron Curtain, relics of the border fortifications and other memorial sites remind us of the violent division of Europe.
- Memorial for the victims on the Iron Curtain (Cheb) , memorial for the victims on the Czechoslovak-German border
- Gateway to Freedom, memorial for the victims on the Czechoslovak-Austrian border
- Memorial to the escape victims in Devín , Bratislava
- Memorial to the victims of the Iron Curtain in the House of Terror , Budapest
- The Iron Curtain , Paris 1962
- Ewald Ehtreiber: Iron Curtain. In: Oswald Panagl , Peter Gerlich (Hrsg.): Dictionary of political language in Austria. öbv, Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-20-905952-9 .
- Dieter Felbick: Keywords of the post-war period 1945–1949. De Gruyter, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-11-017643-2 , pp. 236–241 preview, with further references on p. 239 .
- Stefan Karner , Michal Stehlík (Eds.): Austria, Czech Republic, divided - separated - united, contribution volume and catalog of the Lower Austrian State Exhibition 2009. Association for the Promotion of Research on Consequences after Conflicts and Wars, Graz / Vienna 2009, ISBN 978-3- 901661-28-0 .
- Christian Koller : The "Iron Curtain": On the genesis of a central political metaphor in the Cold War era . In: Zeitschrift für Geschichtswwissenschaft 54/4 (2006). Pp. 366-384.
- Manfred Sapper , Volker Weichsel: Freedom in view. 1989 and the departure in Europe. Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag BWV, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-8305-1604-0 .
- Andreas Schmidt-Schweizer: The opening of the Hungarian western border for the GDR citizens in the summer of 1989. Prehistory, background and conclusions. In: Südosteuropa-Mitteilungen. Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft, Munich 37.1997, 1, , pp. 33-53.
- Dietmar Schultke : Nobody gets through - The history of the inner-German border and the Berlin Wall from 1945 to 1990. Structure, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-7466-8041-5 .
- Literature on the Iron Curtain in the catalog of the German National Library
- Christoph Drösser : Safe metaphor. In: The time . June 21, 2001 (on the origin of the term).
- Teaching materials about the Iron Curtain on the border between the Federal Republic of Germany (Bavaria) and Czechoslovakia ( German / Czech )
- Pope John Paul II and the “miracle of change”. - Interview with the historian Gerd Stricker ( G2W ) about the influence of John Paul II on the opening of the Iron Curtain, September 18, 2009.
- Markéta Kachlíková: The iron curtain began to be built 60 years ago from the perspective of the Czech Republic Radio Praha , July 12, 2011
- Vernon Lee: Bach's Christmas Music in England and in Germany. In: Jus Suffragii. Vol. 9, 1915, No. 4, p. 218 ( free access on Patrick Wright's website, May 27, 2008).
- In the original: "Un rideau de fer est tombé entre ma famille et moi". Marie José of Belgium : Albert et Élisabeth de Belgique, mes parents. Plon, Paris 1971, p. 297. For an early use of the term in a political sense, see also Bartlett's Familiar Quotations , 14th Edition. 1968, p. 924, 2nd column, footnote 1.
- Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg: Memorandum of the Reich Chancellor on the submarine war of February 29, 1916. In: ders .: Reflections on World Wars. Part 2: During the war. Hobbing, Berlin 1921, pp. 260-273, here p. 266.
- Twirling the tassels of the Iron Curtain. In: The Daily Telegraph , October 25, 2007 (review of Patrick Wright: Iron Curtain: From Stage to Cold War. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2007; further review ).
- Herbert von Bose: USA in action. In: Hans Henning Grote (Ed.): Caution, enemy is listening! Berlin 1930, p. 153.
- Rainer Blasius : Political catchphrase. It was not Churchill who coined the term “Iron Curtain”. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , February 19, 2015.
- Joseph Goebbels: The year 2000. In: Das Reich from February 25, 1945, pp. 1–2. Quoted from Jörg K. Hoensch : "Return to Europe" - East Central Europe on the threshold of the 21st century. In: Heiner Timmermann , Hans Dieter Metz (ed.): Europe - goal and task. Festschrift for Arno Krause on his 70th birthday. (Documents and writings of the European Academy Otzenhausen, vol. 90), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-428-10174-X , pp. 135–151, here p. 142, fn. 7 . See also Wolfgang Mieder : Biographical sketch on the tradition of the expression "Iron Curtain" / "Iron Curtain". In: mother tongue. Journal for the maintenance and research of the German language (1981), pp. 1–14; Harald Lange: Iron Curtain. In: Kurt Pätzold , Manfred Weißbäcker (ed.): Keywords and battle calls. From two centuries of German history. Vol. 2, Militzke, Leipzig 2002, ISBN 3-86189-270-7 , pp. 59-63.
- On the person of Rörig, Hans. In: Archive.NRW.de
- Konrad Adenauer: Letters about Germany 1945–1955. Selected and introduced by Hans Peter Mensing . Goldmann, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-442-75560-3 , p. 18.
- In the original: “We were behind the 'iron curtain' at last!” Ethel Snowden: Through Bolshevik Russia. London et al. 1920, p. 32 . She used the phrase only once in this book.
- The Sinews of Peace. In: NATO.int (English).
- David Reynolds : From World War to Cold War. Churchill, Roosevelt, and the International History of the 1940s. Oxford University Press, Oxford et al. 2006, ISBN 0-19-928411-3 , pp. 257-260, quotation p. 260 : "the Fulton speech [has] been understood as the clarion call to Cold War".
- Claus Hecking: Hiking between Styria and Slovenia - first Germkipferl, then Gibanica strudel . Spiegel Online, September 4, 2017
- Universalmuseum Joanneum Graz: 100 Years Border III: 1946–2018. Living with the limit . 2019
- Special case of Albania - where the Iron Curtain last fell . dw.com ( Deutsche Welle ). November 25, 2009
- War damage, reparations and dismantling. In: Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Retrieved January 23, 2020 (German).
- Cf. u. a. Eric Frey: Marshall Plan: The Birth of the West. In: Der Standard , May 27, 2017.
- Lemma "Iron Curtain" . in: Political Lexicon for Young People. Vienna. (Online edition of Jungbrunnen-Verlag)
- Cf. Sven Felix Kellerhoff: Significantly more victims on the death strip. In: Die Welt , November 8, 2013.
- Almost 800 dead on Austria's border with the CSSR. In: ORF.at , November 12, 2013.
- Routine handling of GDR refugees. Interview with Hansjörg Eiff, 1988–1992 ambassador of the FRG in Belgrade . mdr.de, June 17, 2019
- Heinz Kloppenburg: From Amsterdam to Prague. In: Evangelical Time Voices. , Volume 45/46, Hamburg 1964, p. 8 f.
- Summer of departure The "Iron Curtain" falls , mdr.de, photo A cut that changed the world.
- See Miklós Németh in an interview in the ORF program "Report" on June 25, 2019.
- Cf. Miklós Németh in an interview with Peter Bognar, Border opening 1989: "There was no protest from Moscow" , in: Die Presse of August 18, 2014.
- See Otmar Lahodynsky "Iron Curtain: Picnic at the Border" in profile from June 13, 2019.
- Cf. Andreas Rödder: Germany united fatherland - The history of reunification (2009), p. 72.
- See, inter alia, Dieter Szorger, Pia Bayer (Red.), Evelyn Fertl (Red.): The Burgenland and the fall of the Iron Curtain. Accompanying volume for the exhibition . Scientific papers from Burgenland, Volume 132, ISBN 978-3-85405-175-6 ( PDF; 3.9 MB ); Bettina Hartmann: 25 Years of the Pan-European Picnic: Once to Hungary - and never back , in: Stuttgarter Nachrichten of August 19, 2014. . Office of the Burgenland Provincial Government - Department 7 - State Museum, Eisenstadt 2009,
- Manfred Görtemaker : History of the Federal Republic of Germany. From the foundation to the present . CH Beck, Munich 1999, p. 725.
- See Miklós Németh in an interview in the ORF program "Report" on June 25, 2019.
- Cf. Hilde Szabo: The Berlin Wall began to crumble in Burgenland , in: Wiener Zeitung of August 16, 1999; Otmar Lahodynsky: Pan-European picnic: The dress rehearsal for the fall of the Berlin Wall , in: Profile from August 9, 2014.
- See Otmar Lahodynsky "Iron Curtain: Picnic at the Border" in profile from June 13, 2019.
- See Hans Rauscher "I thought that could be the beginning of something" in Der Standard from August 16, 2009.
- Cf. Bettina Hartmann "Once Hungary - and never back" in Stuttgarter Nachrichten of August 19, 2014.
- See Otmar Lahodynsky: Pan-European Picnic: The Dress Rehearsal for the Fall of the Wall , in: Profile from August 9, 2014; Rainer Stepan "When Austria was still an" understanding "of Eastern Europe" in Die Presse on June 18, 2017.
- See Thomas Roser: GDR mass flight: A picnic turns the world off its hinges , in: Die Presse from August 16, 2018.
- Cf. “August 19, 1989 was a test by Gorbachev ”, in: FAZ from August 19, 2009.
- Andreas Rödder: Germany united fatherland - the history of reunification . 2009, p. 58.
- Andreas Rödder: Germany united fatherland - the history of reunification . 2009, p. 52.
- Andreas Rödder: Germany united fatherland - the history of reunification . 2009, p. 27.
- György Gyarmati, Krisztina Slachta (ed.): The prelude for the opening of the border , Budapest 2014, p. 169 ff.
- Picnic in Freedom - The Pan-European Picnic in Sopron and the Stasi. In: BStU , accessed on April 3, 2017.
- György Gyarmati, Krisztina Slachta (ed.): The prelude for the opening of the border , Budapest 2014, p. 89 ff.
- Andreas Rödder, Germany united fatherland - The history of reunification (2009), p. 73 ff.
- See György Gyarmati, Krisztina Slachta (ed.): The prelude for the opening of the border , Budapest 2014, p. 92.
- See Michael Frank: Pan-European Picnic - With the Picnic Basket into Freedom , in: SZ of May 17, 2010.
- Stefan Locke: Naked fear and great hope. September 30, 2014.
- Andreas Oplatka: When the border opened in September 1989. ( Memento of 16 September 2014 Internet Archive ) In: MFA.gov.hu .