The Mandala



                Pan-European Picnic

                Wikidata reference: Q160056
                Commons Category: Pan-European Picnic
                Coordinates: 47.757099, 16.622336

                The Pan-European Picnic (German: Paneuropäisches Picknick; Hungarian: páneurópai piknik; Slovak: Paneurópsky piknik) was a peace demonstration held on the Austrian-Hungarian border near Sopron, Hungary on 19 August 1989. The opening of the border gate between Austria and Hungary at the Pan-European Picnic was an event in the chain reaction, at the end of which Germany reunified, the Iron Curtain fell apart, and the Eastern Bloc disintegrated. The communist governments and the Warsaw Pact subsequently dissolved, ending the Cold War. As a result, this dissolution also led to the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
                The idea of opening the border at a ceremony and testing the Soviet Union's response came from Ferenc Mészáros of the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) and Otto von Habsburg, then the President of the Paneuropean Union. The idea was brought up by them to Miklós Németh, then the Hungarian Prime Minister, who also promoted the idea.The Pan-European Picnic itself developed further from a meeting between Otto von Habsburg and Ferenc Mészáros in June 1989. The local organisation in Sopron took over the Hungarian Democratic Forum, and the other contacts were made via Habsburg and the Hungarian Minister of State Imre Pozsgay. The Austrian Paneuropean Union and the MDF took care of advertising the event with leaflets that were distributed in Hungary. The patrons of the picnic, Habsburg and Pozsgay, who were not present at the event, saw the planned event as an opportunity to test Mikhail Gorbachev's reaction to an opening of the border on the Iron Curtain.The official emblem of the picnic was a pigeon breaking through the barbed wire. At the picnic several hundred East German citizens overran the old wooden gate, reaching Austria unhindered by the border guards around Árpád Bella. It was the largest mass exodus since the Berlin Wall was built in 1961. The Hungarian borders were opened on 11 September, and the Berlin Wall fell on 9 November. The Warsaw Pact disintegrated in 1991.


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