Cover Osteuropa 2-3/2009

In Osteuropa 2-3/2009

Don Quixote’s Victory The Civil Rights Activists and the
The Civil Rights Activists and the Revolutions of 1989

Wolfgang Eichwede

Deutsche Fassung


The civil rights activists did not make the revolutions of 1989. But with their key concepts and definitions of law, non-violence, and dialogue as well as the institutionalisation of the latter at the Round Table, they gave the events of 1989 a certain profile. The birth of the human rights movement was 5 December 1965. From that point on, civil rights activists in the Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the German Democratic Republic tried to exert influence on society and those in power. The power of the powerless proved stronger than the coercive force of the repressive regimes.

(Osteuropa 2-3/2009, pp. 61–84)