Refugees The Great Escape

By allowing thousands of East Germans to flee to West Germany, Hungary infuriates its Warsaw Pact ally. But how will the new arrivals fare?

Historic moments are often tame and unspontaneous affairs, played out in marble halls amid the flutter of flags and the trumpeting of national anthems. Pen is put to treaty, palm grasps palm in a handshake of newfound understanding and -- pop! -- a burst of flashbulbs records the moment for posterity. But as the cold war winds down, history is offering up startling new images that bear none of the hallmarks of traditional statesmanship. Last week history was made amid the flutter of colorful balloons, the sputtering of rattletrap Trabants and Wartburgs and -- pop! -- the burst of champagne corks....

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