Eastern Europe Communism's Old Men

Gorbachev tries to introduce change to the aging party bosses

Smiling and affable, Mikhail Gorbachev arrived in East Germany last week. Emerging from his Aeroflot IL-62 jet, the Soviet leader, followed by his wife Raisa, flashed his friendliest grin as he greeted East German Party Chief Erich Honecker with a hug and kisses on both cheeks. Gorbachev had come to East Berlin for the East German Communist Party Congress.

The message that Gorbachev brought with him, though, was not really one of smiles and kisses. His visit was aimed at quietly strengthening Moscow's hold on its Warsaw Pact allies. From Poland to Hungary, Eastern Europe is being summoned to join a...

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