The evolution of political contacts between exile activists in Sweden and the occupied homeland sheds light on the largely underresearched phenomenon of anticommunist cooperation between capitalist and communist societies and challenges the narrative of the impermeability of the “Iron Curtain” between the Soviet Union and the West.
Södertörn University held a conference on the legacies of 1989, “Recasting the Peaceful Revolution”. The predominating
perspective during the entire conference: the fall of communism was the result of popular pressure and protest from below, not of great-power politics. Much was to be celebrated the automn of 2009.
During the Cold War each side produced propaganda which highlighted the differences between the two systems and peoples, “the others”.
There were, however, also conceptions of “the other” derived from sporadic but real meetings, meetings which awoke curiosity and a willingness to establish closer relations.
The Aleksanteri Institute’s ninth annual conference, “Cold War: Interactions Reconsidered”, held in Helsinki fall 2009, examined these more low-key contacts and varying interpersonal relations and attitudes.
+ Katarina Wikars Jan Jörnmark. Atomtorg, porrharar och Hitlerslussar: 160 genom Baltikum. [Atomic Square, Porn Bunnies, and Hitler Floodgates] Lund: Historiska Media 2009. 192 pages.
+ Egle Rindzeviciute. Constructing Soviet Cultural Policy: Cybernetics and Governance in Lithuania after World War II. Linköping 2008 (Linköping Studies in Arts and Science 437. Theme Q, Culture Studies, Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture) 277 pages.