My happy Cold War summers

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  • Published 20100302
  • ISBN: 9781921520860
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

SINCE EARLY CHILDHOOD, I have had a certain perception of the Iron Curtain and the Cold War. Not because I showed particular interest in politics and the military instead of soccer, cowboys and Indians, but for the simple fact of geography. My maternal grandparents lived in the plains on the border between Tito’s Yugoslavia, which steered away from Moscow’s rule in 1948, the year before I was born, and Hungary. The latter, during my boyhood and youth, was a loyal member of the Warsaw Pact and more or less an obedient follower of the Soviet Union. That loyalty, I would learn years later, was extorted by Soviets after their tanks crushed the Hungarian uprising in 1956.

My mother was from a village where life appeared in slow motion, except for the hard work in the fields. About eight hundred households stretched in a geometrical shape, occupying the northern tip of Yugoslavia. There, the railway would end abruptly, and my laidback summer holidays would start gently.

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