Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Excitement Builds!

Hey everyone!

It sounds like everyone’s just as excited as me to fly off to Europe! Just wanted to share a little tad about myself. My name is Ethan Sellers and I’m a senior at CC this year. I thought this trip would be a great way to cap my undergraduate career, but as it turns out, you’ll see my face around campus once again this fall! I’m a political science major with a minor in legal studies and I’m planning to go to law school in the future, maybe international law. I’m currently taking Central European Politics with Dr. Kessel in conjunction with our trip. We've been studying the political transition from WWII through the Cold War to the collapse of Central European Communism and the integration with Western Europe.

Studying politics in the region has peaked my interest in some areas that were significant to the 1989 revolutions. The closer historical ties a country had the West, the faster they loosened the grip of the Communist Party. The revolutions started in Poland and snowballed to stir protest in Hungary, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia and so on. The protests overtook their respective communist governments more rapidly as inspiration from the other movements flowed from nation to nation.


So far for the Central and Eastern Europe course, a main focus of mine has been that of Czechoslovakia. The revolution here is known as the “Velvet Revolution” for its peaceful methods. The protesters sufficiently dethroned the communist party there in a matter of days starting in mid-November of 1989. Massive protests were held in the famous Wenceslas Square in the capital, Prague, and modern festivals and gatherings take place there today.


On January 16th, 1969, a 20 year-old Jan Palach set himself on fire enraged at the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in Wenceslas Square. Almost twenty-one years later the site blew up again and forced the administration there to resign. 

The site is huge and serves the icon of the city! It’s filled with shops, hotels, restaurants, and memorials and will make a great stop in our tour.

I’m excited to see you all there!
1 Response
  1. Robert Says:

    Ethan, good background material. I do find all the resistance struggles post WWII very interesting. It all helps explain some of the tension in the plays of the folks we're looking at in my class--Mrozek, Brecht and Havel. Now if I were just done grading...
    bob


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