The Cold War Event is a unique, free event, aimed particularly (but not only) at those under the age of 30, who never experienced the Cold War in the second half of the twentieth century. It will start with a look at a divided Berlin. For a little over 28 years, Berlin was divided by a Wall, which became the symbol of the division of Europe between two systems: one which demonstrated the democratic freedoms which NATO was formed to defend; the other, repressive dictatorship, which the countries of Eastern and Central Europe were only too ready to throw off when the opportunity arose in 1989.
Former member states of the eastern camp were eager to join NATO, not only to share the values which the Alliance represents, but also because of concerns over the intentions of their neighbour to the east, Russia. In the decade after the Berlin Wall came down, Western countries and organisations such as NATO made great efforts to bring Russia into the modern family of nations. But since Vladimir Putin came to power in the year 2000, Russia has increasingly rejected the West’s values, and is now actively waging a battle against them.
This event brings together specialists from the UK, Europe, Russia, NATO, the British Army and the Foreign Office to describe what life was like in the shadow of the Wall; the efforts made to build a new Europe; and the threat being posed now to European values and security.