Before the Breakdown
The old Cold War seemed to be over long since. True, there was still the ugliness of the Berlin Wall and a vast artificial frontier, manned by death-strip marksmen. And there was the notable altercation between a Kremlin spokesman who ventured the Glasnost notion that the Wall's days might be "numbered" and Erich Honecker who reassured both the Moscow and Bonn that the number in question was "a hundred years". Smaller spirits, of lesser character and insight, nowadays think that their chatter about detente, or Co-Existence, or Mutual Friendship, or Confidence-Building, or the "small steps" of Ostpolitik, contributed something to turning the trick of history. Today's paper has an account of the views of "a grand old man" of Stalin's secret services; a German veteran of the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War; an underground courier in Hitler's Reich.