Mikhail Gorbachev was the leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. As General Secretary, he introduced wide-ranging reforms (glasnost and perestroika) which inadvertantly caused the collapse of communism in the USSR and Eastern Europe. Gorbachev resigned when the USSR was officially dissolved in late 1991.
"I like Mr. Gorbachev, we can do business together." - Margaret Thatcher
The most populous country in central Europe, Germany was divided into two separate states from 1949 until 1990 when the GDR (East Germany) was absorbed into the FRG (West Germany). Germany is an industrial giant and has the largest economy in Europe.
"Germany is at the heart of Europe."
The German Democratic Republic (GDR), or simply East Germany as it was commonly known, was a communist state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in the eastern regions of Germany. It was formed following World War II in the Soviet occupation zone.
Although the richest country in the former Eastern bloc, many East Germans tried to escape to West Germany, which enjoyed far greater freedoms and economic conditions. The GDR was known for its effective intelligence service, the Stasi. The Stasi monitored every aspect of life in the GDR with one in fifty East Germans being an informer.
Following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of all border restrictions, the GDR was officially abolished in 1990.
"Of course we shouldn't forget the dark side of the GDR."
A semi-scientific philosophy which claims that all life exists as a result of highly improbable circumstances and haphazard mutations a.k.a. "hopeful monsters." Darwinists have a tendency to proclaim that Darwinian evolution can account for everything (frog to a prince) while also appealing to ignorance in the face of massive gaps in their philosophy.
Darwinism is closely related to naturalism.
"The dogmatic apostles of Darwinism are a militant bunch."