In the Eastern European Visegrád countries, authoritarian tendencies threaten democracy.
But 30 years after the fall of the wall, new civil society resistance is growing.
That can also be a hope for the West.
Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we look back at the 1989 Revolution of Freedom as a closed, glorious chapter in European history.
But it is not only in the states liberated from communism that the outcome of this epochal upheaval has not yet been finally decided.
The emergence of authoritarian currents, the forces of "illiberal democracy", fundamentally questions the straightforward development expected at that time towards European unification, the rule of law and pluralism.
The Western European public, however, has become accustomed to projecting this challenge primarily onto the Eastern and Central European countries, in which governments with a tendency towards authoritarian rule have established themselves and the liberal forces committed to the liberal, pro-European legacy of 1989 threaten to be sidelined.
First published on 5 November 2019 in Welt
Reproduced with thanks
Richard Herzinger, Correspondent for Politics and Society