The opening up of the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe in 1989 was accelerated by the decision of the Hungarian government to remove part of its security fence on the Austrian border. Thousands of East Germans travelling via Hungary crossed into the West. In Hungary itself the old-line communist regime also succumbed. At the congress on 18 October 1989 the Hungarian communist party declared it was no longer communist and continued as the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP). At the same time the Parliament adopted legislation providing for free parliamentary elections and a direct presidential election. The last breath of communism was enclosed in this can. . . .