an iron curtain

iron curtain

1. (usually capitalized) The geographical border and military, political, and ideological barrier established and enforced by the Soviet Union that separated the countries of the Soviet bloc from the rest of Europe from 1945 to 1990. My great-grandfather used to live in East Germany before the Iron Curtain fell, back when the Soviet Union controlled every aspect of day-to-day life.
2. By extension, any barrier that excludes or prevents the free exchange of ideas, information, or communication from or between certain groups. Even though our company is a subsidiary, there seems to exist an iron curtain between our staff and the management of the larger corporation. For all our righteous calls for free speech and freedom of the press, it's important to remember that America had an iron curtain of its own during the Cold War, when even the slightest association with the Communist party was enough to get you blacklisted for life.
See also: curtain, iron

an iron curtain

an impenetrable barrier, especially the Iron Curtain , the physical and other barriers preventing the passage of people and information between the Soviet bloc and the West during the cold war.
In the late 18th century, an iron curtain was literally a fire curtain in a theatre, but the figurative sense was in use from the early 19th century, well before Winston Churchill observed in a speech in March 1946 that ‘an iron curtain has descended across the Continent [of Europe]’.
See also: curtain, iron
References in classic literature ?
We were now in a bare and roomy lobby behind the shop, but separated therefrom by an iron curtain, the very sight of which filled me with despair.
The speech focused on the words: "From Stettin on the Baltic to Trieste on the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the Continent.
He said in a speech: "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.
Warning of the threat of future isolation, he will say: "Through the Committee of the Regions, having worked alongside those who pulled down an iron curtain to become part of Europe and seen how through the European Union they have begun to transform their societies, I reject the backwardlooking arguments put forward by those who would by leaving Europe sever the ties and relationships that have taken generations to develop and create a new political, social and cultural iron curtain in Europe - only this time the iron curtain would be around Britain and would be of our own making.
Identikit waste bins an Iron Curtain reminder WHEN we were introducing the first western built jets behind the Iron Curtain (Romania's State Airline 'Tarom') in the late 1960s, most days Nicolae Ceaucescu's ministers seem to take great pleasure in sticking us in the back of their Zil limousines for a tour of row after row after row of Bucharest's identical (inside and outside) high-rise concrete blocks of flats, completely ignoring the fact there were no design features, trees or gardens, as the whole complex was surrounded by an untidy higgledy-piggledy array of hundreds of government issued dustbins.
Today, I feel that an iron curtain has descended across Egypt.
Then the instant Brown spied the camera, an iron curtain came down and he switched to his trademark austerity stare.
We look forward to Coun Tilsley's attempts to control eating habits by throwing an iron curtain around Birmingham.
FEW WORDS, even coming from that master of oratory Winston Churchill, have had more immediate and lasting impact than those he uttered in the small mid-western town of Fulton, Missouri, on March 5th, 1946: 'From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the (European) continent'.
Both sides presented an iron curtain at the back despite some narrow shaves but in the spot-kick sequence it was the Anglesey club who shaded it in a tense 5-4 climax.
At a time when the Ten Commandments have been thrown down from our courtroom walls and the supposed "wall of separation" between church and state has been hardened into an iron curtain, this is curious behavior indeed.
I interweave part of the classical technique with my own vocabulary to stimulate discussion," Greco says, "to open up an iron curtain, to explore another situation.
In its selections and juxtapositions, and as a record of the design and construction of these significant European cities, the exhibition gives form to ideas by using inspired loans from international collections and revealing archival material previously obscured by wars and concealed by an Iron Curtain.
The Soviet Union established its domination over eastern Europe; on March 5, Chruchill spoke of an iron curtain descending across Europe, separating the Soviet-dominated east from the democratic west.
Using Sentinel Hardware Keys, SecureVue is able to put an iron curtain between valuable video and prying eyes," said Martin Alan Renkis, founder & CEO of Smartvue.