iron curtain


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iron curtain

1. 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. Usually capitalized. 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 periodicals archive ?
The staff believes that the registrant should quantify the current year misstatement in this example using both the iron curtain approach (i.e., $100) and the rollover approach (i.e., $20).
Yet, five years after the 1984 consecration, the Berlin wall comes tumbling down; the iron curtain behind which a Soviet atheist empire had exercised a truly gruesome, totalitarian reign of terror for 70 years collapses for no apparent reason, and with it the police state and regime itself disappears.
She said in a statement: ``A new Iron Curtain threatens to fall across Ukraine.
President George Bush crossed Europe's old Iron Curtain divide yesterday and offered his vision of a new, more unified continent where nations, including Russia, co-operate to 'build the house of freedom.'
His funeral, which was also attended by senior Soviet Ukrainian authorities, was the last public appearance of Greek Catholics, since a few days later the "Iron Curtain" fell heavily on them.
to appear behind the Iron Curtain. Among the works to be seen in China will be American choreographer Robert Joffrey's ballet "Pas de Deeses"....
Polish Foreign Chief Bronislaw Geremek said: "We celebrate the end of the bipolar world symbolised by the Iron Curtain. It's a great day for Poland and for the world.''
The iron curtain might have split Germany, but many East Germans continued to be staunch supporters of West German teams.
1953 - Welsh poet Dylan Thomas died aged 391989 - The East German government lifted the Iron Curtain to allow free travel through the Berlin Wall2004 - Football legend and TV and radio personality Emlyn Hughes died from a brain tumour, aged 57
It previously fulfilled a similar function for Catholics living behind the "iron curtain" during the Cold War.
Mr Ralph Lee, of Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, has covered more than half a million miles with a caravan in tow, entering the Arctic Circle and going behind the Iron Curtain.
The real teeth in that danger rotted with the melting of the iron Curtain. Today nuclear Armageddon is far less a threat to earth's end than is the voracious gobbling by overabundant populations.
Coventry and Stalingrad, now named Volgograd, were the first two cities to be twinned across the iron curtain when the scheme to build international relations began 65 years ago.
1956 - The Bolshoi Ballet appeared at Covent Garden for the first time1959 The British post code system to allow automatic mechanical sorting of mail was introduced at Norwich1965 - Manfred Mann became the first Western band t o perform behind the Iron Curtain
The final vestiges of the Iron Curtain are being swept away as Europe beg ins to reunite.