What was the Iron Curtain? After World War II, Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, made a speech to urge England to develop a close relationship with the United States to deter the expansion policies of the Soviet Union. He also describes the division between the Western powers and the Soviet Union. Churchill was the first to use the term, Iron Curtain, or barrier to describe a political, military, and ideological wall built by the Soviet Union. The wall was built after World War II to isolate the Soviet people and their dependent eastern and central European allies inside their territory and to keep Western ideology out. The building of the Iron Curtain was the beginning of the Cold War which lasted from 1946 to when the wall came down in Eastern Germany in 1991. After WWII, the Soviet Union had annexed the following countries: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The Soviet annexed territories also included Eastern Poland, parts of eastern Finland, Northern Romania, Kaliningrad Oblast (the northern half of East Prussia) and parts of eastern Czechoslovakia. The purpose of the border from the Soviet perspective was to keep Czechoslovakia citizens from escaping to the West. The border was guarded by a single strand of barbed wire fence until 1968 when it was changed to a double wire mesh fence. There were a few towers and landmines laid out in certain places. The Velvet Revolution or Gentle Revolution took place in Czechoslovakia on November 1989. The Velvet Revolution was the non-violent transition of power from a one-party rule to a parliamentary republic. The barbed wire barrier was removed on December 5th, 1989.
This week we salute Bob Mogen. Bob served in the U.S. Army from 1959 to 1962. He went to basic training at Fort Carson, Colorado and Fort Riley, Kansas. Bob trained as a Radar technician at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. After receiving training, Bob was assigned to a Radar unit in Mannheim Germany, later transferring to Nuremberg, Germany. He worked on a mobile radar team positioned on the Czechoslovakian border (Iron Curtain). The mobile radar team was responsible for monitoring the border against Soviet incursion. His most memorable experience was his and Ingrid’s honeymoon trip to Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and France. He left service as a Sergeant. Bob is a native of Rosebud county. He and Ingrid have been married for 62 years and have 3 adult children.