United Nations

Game of Zones: How Austria Unraveled the Iron Curtain

Austria 1.pngI’m thinking of a city, the glittering capital of a German-speaking people. It was the seat of monarchs and dictators before being bombed into submission during World War II. It was divided into four administrative districts by the victorious Allied powers following that war, and so came late to democracy. It was an island of independence and intrigue deep within territory under Soviet control. Adolf Hitler haunted its streets and harangued the crowds from its balconies. Perhaps you've heard of it? Berlin? No, I'm thinking of Vienna, Austria.

At the end of World War II all the pieces were in place for Vienna to suffer the fate of Berlin: a prestigious urban capital; strategic and economic importance; symbolic significance as an exclamation point marking the end of the Nazi program of German reunification. Yet Vienna and Austria were granted independence in 1955, while Berlin and East Germany labored under communism until 1990. Why such different outcomes?


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Game of Zones: How Austria Unraveled the Iron Curtain

Israel in the Balance: Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports on the Modern Jewish State

At the passing on 29 November 1947 of “United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 (II), Future Government of Palestine,” which sketched the outlines of the future State of Israel, the UN was itself in its infancy and seeking a permanent home. So it was that the Partition of Palestine can be traced to the Sperry Gyroscope Plant on Long Island at 1111 Marcus Avenue, in Lake Success, New York.




It seems fitting that Resolution 181’s three-axis balancing of the “Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem” has its roots in a former defense installation devoted to manufacturing instruments to serve exactly that purpose.




Israel in the Balance: Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports on the Modern Jewish State

The United Nations as Teacher

Suppose there were an information source from which you could learn practically everything about how the world’s 191 countries operate?  What makes these global citizens tick?  Why do they do what they do?

Why, for instance, did Saddam Hussein invade Kuwait in the first place?  And why did some military experts and historians compare that invasion to Hitler’s conquest of Czechoslovakia in 1938?  How did the 1994 civil war in Rwanda result in the massacre of half a million people?  What forces keep the Middle East in perpetual turmoil?

Fortunately for those among us who are students of world history and current events, such a source already exists.  It is United Nations Documents, a historical and current compendium that privileges users with an inside look at the often complicated and convoluted inner workings of the world’s nations.

Chief among the benefits of United Nations Documents are its comprehensiveness, historical value and currency:

The United Nations as Teacher

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