The Keys ep31 The Baltic Way
The Baltic Way demonstration on 23 August 1989 is the second most important event in the past one hundred years of our history after Latvia’s War of Independence. It had many more fighters, and we won without a single gunshot. Millions of hands joined over hundreds of kilometers. This was a freedom manifesto of three nations the like of which the world has never seen before or since.
The idea of a human chain first came about on 15 July, and the demonstration was held on 23 August. It was organized in just five weeks. The main challenge was distributing the people evenly and ensuring that the chain remains unbroken. Each person's span of arms was calculated to be 1.5 metres, which meant that at least 400 000 people were needed for the 600 km distance connecting Vilnius to Tallinn via Riga. Over 100 000 from each of the three countries! How to make it happen in such a short time and without any of the means of communication that we are so used to today? Despite all odds, the Baltic Way not only succeeded but became a triumph that nobody had anticipated even in their wildest dreams.