The Baltic Way catapulted the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian cause into the world headlines. On August 23rd, 1989, up to two million people joined hands in a north-south human chain to mark the 50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact – the deal between Hitler and Stalin which had carved up Eastern and Central Europe, and consigned the Baltic states to decades of ruinous and brutal foreign occupation. It united three countries that under Soviet occupation shared a common fate, but little else. It remains an inspiration to this day – pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong plan their own linked-hands demonstration on the anniversary, this Friday. But it had another effect too.