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Period 5: The Sovietization of Eastern Europe

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Nick Taylor

on 8 May 2015

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Transcript of Period 5: The Sovietization of Eastern Europe

The Sovietization of Eastern Europe, 1944-1953
Poland: Miranda Cobb, Shelby Young, Sara Solomon
How was Bulgaria "sovietized"?

During WWII, while sided with the axis powers, Bulgaria attempted to remain in an almost neutral position as not to upset other countries involved and to safeguard the lands it took.

However when pressured from the russians to expel the last remaining germans or start war, they became involved.

When Bulgaria agreed to push out the last of the germans, russia unexpectedly declared war on them.

With attacks from the united states and pressuring from the soviets, like many countries they ended the war with no political structure and a damaged economy.

From this the ideas and thoughts of communism became more appealing to the country and communism took root.

From there after a coup and new elections, the soviets began to take more control of the changing Bulgaria.

After confrontation with the united states and the fatherland front, Petkov was arrested and executed ending the last resistance against soviet control.

Jake and Greg
Establishment of Communism
Josip Broz Tito led a successful Resistance movement against the Germans.
Resistance group was the Partisans, a group of Communists.
Due to German actions, such as killing Yugoslavs in retaliation to Tito's actions, Tito gained even more supporters.
Tito won back the country, and with support from Stalin, the U.S. and Britain, he established a communist government.
Sovietization of Yugoslavia
Adopted a Soviet-style Constitution
Adopted Soviet-style economic system
"Free" Elections
Only candidates were chosen by the Communist party
Non-Communist Voters were harassed
Adopted Soviet style of industrialization
Had a five-year plan
Charged political and religious opponents with dissident charges to eliminate them
Stalin in 1948 wanted Bulgaria to adhere to Soviet foreign and domestic policy.
He wanted all the communist parties of those countries become extensions of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union by revolting all opposition figures.
The Bulgarian government reduced religious freedom by forcing Orthodox clergy into a Union of Bulgarian Priests in 1948, they took control of Muslim religious institutions, and suspended Bulgarian branches of Roman Catholic churches in 1949.
He wanted Bulgaria to be created into a one man dictatorship.
At Stalin's command, Chervenkov (Bulgarian communist politician) continued getting rid of party members from 1950 until 1953.
The Chervenkov period from 1950 to 1956 had very harsh repression from the party line, harsh suppression of culture and the arts along socialist realism.
In 1950 a new agricultural dive began and it continued until the process was complete in 1958.

Brandon, Poojan, Taylor
Lastly, explain how it was impacted by Stalinization.
Yugoslav leaders realized that Stalinism was not communism and did not work as well.
Economic stagnation, Soviet-bloc trade embargo, dwindling popularity and a dysfunctional soviet economic system.

So they reverted back to the writings of Karl Marx and returned to the core philosophy.
Their goal was to re-work their economic system to a new mechanism called Socialist Self-Management.

In November 1952 Yugoslavia renamed itself the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, LYC, to start to break its ties with Stalinism.
The Congress declared that it would separate itself from the state and influence democratic decision through organizations and propaganda.

Yugoslavia also gained more ties with the West and the party tightened democratic centralism over several years.
Tito did receive a lot of criticism for his actions especially from Stalin.
Stalin basically cut him off completely from the rest of the Eastern European communist states.
The Yugoslav and Soviet Parties restored relations in 1956 after Stalin died, and the Belgrade Declaration was made.
The Belgrade declaration made the Soviet Union acknowledge the right of individual socialist states to follow their own path.

So basically Stalinism made Yugoslavia reform its politics and economics, and after all of it gave more independence to socialist states
Yugoslavia also sided with Egypt and India
Stalin had heavy influence in the KSC
After Stalin met with Gottwald (KSC leader) in Moscow, the KSC significantly radicalized its tactics to be in line with Stalin’s ideologies.
Stalin’s Marxism-Leninism/socialist ideologies were implemented into Czech society
Heavily Influenced culture
Eliminated all churches
Put education system under state control
Elimination of private ownership
Stalin increased his control in the satellite nations, including Czechoslovakia, because of Tito’s success in Yugoslavia.
His “paranoia” led him to accuse his opponents of treason, and carry out large-scale arrests.
Communists were even arrested if they did not strictly follow Stalin’s ideologies.

In February of 1948, Benes resigned due to fear of Soviet intervention.

The country became a “people’s democracy”
Education was State Controlled
Economic policies strived to abolish all private ownership
Czechoslovakia became a Soviet satellite

The National Assembly became almost entirely KSC (Communist Party of Czechoslovakia)
In 1953, an Inner Cabinet was established and consisted of KSC Leaders. It was designed to spread KSC ideals to all aspects of the government.

Czechoslovakia shifted toward focus on Heavy Industry, following the Soviet example.

There were wide-spread arrests of Communists of "international" heritage
Jews, Veterans of the Spanish Civil War, connections the West, and Slovak "bourgeoisie nationalists" were considered "international"

Communism was established
in this country through
Russia’s Red Army invading and destroying
the majority of Romania’s Military, leaving the country extremely weak and vulnerable. The politics and government in the country was corrupted from the invasion of Nazi Germany.
The country was first sovietized by the USSR
taking advantage of the fact that a country was in turmoil and was able to manipulate local politics in order to get communists, or at least socialists to get elected into government (normally with connections to the Soviets).
After the communist government was elected, the USSR would begin to influence it’s loyal members at all levels of society to begin a revolution or split the dominating party.
The USSR either directly put in place Soviet-loyal communists or rig the ballots in order to get Soviet-loyal communists elected.
This was the Sovietization of Romania, it was not strictly Stalinization.
October 9, 1944 - Prime Minister Winston Churchill and USSR leader Joseph Stalin, without President Roosevelt's knowledge, in Moscow to discuss the control of central European Countries. The list that Churchill presented Stalin noted that the USSR would have 90% over the control of Romania. Stalin approved.
On April 13th 1948, Romania adopted a Stalinist Constitution.

Harsh punishments
economic crimes were punishable by death.
In the first five year plan, promised workers an 80% improvement on the standard of living by 1955.
Agricultural Collectivization
was forced by the Government in 1948 to
generate capital.
In 1948, the Yugoslav-Soviet rift broke into the open when Yugoslavia was expelled by the cominform.
The red army occupied Bucharest on August 31,1944. On September 12th Romania and the Soviet Union signed an armistice in Moscow’s terms.
Romania agreed to pay for the anti-jewish laws and ban fascist groups.
The armistice obligated Romania to pay the Soviet Union 300 million in reparations.

Communism was originally banned during German occupation.
Communist fled
Germans sent people to either concentration camps or to work for the new government.
Gestapo would kill the protesters

The Czech resistance was made
4 groups
1 was KSC (communism)
Edvard Benes- Leader of Czech independence movement

KSC was exiled to Moscow
Czech’s political and economic organization relied on negotiations between KSC and Benes.

Wanted to make a bridge between communism and democracy

Czech people were disappointed in the west at Munich
Most of “the people” supported communism due to the west at Munich and soviet influence.

Their fate after their reconstruction past WW2 was in the hands of the Soviet Union
Soviets forced communism into their government despite what the Polish population wanted.
Created communist factions (Polish Committee of National Liberation; later known as the Lublin Committee) that had a lot of influence over the restoration of Poland.

The Communist government was installed in 1945
Poland incorporated communism into the newly formed Soviet sphere of influence in Eastern Europe after being destroyed by World War II .
Yalta Conference
US presidents and Britain’s prime minister met with Stalin to determine post-war political conditions
Ex: disposition of Polish territory occupied by the Red Army
Potsdam Conference
July - August
Allies awarded Poland over 100,000 square kilometers of German territory from west to the Oder and Neisse rivers
3 million poles from the Polish territory and resettled in former German lands.


Communist-Soviet Revolution in Romania
February, 1945 - When King Micheal (successor of King Carol) was faced with a nation-wide revolution, and General Radescu was on the verge of losing the country, the Soviets forcibly put in General Groza, a blatant Soviet supporter, at the head of the country. The Soviets surrounded the royal palace by an armored division and soldiers took over the government communication centers.

King Micheal, with additional Western pressure to stabilize the country, finally yielded.

This revolution was propagated by the USSR in part to prevent the Western powers from creating a peace treaty and trade agreement with then King Micheal or Carol and General Radescu.

The country then began the slow road to Stalinzation under the forced Sovietization.
Shannon, Dom, Maham
Establishment of Communism

Communism was first introduced through Mussolini's invasion of Albania in 1939.
Primarily showing Albania’s acceptance of the Italian mentality of communism.
It was finally established through Enver Hoxha and Mehmet Shehu, rising to power through their campaign against anti-Communist oppression, after a period of economic depression and social reform in Albania.
They took this time, when Albania was weakened, to threaten its citizens into accepting Communism.

How was it Sovietized?
After Italy and Albania were made into one, there was resistance from the nationalists eventually leading to Guerilla Warfare. The post-war status of Kosovo was debated between but the Communists backed out, a month later a civil war started.
After this civil war, the economy and social aspects were starting to break down due to several Communist leaders trying to implement policies.
1946, after many angry debates, the assembly adopted a constitution mirrored to Yugoslavia & the Soviet Union
By 1946, Stalin’s economy was established by mirroring it after the state had control of goods and companies and by 1947 they had adopted Soviet cost-accounting system

How was it impacted by Stalinization?
Stalin had no direct influence in Albania, therefore is was not impacted by Stalinization.
In Albania the majority of their influence came from the Yugoslav government and leadership.
It seemed strange to the Albanians that they were adopting this communist form of government without the presence of the USSR.

During WWII, Poland was occupied by Germany and Soviets. The Soviets moved Poles into labor camps, and Stalin’s secret police killed Polish POWs.
Stalin demanded that Poland be friendly towards the Soviets in postwar conditions.
Soviets established an alternative Polish government for Communists after the Katy Massacre.
After WWII, Poland was part of the Soviet sphere of influence, even though they preferred not to be.
At Yalta, Stalin pledged to allow free elections in Poland for a post-war government.
In the 1940’s/ 1950’s Poland took on a more totalitarian government and Stalinist kind of governmental organization. This regarded Poland having strict regimentation, police force, the economy being controlled.
The country was set up in a Soviet style, they were influenced by the Soviet Empire, this influence was started with the first Six Year Plan in 1950.
The state took control of industry and commercial companies during Stalinist influenced times. Individual shop owners were treated with “bureaucratic requirements.”

Establishment of Communism
The Soviets were hailed as the liberators of Bulgaria from the Germans and they were able to quickly establish their government through the use of a bloodless coup.

The Communists started as antiwar protesters in Bulgaria during WWII.
The government was falling apart and the largest group at the time was a communist group that held mass protests.
In 1941 the governmental structure in Bulgaria fell apart and the Communists at the time wanted to fill that spot with a communistic government.
They did however need help, they got this from the Red army in 1944. This means that the Soviets had an influence with the communists in the area before the government was even established.
East Germany: Chris D, Alea D, and Ben R

The SED, which was a merger of many strong political parties in Germany under Communist influence, was in control and had about 50% of the vote. The Soviets introduced economic reform and took control of the majority of industrial production. Stalin transformed the SED into a “Soviet-type” party and got rid of all non-communism advocacy.

Because of the Communists’ now dominating power status, they had no problem in the implementation of Soviet ideals into the People’s Chamber, Council of Ministers, and all reaches of the government. Their resolutions were implemented into social, cultural, and political aspects of the East German lifestyle, which fell victim to the overpowering of Soviet ideals. The New Course plan created a new economic plan, with less industry and more trade, even further ‘Sovietizing’ East Germany on an economic level.

Stalin introduced in authoritarian style-system which was common with the Soviets, which influenced the way in which communism was run in East Germany. The SED controlled the Council of Ministers and reduced some of the powers of the People’s Chamber. The SED along with the State Security Service used agents in order to watch the public life and eliminate all opposition to communism in East Germany. Active members of state within the SED were forced to carry out party resolutions in order to further their power. In a nutshell Stalin increased the authorization and over-powering system within East Germany.
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