Central and Eastern Europe, 1944-1993: Detour from the by Ivan Berend

By Ivan Berend

Ivan Berend makes use of an unlimited variety of resources, in addition to his personal own adventure, to investigate the fortunes of the postwar socialist regimes in jap Europe. His comparative method stretches past the confines of financial historical past to supply a piece of political economic climate, encompassing the cultural and private forces that experience stimulated the advance of the "Eastern Bloc" nations over the last fifty years. The booklet is extraordinary through its specific blend of time, quarter and subject, and is a tremendous contribution to the commercial background of the 20th century.

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Dimitrov, played a leading role in a genuine coalition with all the left­wing parties, including the communists.  The coalition of former ruling and/or opposition parties was democratic and more radical than any prewar government in the region. Democratization was linked with fundamental social reforms. The common platform of postwar Central and Eastern European coalition governments was strict anti­fascism, from legislation to purges and punishment of nazi murderers and collaborators.  Parliamentary and electoral reforms were introduced and new constitutions were adopted with established legal principles; human rights were secured by new legislation.

Wallace, the former one­term Vice­President and now Secretary of Commerce in the Truman cabinet, who supported Stimson's suggestion, tried to convince Truman to change his policy toward the Soviet Union in a confidential letter on July 23, 1946.  The Russians will redouble their efforts to manufacture bombs, and they may also decide to expand their 'security zone' in a serious way" (New York Times, 1946).  247).  238).  317).  If de Gaulle could have this vision in 1941, would not Stalin have developed the very same suspicion after having been informed in Potsdam of the existence of the American bomb and having experienced the change in American attitude?

In October 1945 the parliament passed a law of nationalization: all banks, mines, the bulk of the iron, steel, and chemical industries, and all firms that employed more than 400 employees were expropriated.  Huge state sectors were built up in France, Italy, and Austria. War­devastated Central and Eastern Europe, suffering from severe shortages of food, energy, raw materials, and transportation capacities, and in some cases obliged to pay war reparations (both Hungary and Romania paid $300 million, and Bulgaria $65 million), could not survive without state rationing, distribution, and control.

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