Tears in the Iron Curtain by L7kjV3


									Tears in the Iron Curtain

   Poland
   Hungary 1956
   Czechoslovakia 1968
   Poland 1981
   Fall of the Berlin Wall
   Collapse of the USSR
Life in the Communist bloc
1945 – 1989
   For 40 years, Europe was divided by an
    "iron curtain" which lay between the
    communist and non-communist states.
    The two zones were known as the
    Eastern and Western zones. The division
    had begun in 1945, when Soviet troops
    had marched into many of the German-
    occupied countries and dominated the
    area. In 1955, the East was united in an
    agreement called the Warsaw Pact.
East Germany

   In 1949, the Soviet occupied zone of
    Germany was named the German
    Democratic Republic (GDR). Although
    officially independent, Soviet troops were
    stationed there and the government
    pursued Soviet policies. After the war,
    food shortages and poverty led to rioting
    against the regime. Many people escaped
    to the West in search of a better standard
    of living. To try to stop this flow of
    refugees, the Berlin Wall was built by the
    government of the GDR.
Uprisings in Soviet Satellites:
   Poland (1956): Polish citizens led
    demonstrations and strikes against
    Russian domination. Polish leader and
    demonstrator, Wladyslaw Golmulka,
    announced that Poland would seek its
    "own road to socialism." Khrushchev
    accepted this new regime and continued
    economic and military cooperation as long
    as Poland remained in the Warsaw Pact.
Hungary (1956):
   Seeing Poland's success, Hungarian students
    and workers held a revolution in Budapest to try
    to take freedom from the Soviet Union a step
    further. They put Imre Nagy in as the head of their
    government and announced a new, neutral
    Hungary that was no longer a member of the
    Warsaw Pact.
   Khrushchev sent in troops to crush the
    revolution. The Hungarians were expecting aid
    from the US, but it never came because the US
    was busy fighting for the Suez Canal. The
    Hungarians were defeated, with thousands being
    killed or deported to Siberia. The Soviets replaced
    Nagy's government with a puppet Hungarian
    regime under Janos Kadar.
20,000 Killed in uprising...
Berlin Wall (1961):

   In August 1961, East Germans, with support from
    the Soviet Union, began building the Berlin Wall,
    separating East and West Germany. This was Ana
    result of so many East Germans going to the west
    in search of a better life. Because of this,

   communists were suffering from embarrassment
    and economic devastation.The US protested the
    wall, but it stayed up until 1989 when the
    communist regime feast Germany collapsed.
   1969- 1974, SALT: Strategic Arms
    Limitation Talks.
   1975, Linkup of US and Soviet
    spacecraft in space: capped the era
    of détente.
   1975, Helsinki Accords - declared
    permanent all post war European
    boundaries and provisions on human
Cold War Over??????

                  Soviet-US
                   described as
                   having entered
                   an era of détente
                   and Cold War
                   was said to have
The Prague Spring

   After the 1948 elections in
    Czechoslovakia, the communists became
    the largest party in the government. The
    new Prime Minister, Klement Gottwald,
    soon banned all opposition. In 1968
    Czechoslovakia underwent a period of
    liberalization similar to the Hungarian
    Revolution after .a liberal called
    Alexander Dubcek became leader of the
    Czech Communist Party. This "Prague
    Spring" was also similarly dealt with by
    the USSR.
Defiance but no bloodshed...
Freedom soon to follow??
Bulgaria and Romania

   In the 1940s, fascist monarchies in
    Bulgaria and Romania were replaced by
    left-wing governments (those who
    oppose and try to overthrow the rulers),
    which soon became allied with USSR.
    Vulko Chervenkov became president of
    Bulgaria in 1950, introducing strict
    policies like those of Stalin’s. Romania
    was dominated by two leaders: Georghe
    Gehorghiu-Dej (1945-1965) and Nicolae
    Ceausescu (1965-1989).

   In August 1980 he (Walesa) led the
    Gdansk shipyard strike which gave rise to
    a wave of strikes over much of the country
    with Walesa seen as the leader. The
    primary demands were for workers' rights.
    The authorities were forced to capitulate
    and to negotiate with Walesa the Gdansk
    Agreement of August 31, 1980, which gave
    the workers the right to strike and to
    organise their own independent union.
   The country's brief
    enjoyment of relative
    freedom ended in
    December 1981, when
    General Jaruzelski, fearing
    Soviet armed intervention
    among other
    considerations, imposed
    martial law, "suspended"
    Solidarity, arrested many
    of its leaders, and interned
    Walesa in a country house
    in a remote spot.
General Jaruzelski
                    The Jaruzelski regime
                     became even more unpopular
                     as economic conditions
                     worsened, and it was finally
                     forced to negotiate with
                     Walesa and his Solidarity
                     colleagues. The result was
                     the holding of parliamentary
                     elections which, although
                     limited, led to the
                     establishment of a non-
                     communist government.
                     Under Mikhail Gorbachev the
                     Soviet Union was no longer
                     prepared to use military force
                     to keep communist parties in
                     satellite states in power.
Poland gains democracy...
                   In April 1990 at
                    Solidarity's second
                    national congress,
                    Walesa was elected
                    chairman with 77.5%
                    of the votes. In
                    December 1990 in a
                    general ballot he was
                    elected President of
                    the Republic of
                    Poland. He served
                    until defeated in the
                    election of November
The Fall of the Berlin Wall
Hungary’s connection….
                  On August 23, 1989
                   Hungary opened the iron
                   curtain to Austria.
                   Months before East
                   German tourists used their
                   chance to escape to
                   Austria from Hungary and
                   in September 1989 more
                   than 13 000 East German
                   escaped via Hungary
                   within three days. It was
                   the first mass exodus of
                   East Germans after the
                   erection of the Berlin Wall
                   in 1961.
& Brezchnev
   In the late 1960s, Leonid Brezhnev
    emerged as the most powerful
    politician in the USSR. Little
    changed under his leadership:
    those who spoke against the
    government were imprisoned and
    there was little economic
    growth. This period was known as
    the period of stagnation.
Decline of Communism
   Yuri Andropov, who became leader in
    1982, introduced a racial plan of reform
    to make the communist system more
    efficient. However his reforms ended
    when he became ill. After his death in
    1984, one of Brezhnev’s allies, Konstantin
    Chernenko, was chosen to be his
    successor. Yet, he died too, after only a
    year in office. Mikhail Gorbachev, who
    had worked with Andropov, replaced him
    and built up support within the party to
    carry out rapid reforms which changed
    the world.
Gorbachev's Rise to Power

   Thought of as a possible
    successor to Brezhnev and later
    Andropov. It was not until the
    death of Konstantin Chernenko
    in 1985 that Mikhail Gorbachev
    was selected to lead the Soviet
    Economic Stagnation: by the 1980’s, 0
     economic growth, development of the black
     market for consumer goods, could not produce
     enough grain, rationing of food, consumer
     goods were inferior, poor use of resources
    Military Spending: 15-25% of GNP, America
     spent 5-7%, too much on guns not enough on
    Political Stagnation and Corruption: Party
     officials lived a privileged life, they did not want
     reform when it was most needed.
    *Ideology: Command Economy, complete centralized
     planning, individual initiative is replaced by quotas
     and threats
         Gorbachev's Reforms
   Glasnost (Openness)
          This was intended to liberalize Soviet political life,
           making it somewhat democratized

   Perestroika (Restructuring)
          This was intended to revitalize the economy, but it
           did not improve.

   Weapon Disarmament
          INF Treaty: A treaty signed between President
           Reagan of the US and Gorbachev of the USSR. This
           treaty started the process of the destruction of
           nuclear weapons and disarmament of both countries.
           All short and intermediate-range nuclear weapons
           were destroyed.
      Government Policies and
   Started to democratize the
   Appeared in the media.
   Removed rigid controls by the
   Restored friendly relations with the
   Renounced the Brezhnev Doctrine
         Reasons for Collapse

   Socialism failed economically –
    stagnation, no-reform efforts for
   Popular opposition and Nationalism
    killed the USSR
   Competition with the West killed it –
    guns not butter, equality with the
    USA, no $$$$$$ - SDI
       5 reasons for the Soviet
   The opening up of the political system
   The Breakdown of the Command
   The ending of the cold war
   The abandonment of Communist regimes
    in Eastern Europe
   The Break-up of the Soviet Union
Chernobyl - 1896

                  Chernobyl Nuclear
                   Disaster 1986 –
                   Meltdown and
                   radioactive leaks
                   of the main reactor
                   was a total
                   embarrassment –
Gorby’s Errors….

   Anti-alcohol campaign lost gov’t
    revenue from sales of Vodka
   Heavy investment in machinery did
    not produce results.
   Glasnost = hoarding of consumer
    goods by people.
   Growing deficit

   Chose officials from loyalty, not like-
    mindedness = did not always agree
   Stayed in Afghanistan too long
   Local officials would not cooperate
   Net production actually went down
Towards Collapse:
    By introducing Perestroika and Glasnost,
     Gorby had raised expectation very high, but
     would soon loose control.
    No clear directional ideological goals
    Strikes resulted in wage increases,
     increasing expectations, no way to pay.
    Problems between the reformers and the
     hard-line Communists
    The public now was allowed to openly
     despise politicians, and listen to western
    1989 all the former Soviet Eastern Bloc
     countries broke away from the USSR.
More problems….
       Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all broke
        away, and Gorby would not send in the Red
       The more Gorby was willing to push reform,
        the less he accomplished.
       He could not reform the fundamentals of the
        former Soviet State (Lenin, Stalin).
       By 1990, all major aspects of the USSR were
        gone – one party, economic monopoly, etc.
   Gorby had become a social democrat
    – Marxism within a constitutional

    The USSR did not explode, it imploded
     (from within).
    People did not care about politics, they
     wanted food.
    Gorby was a hero internationally, and a
     villain at home.
    1991, production declined 18%, energy was
     down 10%, deficit grew.
   • Gorby could not secure large foreign loans.
The Coup D’ Etat
    Gorby went south for a holiday (the Crimea).
    Conspirators tried to take over the gov’t,
     poorly organized, did not arrest key figures,
     did not cut communication links.
    With Gorby away, Boris Yeltsin became the
    Yeltsin stood on a tank and rallied people
     against the conspirators, covered live by
     the media.
    The conspirators backed down.
    Gorby returns as a ‘lame duck’ leader,
     Yeltsin has saved the day.
    The army lost much of its influence.
   • Yeltsin then outlawed the Communist Party
     in the Russian republic.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin climbs on a tank in a
gesture of defiance, calling on the army, the police and all
members of the KGB to switch allegiance.
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev returns from the
Crimea where he had been held for three days to find a
country that has been changed irrevocably.
   Yeltsin was now the new hero of
    democracy. In the central Russian
    parliament, Yeltsin battled for leadership
    with Gorbachev and pushed for the break
    up of the Soviet Union, ending 70 years of
    communism. Yeltsin proved the stronger
    of the two and on midnight, 31 December
    1991, the USSR ceased to exist. The
    Russian Federal Republic became a
    separate state and the other republics
    became independent.
Vladimir Putin

          “We must
           create such a
           society and
           such forms of
           that would not

To top