Return to Diversity: A Political History of East Central Europe since World War II

By Joseph Rothschild; Nancy M. Wingfield | Go to book overview
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4

The Dialectics of Stalinism
and Titoism

1

Within two or three years of the end of World War II, each Communist party in East Central Europe was well on the way toward capturing and/or consolidating political power in its country. Nevertheless, from Moscow's perspective, the overall picture was still one of excessive diversity. Not only did the pace of establishing Communist rule, and its comprehensiveness, differ from state to state, but several of the Communist-dominated regimes were at loggerheads as a result of having succumbed to “national domestic” perspectives. Thus the Polish and East German Communists were making discrepant statements about the permanence of the Oder-Neisse frontier, the Polish and Czechoslovak ones about their states' respective border claims in the Teschen (Těšín, Cieszyn) and Glatz (Kladsko, K€odzko) districts, the Czechoslovak and Hungarian ones about the treatment of the Magyar ethnic minority in Slovakia, the Hungarian and Romanian ones about the rectification of the frontier in Transylvania, and the Yugoslav and Bulgarian (as well as the Greek) ones about the just disposition of Macedonia. “Domesticism” had also characterized the diverse initial responses of the East Central European governments to the American Marshall Plan overture in June 1947. Most egregiously, Tito was pressing Yugoslav national claims to Trieste so belligerently and with such a cocksure assumption that the Soviet Union had no choice but to back him to the hilt—even to the brink of general war—against British and American support for Italy's counterclaims that Moscow showed concern.1Diversity, indiscipline, domesticism, and the craving of some

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