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

By Joseph Rothschild; Nancy M. Wingfield | Go to book overview
Save to active project

6

A Precarious Stalemate

1

In the years following their countries' linked crises of 1956, the political trajectories of Poland's Władysłw Gomułka and Hungary's Janos Kádár crossed each other. Whereas Kádár, who was originally loathed by his countrymen for having betrayed Imre Nagy and endorsed the Soviet crushing of the Hungarian Revolution, eventually earned their appreciation for initiating economic improvements and easing political constraints, Gomułka squandered the reservoirs of popularity and legitimation that had both sustained and been deepened by his return to power in the teeth of Soviet disapproval in October 1956.

A broad national consensus had enveloped Gomułka on the morrow of his resumption of power. Though ideologically anti-Communist and sentimentally anti-Russian, the Polish people understood that any challenge to their country's alignment with the Soviet Union, though it might be emotionally gratifying, was rationally precluded by the sheer facts of geography and power, the need for continued Soviet underwriting of Poland's postwar western and northern borders, and their country's economic dependence on the Soviet Union and the other countries of the Soviet bloc. Hence they were ready to mute their visceral skepticism about Gomułka's foreign policy and to acknowledge its correspondence to Polish raison d"état. They were even prepared to accept his insistence on the Communist party's continued monopolization of power, since this was, in the given circumstances of 1956, an inevitable corollary of Poland's membership in the Soviet bloc. But beyond these necessary accommodations to an ineluctable reality, the

-191-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Return to Diversity: A Political History of East Central Europe since World War II
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 338

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?