The Other Europe: Eastern Europe to 1945

By E. Garrison Walters | Go to book overview

16
The Soviet Example

IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO GAIN any real understanding of Eastern Europe after World War II without first acquiring at the minimum a general knowledge of the history of the Soviet Union. This is so because the original intention of Stalin was to recast the states of Eastern Europe in the Soviet mold. All of the countries, including Yugoslavia, passed through a period of at least several years in which all aspects of society--culture, education, social relationships as well as political and economic affairs-- were forcibly changed to fit the pattern established by the giant power to the east. Even today, when the Soviet template has been largely abandoned in Eastern Europe, there is a logical tendency for western observers to characterize the different regimes by the degree and the direction of their variance from the Soviet model. Finally, it is essential to remember that the Soviet leaders are themselves deeply concerned about the nature and the extent of deviations in both the practical and the idealogical spheres, and that their reactions are still of crucial importance to Eastern Europe.

A really accurate description and analysis of Soviet history requires at least one volume (indeed there are many of that length and longer), so that this narrative will attempt to provide only an outline of the key principles.


Leninism

Perhaps the most important single fact to keep in mind about the Soviet experience is that of the early, fundamental changes to Marxist philosophy made by Lenin and his colleagues and successors. As is well known, Karl

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The Other Europe: Eastern Europe to 1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction - What Is Eastern Europe? xi
  • 1 - The Lands of Eastern Europe 1
  • 2 - History to 1800 16
  • 3 - History, 1800-1848 32
  • 4 - History, 1848-1914 47
  • 5 - Why is There an Eastern Europe? 110
  • 6 - The Great War 132
  • 7 - Interwar Eastern Europe an Overview 150
  • 8 - Interwar Poland 171
  • 9 - Interwar Czechoslovakia 189
  • 10 - Interwar Hungary 205
  • 11 - Interwar Romania 219
  • 12 - Interwar Yugoslavia 237
  • 13 - Interwar Bulgaria 251
  • 14 - Interwar Albania 261
  • 15 - Eastern Europe in World War II 270
  • 16 - The Soviet Example 308
  • 17 - The East European Communist Parties to 1945 325
  • Afterword Eastern Europe on the Eve of A New Vassalage 359
  • Appendix - Maps 365
  • Notes 393
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 407
  • Index 417
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