Czechoslovakia: Anvil of the Cold War

By John O. Crane; Sylvia E. Crane | Go to book overview

18 Democratic Socialization (1945-46)

The Košice program of the first postwar coalition government contained a third objective beyond the expulsion of the hostile minorities and Allied Army withdrawals. It called for nationalization of heavy industries, insurance, and the banks; in short, of the largescale enterprises that had been expropriated without compensation by the Reich or by the puppet governments following the 1939 Nazi occupation. Government ownership and operation seemed the most expedient means of restoring the country from its wartime disruptions and expropriations. The countryside lay near ruin as a consequence of the wholesale deportations of loyal Czechs to Germany, either for slave labor or merely to free the land for displaced Germans, who were moved in. "State administration" was the euphemism employed to render nationalization more palatable, especially to the British and American interests involved. Compensation invariably accompanied the program to ease its acceptance, at a fair value to be negotiated.

At the turn of the year 1946, conditions still bordered on hunger. Food supplies were observed by British Ambassador Philip Nichols to be "a matter of serious concern" even if "the rations of the Czech people... though fairly well distributed and adequate to maintain life [were] far from lavish. They [were] particularly short in fats." Meat was also in short supply, and "due partly to Russian requisitioning, vegetables were scarce." There was "plenty of flour and potatoes, and an exportable surplus of sugar," but "the food situation during the winter present[ed] serious problems."1

"A majority of the population remains always near the edge of hunger," continued Nichols. In the winter cold, "any slight cut of

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Czechoslovakia: Anvil of the Cold War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction xvii
  • Notes xxvi
  • 1- The Independence Movement Commences 1
  • Notes 10
  • 2- Founding of the Legions: Entrapment in Anti- Bolshevik Intervention 11
  • Notes 26
  • 3- The Legions Anabasis To the Sea 30
  • Notes 46
  • 4- Masaryk in America 50
  • Notes 62
  • 5- Drawing the Frontiers 63
  • Notes 70
  • 6- Internal Stabilization 72
  • Notes 84
  • 7- The Beneš Succession: Storm Warnings (1935-38) 85
  • Notes 101
  • 8- The Sudeten Fires Flare (1938) 103
  • Notes 121
  • 9- Summer Turmoil (1938) 124
  • Notes 130
  • 10- The Runciman Mission (summer 1938) 131
  • Notes 148
  • 11- Munich (september 1938) 151
  • Notes 169
  • 12- Aftermath of Munich (1938-41) 172
  • Notes 185
  • 13- War on Two Fronts (1941) 187
  • Notes 202
  • 14- Wartime Conferences And Treaties 205
  • Notes 215
  • 15- The Slovak Uprising: The Government's Return Home 218
  • Notes 232
  • 16- The Government Reconstituted On Home Ground (1945) 235
  • Notes 245
  • 17- Nationalities Transfers And Allied Army Withdrawals (1945) 247
  • Notes 255
  • 18- Democratic Socialization (1945-46) 257
  • Notes 271
  • 19- Cold War Beginnings (1946) 273
  • Notes 287
  • 20- Storm Signals (1947) 290
  • Notes 306
  • 21- The Communist Coup (1947-48) 308
  • Notes 318
  • 22- The Death of Jan Masaryk (1948) 320
  • Notes 332
  • Abbreviations 333
  • Bibliography 335
  • Index 343
  • About the Authors 353
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