This work is intended as a guide for serious students of East European history since World War II. It deals with major events, personalities, and policies in the region on a country-by-country basis. Consequently, its scope is all encompassing. However, since the East European countries have retained their individual characteristics based on centuries of historical traditions, they are treated separately in this work. East Germany, the only country under Soviet rule in the tune period under discussion that had no such historical traditions, and that had disappeared from the map in 1990, is included because it was part of the Soviet Union's East European empire. Other countries situated in Eastern Europo--such as Austria and Greece--have been excluded, because they were outside the Soviet empire.
Thus, the reader can survey each country separately. Within the country sections the entries are listed in alphabetical order to make locating them easier. In addition, a map of each country is included. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to draw an accurate, up-to-date map of the former Yugoslavia Therefore, the map of that country lists the various republics, most of which have either become independent since 1991 or are being fought over at the present time ( January, 1994). The book also includes chronologies of the countries in question at the beginning of each section. This should help the reader place events of interest in their proper settings. In addition, a general chronology of the world events that influenced the course of East European history since 1945 is included after the introduction. In order to make readers' orientation easier, cross-references are listed when warranted. Finally, a detailed index at the end of the volume provides the locations of specific entries.
The discussion of events and personalities who shaped them had, by necessity, to end by June 1993. This is, however, an ongoing story; and the unfolding events and the appearance of new personalities shaping the course of history in Eastern Europe will require further research by interested students. The tortuous road of the countries of the region toward democracy, and their efforts to establish market-based economies since the conclusion of this work, are being reported by various news organizations. These reports are, however, not yet history. They are current events that, at best, will receive treatment by historians at a later time.
This book is the only one of its kind at the present time. Various encyclopedias certainly do treat East European events, policies, and personalities, but they do not