East Central Europe and the World: Developments in the Post-Stalin Era

By Karlis Kalnins; Oscar Halecki et al. | Go to book overview

2: BALTIC STATES

Karlis Kalnins

De-Stalinization, initiated by Khrushchev three years after the death of Stalin, came not from a change of heart but from sheer op- portunism. It was a shrewd tactical move. Stalinism had evolved into a thorny one-way road to bondage. Khrushchev denounced the builder of the road. He did not denounce the road itself. Condemning Stalin for some of his crimes and the cult of his personality, Khrushchev later commended Stalin for devotion to the cause of Marxism-Leninism.1 In a number of statements Khrushchev has insisted upon the inevitability of the triumph of communism over the free world and upon his determination to bring it about. In the present strategic phase, he has switched the emphasis from shooting war to the battlefields of political and economic warfare.2

This change naturally affects the three Soviet-annexed Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Having to toil for communist construction, they are used as instruments for Soviet policy. Maintenance of their oppressed condition negates the general opinion about liberalization of the Soviet regime in the USSR, of which they are a part.

____________________
1
See Nikita S. Khrushchev, Za Prochnyy Mir i Mirnoye Sosushchestvovaniye (For a Stable Peace and Peaceful Coexistence) ( Moscow, 1958), pp. 13, 21. Hereafter cited: Khrushchev, Za Prochnyy Mir. . .
2
"We are sure that the more progressive socialist system will win. The future belongs to our socialist system. Capitalism is on the downgrade, it is declining, although this does not mean that it is already prostrate and that it has turned up its toes. Much has still to be done to bring it to that state. But it is inevitable, just as inevitable as the death of a living body or plant after a definite period of development . . .

". . . We shall not foist our socialist system on other countries by force of arms. We are against interference in any country in the domestic affairs of other countries. We are attacking capitalism from the flanks, from economic positions, from the positions of the advantages of our system. This will make certain the triumph of the working class, the triumph of communism." Nikita S. Khrushchev, For Victory in Peaceful Competition with Capitalism ( New York, 1960), pp. 31113.

-21-

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East Central Europe and the World: Developments in the Post-Stalin Era
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Previous Volumes in The International Studies Series ii
  • Title Page iv
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • 1: Another Five Years 1
  • Part One Internal Developments And Foreign Relations 19
  • 2: Baltic States 21
  • 3: Poland 45
  • 4: East Germany 64
  • 5: Czechoslovakia 95
  • 7: Rumania 156
  • 8: Bulgaria 169
  • 11: China: A New Power in Europe 264
  • Part Two On the Periphery Of The Soviet Orbit 279
  • 13: Finland 314
  • 14: Austria, 1955-1961 338
  • Part Three The West And East Central Europe 355
  • 15: American and West European Policy Toward East Central Europe Since Stalin 357
  • Index 377
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