The East European Setting
J. F. BROWN
THE TWO most important factors in the East European situation are the conditions of the countries themselves--their differences and complexities--and Soviet policies toward and relations with them. Obviously these factors can only be considered here in outline, and those aspects that bear on actual or potential Western policy are given more emphasis than those that do not. This bias might cause some imbalance, but what the discussion loses in completeness it may gain in relevance.
With the critical exception of Germany's territorial amputation and partition into two states, the political map of Eastern Europe today is similar to that devised by the Paris peacemakers at the end of World War I. Although its territory has been drastically reduced, Poland and the other East European countries--Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Albania--have retained their statehood and most of their territory. What changes have occurred in Eastern Europe have generally benefited the Soviet Union. In addition to the very large territories taken from Poland after 1945, the USSR acquired Ruthenia from Czechoslovakia and Bessarabia and northern Bukovina from Romania. Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia were recaptured during the war.
Hungary and Bulgaria emerged the two most dissatisfied states, as