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Lecture 4

HIST 1F90 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Nikita Khrushchev, Goulash Communism, Berlin Wall

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Elizabeth Neswald

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Empires and Revolutions
Module 3
Lecture 4
From terror to socialism with a human face: Stalinism, The Hungarian Revolution
and The Prague Spring (1948-1968) part 2
Stalin’s death and khrushchev’s Thaw (1953-1961)
Stalin’s eventual successor was Nikita Khrushchev
He came from working class roots
After Stalin’s death in march workers went on strike
In East Germany a very large protest took place in 1953
Khrushchev came up with the thaw because the cold war was ending
Some attempts were made to make up with Yugoslavia but they stayed apart
but relations improved
In 1956 Khrushchev gave a secret speech to the 20th party congress which
denounced Stalinism, which was leaked
Workers took to the streets as a result of the speech
They demanded many changes including cheaper food
They are beaten up but they don’t give up
Gomulka came back into power in Poland and 7xed all there problems
He threatened the people with the Red Army if they didn’t stop protesting
There were many protests like that for the next few decades
Communism in Poland was less strict
Hungarian Revolution (1956)
Was another result from the speech
Students start to come up with programs on how communism and Hungary
should change
They wanted freedom of speech, the Red Army to leave, get rid of the old
Stalin ruler
The protests got violent (They toppled Stalin’s statue)
They were successful and the old ruler was removed. Was replaced by Imre
He pulled out the Red Army
The protesters wanted independence and not just reforms
Nagy wanted a neutral Hungary under the UN’s protection and not Russia’s
Russia became angry and Nagy was declared a dead man
3 thousand people were killed and 10 times that number were imprisoned
Nagy escaped to the embassy but he was taken and killed
The smarter and younger people in Hungary (around 120 000) escaped
After the crisis in Hungary people in other countries started leaving the
communist party
Janos Kader came into power (ruled for decades)
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