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HIST 304
Charlie Sharpe

End of Cold War in Europe II 4/17/2013 8:56:00 PM East Europe in the late 1980s Year of change in East Europe 1989 How did the general secretary of the communist party of the soviet union – Gorbachev – shape and influence the fall of communism in eastern Europe? Bulgarian communists came to power in 1944  Todor Zhivko (1954-1989)  Gave steadfast support for soviet leadership  Participated in crackdown of Prague  Compared to Greece, not doing well.  1988 expelled nearly 300 000 muslims Romania  Most repressive of iron curtain countries  Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu (1965-1989) o Persued policy of liberalization until 1972  ‘megalomania’  everything all at once  intervened personally in the economy but his ideas and policies were shit. Decided to export almost all agricultural and industrial production to pay off all debt at once  no historical tradition of opposition to its leaders  Romanians hated Ceausescus Czechoslovakia  Gustav Husák (1968-1989)  Stripped all suspected dissdents of jobs and houses  Marxist-leninist technocrats lead Czechoslovakia  Faced only one significant problem after 1968 – increased hostility between Czech and Slovak populations o Moscow granted Slovaks increased autonomy in the country  GDR – economic performance outdid all other eastern European countries o Had to borrow from W. Germany and Soviet Union GDR (E. Germany)  Erich Honecker (1971-1989)  Dissidents fled early, not many left by time of berlin wall  Individuals most capable of leading dissidents did not like W. German model  Size and scope of E. German secret police made it practically impossible to oppose the regime in an organized way  Helsinki acts – Honecker considered human rights a grave threat to E. German police  180 000 informers – teenagers and children Gorbachev allowed free and open elections in soviet union  Pressured E. Euro leaders to take up reform Hungary  Janos Kadar (1956-1988) o Not with iron fist o Goulash communism o Worked to improve human rights o 1980s – Hungarians allowed to travel to W. Europe o allowed for economic liberalism (reforms in 1979)  Karoly Grosz (1988-89) Albania  Enver hoxha (1945-85)  Ramiz alia o 1991 Yugoslavia  Josef tito  Permitted small-scale enterprises  1990s civil war Poland  Communist party unable to run country  Wojciech jaruselski instituted military government Soviet union  Mikhail Gorbachev (1985-1991)  Sinatra doctrine  No well defined ideas and policies at first  1987-88 results apparent  awakening of a civil society  publishing scene flourishing  dissident movements debating human rights, immigration and democracy 1989 hungary in 1989  first steps in change  pleas for change in Budapest unique o came from inside Hungarian communist party  reformers faced opposition from janos kadar o road blocks  grosz began democratizing hungarian communist party  Hungarian political parties o Hungarian democratic forum (September 1987) o Alliance of free democrats (november 1988) o Alliance of young democrats (Hungarian civic union) (march 1988)  Gorby actively supported hungary  Dec 7 1988 gorby speech to UNGA –
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