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History - March 27.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Jennifer Jenkins

1968 East: Reform Communism and the Prague Spring - Nikita Khruschev’s secret speech, Feb 25, 1956 o Sets up the Thaw o Even inside of the Soviet system, with its revolutionary ideas, Stalin went too far o Stalin used extreme methods and mass oppression. He showed his brutality and abuse of power o Trying to detach Soviet Communism from Stalinism - Of course, this secret speech leaked into the public - Khruschev made his opinion very well known - Flies to Belgrade, gets out of the plane, embraces Tito as a comrade - Hits other communist leaders like a bomb o They’d risen to their positions by being faithful to Stalin. They owed their position to the system that Khruschev was now breaking from o This meant their own power basis was not secure - Reactions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia - The Hungarian Revolution, sparked October 23, 1956 o Dissidence on a mass scale o Uprising against the Stalinist system o Soviet model to be broken with o Communism could stay, but a Hungarian Communism o A more national autonomy within the eastern bloc seemed to be rising - Khruschev’s break with Stalinisation seemed to imply that Moscow would now be open to difference paths to Socialism - Revolution sparked off with massive student demonstration in Budapest o After a decade of oppression, we will now demonstrate our emotions in a spontaneous way o Never before allowed under communism o Demand to bring Imre Nagy back into the government  Reform communist  Had opposed the show trial and execution of Rayk and purged as a result  Brought back in 1953  Removed again in 1955 after the government is led by Rakosi  Now demand to bring him back o He returns, change at the top o Demonstration from below changes the top o Nagy appointed Prime Minister. Now reformist communist at the top o P: Hungarian flags with the Communist coat of arms cut out o Oct 30, Imre Nagy declares a multiparty government o Calls to Moscow that the soviet troops in Hungary should be removed o Nov 1, declares Hungary officially neutral o Wants Hungary to succeed from the Warsaw Pact and appeal to the UN - Soviet-led invasion. Effectively crushed the Hungarian Revolution o A certain amount of thaw was possible, some space in the system, but not too much. Hungary’s demand to be neutral and succeed from the bloc was too much o Retribution was swift and brutal o November 4, 1956. 6000 tanks and armoured vehicles, 200 000 soldiers invade. o P: Young Hungarian girl occupied by resistance o Resistance will be to no avail o Approximately 200 000 Hungarians flee the country and go into exile - Czechoslovakia, 1968 o Eight months knows as the Prague Spring o Led by the stu
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