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Oct 22 The _Thaw_, 1956 and the Return to ‘Normalcy’ (Confrontation) .doc

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Vasilis Dimitriadis

The “Thaw”, 1956 and the Return to ‘Normalcy’ (Confrontation) October 22, 2013 PART ONE: 1956 Key Words Notes • We will find out today and see exactly what caused that failure. That thaw that was happening, what caused it to stop? • REVIEW: last class we left off with Geneva. We finished with conferences, which failed to reduce the tension or  Trouble in Paradise: February to make some sort of agreement. Nothing happened. 1955 However both parties went home in a very good mood. - Khrushchev gives a They thought some things were dealt with. speech to the xx party - The Americans had actually demonstrated that they Congress. were willing to compromise. Somehow the - He tells them about the Americans were thinking that modus vi// that evil deeds of Stalin. compromise was near. - Reveals that Lenin himself - However 1956 came to dispel the entire work of had said that Stalin would 1955. All the good gestures by one another came to not make a good an end. communist leader. • Things came to en primary because of two things: - This is referred to as Khrushchev’s ‘secret - Trouble in workers paradise; it is a euphemism that obviously relates to the communist bloc. speech’ a. Unexpectedly Khrushev was dealt with a harsh - Khrushchev was warned blow in the shape of two revolutions, which pretty ageist giving the speech much undermined his entire position at home. as it would have a great However, how did these revolutions come about? deal of political fallout, however Khrushchev did What caused them? b. In many ways it was Khrushchev himself. It was not listen. his political approach both to the domestic developments and to communism at home and internationally. c. REVIEW: Khrushchev rejected Stalin's ideas. i. He also pointed a finger at Stalin and the soviet foreign policy in the late 40s and early 50s as contributing to the existing tensions. ii. Basically came up with the idea of peaceful coexistence. If the communist party accept this idea of peaceful coexistence than surely that is the problem of communism? iii. Therefore he wanted the idea of peaceful existence, but he met with resistance at home. He had opponents at home. Molotov was there. iv. There was bitter opposition by hardliner Stalinist unwilling to acknowledge Khrushev as being in the grand position. v. Therefore there was tangible opposition at home. - To continue with peaceful coexistence and ensure his own position Khrushev needed to give another blow to these hardliner communists. Eventually convince his own entourage to deliver that blow in late February 1966. - The xx party congress goes through the previous achievements of the state and discuses in general terms future plans and usually communist hold a conference where foreign parties are invited to attend as observers. - Khrushev thought what better situation than to deliver a blow to the Stalinist and to his proponents. What he wanted to do was actually destroy Stalinism as a whole. He also wanted to expose the crimes that Stalin committed throughout his reign starting in the late 1920s, particularly in the mid 1930s and then going through the Second World War and 1947. By denouncing Stalin and revealing his cruel nature, his character and short comings or the first time revealing the existence of a toxic document issued by none other than Lenin himself-the founder of the Soviet communist party. a. Lenin thought Stalin was incapable of holding such a crucial position- as the party sectarian and actually pointing a finger in the early 1920s that Stalin was not only a vulgar individual, but also brutal. b. That report by Lenin was kept secret throughout Stalin’s time and now Khrushchev was revealing it. - Khrushchev pointed out the mistakes that Stalin had committed. Khrushchev publicized the signed letters ordering the execution of thousands of loyal communist members. Eliminating even the imagined opponents of Stalin. You did not have to do anything. It was god enough for you to look at him the wrong way and he would ask you why you’re eyes were so shifty? Knowing Stalin that was enough to give him a reason to suspect you and order an arrest for you. - The minute that happened the secret police would beat you into pulp and force a confession out of you that you DID want to do something. Most people would sign their confession by the thousands just to escape torture. - Khrushchev delivered that speech, which was Khrushchev ‘secret speech’ at that end of that speech the silence that rang around that room was incredible. 3000 delegates sat stunned. No one every thought that Stalin was capable of such things. Stalin was always considered a demi-god and now to reveal is cruel character as crazy. The mistakes Stalin had committed that resulted din million of deaths. It was a stunning revelation. - For 10 mins no one dared to speak or raised their hand. Khrushchev thought it was necessary to eliminate the total personality that was established by Stalin. It was also necessary to allow him to continue peaceful coexistence with the west and of  Khrushchev rallied against course to allow him uncontested control over the his opponents, the hard lined communist party- no opposition, especially from the Stalinist. Thousands of prisoners hardliners, who still though Khrushchev was making were released. a mistake by approaching the Americans and negotiation with them. - When Khrushchev asked at the need of his speech if anyone had a question a single man raised his hand at the back of the room and inquired why Khrushchev had not done anything if he had known about Stalin’s crimes and such. Khrushchev asked what the guys name was and no one answered. Khrushchev then proceeded to say that is exactly the spot he was in 1936-1938. He too was scared  the secret speech had two shitless. backlash: - It was a tremendous revelation and shocked the - Poland’s destalinzation party. It was supposed to be kept secret. Even then - Hungarian revolution the delegates were to return to their own countries they where not to reveal anything. However, within two weeks the entire report was out.  Poland’s destalinization: • More importantly Khrushchev rallied for against his - Poland had its own Stalin- opponents was hundred and thousands of prisoners Beirut were released. The worse aspect of the Stalinization - When Beirut died in 1956 was eliminated. By large the foreign policy was decided by one individual because it was under Stalin. It did Poland wasn’t sure who would replace him, a have serious consequences, and more importantly similar leader or a Khrushchev had been warned about them. He had been reformed. warned to not deliver a speech against Stalin because - After living conditions you can never know the consequences outside of Soviet worsened under would be. After soviet policy, history and communist parties had always thought of Stalin as a hero. You communism the polish people sought a reformer. don’t know what the consequences of this speech would - The chose Gomulka, who be in thus places. You do not know how the satellite had previously been sates would see soviet led communism if you actually thrown into prison for his exposed the crimes of the greatest leader. Nevertheless reformist ways. he was Khrushchev went ahead and by the summer consequences were already showing up. pulled out of prison and promoted to the head of • The first backlash happened in Poland. Poland’s the communist party. Destalinzation - Since this was done - Polish people and Russians never saw eye to eye and without the consultation were not friends with one another. Communism had of the Soviets Khrushchev been imposed there. The Polish people had fought came to visit the polish. against it, however it was still imposed. - The Polish decision to - If that was true that Stalin acted as a dictator so was promote Gomulka was a it Poland. Poland had its own Stalin and that was serious blow to the soviet Beirut. He acted the same way Stalin did in Russia. order. esp since the polish In 1956 Bruit died. had removed all soviet - The question for Poland became who would replace influence from within. him? Would it be a Stalinist? A hardliner or would it - Gomulka traveled to be a reformer-someone who wanted more rights for Poland and stationed the Polish. troops - In the summer of 1966 workers started asking for - Gomulka and Khrushchev better wages and better standard of living. After all, were able to hash things they argued, communism was for the better of the out. working class. How could it be that under capitalism - Gomulka said that the the polish had better standard of living than they Polish only wanted had under communism. freedom and a freer hand - Because of these riots in the summer of 1956 the to decide their own Polish communist party decided to chose a reformer domestic affairs. –Gomulka. - They would still remain in a. he was pulled out of jail. Hard lined Stalinist had the Warsaw pact and still seen him as a threat so they had jailed him in the act as a buffer zone to the early 1950s. Soviets. b. he was promoted to the head position of the - This compromise satisfied Polish communist party. Khrushchev and he went c. However, that was done without the consultation back to Moscow and sent of the Soviet Union/ Khrushchev/Soviet the troops stationed in Communist party. Poland back to their d. This is a serious challenge to the pecking order, barracks. who makes a decision like that? e. More importantly the Polish went a step further and removed all the Soviet advisors and the secret police from the military. It is important to keep in mind that these were not advisors rather supervisors. The Polish wanted intendances and wanted to remove soviet influence. These were dramatic developments. How could the Soviets influence without its own people being there. This was a serious challenge. f. Khrushchev travelled to Poland and confronted Gomulka. i. there was for a moment a possibility for an open war between the Polish and the Russian troops stationed there. ii. Khrushchev had ordered the mobilization of a division to come to Warsaw. There would have been a soviet and Poland war. iii. However, at the last minute the order was taken back and when Khrushchev and Gomulka met face to face all soviet concerns were addressed. iv. The satisfactory answer that Gomulka gave to Khrushchev was what eliminated the soviet polish war.  October 1956 Hungary v. Gomulka promised Khrushchev that Poland - living conditions in would remain part of the Warsaw pact and Hungary were worsening. that Poland would remain a member of the - Stalinist hardliners eastern communist bloc and still proved the implemented policies buffer zone for the Soviet Union and Poland similar to the ones Stalin would support the Soviet Union in all had implemented in international affairs. Russia. vi. All that the Polish were asking was - Force labor and decline of freedom/a freer hand to decide in domestic living were typical. affairs. - Seeing the example of the vii. That was an acceptable comprise for Polish people they also Khrushchev. After all in his secret speech he sought a few demands had offered greater freedom to every single from the Soviets: communist party. So all Gomulka wanted a. multi-party political was a manifestation of promise. system viii. Khrushchev allowed Gomulka to be the b. allow Hungary to pull secretary of his party and a freer hand in out from the Warsaw domestic affair. pact. g. The conditions in Russia were different than the c. Declare neutrality. conditions in Poland. Reorganization was all that - Hungarians wanted a was needed. The minute that was done al reformist as their PM – problems were solved in Poland- there were no Imre Nagy wars, no battles and no conflicts. st - November 1 Khrushchev h. The Russians moved out along with their troops pulled the forces out of and Gomulka had a free hand. Polish crisis was Budapest and consider resolved.. the demands of the - s Hungarians. However they • However it did demonstrate a number of problems for were too much. the soviet. That there was a great deal of unsatisfaction - Letting Hungary go would within the eastern bloc. More importantly if Poland had create a corridor through issues with their own Stalinist then most likely every Austria for the Western single other eastern bloc had the same. powers to invade Russia. • Sure enough, barely did the Polish crisis go away, a new crisis emerged in early October 1956 in Hungary for very much the same reason. The standard of living declined throughout the 1950s. Stalinist hardliners implemented the same brutal policies at home that Stalin did. 1000 were arrested on false charges and were thrown into jail. There was forced labor and the standard of livening of the workers declined. They were living in bad conditions then they were living in those when they were living under capitalist conditions. Given that, and having seen the polish succession the Hungarians rose up on the 23 of October with mass demonstration throughout the city in Budapest. - they demanded improvement in their domestic affairs. - Demanding a better political system. they went a step ahead of the Polish. They wanted a multi-party political system, which the Polish had never raised. So from the very beginning you can see very differences between the Polish and the Hungarian situation.  Egypt: - The Hungarian army fell apart and the working class - if you allow two powerful almost in mass supported the rebels. They too countries to take Egypt wanted to get rid of their Stalinists and wanted a then it would be a blow to reformist Prime Minister, which happened to be imre communism nagy. They too wanted a better deal from the - this would be proof that soviets. communism cannot - 1 of November Khrushchev agreed to pull the soviet defend its own state. forces out of Budapest, and considered their demands. The Hungarians wanted far more than the  meanwhile in Hungary there Polish. What really scuttled the possibility for a was an uprising. This paired compromise and what ensured that the soviet union with the situation in Egypt made would come back in force and crush the rebellion were two further demands that the Hungarians things very difficult for the soviets: issued: - Soviets go to war against a. to have a multi party political system. whereby the rebels in Hungary any other party, and anyone would be allowed to November 4th run for power. - Wipe out the rebels and b. To allow Hungary to pull out from the Warsaw pact, and declare neutrality. apprehend the PM and execute him. - These were unacceptable terms. These actually - This clearly illustrated pretty much compromised the existence of the that the soviets were not Warsaw pact as a whole, as a military alliance. capable of living Because Hungary being out of it could have created peacefully. a corridor through Austria, through Hungary the western Powers, or nato or whoever could have attacked soviet Union. Bypassing the buffering  The Soviets might have been zones: East Germany, Poland and nailing the soviets punished by the Americans, right away. Therefore one would easily see that it however the American allies was unacceptable for the Hungarians to make those were doing something similar demands. - Unlike the Polish there were no way that these issues could be settled by compromised. • In addition, just as these demands came on, in the Middle East Britain, France and Israel launched a an attack against Egypt. Which happened to be a client state of Soviets. When you put these two things together you can clearly see that Khrushchev was backed into a corner and could not negotiate. - as he reasoned, if you allow the British and French to take Egypt and no one thought that Egypt would be successful in defending itself against these two high end western states, it would be a blow to communism. - It would prove that communism is unable to defend their own states. If they could take Egypt, it would be only a matter of time before they take Hungary as well. • Therefore the Hungarian uprising and demands had to be answered quickly. And that was a massive military ..? th • Come November 4 the soviet troops, even though they had promised to pull out of Hungary and return to Soviet a mass besiege would come about. After a week of bloody fight they defeated the rebels, apprehended the prime minster and all those who sought political changes and latter found them guilty and executed them. • By doing so the entire affair, the peaceful co-existence was gone. The Soviet Union proved itself not to be that  Suez Crisis: friendly state. not a state open to negotiations, rather - Nassar - Pan-Arabism. Nassar acted exactly as they were painted by the capitalist hardliners. Who feared communism as a brutal wanted to become the dictatorship. spokesperson of the Arab • The international community would have come down on world and wanted to the Soviet Union so hard that most likely Khrushchev liberate middle east from its colonial aggressors would not have escaped. However that was not the - Wanted to fight three deal. Just as the soviet union crushed the Hungarians revolution a new crisis emerged in the middle east that powers: pretty much brought down the status o the western a. France in north Africa powers, particularly of the united states. They were b. British in the middle unable to citizen the United States because the closest east c. Israel- wanted revenge allies of the united sates were doing exactly the Soviets - To achieve this he needed were doing in Hungary. Only they were doing it in the Middle East. energy and power and • Suez Crisis. money and he would do - by this point in Egypt you have a new leadership this through building a dam lead by Nasser. a. Approached - Who took over in a who took over in early 1950s. he Czechoslovakia for decided to become the spokes person of the Arab world. the represent pan-Arabism and make Egypt economic and military the focal point of the movement. To liberate Middle deal East from its colonial aggressors. b. Appeahced the US for similar deal (Americans - His main target was France, Britain and Israel. To promise financial aid) succeed with pan-Arabism and above all to make - When the Soviets saw Egypt the leading voice in Arab nationalism , Nasser had three objectives: that it can mobilize Egypt a. defeat the French in North Africa. To push them and deliver a blow to out of there colonial states. By so doing he would western powers it provided Egypt with guns demonstrate that Egypt state and the most - When the British saw this effective. they also offered the b. To defeat the British. Therefore take or gain a full Egypt a deal. They gave control over his own state. after all the British wee the Egyptians contol over still there. They left India and Asia because their the Suez canal as long as empire fell apart there, however in the Middle they, the Egyptians, East you still have births presence. You still have allow international 80,000 British troops in the Middle East. so you trade to travel freely have to get rid of them. through the Suez c. Destroy newly created Israel. As it turned out Canal, including Israel Israel was much more powerful and organized shipping. than the Arab states. It had defeated and won the - When the Americans war in 1948, and still took more territory. This had heard that the Czechs to be avenged. were providing the - These were the objectives of Nasser. However how Egptians with guns they does he achieve them when Egypt is still a backward scraped the financial aid. state and empty still did not have an efficient - As a reponse Nassar military and was still economically a backward state. retalited by natioanzling - Nasser decided to play the United States against eh the Suez Canal-breaking soviet union and extract from both as much as he the promise to the British. could. Sure enough initially he was successful. - The British thought that if a. In the summer of 1955 he approached the they allowed this then satellite of the soviet union-Czechoslovakia for an they would have their economic and military deal. interitonal reupation b. Likewise, he apprehends the United State for a would be tarnished. military and economic deal. Furthermore, their c. Again, it was all to make Egypt modern. In order presence in the middle to do that he needed energy, he needed self- east would vanish. And sufficient. So he started building up a major dam. they ouwld not be d. For that the Americans promised a substantial rendered a ‘great power’ financial aid. However when it came to the any longer. military deal, especially the weapons delivery - This they created part, of course the Americans could never supply the weapons to Egypt because they knew what he wanted to do with them. He wanted to use them against Israel. Thus no military deal or exchange could occur. that is exactly what bothered Nasser. e. He went back to Soviet Union and argued that he needed weapons. It was at this moment in the summer of 1955 the soviet union decide that the Israel could be a place where they could stri
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