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How Far Do You Agree That Without Soviet Interference, Eastern Europe Would Not Have Become Communist In The Post War Years?

1164 words - 5 pages

“Eastern Europe would have become communist in the post-war period even without Soviet Interference” – How far do you agree with this statement?

Clearly, despite some regions of Eastern Europe having communist influence prior to the Second World War, such as Poland, Eastern Europe would not have become communist without the interference of the Soviet Union in the post-war years. This is inferred by the fact that following the War, Stalin was forced to install communists into the governments of the majority of Eastern-European states to ensure that only countries with communist governments bordered the USSR, imposing communism upon these states despite his promises of free elections. It ...view middle of the document...

Despite agreeing at Yalta to free elections within Poland when a referendum was held in 1946 and the communists won, it was later revealed that they had actually lost and similar manipulation of votes occurred again in the 1947 elections. This then paved the way for the communists under Stalin to take control of internal security and police to persecute any opposition. Clearly within Poland in the post-war years a large amount of Soviet interference occurred as Stalin was quick to establish a soviet government within Poland and then manipulate the votes in communist favour paving the way for all opposition to communist rule to be eliminated, giving the people little choice.
One may also cite Hungary as an example of how communist rule was forcefully imposed on eastern European states in the post-war years. Prior to the War, the Hungarian Communist Party was small, and most importantly, illegal. During the war years, following the Nazi occupation of Hungary a left wing front developed and gained some small popularity however they still performed poorly in the 1945 elections. A communist government in Hungary seemed unlikely after this, until Soviet interference occurred, suggesting that without interference from Stalin, Hungary would not have become a communist state. Stalin ordered ‘salami tactics’ in order to get communists in government, and they soon gained control of the Ministry of the Interior, this combined with the rigged 1947 elections saw the communists gain 45% of the vote and 15 government posts. Similarly to the course of events in Poland, the communists began to eliminate any potential opposition, ensuring that the public had no choice but to vote communist, clearly suggesting that communism was forced upon Hungary and perhaps would not have occurred without Soviet interference.
Communist government was also forcefully imposed by Stalin in Romania, which had a communist party, however it was small and unorganised. Stalin imposed Gheorghiu-Dej on the communist party to assert his control over this party. The new government of December 1944 had a communist deputy, however insufficient for Stalin, who then ordered the Red Army to ensure that a new, firmly communist government was appointed again showing the importance of Soviet interference in the establishment of communist governments within eastern European states. From this point all opposition was crushed and persecuted as the Red Army was the police force. Gheorghiu-Dej also began purging anyone who was seen as disloyal, indicating that the soviets were not afraid to use terror in...

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