Answers to Eastern Bloc questions

  1. Imre Nagy (although it had just been Matyas Rakosi until the Hungarians had replaced him that year).
  2. Any of the following.  University academics were concerned about freedom of thought and publication, people were worried about the intrusive behaviour of the AVH (a secret police force), and not only was Hungary still paying host to Soviet military occupation, but Hungarian taxes were paying for them.  There were also more general concerns about a stagnant and non-progressive community.
  3. It first appeared on the night of the 12th-13th August 1961.  It went on to be renovated and developed throughout it's era.
  4. 1968.
  5. It was the Soviet policy that understood that a security problem in one state within the Warsaw Pact was a problem for the whole Warsaw Pact.  Furthermore, troops from the USSR or other communist countries would assist in restoring order if necessary.  Breshnev made a speech to explain this policy after the Czechoslovakian uprising in 1968, and it was effectively in place until Gorbachev let it lapse in 1986. 
  6. Gdansk.
  7. Any of the following.  To stop (or at least severly reduce) East German depopulation to the West in order to preserve a stable workforce.  A less important, but linked, reason was to reduce the influences of capitalist lifestyles on East Germans by reducing their observation of it.  Finally, the stand-off between Krushchev and newly-elected US president Kennedy at a summit meeting in June 1961 acted as a trigger.  Krushchev had underestimated the young, experienced Kennedy and pressured him to withdraw Americans from West Berlin - Kennedy had refused.
  8. 1955.
  9. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - an alliance of western, capitalist countries including Britain, America and France.
  10. 21.

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  1. Nikita Krushchev.
  2. Any of the following. He was afraid that Nagy had gone beyond de-Stalinisation and was turning capitalist.  Furthermore, if Nagy left the Warsaw Pact it would leave the communist alliance less protected.  A firm message had to be sent to other communist states before the alliance started breaking up.  Krushchev judged, correctly, that the world would not help Hungary - the United Nations were weakened by the USSR and China's ability to veto investigations, Britain and France were fighting Nassrer in Egypt and in the USA President Eienhower was fighting an elections and knew the American voter would not want a war over mere Hungarian independence. 
  3. Erich Honecker.  In 1961 Walter Ulbricht was head of state and as the Central Committee secretary for security matters, Honecker was in charge of the building of the Berlin Wall. In 1971, he initiated a political power struggle that led, with Soviet support, to his replacing Ulbricht as First Secretary of the SED Central Committee and as chairman of the National Defense Council, effectively making him head of state from the early 1970s.
  4. Any of the following.  The USSR, Poland, East Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania (and Albania at first, but it withdrew support in 1961 and left the Pact in 1968).
  5. Any of the following.  Dubcek’s democratic reforms. Freedom of speech improved with a loosening of censorship, causing worry as these were vital steps towards a more democratic society. There were also reforms loosening travel restrictions and changing the economic system in a way similar to what Gorbachev would eventually introduce in the USSR.  Another reason for why the Soviet Union was worried was Czechoslovakia’s possible withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact. Despite Dubcek’s reassurance that Czechoslovakia were going to stay in the Warsaw pact, when he received a visit from the Yugoslavian leader Joseph Tito, this looked suspicious as Yugoslavia was not a member. 
  6. Lech Walesa.
  7. 1949.
  8. Glasnost (openess) & Peristroika (economic restructuring).
  9. The communist leader of Poland, General Jaruselski, imposed martial law and arrested Solidarity's ringleaders, so the USSR could see that Poland already had the "uprising" under control.
  10. Alexander Dubcek.

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