Foreign Policy

Satellite States

Since 1939, the USSR had held occupation over Poland. At the Yalta conference in 1945, the USSR requested that Poland be left to the Soviets, due tot he fact that the USSR had already had occupation over eastern poland, and this was unlikely to change since it had already been in progress (fait accompli). At this time, Stalin already had military forces in the Soviet Union, and easter n poland was under communist rule. Poland was given all German territories within Pomerania, Silesia, and Brandenburg (east of the Oder-Neisse Line). Although once these became a part of Poland Stalin worked hard to move all Germans out of the area (2 million), and replaced them with Poles. At Yalta, Churchill and Roosevelt, determined to give Poland some right to self determination forced Stalin to agree to allow for a coalition government between the Soviet Union and Poland. However, Stalin had already cut any relationships that he had with the Polish government living in exhile. Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, leader of a polish party fighting to keep Poland an independant state won to the communist only once before the communsits took complete control through rigged elections. By 1946, the soviet government had changed the polish borders, and abolished the senate, all the while producing fake results claiming that this was in fact what the people wanted. The opposition parties were persecuted tot he point of not being able to run. hey were tortured and executed. The PSL party taking the worst of the wrath. The reason that the communists were able to advance so far was that the Polish Workers' Party was in line with the USSR, and wished for Poland to become a satellite state. The communists continues consolidating until all private industry was nationalized, and all land was dirstributed to peasants. Agriculture was also collectivised. after the 1947 elections, Poland falls behind the iron curtain, and lives under strict Stalinsit rule until 1956.

Romania was dependant on the Soviet Union, being that they were ruled by the Soviet Union breifly during the 1800's up until the time of the Crimean War. In 1945 (the same year as the Yalta Conference), the USSR under Stalin began instigating communism. By 1947, the previous government (monarchy under King Michael) was forced out by the Soviets, and Romania was declared a People's republic. the leader of the Romanian communist party up until 1965 was Gheorge, a dictator who ruled with the same opression and iron fist as Stalin. By 1948, nationalization of resources and industries took place, along with the collectivization of agriculture. control over major industries (petroleum especially) was shared with the soviets. By 1952, Romania had a new constitution similar to that of the Soviet Union in 1949 Romania became a part of COMECON, and by 1955, was a part of the Warsaw Pact.

Bulgaria was also forced after the second world war to become a soviet satellite state. Bulgaria was considered a success to communism under the soviet rule, as Bulgaria actually prospered economically under the centralization of resources, and became a major economic partner with the USSR. However, Bulgaria was bound to the USSR through Military and through their raw materials. As well, the people were suppressed by the soviets. No private enterprises were allowed, agriculture was collectivized, and all political opposition was eliminated. Stalin ordered "Macedonization", a process forbiding all people living in a Macedonian region of Bulgaria to speak Bulgarian. As well, Stalin ordered that all Turks living in Bulgaria be forbidden to speak Turkish, or practice any Muslim traditions.

Hungary, like most of the Balkan states was under Nazi occupation when they were "liberated" by the Soviets in 1945. By 1948-49, Hungary was a full communist state under the rule of communist leader Mátyás Rákosi (loyal to Stalin). At this time, all private property was nationalized without any form of compensation, all peasants were forced onto state farms, the borders were sealed, and the secret police instated (ÁVO). The secret police frequently torutred and executed people without trial on a road that would later be called Stalin Boulevard. These were of course modelled after Stalin's Purges. However it did take a long time in order for the soviets to gain complete control over the nation. in 1945, they only won 17% of the votes. They eliminated their opponents one at a time until a communist victory (called the salami tactics, or 'one slice at a time'). This elimination was done by Soviet forces. Hungary would remain this way until after the end of Stalin, in 1956, when the Hungarians attempted to revolt against the Soviet Union.

After the Nazis were forced out of Czeckoslovakia in 1945, the Third Republic was created. This lasted for a few years, as the Czechoslovkian government grew hopeful that the USSR under stalin would allow them to choose their own government. This seemed like a great possibility after the communists lost in the elections of 1946. However the communists were able to gain control of the main industries, and eventually the communists gained complete control over the country by February 1948 (non-communist foreign minister 'disapeared' a month later). A new constitution was brought about that made Czechoslovakia a soviet-style state. This was done on Stalin's orders long years before, as stalin ordered the 12 noncommunist ministers to be eliminated. He also had Gottwald, the leader of the communist party at the time to build up a militia in order to prepare for the communist takeover that was set to happen in 1948. Czechoslovakia became a full satellite state, loosing all private property rights, having a forced centrilized government, and intese industrial output was instigated. 11 out of the 14 former leaders of Czechoslovakia were snetensed to death, and the Catholic church was purged. Stalin held show trials for many 'traitors' in czechoslovakia such as was done in the USSR and other satellite states. Czechoslovakia became a member of both Comecon and the Warsaw Pact after Stalin refused to let them be a part of the Marshal plan.

Eastern Germany
Eastern Germany fell under the control of the USSR after the end of WW2, as the allies wished to deindustrialize Germany, and provite some form of political stability until Germany would be able to handle sovereignty again. The borders were changed, as some German territory was forced to be given to Polannd (see section on Poland). East Germany became a part of the Soviet sphere of influence, adn fell behind the iron curtain. The conflict involving Germany began after the building of the Berlin wall. This led to the Belin airlifts, and eventually the frantic attempt to escape on the Eastern Germany side, as they wanted to avoid the oppression that other Soviet satellite states felt.

From Comintern to Cominform

In May 1943, Stalin ordered the dissolution of the Comintern which was essentially meant to link communist parties all over the world financially and politically. This ensured the universal growth of the communist movement. For this reason, Churchill and Roosevelt in particular were rather unappreciative of the policy. The dissolution of comintern was essentially meant to persuade the West that Stalin was no longer interested in international communism. His new slogan was “communism in one nation”. Roosevelt and Churchill both took the bait: “Marshall Stalin and the Soviet leaders wish to live in honorable friendship and equality with the Western democracies,” – Winston Churchill after the dissolution of the comintern. Consequently, Stalin was able to keep the land negotiated during the Nazi-Soviet Pact which included East Germany. Thus, Communist parties were put in power with little or no military power.

The establishment of the cominform in October 5 1947, was surprisingly accepted by the West as a watered down version of the comintern where the Soviet Union was keeping check on other communist states and making sure they were aligned with Moscow. Obviously, the cominform was a new and improved version of the comintern although the West did not suspect that in Stalin’s time. It was especially successful in “Disinformation” which is the purposeful misleading of the Russian people as well as its satellite states. Stalin incorporated the cominform into the International Department of the Central Committee (ID) whose role was believed to be the liaison of the Soviets with non-communist organizations and parties. For example, the ID was involved in the World Peace Council (a platform of pacifist organizations and individuals in Western countries. Especially in the US where the organization denounced the containment policy, SDI, and nuclear parity. In 1989, 90% of the World Peace funds came from the USSR). It also infiltrated the World Federation of Trade Unions in France (CGT), Italy (GCIL), Britain (TUC), and America (AFL-CIO).

Its real purpose however, was to transmit orders from Moscow, as well as funds, to Communist parties worldwide. Furthermore, it worked to recruit members, train them, and send them out again to overthrow the government. Obviously these attempts failed but they did lead to McCarthyism in the United States (Red Scare) as well as riots in several nations such as Burma, Malaysia, and Indonesia. These nations were present at the inauguration speech when Andrei Zhdanov (Stalin’s right-hand man at the time), talked about the world being split in two and that the “colonial peoples must expel their oppressors”.
The ID also had a part to play in giving guidance to the KGB and the KGB’s First Chief Directorate which was in charge of operations abroad. It was therefore involved in propaganda in the British and American “Daily Worker” which was on sale in these Western nations but secretly subsidized in Moscow.
Its relation with the KGB also made it responsible for the installment of organizations which aided terrorism in capitalist nations. Summarized in Lenin’s words : “The essence of internationalism is support of the revolutionary struggle through propaganda, sympathy, or materially, in all countries without exception.” This is what the cominform was based on and basically illustrates Stalin's foreign policies since the end of the war.