Terror and repression were essential elements in establishing and maintaining communist regimes in post-war Eastern Europe

Topics: Communism, Soviet Union, Communist state Pages: 8 (2563 words) Published: May 23, 2014
Terror and repression were essential elements in establishing and maintaining communist regimes in post-war Eastern Europe.
Discuss.

Terror and repression were essential elements in establishing and maintaining communist regimes in post-war Eastern Europe countries such as Poland, East Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Romania. These countries all faced different methods of 1of8

terror and repression during post war Eastern Europe. Each communist regime, although in different countries have remarkable similarities in how they were seized and governed. A lot of propaganda was used during these times. The people were all forced to believe in things that weren't exactly true and if they decided to rebel and stand up for their rights, they would either be killed or held in captivity for the rest of their lives. I have chosen two countries which I will go into more depth on and they are Hungary and Poland. In my opinion these two countries struggled the most through terrror and repressionism, and were helpless during their communist regimes but both countries against all the odds were hungry and willing enough to stand up in the end and fight for their freedom.

At the end of the second world war, Budapest in Hungary was in war with soviet soldiers, the streets of Budapest were a war ground, and people took to the streets to try to fight against these soviets. However the soviets were victorious in their quest and took control of Hungary. Matyas Rakosi who was loyal to the soviets and the communism regime, had his own political party and had backing from the soviets. Rakosi's aim was to convince communism was the way to go for Hungary's future. In 1947 a free election took place and people had the possiblity to freely vote who they wanted to run Hungary's government, but Rakosi still managed to come into power, due to terror, repressionism, intimidation, trial and fraud. Rakosi's first aim in power was to eliminate all threaths that could of cause Rakosi problems, and his first assassination was the head of the Catholic church. Rakosi wanted complete power and anyone who spoke out against the communists were arrested, put on trial and imprisoned for life. This reign of power continued and by the 1949 elections in Hungary there was no opposition left to stand up against Rakosi and his soviet ways, the country was now run by soviet lines. It was a tragedy for the Hungarian people. Rakosi like most dictators used propaganda methods to keep control of his people. He embeded the message of how he would lead Hungary into a wonderfully bright future, which was all one big lie, and soon Hungary began to deteriorate. Rakosi targeted everything good that Hungary had and ruined them with his corrupted mind. Rakosi changed the Hungarian school system, everybody was forced to learn 2of8

Russian as a language, everyone also were forced to join the young pioneers, which was the equivalent of a scout group which was organised by the soviet union for the ages of children from ten to eleven years of age. The young pioneers was founded in 1922 and stopped in 1991, the pioneers attended publically run summer camps and learnt methods of cooperation.

Rakosi used a lot of propaganda methods to control his people. Rakosi used advertisment to trick the people of Hungary, many ads were shown on hungarian television promoting the soviet's in a positive light in everyway possible they showed happy Hungarian's smiling and laughing, an example of an ad that was shown at this time was a commercial showing the soviets in a postive light giving over big well bred ox's to the poor peasents of this liberated country for them to make an income and feed the hungarian people. Another example was a commercial about cotten, and in the ad it showed soviet cotton being delivered to Hungary to feed Hungary's textile machinary, so the freezing workers's of Hungary could cloth themselves in warm material. They also had an ad about the soviets...

Bibliography: 1. http://www.communistcrimes.org/en/Database/Poland/Poland-Communist-Era
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihS_D0Btaz8
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG47IdRB61M
4. “Stalinist Terror in Eastern Europe, Elite Purges and Mass Repression” by Kevin
McDermott and Matthew Stibbe, 2010.
5. http://www.nobelforpeace-summits.org/informations/polands-road-oppressionfreedom/
6. John L. H. Keep, Last of the empires: a history of the Soviet Union, 1945-1991.
7. Tom Buchanan, Europe 's troubled peace, 1945-2000, (Wiley-Blackwell,2006)
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