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Khrushchev's Drive For Peace Between 1953 1960.

1192 words - 5 pages

Upon the death of Stalin in 1953, Khrushchev emerged as the Soviet Union's new political giant. The dilemma that he faced was to either continue preparing for US aggression as his predecessor Stalin did, or to make amends with the West to concentrate on the rebuilding of the USSR's war-torn economy, industries and cities. Khrushchev showed that he intended to appear to have chosen the latter through his domestic (including East European countries) destalinisation and liberalization, along with his international policies of 'peaceful co-existence' with the Capitalist countries. However, his measures taken in the uprisings in Eastern Europe, competition for control over Africa and Asia and the establishment of the Warsaw Pact, the propaganda war and the tension manifested in the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis made his 'peaceful' incentives altogether questionable and the attempt at peace an overall failure.In the matters of domestic policies, Khrushchev brought Eastern Europe a brief Detente through his criticism of Stalinist diplomacy and brutality in the 20th Party Congress in 1956, requesting of summit meetings between officials of the US and the USSR, along with the tolerance of leaders such as Tito, who had aberrations to the Russian Communist mold. Khrushchev claimed in his famous 'secret-speech' that there were only two ways the Cold War relations could go, "either peaceful co-exsistence or the most destructive war in history." Consequently, riots in East Berlin broke out immediately after Stalin's death, and Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia all protested in one form or another in 1965. Instead of immediate suppression, the new Premier strategically placed leaders like Gomulka, Nagy, and Kadar in the rioting nations to lessen the severity of Soviet control. Though the Hungarian uprising in Budapest, October that year, ended as a massacre of about 4000 people, Polish ex-political prisoners badmouthed the Soviet Union, the disunity in the Eastern bloc was a contributor to the diffusion of the Cold War. Truly, it did not help Khrushchev that his influence and power cannot compare to that of despot Stalin's, and there is more unrest to settle as freedom of speech, politics, and nationalist interests increased. However, though these problems were did not bring Khrushchev 'relaxation' as the Détente should, the disunity within his Eastern bloc helped diffuse the Cold War since a kingdom divided upon itself cannot stand --- the sooner countries like Poland and Hungary attempt to break off and succeed, the sooner the Soviet Union would lose its allies and the Cold War brought to an end. Unfortunately, proposing summits, retreating from former occupied countries like Austria and criticizing Stalin were perhaps the only ways in which Khrushchev helped diffuse the Cold War.Though the years after 1960 will be that of the height of the Cold War tension, and though Khrushchev's actions suggested peace, his attitude towards the leaders...

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