How did Stalin take over Eastern Europe between 1945 and 1949?

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Michaël                                                                                                                            October 2013.


How did Stalin take over Eastern Europe between 1945 and 1949?

            The Soviet take-over of eastern europe started before the end of the second world war. As the Red Army drove the Nazis westward, Soviet leaders already tried to have friendly government installed into the territories. When World War II ended, it was Stalin's goal to conquer all of eastern europe. Indeed, despite the common agreement that all eastern european governments would be politically independent, Stalin had announced at Yalta that it was of paramount importance to him to have some control over the eastern european countries, explaining that this would serve as a deterrent to new potential attacks. After Germany's defeat, Stalin's Red Army remained in the occupied zones, which came as a surprise to the other powers. Stalin wanted to have complete control over those countries as he progressively made them more and more subservient to him and consequently influenced their regime into more and more communism. He did this through fear and by rigging the election polls. The whole region was known as the "Soviet Bloc" or the "Eastern Bloc", and Stalin's Red Army was there to intimidate and eliminate the opposition. The secret police was also intimidating through  imprisoning, killing, and torturing the opposition. Stalin replaced in governement anybody whom he suspected of lacking loyalty to him. On top of that, he controlled the press and prohibited free speech so that no one could criticize the governments. To tighten control, he created the Cominform in 1947. The cominform's aim was to coordinate the work of the communist governments and to allow Stalin to keep an eye on all of the communist leaders to see if they were still loyal to him. He did this by regularly inviting them to Moscow. As twenty to thirty-seven million Russians died in world war two (depending on sources) Stalin's management of eastern europe is understandable. Stalin ultimately wanted to protect Russia against future attacks, and creating a "buffer zone" in eastern europe was to him the best way to achieve that. By 1949, all of the eastern european countries except Yugoslavia (currently composed of Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina) were a hundred percent loyal and fully devoted to Stalin. The countries' regimes became known as Stalin's puppet communist regimes, and the iron curtain was created.

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            The eastern bloc's countries were unhappy about their lack of freedom, and that resulted in a lot of tension and conflicts throughout the post-war years. One of the major example of this is the Berlin Blockade. Just like Germany was divided into west and east, Berlin was divided into west and east. West being the allies side and east being the Soviet side. In June 1948, Stalin decided to stop providing vital supplies to west Berlin as its citizens strongly rejected communist candidates in an election. In response to this ...

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