XX съезд КПСС: чехословацкое эхо (1956 год)
В статье дается общая краткая характеристика ХХ съезда КПСС, и прежде всего «секретного» доклада Н.С.Хрущева о культе личности и его последствиях, значения решений съезда по этому вопросу для страны и мира, влияния на состояние и развитие мирового коммунистического движения. Показано, как освещалась проблема в российской историографии в последние четверть века. Рассмотрено восприятие решений ХХ съезда КПСС Коммунистической партией Чехословакии, стоявшей у руля правления страной и чехословацким обществом. Прослежена эволюция взглядов руководства КПЧ в течение 1956 г. на то, как следует претворять в жизнь решения ХХ съезда КПСС о культе личности Сталина, чтобы не поколебать основы существующего в Чехословакии социалистического строя, построенного по советской модели. Выявлены внутренние и внешние факторы, приведшие в конце 1956 г. к возвращению властей Чехословакии к политике «твердой руки».
Gustav Husak: Slovakia, Czechoslovakia, the USSR. A Glance from 1945 and not Only Just That
The author relates her personal acquaintance with Husak that took place after rehabilitation of Husak and his exoneration from accusation in the «bourgeois nationalism» considers circumstances of Husak' appearance in Moscow in early 1945, analyzes documents prepared by Husak and connected with the Slovakian national uprising and situation in Slovakia. The author also describes the second visit of Husak to Moscow in March, 1945, for discussion of the program advanced by Czechoslovakian government which had been formed in the USSR, and presents Husak’s opinion in respect of state and legal construction of the post-war Czechoslovakia and of condition of Slovakia in Czechoslovak Republic after its restoration and demonstrates Husak’s attitude to the USSR.
Through the Carpatians to Slovakia: in Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Slovakian National Uprising and of the Carpathian-Doukla Operation of the Red Army
The article is dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Slovakian national uprising (August 29 — October 28, 1944) and of the Carpathian- Doukla operation of the Red Army (September 8 — October 28, 1944) that was carried out due to political reasons in order to assist the uprising. The operation was prepared in the shortest terms and was carried out in the most difficult conditions. The operation led to enormous losses. The 1st Czechoslovakian army corps formed on the USSR took part in the operation together with the Red Army. On October 6 the Soviet and Czechoslovakian troops conquered the Doukla pass in the Carpathian ridge and reached the prewar Czechoslovakian border. The author demonstrates variety of the operation’s assessments in the recent Czech and Slovakian historiography. The article is based on archive and published documents, memoirs of the generals and literature available to the author.
Edvard Benesh: Thoughts on Democracy
Edvard Beneš (1884−1948) was the second President of Czech Republic, politician, diplomat and scientist. In 1942 Beneš published book «Democracy Today and Tomorrow» which was translated into many languages already during the World War 2. In this book Beneš characterized democratic regimes that existed un Western Europe in the period between two world wars, disclosed their shortcomings, fundamental causes of their weakness and retreat in the face of totalitarian regimes (Fascism, Nazism) what ultimately brought about the World War 2. Beneš set forth hisunderstanding of directions and ways of the liberal democracy restructuring (improvement) and its conversion into the «modern», «humane» democracy. Beneš deals with party building and political «leadership» issues as well as issues of the new human person’s upbringing, bureaucracy, corruption, attitude toward religion etc. Many ideas of Beneš and his recommendations seem to be topical for the current phase of the Russian society’s development. The article is a summary of the book by Beneš.
June 22, 1941: Western Democracies’ Reaction and Czecho-Slovakian Resonance
The author deals with a wide rage of issues: development of «the march on East» plans by Hitler; secret preparations to aggression against the USSR; disinformation campaign carried on by the Nazi propaganda, Moscow’s attitude to information about the forthcoming German aggression; aspiration to procrastinate the war due to the USSR’s unwillingness to military collision; British and American statesmen’s reaction to Germany’s next aggression; mixed attitudes of the British and American public; E. Benes' perception of German aggression against the USSR and his hopes on the defeat of Germany and restoration of Czechoslovakia. The author also examines appraisal of June 22 by Colonel Pika, the head of Czechoslovakian military mission in Moscow, and his suggestions to start Soviet-Czechoslovakian cooperation in military and political spheres; moods of Czechoslovakian legionaries in Suzdal camp for military internees; impact of struggle on the Eastern front on the domestic situation in Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia; perception of the Soviet-German war beginning by the Slovakian ruling circles; Slovakia’s break of diplomatic relations with the USSR; dispatch of the Slovakian troops to the Soviet-German front. The article is based on the published documents, memoirs, archival materials, scientific literature.
1944–1945: The Red Army in East Europe (the end)
The second part of the article deals with attitude of populations of Roumania, Hungary and Trans-Carpathian region to the Red Army which entered these territories in 1944−1945. The author uses materials from the Russian archives, published documents and literature and describes difficulties of the subject investigation and necessity of specific historic investigation of Russophilia and Russophobia phenomena as well as the present day countries' and regions' attitude to the fact of their liberation by the Red Army. The author adduces materials concerning condition of the Soviet servicemen’s graves in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Roumania and on ways the West celebrates May 8−9, the day of victory over the Nazi Germany.
1944-1945: The Red Army in East Europe
In the first part of the article the author deals with attitudes of population of Poland, Yugoslavia (Serbia), Czechia, Slovakia and Bulgaria towards the Red Army as it entered territories of these countries in 1944−1945. The author characterizes the USSR policy to these countries and analyzes the Nazi propaganda in the East European countries, demonstrates positions various political forces involved in the Resistance movement and struggle for national liberation at the terminal phase of the WW2 took in respect of the USSR. The article is based on Russian archive materials, published documents and the most recent literature.
1939: the Soviet Foreign Policy as Perceived by Coevals (Examined by the Czecho-Slovak Example) (the end)
Responses of Czechoslovak emigration, the civil wing of the Czech anti-Fascist Resistance and of the Slovak society to «the Western march» of the Red Army, to annexation of Western Ukraine and Western Byelorussia by the USSR (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) and the Soviet-Finnish war. The study is based mainly on archive materials, published documents, memoirs and on results of the author’s own examination of the issue.
1939: the Soviet Foreign Policy as Perceived by Coevals (Examined by the Czecho-Slovak Example)
In the first part of the article the author considers reactions of the Czech-Slovak emigration and the Czech public in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia to the negotiations Great Britain, France and the USSR held in summer, 1939, to the Soviet-German non-aggression pact of August 23, 1939, and the drastic twist of the Soviet foreign policy as well as to resulting changes in strategy and tactics of the Communist International. The article is based on archive materials, published documents, memoirs, and on results of the author’s studies of the problem.
E.Benes: between London and Moscow. From Plan of Czeckoslovakian-Polish Confederation to the Idea of the Soviet-Czeckoslovakian Treaty of 1943 (the end)
In spring 1943, when Soviet-Polish diplomatic relations were interrupted the USSR declared its disagreement with creation of Czechoslovakian-Polish confederation. The USSR approved neither the idea of signing Czechoslovakian-Polish treaty nor tripartite Soviet-Polish-Czechoslovakian treaty. So the idea of Soviet-Czechoslovakian treaty emerged. Theoretically this treaty was opened for the third country, Poland at an appropriate moment. The Soviet leaders and Czechoslovakian president E. Benes were intent to sign the treaty as soon as possible. The British objected because they thought that treaties of this kind between the great powers and small countries could be signed only after the war. Finally, the British resistance was cracked down. The treaty was signed in Moscow on December 12, 1943. The author adduces many documents that confirm her concept and conclusions.
E.Benes: between London and Moscow. From Plan of Czeckoslovakian-Polish Confederation to the Idea of the Soviet-Czeckoslovakian Treaty of 1943
The author investigates a difficult way to preparation and signature of the UUSR-Czeckoslovakia treaty of 1943. In 1940 the Polish émigré government brought forward an idea of Poland and Czeckoslovakia unification in a confederacy (federation). The idea was approved and supported by the British. The Foreign Office perceived confederation arrangement of territories adjacent to the USSR as a certain step to strengthening of the British influence in East European region and to continuation of the cordon sanitaire policy towards the USSR. Leaders of Czeckoslovakian political emigration enthusiastically took up the initiative stipulating at the sane time that the USSR must agree with creation of the confederation. Moscow adopted a wait-and-see suspicious position. The article is written on the basis of recently opened Russian and Czeck archives.
Georgi Dimitrov as a Soviet Сitizen: 1934–1945. Based on G.Dimitrov’s Diaries (the end)
The idea to dissolve the Comintern started to ripen since spring of 1941 but after German attack on the USSR it was forgotten for a while. The Soviet leadership revived to the idea in May, 1943, when it took pains to strengthen cooperation within anti-Hitlerite coalition and to provide for consolidation of all anti-Nazi forces in their struggle against Nazi Germany. Functions of the dissolved Comintern were vested in International information Department of the All-Union Communist Party Central Committee. Until his departure to Bulgaria in autumn, 1945, the Department was headed by G. Dimitrov who presided over the body actually at first and later on officially. Prior to his leave for Bulgaria Dimitrov renounced his Soviet citizenship. While in charge of the most important state and Party positions in Bulgaria Dimitrov often visited the USSR for medical treatment and kept the permanent contact with Stalin whose instructions Dimitrov took as guidance.
Georgi Dimitrov as a Soviet Сitizen: 1943–1945 (Based on G.Dimitrov’s Diaries)
Bulgarian Communists Georgi Dimitrov was a Soviet citizen from 1934 to 1945. At I.V.Stalin's wish in 1935 Dimitrov took the position of the Communist International Executive Committee Secretary General. In his work Dimitrov constantly followed instructions given by the Soviet chiefs, first and foremost by Stalin. Dimitrov described in his Diary meetings and conversations with Stalin and other Soviet political figures. Entries attest Dimitrov’s unconditional loyalty to the Kremlin leader and adoration Dimitrov felt toward Stalin. Diary also testifies Dimitrov’s conviction in rightness of and commitment to the cause which he devoted his life to, in the messianic role of the Bolshevik party and the Soviet state. The article is based on materials of Dimitrov’s Diary and other archive documents.
New Pages of the Soviet Czechoslovakian Relations in 1938–1940
I.M.Maiski was the Soviet plenipotentiary (an the ambassador since 1941) in London. The diary Maiski kept from 1933 to 1943, is a serious source for researchers of Soviet-British relations of that period and of international situation of 1930s. Thus the Diary sheds light on the issue of the WWII ripening and beginning. The personality of the diarist who so emotionally and vividly depicted the political landscape of London of that time is also of interest. The author is a superb stylist and that makes reading of his diary a fascinating and easy entertainment. Some biographical data on I.M. Maiski (Lyakhovetski) are given in the article. Entries put in the Diary and related to the Soviet-Czechoslovakian relations in 1938−1940 are examined. Appraisals of the Munich conspiracy (September 29−30, 1938) among Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy that initiated process of Czechoslovakia’s dismemberment are analyzed too. Evidence contained in Maiski’s Diary certainly require a low-keyed approach and are to be compared with other documents. Nevertheless this evidence is valuable for investigation of development of relations between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union in the pre-WWII years and provides extra pabulum for reflections on positions of both states.
May 5–9, 1945: Liberation of Prague revisited
Relief of Prague from German Nazi occupation was the final major battle of WWII in Europe. German group of armies «Center» under command of Field Marshal Shoerner and SS detachments that had been ordered to fight against the Red Army to the last cartridge and then surrender to Americans who were approaching from the West were concentrated in the city and its vicinity. Several forces took part in liberation of Prague: inhabitants of the city who rose in revolt against Germans, servicemen from a division of so called Russian liberation army under General Vlasov, units of the First, the Second and the Fourth Ukrainian fronts of the Red Army. In the course of four days, from May 5 to May 9, the control over the city or its parts several times changed hands. In accordance with understanding with the Soviet high command the American forces that were 60 km off Prague did not develop the offence towards the city, even though they could liberate it easily, the more so because Wermacht units did not offer any resistance to them. Prague was liberated finally and completely on May 9 in result of successful Prague operation carried out by the Red Army. The author shows who events developed in Prague on May 5−9, 1945, what forces took part in liberation of the city and what were relations among these forces.
The Slovakian national uprising of 1944 in the military and political plans of the USSR
The author defines methodological approaches to investigation of the problem, shows the USSR’s attitude to the Slovakian national uprising during its preparation and the specific assistance given to insurgents during two months of their struggle against Wehrmacht forces that occupied Slovakia. The author argues that a historian can understand motives that guided Moscow in making specific decisions only if he/she considers these motives in the context of relations within anti-Hitlerite coalition at that time, in the context of the Soviet-Czechoslovakian relations, of the USSR’s military strategy and the USSR’s political plans for Central and Eastern Europe as a region. Having understood as early as during preparation for the uprising that it did not contradict the national and state interests of the USSR, that Communists took an active part in organization of the uprising and that Czechoslovakian émigré government was interested in the uprising, the Soviet leadership and personally I. V. Stalin made the principal decision to support the uprising. Allies of the USSR were not going to render an effective assistance to the insurgents for they thought that such assistance was the business of the USSR because Slovakia fell within the Soviet zone of hostilities. The Soviet military command, with Stalin’s approval, modified the Red Army’s military plans to establish interaction with the revolted detachments of the Slovakian army and partisans. The USSR provided the insurgents with the feasible assistance with arms and munitions though due to various reasons could not satisfy the insurgents' requests to the full.
Yu.V.Andropov on resignation of N.S.Khruschiov
The article is a comment to the document which is being published for the first time. It is a record of a conversation which was held between Yu.V.Andropov, then a Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, and Pavlovski, the Ambassador of Czechoslovakia to Moscow, on October 24, 1964, and was related tо reasons of N. Kruschiov's deposition from position of the First Secretary of the CPSU CC and the Chairman of the USSR Council of ministers in October, 1964. The document witnesses that at that time the new leaders of the CPSU preserved the line which presumed the necessity to inform the Soviet allies about most significant actions of the USSR in its domestic and foreign policies. The letter contains certain information about the way in which the CPSU CC letter on Kruschiov’s resignation was discussed in the USSR and reactions the event caused in of the party organizations of various levels. The document also contains some information on the reaction caused by Kruschiov’s deposition in Czechoslovakia. In the introductory comment to the document the Soviet leader is presented as a politician who cannot be reduced to a simple one-dimensional interpretation. Though Kruschiov was spotted with all birthmarks of the system which had nurtured him he undertook efforts to improve the system. However, the reformer’s good intentions paved the way to his fall from the political Olympus. Demise of Kruschiov put the end to the period of so called «Kruschiov's thaw».
Kept in Secret from Berlin and London
Contacts of the Soviet and Czechoslovakian intelligence services in 1940−41 constitute an absolutely unknown to the Russian readers chapter of the Soviet intelligence services and the Soviet-Czechoslovakian relations history. The cooperation of thew Soviet and Czechoslovakian intelligence services began to develop quite successfully after Czechoslovakian recognized the USSR de-jure in 1935. This cooperation was interrupted after occupation of the Czech lands by Nazi Germany in March, 1939, and conclusion of the Soviet-German non-aggression pact in August, 1939. However, restoration of this cooperation began since summer of 1940. Secret negotiations were held in Prague, London, Bucharest, Istanbul and then in Moscow. The negotiations were held when no official Soviet-Czechoslovakian relations existed and were kept in secret from London and Berlin. The negotiations' significance lies in the fact that they, undoubtedly, helped to restore and mend the Soviet-Czechoslovakian cooperation after beginning of Nazi Germany aggression against the USSR and paved the way for Czechoslovakian-Soviet agreement signing on July 18, 1941, and for formation of the Czechoslovakian military unit on the territory of the USSR.