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The relentless sweep of communism has radically changed the map of europe for the europe. Europe. Which we know today is considerably different from the one which existed a generation now it is a continent divided against itself.
The soviet union. Replacing the old czarist russia emerged with the end of world war. One the once proud baltic nations of the thwe near estonia and latvia gained their independence in 1918.
And remained so until they were absorbed into the ussr in 1940 at the conclusion of world war two eight more countries had fallen under the hammer and sickle and an important part of historic europe today is under communist domination these are the communists dominated countries of europe which exists today and which lie between the free nations of europe and the soviet union together. They comprise an area extending a thousand miles from north to south. And some 650 miles from east to west with a combined population of around a hundred and twenty million people.
The mountainous character of much of the region. Because it has made movement difficult has tended to isolate the various groups from each other. But that circumstance has not shielded.
This part of the world from involvement in the history of the world at large indeed a good deal of modern history started in this region nazi germanys attack on czechoslovakia foreshadowed the beginning of world war two music with germanys invasion of poland in 1939 that war officially began music when the soviet union joined the nazi attack and then entered into a cynical collaboration to partition poland. The fate of this part of the world was sealed later soviet troops fought the german armies in these lands music at the end of the war soviet domination was assured when the russians stayed on in all the countries. Except czechoslovakia and in that country.
Which had no russian troops. A communist. Staged a bloodless coup d.
etat and won control in 1948. Communist governments were set up in each of the countries and each became a satellite of the ussr i yugoslavia under its own dictator marshal tito broke this pattern in 1948 by proclaiming its right to pursue its own path toward socialism for this show of independence. It was expelled from the common form.
The political union of communist states and tito was branded as a revisionist one of the worst crimes in the communist book. Today yugoslavia is not under the domination of the soviet union. But it remains an independent communist state.
It is necessary to remember that these are all separate countries with separate histories and separate characters. But the fact that each is communist and the fact of their physical. Proximity to each other enable us for the purposes of this film to consider them as a unit.
The people who populate this region are of many strains and of cultures and traditions. Which reach back into the haze of antiquity religion. Has always been a powerful social force along the peoples of these lands.
The eastern orthodox church. Largely prevails in romania. Bulgaria and yugoslavia.
The religious character of east. Germany. Is protestant music.
The roman catholic faith predominates in poland. Hungary and czechoslovakia communism has shown its hostility toward religion in many ways. Such as discouraging.
The holding of services and religious instruction. The free world has seen this hostility revealed in the persecution of cardinal min. Sente and hungary the imprisonment for a time of cardinal wyszynski in poland and of archbishop stepinac in yugoslavia music.
But through all these restrictive measures. The basic religious spirit of the people has endured and occasionally has resulted in some relaxation of the states anti religious campaign.
The economy of these countries generally speaking has traditionally been basically agricultural this historic reliance upon the land itself shows the influence of communism today. Chiefly in the effort toward land collectivization. A policy already fully achieved in the soviet union.
And now transposed to the peasants of east central europe collectivization works. Two ways peasants owning land are required to turn it over to the control of a collective administration subject to the dictates and policies of the government other farms. So called state farms are run directly by the government complete success in this endeavor has not been achieved throughout the satellites.
Only 1 of the farms in poland are collectivized and some 12 are state farms. Although much more land was collectivized before the government returned it to the peasants in 1956 in bulgaria. However 95.
Percent of the arable land has been collectivized and east germany. Claims. 100 collectivization.
So far. Collectivization has not increased food production in eastern europe to any appreciable extent and is still widely opposed by the peasants themselves. If agriculture bears.
The communist staff in this region industry bears it more the need to industrialize is a basic principle of communist ideology and the communist countries of eastern europe have pressed for rapid industrialization with great emphasis on basic heavy industry as a fundamental part of their economic programs. Czechoslovakia and east germany whose associations in the past have always been with the western world show. The most advanced state of industrialization.
But even in the most primitive industrial states such as albania and bulgaria. The results are dramatically. Clear the communists point to the achievements of this region as part of their boast that they will overtake and eventually out produce the west.
The communists recognized education as a powerful social force and have exploited. It to the full as an instrument of indoctrination their emphasis today is placed on technical scientific and practical training. The communists also make wide use of sports in their youth training programs particularly sports with a strong military flavor in all these ways the influence of communism can be seen in the satellite countries.
But its in the political realm. That the nature of a communist state has revealed most clearly like the ussr each of the other soviet bloc countries has a totalitarian structure of government with absolute power wielded by the communist party each uses rigged elections with only the candidates satisfactory to the party on the ballot. In each.
The party has absolute administrative and police powers and uses those powers to control the civil actions of the populations. Yes. The presence of communism shadows.
Every facet of life in these countries. As it has for more than a decade. How do the people themselves respond.
We need not necessarily trust the parades which abound in these lands as evidence of popular loyalty to the regimes for the most part these demonstrations are whipped up by party leaders to promote discipline. Neither of course can we assume that the people in these nations are ready at any moment to revolt against their masters. But the uprisings in east germany and in hungary in 1956 demonstrated to the world with dramatic poignancy that the memory and the hope of freedom.
Do not perish easily and that when they are pushed too far people living under any tyranny communists. No less than other oppressions against which men have struggled for centuries will strike against those uprisings demonstrated also however another clear and hard fact. But behind the authority of the state in the communist satellite countries stands the naked power of the soviet union.
Ready to crush ruthlessly any show of independence which threatens its supremacy in several of these countries russian troops are still stationed. But whether they are actually stationed in a satellite country or not they are in every case. Close enough to intervene quickly an event of trouble yugoslavia of course.
Which won its independence from soviet domination more than a decade ago is an accession so far as soviet control is concerned. It is itself a dictatorship as any communist country must be in order to exist.
But its people are at least free of direct control by moscow poland as a measure of independence not enjoyed by the other satellite states. The russians believe they can count on polands loyalty primarily perhaps because poland believes that it is dependent on soviet support to keep german. Provinces.
Which it was awarded after world war ii. As a result in its limited freedom domestic policies of the polish government are in a number of respects at variance with those of the ussr and other dominated countries thus. There is less collective farming in poland than in the other countries more freedom of religion and less rigid control of the civil behavior of the population in foreign policy.
However there is no deviation at all between the position taken by the soviet union and that of any of the satellite. Countries here unquestionably go calls the to yugoslavia likes to consider itself aligned with neither the east nor the west but neutral in the great struggle. It is no accident.
However that judas la v. A sides with the soviet union more often than with the united states and its allies for independent or not the communist view of world affairs is set in the mold. Cast by marx and lenin a point of view.
That does not often coincide with that taken by non communist. Captures. The foreign policy of the soviet union.
Which is supported and embraced by its satellites is in a word conquest. They envisioned the entire world soviet eyes dan united communist style. So far deterred by the strength of the free world their policy has been to seek this goal by means short of war by subversion where possible by infiltrating ideas and material.
Where they can by attempting to convince the great and growing mass of uncommitted nations. That communism is a way of life superior to all others. The satellite countries fully support this program in the united nations they vote undeviating lee the moscow line machinery from industrial a strong satellite nations such as czechoslovakia goes into the underdeveloped countries.
Which the ussr wishes to infiltrate economically the armed forces of the satellites are there to be counted in any assessment of the strength of the communist world an estimated 1 million ground troops are presently under arms and these excluding of course yugoslavia the satellite armies follow the soviet model using its tactics and organization although they are not trusted with all the latest equipment from the ussr. Comparatively large reserves also stand ready for mobilization in each country their air forces consist largely of soviet jet fighter interceptors their navies are for the most part small only poland as one of any substance probably more important to the soviet union than their standing military forces. However are the strategic advantages for military operations.
Which they offer their ports make virtually a communist controlled lake of the baltic sea and give the soviet union vital access to the mediterranean they provide advance basis for potential missile launching sites sites. Which would bring into the range of soviet irbm s. Parts of europe and north africa that could not be reached from bases in the ussr for all these reasons.
The soviet union considers the satellite countries to be vital to its own position in the world and theres little doubt that it is determined to hold them in its orbit by any means. What is our own nations attitude toward the countries of communist europe and as much as yugoslavia must be considered separately from the others. We can look at that nation first our relations with yugoslavia take into account.
The fact that it is independent and neutral. Today. We provide yugoslavia with economic aid.
Why the basic purpose of this assistance is to strengthen yugoslavia in maintaining its independence. This aid has made it easier for the yugoslavia by the soviet union to bring yugoslavia back into the soviet bloc our relations with yugoslavia did not signify endorsement of its political system. Rather the political system is seen as an internal matter in which we should not intervene.
While yugoslavia remains. A communist state its independence as brought with it the disappearance of many of the harsher aspects of communist rule. As well as greater contact and freer exchange between yugoslavia and countries outside the soviet music.
But what about our attitude toward the other communist countries of europe those that are actually satellites of the soviet union in the complicated world we live in the answer to this question is not simple nor is it easy to define. But generally it can be stated this way our government and our people have a deep concern for the welfare of the people of the countries under soviet domination and we share their aspirations that they will someday regain their independence for the time being and under the present circumstances. We can only seek to keep them aware of our interest and concern and to maintain contact with them in every way.
That is open to us music applause music. .
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