Shortly before the official end of the Second World War, on 25th April 1945, American and Soviet soldiers met at the Elbe. In order to reach the Elbe River, the Russian troops had to come all the way across Europe, thus crossing Eastern Europe. By the end of the same year, seven states occupied by the Red Army were governed by communist parties, as were and Albania and Yugoslavia. Adding to this was the fact that most of the eastern part of Europe remained under communist rule until the end of the 1980s. In this context, the question of why communism became established in those countries seems natural.
[...] In the second phase, governments were still composed of coalitions. Several parties were officially sharing the power, but their leaders were in fact chosen by the communists. As Seton-Watson explains, 'political opposition was however still tolerated, although attended with physical risks for those who practised it. Yugoslavia and Albania never passed through this stage. Poland and East Germany began their post-war history in it'30. This is the phase in which the communists take advantage of the success of first stage. [...]
[...] The core principle of Titoism is the application of communism at a national level, and without any external pressure Beyond the Stalinisation of the Popular Democracies and the alternative offered by Titoism, many different tactics were used to establish communism in Eastern Europe. Hugh Seton-Watson classifies the Soviet interventions in east European affairs following three patterns: 'direct political action based on the threat of military force, indirect political action, and economic action'39. We have already seen many examples of the first pattern, as proven by the presence of the Red Army, the Prague coup, the destruction of the democratic elites or the political trials and murders. [...]
[...] But it is not to forget that the Soviet Union was not the sole representative of communism in Eastern Europe. Both Albania and Yugoslavia liberated themselves from the Nazis, without the 'help' of the Red Army. Geoffrey Swain and Nigel Swain note that 'in the Balkans, communists came to power at the head of their own revolutions, and, as they ''sovietised'' themselves'15, the Soviet troops didn't need to intervene. Even though Tito broke away from Stalin as early as 1948, it is interesting to realize that communism was not only brought by the Soviets, but also by other communities. [...]
[...] They were able to take advantage of the situation to gain power and influence, which shows the part the Second World War played in the establishment of communism in Eastern Europe As seen above, historians and scholars find in the post-war context many reasons explaining the establishment of communism. But they also see the Cold War as being responsible for it. Even though the common appreciation of the beginning of the Cold War is 1947 with the Truman declaration about the 'containment'17, the Russians used this tactic in as 1944-1945, and were planning on using it as early as 1943 as proved by the Teheran conference. [...]
[...] Eventually, communism became fully established in Eastern Europe through the Soviet influence or some internal factors as proved by Yugoslavia. Seton Watson explains that 'the prefabricated revolutions which between 1945 and 1948 brought nearly hundred million Europeans under Stalinist rule, were the first considerable triumph that could be claimed for the communist cause since the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia'47. Because of the necessity of protecting the model from the threat brought by the Cold War, the communists managed (and had to) take advantage of the postwar context. [...]
using our reader.