Life Behind the Iron Curtain
Explore thousands of files documenting every aspect of life in Eastern Europe throughout the Cold War.
This collection provides a uniquely comprehensive history of post-Stalinist Eastern Europe - the perfect resource for those studying and researching politics, international relations, history and cultural studies and much more!
The Cold War Eastern Europe collection spans 1953-1982
Module I, 1953-1960 Module II, 1961-1966 Module III, 1967-1975 Module IV, 1976-1982
10 December 1948
Human Rights Day
This file contains a press summary of the trade agreement between Hungary and Columbia. This specific page notes of a special meeting of the Hungarian UN Society, which took place on Human Rights Day at the headquarters of the National Peace Council. It's at this session in which the society took cognizance that the United Nations Organisation had declared the year 1968, Human Rights Year.
Signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement
A file containing an account of the reaction in Poland to the armistice in the Korean War, covering the Polish press reaction to, and the lack of public interest in, the news.
Formation of the K.G.B
This page is taken from a file containing documents relating to Soviet military affairs. This particular page contains a 1955 letter of communication written to the The Chancery at the British Embassy, from the Northern Department at the Soviet Union. The letter discusses various issues regarding the M.V.D (Internal Troops of the Ministry for Internal Affairs), but focuses on discussing the movement of responsibility and command of internal troops to the K.G.B.
This file contains correspondence between the War Office and the Foreign Office. Following on from the Hungarian Counter Revolution, this letter discusses aid for Hungary, and the issues reported regarding the British Fund for the Hungarian Red Cross.
First manned space flight by Yurii Gagarin
A file of correspondence, reports, and press material concerning the Soviet space programme. The document covers Vostok III and IV, two Soviet spaceflights that marked the first occasion on which two manned spacecraft were in orbit at the same time; and the question of whether Harold Macmillan, the British prime minister, should send a message of congratulations to the Soviet government.
Construction of the Berlin Wall
This file contains a report which comments on developments in Soviet international relations, including the Soviet government's support for the construction of the Berlin Wall.
Cuban Missile Crisis
This report, produced by Humphrey Trevelyan, the British Ambassador for the Soviet Union, covers the Cuban Missile Crisis, described as "a milestone, if not a turning point in the history of communism"; Trevelyan's view that the Soviets did not expect the American government to respond so firmly to the installation of nuclear missiles in Cuba.
Assassination of John F Kennedy
A file of correspondence, reports, and press material concerning the Soviet reaction to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the American president. The documents discuss the British observation that the initial Soviet reaction to Kennedy's death was one of genuine "concern and sympathy"; and the opening of a book of condolence at the American embassy in Moscow, signed by leading Soviet politicians including Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader, and Andrei Gromyko, the Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs, who appeared "visibly upset".
22 June 1990
Dismantlement of Checkpoint Charlie
A file of correspondence concerning incidents along the Berlin border, before Checkpoint Charlie was dismantled. The documents discuss an incident in which a seventeen-year-old East German was wounded by East German border police whilst climbing over the Berlin Wall to escape to West Berlin; and the view of Frank Roberts, the British ambassador to West Germany, that the British Military Government in West Berlin should protest to the Soviet government regarding this event, as "the German press and public opinion" will expect it.
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"Cold War Eastern Europe is a truly indispensable resource for students and academics alike studying the history of Eastern Europe, Communism and the Cold War. Due to the high quality of British diplomatic reporting, the collection will immensely enhance comparative research of the Soviet Bloc countries' history"
Csaba Békés, Research Chair, Centre of Social Sciences, Institute for Political Science, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest.