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A Bridge between East and West? Czechoslovakia's Road to the Soviet Bloc


Although Czechoslovak politicians in exile frequently proclaimed towards the end of the Second World War an ambition for their country to mediate between the U.S.S.R. and the Western powers, their deeds and utterances, imprinted in Soviet, Czech and other archival materials, testify to something else.  With their faith in the West fatally shaken by Munich 1938, which was only amplified by the U.S. failure to liberate Prague in May 1945, they relied on a Soviet security guarantee against any further German aggression and on Stalin's promises of non-interference in internal Czechoslovak affairs. However, numerous concessions to the Soviet wishes and a growing domestic power of the Czechoslovak Communists undermined this cardboard castle that in the atmosphere of the growing East-West confrontation finally collapsed in February 1948.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREEES) and the Department of History