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  • Thaw wasn’t coherent policy, liberal reforms quickly modified.
  • Only literature that served purpose to regime allowed e.g. DoctorZhivago banned, yet those criticising Stalin accepted.
  • Stalinist zeal in persecution of Jews continued, church discouraged
  • Dissident writers imprisoned and harassed despite no declarationof political prisoners
  • Party determined acceptable expression, standard arbitrary e.g.Khrushchev close abstract art exhibition.
  • KGB active and popular surveillance persisted (Stalinist)
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What is de-stalanisation?

  • Term coined in 70’s to describe Khrushchev attempt to eradicate Stalin, refers to either:
  • Secret Speech, condemn S’s excesses- Moderate reforms embarked upon and concessions e.g. cultural freedoms
  • NOTE: no intention to destroy system, he believed in fundamental aspects of Stalinism, just wanted to stop repression that characterised Stalin’s regime, resulted to be contribution factor to his downfall.
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  • De-stalinisation conveyed opportunity for satellite sates to reform own polical systems, wasn't K's intentio, led to brutal treatment in Hungary Uprising to reinforce order= ineffective buffers.
  • Caused deterioration of relation with China as they saw K as weak
  • Weakened own position, growing criticism from dissidents; prevailed until fall, & call for social reconstruction (unintended).
  • Led to conservative opposition, angered they hindered reform.
  • Discouraged successors to reform, led to overcautious conservatism.
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Action of De-Stalinisation

  • Reform Communism, cultural reforms & the Thaw, eg= reduced censorship on literature- one day in the life of Ivan Denisovish & radio more accessible.
  • New civil liberties; couldn't be covicted on own confessions (anti Stalinist method of torture) death penalty  restricted & comrade courts intriduced.
  • Greater investment in light industry & agriculture - Virgin Land Schemes.
  • Stalin's stamp removed Stalingrad renamed Volgograd & statues pulled down, reburied.
  • Released political prisoners & rehabilitated Great Terror victims,showedliberal tendency & Leninist nature, not unchallenged totalitarian control of Stalin.
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