Khruschev and the Cold War

Stalin died in 1953, he was hated throughout Eastern Europe, when the people of Eastern Berlin heard he was dead rioted.
After a short struggle for power, Khrushchev became the new Russian ruler.

at first, the Western Powers hoped that he would be the thaw in the Cold War:

  • he often met them at 'Summit Meetings'
  • Stalin had fallen out with President Tito of Yugoslavia as he made them do what he wanted, in 1955, Krushchev went to Tito and told him 'there are different roads to communism'- this made the Western leaders think that he was no longer going to make communist countries take orders from Russia.
  • in a speech in 1956, Khrushchev made a speech attacking Stalin, saying he was a murderous tyrant. 
  • he began to de-Stalinise Russia. Political prisoners were set free and Beria (chief of secret police) was executed.
  • he said he wanted 'peaceful co-existence' with the West.

the Western powers soon realised that Krushchev did not want an end to the Cold War:

  • 'De-Stalinisation' did not mean freedom from Russia or a change back to capitalism. when communist countries went too far in their reforms, he sent in the 'Red Army' to stop them
  • what he really meant was…


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