World: The Politics of Paranoia

Walter Ulbricht's fears can be summed up in one word: isolation. Dependent on the presence of 20 Red army divisions for his survival, Ulbricht fears any diplomatic development that might leave his half of Germany stranded in Central Europe among countries that no longer practice his rigid, monolithic form of Communism. Alexander Dubcek's experiment in liberalizing Czechoslovakia thus represents a particular nightmare for the old East German boss. He fears that the Czecho slovaks will recognize West Germany in return for economic help. That, according to Ulbricht's domino theory, would lead to similar action by Hungary and the eventual isolation of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!