Foreign News: The Rise of COMECON

Over the smoke-blackened gate of the giant steelworks in the Czech town of Pilsen, two notable emblems stand side by side. One is the world-renowned trademark of the century-old firm of Skoda, a winged arrow in a circle. The other is the red star of Communism. The famed plant that munitioned Central Europe's armies through two world wars is now the Skoda Lenin Works, a smoking, clanging symbol of a bold Russian ambition: to bind together all the productive skills of the seven East European satellites into one Moscow-managed economic community.

The agency driving...

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