World: East Bloc: Illusions of Unity

At the Yalta conference in 1945, preparing for the final onslaught against Hitler's Germany, Roosevelt and Churchill gave tacit approval to the notion that Eastern Europe would be a Soviet "sphere of influence" after the defeat of their common enemy. It became more than that. By 1948 Bulgaria, Rumania, Poland, Albania, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary and Yugoslavia had acquired Communist governments, either by the force of Soviet arms or by political subversion.

Yugoslavia's Josip Broz Tito hurled the first challenge to East bloc unity; his country was ceremoniously expelled in 1948 from the Cominform, the Moscow-dominated alliance of Communist states, for pursuing...

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