A Letter From The Publisher: Mar. 18, 1966

AS World War II ground to a halt, the Red armies and the Kremlin's commissars swept into Eastern Europe from the Baltic to the Black Sea, gobbled up half a continent and more than 100 million people. This week, 21 years and a new generation later, TIME takes its readers behind the no-longer-so-impenetrable Iron Curtain for a revealing appraisal in word and picture of what the years have wrought in the four major and strikingly diverse countries of the area: Rumania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland.

Principal reporter on the story was William Rademaekers, who covered the Hungarian uprising ten years ago, has...

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