History: An Echo from the Past

In 1956, a war in the Middle East and a crackdown by Moscow took place in a single week. Sound familiar?

War breaks out in the Middle East as the Western powers attack an ambitious Arab dictator. The Soviet Union, threatened by revolution within its empire, takes advantage of the Middle East crisis to crush the rebellion. No, that was not just last week's news in the Persian Gulf and the Baltics; it was what happened during one tragic week late in 1956.

Then, as now, all of Eastern Europe was in a state of nationalist turmoil. Only three years after the death of Joseph Stalin, Communist Party Secretary Nikita Khrushchev was trying to reform the brutal dictatorship that Stalin created, but...

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