Following the final approval of the Paris Peace Treaties that ended World War II, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) planned to incorporate the new state of West Germany into their military alliance in the spring of 1955. From the Soviet perspective, this was another aggressive military maneuver. In response to NATO's German decision, the Soviet Union and its East European allies….
Deeply concerned about the ongoing economic and political crisis in Poland in the early 1980s, Soviet leaders regularly communicated with Polish officials, providing advice, support, and criticism. These meeting notes from April 2, 1981, of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union convey Soviet leaders' dissatisfaction, frustration, and even anger with Polish leaders'….
In response to another rise in prices, for meat products in particular, strikes erupted in the summer of 1980 in Poland among workers throughout the country, especially in the cities of Gdansk, Gdynia, and Szczecin. Strikers listed a total of twenty-one demands, including higher pay, more openness in media, less censorship, and the formation of free trade unions. To quell the situation,….
Following World War II, State Department officials, skeptical of the diplomatic value of programs they considered “propaganda,” persuaded Congress to cut allocations severely for Voice of America (VOA) radio programs that had been established during World War II to communicate US war aims to populations abroad. In late 1947, however, a committee of senators traveling in Europe reported….
Soviet authorities valued posters as a most accessible form of propaganda with origins in the early days of the Communist Revolution as a way of reaching out to an illiterate audience. Throughout Soviet history, posters remained a visible indication of the Party's official interests. This poster from 1986 celebrates two important events: the celebration of International Workers' Day (May 1) and….
Soviet propaganda posters presented positive images of healthy, active people engaged in useful service to the state, including women. In this poster from 1974, three women, with their hair covered with a traditional kerchief, are depicted alongside a clear slogan: "Soviet Women! Be the first in line for the national struggle to successfully fulfill the Five-Year Plan in four years!" Since the….
One of Mikhail Gorbachev's most famous reform movements was perestroika (reconstruction), an attempt to rebuild the Soviet economy, which had been stagnating for more than a decade. A large part of perestroika emphasized developing individual responsibility among the Soviet workforce, in order to inspire greater productivity. With a guarantee of universal employment, there had been no….
Soviet propaganda posters presented positive images of healthy, active people engaged in useful service to the state, including children. This Soviet poster from 1953 was typical of this image. Its slogan, "Pioneers and Students, Get Interested in Modeling!", coupled with the image of a happy child in the open air on a bright, sunny day, suggested the positive results of state-approved….