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Cold War 14 - Red Spring 1960's

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From Wikipedia


Cold War

Episode Fourteen

Red Spring - 1960s

The Prague uprising (Czech: Pražské povstání) was an attempt by the Czech resistance to liberate the city of Prague from German occupation during World War II. Events began on May 5, 1945, in the last moments of the war in Europe. The uprising went on until May 8, 1945, ending in a ceasefire the day before the arrival of the Red Army and one day after the Victory in Europe Day.

The Khrushchev Thaw  refers to the period from the mid 1950s to the early 1960s, when repression and censorship in the Soviet Union were partially reversed and millions of Soviet political prisoners were released from Gulag labor camps, due to Nikita Khrushchev's policies of de-Stalinisation and peaceful coexistence with other nations.

The Thaw became possible after the death of Joseph Stalin in March 1953. Khrushchev denounced Stalin in a secret speech at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party, then ousted the pro-Stalinists during his power struggle in Kremlin. The term was coined after Ilya Ehrenburg's 1954 novel The Thaw, "Оттепель", sensational for its time. The Khrushchev Thaw was highlighted by Khrushchev's 1954 visit to Peking, China, his 1955 visit to Belgrade, and his subsequent meeting with Dwight Eisenhower later that year, culminating in Khrushchev's 1959 visit to the United States.

The Thaw initiated irreversible transformation of the entire Soviet nation by opening up for some economic reforms and international trade, educational and cultural contacts, festivals, books by foreign authors, foreign movies, art shows, popular music, dances and new fashions, massive involvement in international sport competitions; it was a chain of unprecedented steps to free people from fear and dictatorship that culminated in the removal of Stalin's body from Lenin's Mausoleum. Although the power struggle between liberals and conservative pro-Stalinists never stopped, it eventually weakened the Soviet Communist Party.

Khrushchev's Thaw allowed some freedom of information in the media, arts and culture; international festival, foreign movies, uncensored books, and new forms of entertainment on the emerging national TV, ranging from massive parades and celebrations to popular music and variety shows, satire and comedies, and all-star shows, like "Goluboy Ogonek." Such political and cultural updates all together helped liberate minds of millions and changed public consciousness of several generations of people in the Soviet Union.





Khrushchev meeting U.S. president John F. Kennedy in 1961

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