ABSTRACT

After the Second World War, by decision of the Great Powers, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe were included in the sphere of influence of one of the victors, the Soviet Union, to form the so-called socialist bloc. And it really was a bloc, based on a total alignment in terms of cooperation and mutual assistance in economy, politics, science, defense, and all the rest. The marriage, imposed from outside, lasted about half a century. It is especially important today, when considering the present uncertain situation in the region, to remember that the totalitarian regimes of Central and Eastern Europe came about as a result of that war and that those countries lay to the eastern, Soviet side of the Iron Curtain not by choice but because the Great Powers had determined that fate for them.