Red Star

Hungry in Hungary

In 1956, Nikita Khrushchev totally denounced Stalin (following his death in 1953) at the Soviet Communist Party’s Twentieth Congress in February. This condemnation led to multiple crises in Europe, particularly in Hungary and Poland. In particular, Poland and Hungary had communist parties with … Continue reading

Cleaning Up the Mess

In March of 1953, Joseph Stalin died under suspicious circumstances, ending his quarter-century-long reign over the Soviet Union. With his death, the party machine he established gradually crumbled as various personalities tried to consolidate power. The eventual victor was Nikita … Continue reading

Dasvidaniya China

Besides domestic political issues, Stalin’s death changed the Soviet Union’s relationship with China as Nikita Khrushchev’s ideological differences and anti-Stalinist reforms drove a wedge between the two communist neighbors. After the formation of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921, China developed a very close relationship with Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Mao Zedong and the…

Literary Life

Boris Pasternak was a poet in 1956 after the Thaw of 1954 that created some trouble due to his literary work. The Thaw, written by Il’ia Ehrenburg, was the first example of poets and novelists experimenting with their literary content, although it was timid and short lived. From 1956-1957, Soviet writers began to test the limits […]

Khrushchev and the Twentieth Party Congress

The death of Joseph Stalin in 1953 proved to be a pivotal time for the Soviet Union.  The loss of a leader who had wielded so much executive and coercive power over the previous three decades, and whose “cult of personality” had made him a hero and a legend in the eyes of the common […]

The Hydrogen Bomb Comes to the Soviet Union

In 1953, the Soviet Union detonated their first hydrogen bomb, a fusion bomb that was many times greater than the fission bomb dropped by the United States on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan to end World War Two. The project was being developed as early as 1946, three years before the Soviet Union even detonated their […]

A New Frontier for Good ….. or Evil?

On October 4th, 1957 the Soviet Union showed the world why they, too were a superpower. On that day, they launched the first man-made satellite  into Earth’s orbit. Sputnik 1, which simply means “satellite” in Russian, was launched for all the world to see. Also, for those who wanted to listen to Sputnik, they could […]