Friday, April 9, 2021


Throughout 1945 and 1946, the Eastern European coalition provisional governments would therefore try, more or less, to create economic policy in tandem with other politicians. They would try, more or less, to tolerate the churches, some independent newspapers, and some private business, all of which were for a time allowed to develop spontaneously and idiosyncratically. But there was one glaring exception to that tolerance. Everywhere the Red Army went, the Soviet Union always established one new institution whose form and character always followed a Soviet pattern. To put it bluntly, the structure of the new secret police force was never left up to chance, circumstance, or local politicians to determine. And although there were some differences in timing and style, the creation of the new secret police forces followed remarkably similar patterns across Eastern Europe.

    In their organization, methods, and mentality, all of the Eastern European secret police forces were exact copies of their Soviet progenitor: Poland’s Secret Police (Urzad Bezpiecżeństwa, or UB), Hungary’s State Security Agency (Államvédelmi Osztály, or ÁVO), and East Germany’s Ministry for State Security (Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, or later Stasi, the name by which it is now best known). So was Czechoslovak State Security (Státní bezpečnost, or StB). The latter was organized, in the words of the Czech communist leader Klement Gottwald, so as “to best make use of the experience of the Soviet Union.” The same could be said of every secret police force in every country in Eastern Europe.

Anne Applebaum, (2012). Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 (66). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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