Division of the world

European insurgencies

Very tough living conditions in the Eastern Bloc countries caused citizens to speak out against the communist regime. In June 1953 a workers' uprising took place in East Germany and in Czechoslovakia workers took to the streets (e.g. in Pilsen).

Three years later, more speeches took place, this time in Poland and Hungary. In June 1956, the uprising of workers began in Poznań. Although the rebellion was brutally suppressed, it contributed to certain changes in the country. The new First Secretary of the Communist Party was Władysław Gomułka, who was quite popular among Poles. The so-called thaw began, which gave an impulse for changes in other countries of the so-called Eastern Bloc. A few months after Poznań, the uprising broke out in Hungary as well. The protesters demanded Hungary's independence from the USSR, freedom of speech and free elections. The Prime Minister Imre Nagy announced Hungary's neutrality. These speeches were bloodily suppressed by the intervention of the Soviet Army. About 2500 people died and another 13 000 were injured. In the following years, 229 people were sentenced to death and executed, including Imre Nagy.