Division of the world

Seizure of power

The decisions made in Yalta by the victorious powers did not automatically result in the communists taking power in the countries under Soviet influence. In the absence of wider public support, the communists pursued a policy of intimidation, terror, repression and brutal struggle against political opponents in order to gain power. The Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) were absorbed into the Soviet Union during the Second World War. The People's Republic of Bulgaria was established in 1946. In Poland, Hungary and Romania, the Communists took full power in 1947, and a year later also in< Czechoslovakia. Only the countries that freed themselves from the German occupation, Albania (ruled by Envera Hoxha) and Yugoslavia (ruled by Josip Broz Tito), enjoyed a certain independence from Moscow, even though the Red Army cooperated in the liberation of the country.

It should be stressed that in some countries the communists encountered armed resistance from partisans who did not agree to the new Soviet occupation. For example, the Brothers of Forestry in the Baltic States, the Goriani in Bulgaria, the so-called Cursed Soldiers who have been spat out in Poland or the Haiducii Muscelului anti-communist movement in Romania. The lonely, doomed to failure in advance, decided to fight hopelessly against a powerful enemy.

However, the communists did not manage to achieve their goals everywhere. One of the first places where the democratic world confronted the communist world was the occupied Berlin. Between 1948 and 1949, the Soviets began to block West Berlin, cutting off the city from shore-side supplies. The Allies supported the Berliners by sending goods via an air bridge. Berlin will be a hotspot during the Cold War many more times. During the Cold War, there were two German states: the Western Federal Republic of Germany and the Communist Federal Democratic Republic of Germany.


In Greece, a civil war between government and monarchy forces and the Communist Democratic Army of Greece was fought. In 1949, the government forces finally won, with the help of the USA and Great Britain.


In order to weaken Moscow's influence in the rebuilding Europe, in 1947 the USA offered economic aid to all European countries. The so-called Marshall Plan was only adopted by Western countries greatly contributing to post-war reconstruction. The so-called Eastern Block countries, by decision of the Kremlin, rejected the American offer and in 1949 established the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon) whose main objective was to coordinate the integration of the economies of communist countries.

Meanwhile, in 1949, in the Far East the Communists led by Mao Zedong won the civil war and created the People's Republic of China. This is how the second largest communist country in the world originated. The communists' march in Asia began.