Iron Curtain

I’m a little more than halfway finished with my current reading selection. The book is ‘Iron Curtain, The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956’ by Anne Applebaum. It tells the ugly story of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. The peoples of Eastern Europe hoped for freedom after Hitler’s defeat and the end of Nazi occupation in 1945, but it was not to be. The new occupying power, the Soviet Union, had plans for Eastern Europe that did not include freedom.

Applebaum’s book provides great detail, much of it unknown to most western readers like me, about the oppression and terror that fell on Eastern Europe when the Red Army defeated Nazi Germany and “liberated” the nations of Eastern Europe. The Soviets quickly brought all local and national politics, youth groups, communications, teachers, labor, and police under their control and dictated every facet of daily life in Eastern Europe.

The book focuses mainly on the experiences of East Germany, Poland, and Hungary, but other nations inside the Iron Curtain are not entirely omitted from the story. It is a grim but fascinating book.