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From The 'Great Patriotic War' To The Structural Assimilation Of Eastern Europe (194156)

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Chapter Summary

A sudden offensive by German troops against the Soviet Union on 22 July 1941 unambiguously ended the two-year old pact between the two countries. The rapidly advancing German armies forced the Soviet régime to take drastic action. The legendary efforts which soldiers, workers and technicians displayed in this campaign can only be explained by the fact that, from the beginning, the war was fought as a national, defensive war. Patriotism and hate for the devious enemy were the mainfare of all official propaganda. The East-European glacis retained its capitalist character in this first phase, be it under the direct supervision of the Soviet Union. Under pressure of the conflict that meanwhile began to manifest itself between the Soviet Union and its former Western allies, all this changed in 1947-8. A process of structural assimilation occurred, through which the buffer states strongly began to resemble the USSR, politically and economically.

Keywords: Eastern Europe; Great Patriotic War; structural assimilation



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