Csaba Bekes – Laszlo Borhi – Peter Ruggenthaler – Ottmar Trasca (ed.)

Soviet Occupation of Romania, Hungary, and Austria 1944/45-1948/49

Budapest – New York 2015
ISBN 978-963-386-075-5
380 S., $ 70,00

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The book deals with the political, military, and economic aspects of Soviet occupation in Austria, Hungary, and Romania in a comparative perspective. The documents come from Hungarian, Romanian and Russian archives. The editors argue that the nature of Soviet foreign policy has been misunderstood. Existing literature has revolved around the explanation of Soviet foreign policy from the perspective of when and why Stalin made the decision to introduce Bolshevik political systems in the Soviet sphere of influence. But as the book will show the Soviet conquest of East-Central Europe had an imperial dimension and allowed the Soviet Union to use the territory it occupied as military and economic space. The book will also focus on the human experiance of Soviet occupaion: atrocities, rape, plundering and deportations.

Reviews:

“This fascinating collection of declassified documents from Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Russia sheds valuable comparative light on Soviet military occupation policies in Central Europe during the final year of World War II and the first several years after. The editors have done a splendid job of introducing and annotating the documents, allowing readers to trace the similarities and differences of the Soviet occupation regimes in Austria, Hungary, and Romania. The book not only reveals the Soviet Union’s underlying political, military, and economic goals and methods in these three countries, but also vividly brings out what the occupation was like for ordinary people, including the atrocities perpetrated by Soviet troops against civilians. “

Mark Kramer, Director of Cold War Studies, Harvard University

“This documentary volume will make a timely contribution to our understanding of the origins of the Cold War in Central Europe by focusing on the economic depredations of Soviet occupation policies in Romania, Hungary and Austria, next to Moscow’s political goals of the communization of these countries. By bringing key documents together in one single volume in English, this book offers penetrating new insights into Soviet policies in these three countries.”

Günter Bischof, University Research and Marshall Plan Professor of History and Director of CenterAustria, University of New Orleans

Der Dokumentenband ist zeithistorischen Fachleuten wie Laien unbedingt zur Lektüre zu empfehlen.

JGO 2017/2, S. 37f.