The History of the Soviet Bloc 1945–1991
Péter BENCSIK, Péter VUKMAN
Babak ARZANI, Diego BENEDETTI, Martyna BOJARSKA, Ádám BALOGH, Shira BORZAK,
Florian BRINK, Vanessa BUFFRY, David CATALAN, Sonya COWELL, Susan COOPER, Lauren CRYSTAL, Laura CSEKE, Botond CSELLE, Péter DARÁK, Nico DEGENKOLB,
Kati DEPETRILLO, Emanuele DI BELLO, Jacob FEYGIN, Lilla FÖDŐS, Katarina GABIKOVA,
Kristyna GABIKOVA, Evelina GELEZINYTE, Laura GOUSHA,Zsófia GÖDE, Brianna GREENWALD, Gyöngyi GYARMATI, Zoltán HERKUTZ, Ágnes HEVÉR,Neala HICKEY, Jennifer HOLLAND, Connie IP, Alin IVASCU, Kitti Eszter JAKAB, Dean JOLLY, Victoria JONES, Annastiina KALLIUS, István KASZTA, Tomas KOLAR, Roman KOZIEL,Annamária KÓTAY-NAGY, Réka KRIZMANICS, Andrej KROKOS, András Máté LÁZÁR, Karina LEGRADI, Thomas KOLLMANN, Sára LAFFERTON, Marja LAHTINEN, Joseph LARSEN, Zsófia MADÁCSI, Cynthia MANCHA, Mike MANTZAVINOS, Csaba Zsolt MÁRTON, Anikó MÉSZÁROS, Viktor NAGY, Tímea OKOS, Balázs OLTVÖLGYI, Jennifer OTTERSON, Roland PAPP, Orsolya PÓSFAI, Dominika PROSZOWSKA, Rashid RAHIMLI, Linda RICHTER, Martin ROMAIN, Lili SIKLÓS, Bobbie SCHOEMAKER, Anett SZŰCS, Sabine TOPOLANSKY, Dóra VERESS, Aniello VERDE, Zita Bettina VASAS, Patrick Stephen WAGER, Jonathon WOODRUFF, Maciek ZAWADA, Kristóf ZSIDI
© Cold War History Research Center, Budapest 2013
At the Cold War History Research Center we have been working on an extensive chronology of the Soviet Bloc for a number of years. The second part of the timeline contains information dealing with the period from 1953 to 1968. The years 1969–1980 will be available by mid 2014.
The entries were compiled using mainly secondary sources so far, nevertheless, we are determined to further improve and continuously extend the chronology by including information from archival documents in the years to come.
The chronology also presents data dealing with Austria, Finland and Yugoslavia. Although these countries were obviously not part of the Soviet Bloc, we still wanted to involve them since they maintained special relations with the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies.
List of Sources
© Cold War History Research Center, Budapest 2013
Hungary – 1953 (HC)
According to the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, the industry achieved 101.3% of the planned production. The national income increased by 12%. Investment grew by 3%. The socialist sector is 32% of the entire economy. The population of Hungary is 9,632,055. The working population is divided by professions: industry: 938,700, construction: 295,100, agriculture: 1,934,000, transportation and communication of information: 217,300, trade: 236,600, other: 727,300. The working population is divided by sectors as: state: 77.6%, cooperative farms: 18.7%, private: 3.7%. Livestock (in thousands): cows: 2,236, horses: 681, swine: 4,977, sheep: 1,637. Transportation: public roads: 28,733 km, railroads: 10,272 km (electrified railroads: 347 km), number of engines: 2,655, railcars: 266, passenger trains: 6,079, freighter trains: 64,817, number of air routes: 18, length of air routes: 4040 km.
Healthcare: number of doctors: 13,322 (13.8/ 10,000 citizens), number of hospital beds: 57 540 (59.7/ 10 000 citizens). Education: kindergartens: 2,245 (kindergarten teachers: 4,038, children: 131,873), primary schools: 6,108 (teachers: 43,108, students: 1,203,346), secondary schools: 427 (teachers: 6,970, students: 164,410), universities and colleges: 33 (professors: 5,409, students: 53,330), vocation school professional teachers: 1,402, students: 45,472. Number of cinemas: 2,752, shows: 539,000. Radio subscribers: 1,079,600. Books published: 3,071 in 510,000,000 copies. Hungarian minority in Yugoslavia: 502,175.
The Hungarian Popular Union of Romania is abolished; the Hungarian Publishing House in Czechoslovakia is established; in 1956 it merges with the Tatran Publishing House; the Hungarian regional theater is founded in Komarno, Slovakia; Hungarian secondary schools are opened in Beregszász and Nagydobrony (Transcarpathia); Hungarian theaters are opened in Temesvár and Szatmárnémeti.
Romania – 1953 (PIR)
The Hungarian Popular Union, founded in August 1934 and previously under Romanian Communist Party control, dissolves itself.
Romania – 1953 (RUR)
Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej is named president of the Council of Ministers.
Romania – 1953 (RUR)
After the death of Stalin, the first economic disputes between Romania and other Eastern European countries occur. Romania initiates new course policy of increasing the agricultural products available in the domestic economy to prevent any popular unrest.
East Germany – January – April, 1953 (HWD)
Political pressure is brought to bear on the church, mainly of the Lutheran church (80% of the population belong to the Lutheran church this time). Between January and April 1953 the Ministry for State Security arrests about 50 clergymen, deacons and civil supporters.
Hungary / US – January 1953 (HC)
In Hungary nationwide demonstrations are organized to protest against the execution of the Rosenbergs, who are accused of leaking nuclear secrets in the US.
Hungary – January 1953 (HC)
Állami áruház (“State store”), a film directed by Viktor Gertler, is first shown.
Yugoslavia / Burma – January 1953 (RYN)
A Yugoslav delegation takes part in the first Asian Socialist Conference, held in Rangoon.
Czechoslovakia – January 1, 1953 (KCA)
In a broadcast, President Klement Gottwald warns that industrial production is lagging, that there is food scarcity, and that the Five-Year plan is behind schedule.
Hungary – January 3, 1953 (REV)
Lieutenant General Gábor Péter, Commander of the State Protection Authority (ÁVH), and his wife are arrested on charges of spying and Zionist relations. Several other high-ranking ÁVH officers are arrested in the next few days.
Poland – January 4, 1953 (PSN)
The rationing system is abandoned but the price of commodities increases. It is also decided that agricultural products not designated for delivery and surpluses could be sold at prices agreed upon by the buyer and seller.
Bulgaria / Yugoslavia – January 6, 1953 (PVC)
Bulgaria sends a note to Yugoslavia protesting the maltreatment of the embassy's employees in Belgrade.
Romania – January 7, 1953 (PIR)
Transportation, sale, purchasing and milling regime for agricultural products become subjects of collectivization.
Yugoslavia / U.S. – January 7, 1953 (KCA)
Washington announces that in order to alleviate the effects of the severe drought in Yugoslavia, during the summer of 1952, it has offered a grant of $20 million to the country to enable it to import more foodstuffs.
Yugoslavia / Vatican – January 8, 1953 (KCA)
Belgrade issues an official statement announcing that Prime Minister Josip Broz Tito has invited the Roman Catholic Bishops to ''regularize relations between the State and the Roman Catholic Church within the framework of the constitution and in connection with the breaking-off of diplomatic relations with the Vatican.'' It is reported that during the meeting the bishops present a list of complaints to Tito about the treatment of the Catholic Church in Yugoslavia and that they stress that they cannot conclude agreements without the approval of the Vatican. At the same time, they do agree upon the appointment of a joint-commission to report on Church-State relations.
Romania / China – January 9, 1953 (PIR)
Romania and China sign an accord for technical and scientific collaboration in Beijing.
Czechoslovakia – January 10, 1953 (KCA)
In a speech, Prime Minister Antonin Zapotocky confirms that a number of retired civil servants and other “unproductive persons” are being removed from Prague to new homes on the Polish and Hungarian frontiers. Their apartments are to be taken over by workers actively engaged in production.
Hungary – January 10, 1953 (HC)
Decree 2/1953 by the Hungarian Council of Ministers announces the abolition of income and property taxes.
Soviet Union / Austria / U.S. – January 12, 1953 (CWC)
The U.S. sends a note to the Soviet Union proposing that a meeting of deputies be held to discuss an Austrian peace treaty. It also reminds the Soviet Union that on December 20, 1952, the U.N. passed a resolution encouraging the big four to finish negotiating an Austrian peace treaty.
Yugoslavia – January 12, 1953 (PLC)
The Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia is proclaimed in a law modifying the Yugoslav constitution.
Soviet Union – January 13, 1953 (KCA/REV)
The Tass Agency and Moscow radio issue an announcement alleging that nine doctors and specialists, six of who are of Jewish origin, have caused the death of two Soviet leaders and plotted to kill others. All men are said to have confessed and were described as “paid agents” of the British and U.S. The announcement is accompanied by Soviet press attacks on the Western powers, Zionism, the State of Israel and on the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in the U.S. Dr. Lidiya Timashuk, who ‘revealed’ the plot, receives the Order of Lenin on January 21.
Yugoslavia – January 13, 1953 (KCA)
Both Houses of the Yugoslav National Assembly adopt the new Yugoslav Constitution. Notable changes include the creation of the office of the President of the Republic and the abolition of the Cabinet and its super session by a Federal Executive Council as the supreme executive organ of government
Yugoslavia / Vatican – January 13, 1953 (KCA)
The Osservatore Romano of the Vatican publishes the text of a note it sent to the Yugoslav Government accusing Yugoslavia of trying to eradicate all religious ideas and institutions.
Romania – January 14, 1953 (PIR)
The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Romanian Workers' Party (PMR) debates the measures to be taken for the development of the activity of the Plowmen’s Front, the Union of Democratic Women, the Hungarian Popular Union and the committees of national minorities.
Yugoslavia / Vatican – January 14, 1953 (ACY)
The Vatican's answer together with the Yugoslav Government’s original note announcing a break in diplomatic relations is published by L'Osservatore Romano, refusing the charges of interference in Church-State relations.
Yugoslavia – January 14, 1953 (PVC)
The National Assembly elects Marshal Tito President of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia.
Poland / U.S. – January 16, 1953 (PSN)
The Polish Government sends the U.S. a note of protest about training centers for intelligence agents located in West Germany. The Polish note states that intercepted agents had attempted to pass at least $1 million of American tax payer money to various officials.
Hungary – January 17, 1953 (KCA)
An official communiqué announces the arrest of Lajos Stoeckler, President of the Hungarian Jewish community. Officials reportedly found he had substantial amounts of American and Swiss currency.
Bulgaria – January 18-20, 1953 (KCA)
Another espionage trial takes place in Sofia in which 10 defendants are charged with conspiring to overthrow the regime by force. The principle defendant, Todor Christov receives the death sentence while the other nine are sentenced to prison sentences ranging from 18 months to 20 years.
Yugoslavia / Turkey – January 19-25, 1953 (PVC)
Turkish Foreign Minister Fuad Köprülü visits Yugoslavia.
Hungary / Soviet Union – January 20, 1953 (HC)
The Soviet Government announces that Hungary has paid its reparations. The amount of reparation payments was significantly reduced over the years.
Hungary – January 20, 1953 (HC)
The Central Statistics Office publishes the economic achievements of the 1952 plan. Investment has increased by 23.2%, industrial production by 23.6%, heavy industrial production by 33.3%, light industrial production by 10.5%, food production by 16%. The proportion of the socialist sector within agriculture has increased from 25% to 37%.
Poland – January 21-27, 1953 (KCA)
Four priests and three civilians are tried before a military court in Cracow on charges of espionage for the U.S. Intelligence Service. It is reported that all of the accused plead guilty. Three men are sentenced to death, and the rest to terms of imprisonment ranging from six years to life.
Czechoslovakia / France – January 23, 1953 (KCA)
The French Foreign Ministry announces that the Czechoslovak military attaché in Paris is considered to be a persona non grata and is recalled. The Czechoslovak Government issues the recall of the French military attaché in Prague and of two attaches at the French Embassy.
Hungary – January 23, 1953 (HC)
The Council of Ministers announces that the Hungarian Television Corporation will be established.
Poland – January 23, 1953 (PSN)
Four Catholic priests and three laymen are tried for having ties with the Polish émigré political council and intelligence service.
Romania January 24, 1953 (PIR)
The Grand National Assembly elects a new Presidium and Petru Groza as President. A new Council of Ministers is also elected, while the Supreme Tribunal appoints the new general prosecutor.
Soviet Union / Austria / U.S. – January 27, 1953 (CWC)
The Soviet Union responds to an American note dated January 12, which called for a meeting of the deputies with regards to an Austrian peace treaty. The Soviet Union states that it is willing to resume negotiations only if the Western powers withdraw an abbreviated treaty presented in March 1952. The Soviets also reject the December 20, 1952 UN resolution on Austria as illegitimate.
Soviet Bloc / U.S. – January 27, 1953 (LBC)
Secretary of State John Foster Dulles on US foreign policy: the “captive” peoples of Eastern Europe “can count on us”. According to Dulles, the arrests and trials in Eastern Europe are signs of the Soviet Union’s weakness.
Poland / Vatican – January 28, 1953 (KCA)
The Osservartore Romano rejects negative insinuations made against the Vatican during the trial.
Bulgaria / Yugoslavia – January 28, 1953 (PVC)
Replying to the Bulgarian note of January 6, Yugoslavia sends a note to Bulgaria protesting the maltreatment of and insults against the Yugoslav diplomats in Sofia. Bulgaria denies the charges.
Soviet Union / U.S. – January 29, 1953 (CWC)
The U.S. rejects Soviet preconditions for negotiations.
Czechoslovakia – January 31, 1953 (KCA)
The Czechoslovak Government announces a complete reorganization of the governance system. Under the new system, a Government Presidium consisting of Prime Minister Zapotocky and nine Vice-premiers is formed. A number of Cabinet changes are also announced.
Hungary – February 2, 1953 (HC)
The Presidential Council elects Béla Kovács as Minister of Justice. The former Minister of Justice, Gyula Décsi is arrested.
Yugoslavia / Greece – February 3-8, 1953 (PVC)
The Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs visits Yugoslavia.
Hungary / Romania – February 5, 1953 (PIR)
Romania and Hungary upgrade diplomatic relations to the embassy level.
Romania – February 5, 1953 (PIR)
Iuliu Maniu, president of PNR (1926-1933, 1937-1947), dies in the Sighet prison.
Romania – February 7, 1953 (PIR)
The Plowmen’s Front dissolves itself as a party; its members are absorbed into PMR.
Hungary – February 8, 1953 (HC/KCA)
The Presidential Council dismisses Zoltán Vas as head of the State Planning Office and István Szirmai as head of the Hungarian Radio Office.
Hungary – February 8, 1953 (HC)
Decree 6/1953 by the Council of Ministers announces that the family allowance will be regulated. Decree 7/1953 states that mothers, pregnant women and children will be protected. Decree 8/1953 states that citizens without children are required to pay a special tax (4% of their income).
Poland – February 9, 1953 (PSN)
The Polish Council of State issues a decree announcing that church appointments would have to have prior approval from state authorities and that the state could remove clergymen from their posts.
Romania – February 10, 1953 (PIR)
The Institute for Economic Research of the Romanian Academy is founded.
Soviet Union / Israel – February 10, 1953 (PLC)
The Soviet Union ends all diplomatic relations with Israel following an attack on its Embassy in Tel Aviv.
Bulgaria – February 13, 1953 (KCA)
A law for the regulation of the stay of Bulgarian citizens abroad is promulgated in Sofia, stating that “Bulgarian citizens who leave the country without permission of the competent authorities, as well as citizens who, having left the country with permission, fail to return when their permitted stay abroad has expired, will be treated as traitors and punished by death”.
Finland / Nordic Council – February 13, 1953 (NCP)
The first meeting of the Nordic Council is held in Copenhagen. Finland, which has received an invitation to join, is prevented from taking part in the meeting because of the political pressure from the Soviet Union.
Hungary – February 13, 1953 (HC)
The Council of Ministers announces that the Economics Institute, established on September 9, 1949, will be closed.
Romania – February 19, 1953 (PIR)
The Political Bureau approves the investigation of Ana Pauker and Teohari Georgescu by the organs of the Ministry of State Security.
Soviet Union / U.S. – February 20, 1953 (LBC)
Eisenhower calls on Congress to pass a resolution, which would repudiate “any interpretations or applications,” “employment and interpretations” of secret World War II pacts, “which have been perverted to bring about the subjugation of free peoples” and proclaiming that the people who have been subjugated to Soviet despotism shall again enjoy the right of self-determination within a framework which will sustain peace. Because of Stalin’s illness, U.S. Congress postpones discussion of the draft resolution on March 5.
Deliberation of the draft resolution is postponed indefinitely on March 10. Some opponents of the draft want to condemn even the fact that the agreements were made and found the formula of distorting the agreements insufficient.
Hungary – February 21, 1953 (HC)
The first edition of Szabad Hazánkért (“For our free country”), the literary periodical of the National Army, is published. Chief editor: Gábor Devecseri.
Poland – February 21, 1953 (KCA)
In a broadcast, the Polish Minister of Agriculture speaks on the development of co-operative farming in Poland, encouraging it.
Yugoslavia – February 21-25, 1953 (PVC)
The fourth congress of Socialist Alliance of Working People of Yugoslavia, formerly the People's Front is held in Belgrade. In his speech delivered at the congress, Foreign Minister Edvard Kardelj puts the emphasis on the cooperation of progressive forces of the world against both the dynamic imperialism of the Soviet Union and the extensive tendencies of American capitalism.
Soviet Union – February 22, 1953 (KCA)
Though no official announcement has been made, the first intimation that Marshall Vassili Sokolovsky has succeeded General Shtemenko as Chief of Staff of the Soviet Army is given when Sokolovsky was described as Chief of Army Staff in invitations for a Soviet Army Day reception.
Soviet Union / U.S. – February 25, 1953 (LBC)
Eisenhower announces that he is willing to meet with Stalin for the sake of maintaining international peace. According to Secretary of State Dulles, the President is not planning to meet Stalin but even if they did meet, Eisenhower would not employ the policy of appeasement.
Yugoslavia / Greece / Turkey – February 25, 1953 (KCA)
Greece, Turkey and Yugoslavia sign a treaty of friendship and cooperation in Athens. The treaty provides for close co-operation in the political, defense, economic, and cultural spheres.
Hungary – February 27-28, 1953 (HC)
A national meeting of artists is organized in Budapest in order to discuss the questions of contemporary art.
Yugoslavia / U.K. – February 27, 1953 (HWC)
The Foreign Office's Desk Officer for Yugoslavia, J. Olivar Wright proposes a new policy towards Yugoslavia suggesting that in view of Tito's imminent visit, the British might ''try and cultivate in him some talent for compromise.'' This is one of the rare examples of such a note rising from the bottom of the bureaucracy to the very top that is endorsed by both the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister.
Hungary – March, 1953 (REV)
The Budapest Military Court passes sentences in the so-called Farkasfa conspiracy. József Bekes, Péter Wrangel, Ferenc Sipos, János Sipos and Lajos Bicsák are sentenced to death for spying and conspiracy against the state. Over 70 people in the Vas County village are arrested in the case. Ten are executed and several die of torture during interrogation.
Yugoslavia / Burma / U.N. – March 1953 (RYN)
Yugoslavia supports Burma's complaint against Nationalist Chinese aggression in the U.N. The step enhances Belgrade's prestige in Rangoon.
Hungary – March 2, 1953 (REV)
Over 1,600 Category C recruits are sent to labor service in construction brigades. The number of men on Army labor service reaches 10,000.
Hungary / China / U.K. – March 2, 1953 (KCA)
Churchill announces to the House of Commons that the Hungarian Government has proposed a prisoner exchange. Edgar Sanders, who was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment in 1950, would be exchanged in return for the release of Lee Meng, a Chinese terrorist who in September 1952 had been sentenced to death in Malaya for possessing a hand grenade.
Soviet Union / U.S. – March 2, 1953 (CWC)
Vishinsky attacks the U.S. for blocking a Korean peace resolution at the U.N. General Assembly.
Romania / Turkey – March 4, 1953 (PIR)
The declaration of the government of R.P.R. regarding the inclusion of Turkey into the North Atlantic Pact protests the transformation of Turkey into a basis of direct aggression against R.P.R. and all the countries on the shores of the Black Sea.
Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. – March 5, 1953 (LBC)
Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin dies. Eisenhower instructs the State Department for official condolences but omits all references to sympathy toward Stalin or appraisal of his role. The British Government expresses condolences “according to normal diplomatic procedure” on March 7. According to Dulles, “The world has been dominated by the malignant power of Stalin” for tenyears, but this has ended with the dictator’s death. British Foreign Secretary Eden opines that the West cannot change its cold war policies because of Stalin’s death; preparation must be made for East-West talks if the East does not use them for propaganda purposes.
East Germany / Soviet Union – March 5, 1953 (KGD/HWD)
Stalin’s death provokes mourning throughout the GDR. The GDR leadership is shocked, as the new leadership of the Soviet Union (Georgy Malenkov, Lavrentiy Beria, Vyacheslav Molotov) demand a change of direction in East Germany and a break with the hard line policy there. Wilhelm Zaisser and Rudolf Herrnstadt force a more flexible policy on the Politburo of the SED as well as the replacement of Walter Ulbricht.
Romania – March 6, 1953 (PIR)
The Council of Ministers of R.P.R. dismisses for serious deviations from the laws, Aurel Vijoli, the President of the Bank of R.P.R., Iacob Alexandrescu and Vasile Modoran, Deputy Ministers of Finance. Anton Moisescu (released from the office of Vice-President of the State Commission for Planification and Deputy Minister of Finance) is appointed President of the Bank. Radu Manescu is named Deputy Minister of Finance, while Emanoil Vinea – removed from the office of General Deputy Director of the Affairs of the Council of Ministers – and Dumitru Fara are appointed Vice-Presidents of the Bank.
Soviet Union – March 6, 1953 (HC)
Malenkov is elected as Chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers and Voroshilov the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.
Soviet Union – March 6, 1953 (CWC)
Molotov is reappointed as Foreign Minister.
Yugoslavia – March 6-9, 1953 (PVC)
The sixth Congress of the People's Youth takes place.
Soviet Union – March 7, 1953 (REV)
The new Soviet leadership declares a partial amnesty. It promises to improve living standards and give priority to developing light industry and agriculture. The principle of collective leadership is emphasized.
Hungary – March 8, 1953 (HC)
The Hungarian Parliament announces a law to record “the immortal memory of Stalin”.
Poland – March 8, 1953 (PSN)
The Roman Catholic weekly Tygodnik Powszechy, is banned for refusing to publish Stalin's obituary. In July the weekly is reopened under a new leadership.
Soviet Union – March 9, 1953 (KCA)
After a four-day period of national mourning, Stalin’s body is interned beside the Lenin Mausoleum in the Red Square. A five minute silence is observed throughout the country during the internment.
Czechoslovakia / U.S. – March 10, 1953 (KCA)
U.S. Air Force Headquarters in Wiesbaden announce that two Czechoslovak jet fighters of Soviet design attacked two U.S. fighters in Bavaria, within the U.S. zone of occupation. One fighter crashed and the other landed at another base.
Soviet Union / China – March 10, 1953 (KCA)
The appointment of Vassili Kuznetsov as Soviet Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China is announced in Moscow.
Czechoslovakia / U.S. – March 11, 1953 (KCA)
In a note to the U.S. Government, the Czechoslovak Government disclaims any responsibility for shooting down an American fighter jet in Bavaria.
East Germany / U.K. – March 12, 1953 (KCA)
The Air Ministry in London announces that a British Lincoln bomber on a routine exercise was shot down in the Hamburg-Berlin corridor, killing five and wounding two.
Czechoslovakia / U.S. – March 13, 1953 (KCA)
In a note to the Czechoslovak Government, the US Government emphasizes that according to radar, the U.S. fighters had not crossed the Czechoslovak border and that the jet was shot down on the territory of the FRG.
Hungary – March 13, 1953 (HC)
The University of Economics in Budapest is renamed after Karl Marx on the 70th anniversary of his death.
Romania – March 13, 1953 (PIR)
New regulations regarding the functioning of the Militia are adopted.
Soviet Union / U.K. – March 13, 1953 (KCA)
The British High Commissioner protests to the Soviet High Commander against “this deliberate and brutal act of aggression involving the murder of British airmen.” (March 12).
Czechoslovakia – March 14, 1953 (KCA)
President Klement Gottwald dies in Prague at the age of 56.
Soviet Union – March 14, 1953 (KRI)
Malenkov abandons the post of First Secretary. He remains Chairman of the Council of Ministers with four replacements including Molotov and Beria. Khrushchev is given the post of Party Secretary.
Hungary / Austria – May 15, 1953 (KCA)
An agreement between Austria and Hungary providing for the joint resumption and regulation of Danube river traffic between the two countries is concluded.
East Germany / U.K. / U.S. – March 15, 1953 (KCA)
The Air Ministry in London announces that British aircrafts taking part in training exercises over Germany will be fully armed, and the American Air Force Headquarters announces that all unidentified aircraft over the U.S. Zone of Germany will be intercepted.
Soviet Union / France / U.S. – March 15, 1953 (KCA)
Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick and the U.S. and French High Commissioners send notes to General Chuikov protesting the aggressive behavior of Soviet pilots. (March 12).
Soviet Union – March 15, 1953 (PLC)
The Supreme Soviet announces the principles of the new state policies.
Hungary – March 16, 1953 (HC)
Decree 1014/1953 by the Council of Ministers announces that Easter Monday will become a regular work day.
Romania – March 16, 1953 (PIR)
The Jewish Democratic Committee dissolves itself.
Soviet Union – March 16, 1953 (CWC)
Premier Malenkov, in an address to the Supreme Soviet states that all Soviet-American differences can be solved through negotiations.
Yugoslavia / U.K. – March 16-21, 1953 (LBC)
President Tito visits Britain. According to a communiqué of the meeting, European aggression will not be regarded as a “local” affair. According to Tito, Churchill promises to defend Yugoslavia in the case of an attack.
Hungary / U.K. – March 16-21, 1953 (LBC)
Britain rejects Hungary’s offer to exchange Edgar Sanders. According to Prime Minister Churchill the U.K. is applying economic pressure on Hungary and will achieve the release of Sanders with “different methods”.
Hungary – March 17-18, 1953 (HC)
The Parliament accepts Law II., III. and IV. of 1953 about the reformed election process, the protection of newborns, and the establishment of new honors.
Soviet Union – March 17, 1953 (PLC)
Amnesty decree announced in the Soviet Union. The number of prisoners in the GULAG drops from 2.5 million to 1.36 million within a year.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – March 17, 1953 (PVC)
In his latest note against Yugoslavia, the Hungarian Government accuses the Yugoslav Government of sending enemy agents to Hungary.
Soviet Union / U.S. – March 18, 1953 (CWC)
The U.S. protests that a Soviet airplane fired on an American airplane that had allegedly violated Soviet airspace. On March 21 the Soviet Union responds that the plane had violated Soviet airspace and was then forced to flee.
Poland – March 19, 1953 (HDP)
Following the Soviet example Poland converts to collective leadership. Bierut resigns as Premier but keeps the post of First Secretary.
Romania – March 19, 1953 (PIR)
The MAN Presidium issues a decree for the collection of vegetal agricultural products for the year 1952. The Decision of the Council of Ministers forbids petty production and the sale by the peasantry of their own products. Norms proportional to the land surface, and not productivity of the soil or drought, are fixed for cereals, vegetables, oleaginous products, and potatoes handed over. Five categories of production quotas exist, ruining the small peasant property.
Soviet Union / U.K. – March 19, 1953 (KCA)
General Chuikov sends a letter to the British High Commissioner rejecting the British protest, but proposing an Anglo-Soviet conference on air safety. (March 12).
Czechoslovakia – March 21, 1953 (KCA)
The Czechoslovak National Assembly elects Antonin Zapotocky, the Prime Minister, as President of Czechoslovakia. Vilem Siroky is elected Prime Minister in succession to Zapotocky and Antonin Novotny as Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, succeeding Gottwald.
Romania – March 22, 1953 (PIR)
Festive assembly takes place in Bucharest for the celebration of 30 years since the founding of the UTC in Romania, whose members are decorated with the “Defense of the Motherland” order, 1st rank.
Finland / West Germany – March 22, 1953 (OAA)
West Germany opens a commercial agency in Helsinki.
Yugoslavia / Greece / Turkey – March 23, 1953 (KCA)
The Greek Parliament and the Yugoslav National Assembly both unanimously ratify the tripartite agreement of friendship and cooperation between Greece, Yugoslavia and Turkey.
Hungary – March 24, 1953 (HC)
Decree no. 1953:4 by the Presidential Council states that decree no. 1952:2 about the compulsory delivery of agricultural products is modified. The required amount of swine is reduced.
Czechoslovakia – March 25, 1953 (KCA)
It is announced in Prague that President Zapotocky has appointed two further Deputy Premiers.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – March 26, 1953 (KCA)
Another Hungarian note is sent to Yugoslavia protesting the incidents at the Yugoslav-Hungarian border. The wording of the note is rather mild when compared to previous notes.
Albania / Romania – March 27, 1953 (PIR)
The Accord for goods and payment exchange between R.P.R and the Popular Republic of Albania is signed.
Soviet Union – March 27, 1953 (KRI)
A general amnesty is declared for minor political and economic crimes, and all sentences of under five years are commuted. The elderly, infirm, underage, and mothers with children are released from prison.
Poland – March 28, 1953 (PSN)
At a plenary meeting of the Polish Communist Party Central committee, Bierut reads a report on “The Immortal Teachings of Comrade Stalin as a Weapon in the Struggle for Further Strengthening the Party and the National Front.”
Romania – March 28, 1953 (PIR)
The Committee for Cultural Establishments opens the Russian Literary Decade, screening a series of Soviet films and staging Russian plays.
Yugoslavia / U.K. – March 28, 1953 (PVC)
Naval Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet, Admiral Louis Mountbatten visits Tito on board Galeb while the Yugoslav president is travelling home from London.
Romania / US / UN – March 29, 1953 (PIR)
Romanian representative submits protest motion against “the murderous bacteriological war conducted by American aggressors” to the U.N.
Yugoslavia – March 29, 1953 (KCA)
The Yugoslav Federal Executive Council issues a decree permitting individual members of collective farms to withdraw and return to individual farming. It also permits the cooperatives themselves to be disbanded by a majority vote from their members.
Soviet Union – March 31-April 7, 1953 (KCA)
A party of ten U.S. newspaper and radio owners, editors and correspondents headed by James L. Wick, visits Moscow after having obtained visas from the Soviet Embassy in London. This is the first visit of this kind since 1946. The members of the group meet Soviet editors and journalists, move freely about the city and are guests of honor at a reception given by the Moscow Press Club.
Yugoslavia – March 31, 1953 (KCA)
The results of a census taken on this day show the population of Yugoslavia at 16,927,275, an increase of 7.3 percent from the 1948 figure.
Romania / Soviet Union – April 1, 1953 (PIR)
The Romanian delegation leaves for the International Economic Counsel on East-West economic developments, in Moscow.
Soviet Union – April 1, 1953 (KCA)
The Soviet Government and the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party announce a series of further price reductions for foodstuffs and manufactured goods starting on April 1.
Hungary – April 4, 1953 (HC)
A literary anthology titled Felszabadítónk, Sztálin (“Stalin, our liberator”) is published.
Romania – April 4, 1953 (PIR)
The election of the Presidium of the R.P.R. Academy is confirmed: President – Traian Sãvulescu; Vice-Presidents Petre Constantinescu-Iasi, Mihail Sadoveanu and N. Profiri; Prime Secretary Stefan Vencov. Other members of the Presidium are: R. Cernãtescu, I.S. Gheorghiu, B. Lãzãreanu, E. Macovschi, Stefan Nicolau, E. Petrovici, Mihail Roller, S. Stoilov.
Soviet Union – April 4, 1953 (PLC)
It is announced that the Zionist conspiracy trial was based on provocation. The doctors are released from prison.
Yugoslavia / U.S. – April 5, 1953 (LBC)
The U.S. grants an $11 million draught relief to Yugoslavia. This raises the amount of U.S. aid to Yugoslavia to $106, 75 million dollars since the Balkan state broke close ties with the Soviet Union.
Romanian – April 6, 1953 (KCA)
The Romanian Government announces a partial political amnesty to prisoners, a policy identical to those recently issued by the Soviet and Czechoslovak Governments.
Soviet Union / U.N. – April 9, 1953 (CWC)
Permanent representative of the Soviet Union to the UN Andrei Vyshinsky addresses the U.N., emphasizing the need to avert another war and stating that differences in political systems should not keep nations from cooperating.
Yugoslavia – April 11, 1953 (PVC)
Boris Kidrić, Chairman of the Economic Committee of the Federal Executive Council, dies.
Romania – April 12, 1953 (PIR)
The system of price settlements is reorganized.
Romania – April 13, 1953 (PIR)
The Council of Ministers adopts the decision regarding the introduction of agro-technical minimums; peasants are obliged to commit to a certain period of time to plough the land, and to grow and treat the seeds.
Romania – April 13, 1953 (PIR)
The Romanian-Soviet Medical Days are opened at the Athenaeum.
Bulgaria / Romania – April 13, 1953 (PIR)
The Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, Dimitar Konstantinov Grekov, presents his accreditation letters in Bucharest.
Romania / Yugoslavia – April 15-May 31, 1953 (PIR)
Romanian-Yugoslav talks regarding navigation on the Danube and the creation of the Special Fluvial Administration of Porþile de Fier take place at Orova and Tekija.
Soviet Bloc / U.S. – April 16, 1953 (LBC)
Eisenhower’s peace offensive begins. The President’s proposals are as follows: step-by-step disarmament; the reduction of national armed forces; the reduction of the use of strategic materials for military purposes, the international control of atomic energy, the limitation or banning of weapons of “great destructive power;” U.N. supervision of disarmament; the extension of the European community, which would mean the free flow of people, goods and ideas; the full independence of East European peoples.
Romania – April 18, 1953 (PIR)
The Congress of educators in R.P.R. sends a letter to the Council of Ministers of the R.P.R. and to the Central Committee of PNR, in which they promise they would take the “path of constructing socialism,” and a letter of gratitude to Stalin, “the genius leader of the working men of the whole world.”
Soviet Union / U.K. – April 19, 1953 (KCA)
It is announced in Moscow and London that Jacob Malik has been appointed Soviet Ambassador to the U.K.
Romania – April 20, 1953 (PIR)
The Decree for the organization of labor protection is promulgated.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – April 20, 1953 (LBC)
In a speech given in the House of Commons, Churchill urges a meeting of the great powers.
Hungary – April 21, 1953 (HC)
Decree no. 1953:7 by the Presidential Council states that new departments will be established at the Eötvös Loránd Science University. The Humanities department is split into two: the Languages and Literature department and the History department; the Natural Sciences department is split into the Mathematics, the Chemistry, the Physics and the Life and Earth studies departments
Romania – April 23, 1953 (PIR)
MAN president, C.I. Parhon, awards decorations to 18 heads of production, academics and artists.
Romania – April 24, 1953 (PIR)
Former politician and historian Gheorghe I. Brãtianu dies in the Sighet prison.
Romania – April 25, 1953 (PIR)
The Central Statistics Direction, subordinated to the Council of Ministers of the R.P.R, communicates the results of the State Plan for the first trimester of 1952, which vary between 93% (in Exterior Commerce) and 122% (in the Polygraph Industry and the Diffusion of Press and Book) of the preset goals.
Soviet Union / U.S. – April 25, 1953 (CWC)
Pravda responds to Eisenhower's April 16 speech that lists the changes the Soviet Union could make in order to reduce international tensions. The article lays blame on the U.S. for strained relations and also urges the country to make policy changes.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – April 28, 1953 (LBC)
Molotov’s proposal for a five-power peace agreement is presented.
Hungary – April 29, 1953 (HC)
The first general assembly of the TTIT (Educational Association of Social Sciences and Sciences) takes place. The association is organized in order to inform the public about the “exceptional scientific views and results”. The Head of the association is Rezsõ Bognár, the General Secretary is Sándor Erdei.
Romania / China – April 29, 1953 (PIR)
The Soviet and the Chinese delegations takes part in the celebration of May 1st in Romania.
Hungary – April, 1953 (HC)
Föltámadott a tenger (“The sea has risen”), a film by Kálmán Nádasdy and László Ranódy, is first shown.
East Germany – May 1, 1953 (KCA)
The Socialist Unity Party declare that the city of Chemnitz is renamed Karl Marx-Stadt from this day onward.
Romania – May 1, 1953 (PIR)
The Ensemble for songs and dances of the Popular Counsel of the Capital is founded.
Czechoslovakia – May 4, 1953 (KCA)
The Czechoslovak Government announces an amnesty law, providing that men over 60 and women over 55 and pregnant women of any age are to be immediately released, freeing those minors and adults serving short-term sentences, and cutting the number of years for those with long terms and life sentences. Similar amnesties will be extended to military offenders, but not to political prisoners.
Poland – May 4, 1953 (KCA)
The Polish Government adopts a resolution giving top priority to the completion of the Nowa Huta steel plant near Cracow by 1955. The Nowa Huta project envisages the construction of one of the largest and most modern metallurgical works in the world.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – May 6, 1953 (HC)
The Hungarian Foreign Ministry sends a protesting memorandum to the Yugoslav Embassy to raise objections against the border violations.
Romania / China – May 8, 1953 (PIR)
The ratification of the cultural accord between R.P.R. and the Peoples’ Republic of China takes place.
Romania – May 9, 1953 (PIR)
Great festive assembly takes place at the Athenaeum to celebrate 75 years of Romanian independence.
Bulgaria – May 10, 1953 (KCA)
The Orthodox Church in Bulgaria elects its own Patriarch.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – May 11, 1953 (LBC)
Prime Minister Churchill proposes “East-West differences to be taken up at the highest level between the leading powers without delay,” the conference should be limited to the least number of participants possible. According to Churchill, Stalin’s death is changing the Kremlin’s attitude. Both the government party and the opposition received the proposal favorably. The State Department praises Churchill’s lofty initiative, but until the settlement of the Korean and the Austrian questions, he sees no prospect for a conference. France expresses outrage at the fact that Churchill did not publicly call on France to participate in the conference. According to the State Department, however, the U.S. will not participate at a high level conference of great powers without France.
East Germany – May 13-14, 1953 (PLC)
The leaders of the SED announce that the GDR is a state where the proletariat rules, disregarding Soviet Interior Minister Beria’s plan for a united Germany. The required production level is increased.
Czechoslovakia – May 15, 1953 (KCA)
It is officially announced in Prague that William Oatis, the former Associated Press correspondent in Prague who had been sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment in July 1951 on charges of espionage, has been “brought under amnesty”, proclaimed by the Czechoslovak Government on May 4, and that he has been released.
Romania / Yugoslavia – May 15, 1953 (KCA/PIR)
A law nationalizing every remaining private factory is adopted in Romania. Romania and Yugoslavia conclude an agreement on navigation in the Iron Gates sector of the Danube.
Romania / Soviet Union – May 15-17, 1953 (PIR)
A Soviet delegation led by painter F.P. Regetnikov, laureate of the Stalin Prize, takes part in the Plenary of the plastic artists in the R.P.R.
Czechoslovakia / U.S. – May 16, 1953 (LBC)
Czechoslovakia releases the American journalist William Oatis, who was sentenced to ten years for espionage in 1951. The State Department denies a U.S.-Czechoslovak agreement for the release of Oatis, but will consider the cancellation of the restrictions that were imposed on US-Czechoslovak relations because of Oatis’ arrest.
Hungary – May 17, 1953 (HC)
Parliamentary elections in Hungary take place. Participation rate is 98%. The Patriotic People’s Front receives 98.2% of the votes.
Yugoslavia / U.K. – May 17, 1953 (PVC)
Tito delivers a speech at Slavonski Brod in which he reviews international affairs. He refers to Prime Minister Churchill's speech at the House of Commons and considers it one of the most important addresses for the maintenance of world peace. However, Tito categorically rejects that the great powers again make decisions on the faith of small states behind closed doors. On the Trieste question, Tito again rejects the Western approach and proposes a condominium.
Bulgaria / Yugoslavia – May 18, 1953 (PVC)
Bulgaria sends another note to Yugoslavia protesting new border incidents.
Yugoslavia – May 18-24, 1953 (PVC)
Meeting of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church takes place. There, the approval of the Priests' Association is withheld.
Poland / Denmark – May 20, 1953 (KCA)
Polish Air Force Pilot Lieutenant Jazwensky lands on the Danish island of Bornholm and asks for political asylum, becoming the second pilot to do so.
Yugoslavia / France / U.K. / U.S. – May 21 1953 (LKT)
In his Air Forces Day speech at Batajnica, Tito, surrounded by Western military attachés, refers to the Unites States, the U.K., and France as ''our allies'' who are assisting both Yugoslavia and the cause of peace. He grants that Soviet propaganda against Yugoslavia has eased, but points out that there has been no corresponding improvement in relations between the Soviet bloc and Yugoslavia.
Poland / U.K. – May 22, 1953 (KCA)
Eugeniusz Milnikiel, former Polish Ambassador to Sweden, presents letters of credence in London as Ambassador to the U.K.
Yugoslavia – May 22, 1953 (KCA/PVC)
The Federal National Assembly passes a Bill reducing the maximum private land holding from 20-30 hectares to 10-15 hectares. Land owned by people over this new limit will be purchased and assigned to landless and poor peasants. At the same time it allows members to leave the agricultural cooperatives.
Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. / France – May 24, 1953 (KCA)
The Soviet Government’s response to Churchill’s speech of May 11, in which he called for a high-level conference of the leading world powers, is published in Pravda. The Soviet Government accepts his proposal, but disapproves of Britain attending the upcoming Bermuda conference between Britain, the U.S. and France, and reiterates that it will only meet with the other Powers if there are no “preliminary fixed demands”.
Hungary – May 25, 1953 (HC)
The general assembly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences convenes. “The economic problems of the Soviet Union,” by Stalin,scientific research, and the cultural revolution are the topics on the agenda.
Romania – May 25, 1953 (PIR)
The “R.S.S. Ukraine Decade” is opened under the aegis of ARLUS.
Czechoslovakia – May 26, 1953 (KCA)
Prague radio announces that Richard Slansky, brother of the late Rudolf Slansky, has been sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of treason and espionage.
Romania / U.S. – May 26, 1953 (LBC)
The U.S. expels the First Secretary of the Romanian Legation in Washington.
Romania – May 27, 1953 (PIR)
Ioan Suciu, Greek-Catholic bishop of Blaj, dies in the Sighet prison.
Soviet Union / U.S. – May 27, 1953 (KCA)
The Soviet Ministry of Interior announces that the four Soviet citizens that had been dropped over the Ukraine by U.S. aircrafts to carry out espionage and sabotage had been tried by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court, found guilty and executed by firing squad. A U.S. State Department spokesperson described the Soviet announcement as “too fantastic to deserve comment”.
East Germany – May 28, 1953 (KGD)
The leadership of the SED decides to raise work quotas by at least 10%.
Romania – May 29, 1953 (PIR)
The MAN Presidium appoints Gheorghe Apostol as Vice President of the Council of Ministers.
Poland / Denmark – May 30, 1953 (KCA)
It is announced in Copenhagen that Jazwensky has been granted the status of political refugee and will be allowed to go wherever he chooses.
Soviet Union / Turkey – May 30, 1953 (CWC)
The Soviet Union renounces its territorial claims in Turkey and withdraws its demands to special privileges in the Dardanelles.
Romania / Yugoslavia – May 30, 1953 (PVC)
Romania and Yugoslavia sign an agreement on joint control of the Iron Gates section of the Danube.
Yugoslavia – May 30, 1953 (PVC)
The abolition of the post of political commissars in Yugoslav army takes place.
Romania / Yugoslavia – May 31, 1953 (KCA/PIR)
Romania and Yugoslavia sign an agreement on joint control of the Iron Gates section of the Danube.
Soviet Union / Yugoslavia / U.S. – June 1953 (LKT)
In a meeting with U.S. Governor of Illinois, Adlai Stevenson on Brioni, Tito again states that the apparent changes in Soviet policy and the nature of the Soviet system are not genuine.
East Germany / Soviet Union – June 1-5, 1953 (KGD)
The SED representatives visit Moscow, where they face criticism by Soviet leaders over the socialization tempo of Walter Ulbricht.
Czechoslovakia June 1,1953 (PSČZ)
Currency reform stirs up.
Czechoslovakia – June 1, 1953 (PLC/REV)
Mass demonstrations in Plzen and Ostrava take place. Protestors occupy the city hall in Plzen and hang out national and American flags. The protests are suppressed by the armed forces.
Yugoslavia – June 1, 1953 (KCA)
In his capacity as Supreme Commander of the Yugoslav Army, President Tito issues an order abolishing Political Commissars in all military units, training establishments and institutions, creating in their place the rank of Assistant Commander for Political and Educational Activities.
Hungary – June 3, 1953 (KCA)
The new Hungarian National Assembly meets for the first time and re-elects István Dobi of the former Smallholders Party as Chairman of the Presidium.
Yugoslavia / Greece / Turkey – June 3-12, 1953 (KCA)
Representatives of the General Staff of Turkey, Yugoslavia and Greece meet to continue their previous discussions regarding the common defense of the three countries.
Romania – June 3, 1953 (PIR)
The 12th ordinary session of MAN take place. Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej is elected President of the Council of Ministers.
Poland – June 4, 1953 (PLC)
Cardinal Wyszynski, the head of the Polish Catholic Church, reads out a letter in Beirut, written at the Congress of Polish Archbishops, in front of 200,000 believers. “What belongs to God, cannot be given to the emperor. Non possumus."
Yugoslavia – June 4, 1953 (KCA, ACY)
The Law on the Legal Status of Religious Communities comes into force on June 4. It codifies the constitutional provisions for the separation of church and state and the guarantees of freedom of conscience and religious belief. The legislation is approved by the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Muslim Community, but is rejected by the Roman Catholic Church.
Czechoslovakia / U.S. – June 5, 1953 (LBC)
The U.S. announces that the import of Czechoslovak goods, the export of non-strategic commodities to Czechoslovakia and the well-founded business trips of U.S. citizens are once more permitted.
Hungary – June 6, 1953 (HC)
Pomádé király új ruhája (“The news clothes of King Grease”) by György Ránki is presented at the Opera House.
Hungary – June 6-13, 1953 (HC)
The first congress of Hungarian historians is organized in Budapest on the 250th anniversary of the beginning of the Rákóczi freedom fight in the early 18th century. Some foreign, mostly Soviet, historians also participate.
Soviet Union / Yugoslavia – June 6, 1953 (KCA)
Following a meeting between the two on April 29, Molotov makes a proposal to Yugoslav Chargé d’Affaires Djuritch in Moscow for the two countries to resume normal diplomatic relations.
Romania / Yugoslavia – June 8-24, 1953 (KCA)
A special committee of the Danube Commission meets in Bucharest and rejects a series of Yugoslav proposals for a reorganization of the Commission’s secretariat which would have modified Soviet control of its management.
Soviet Union / U.S. – June 8, 1953 (LBC)
President Eisenhower’s committee on information activity recommends that the Psychological Strategy Board be replaced by an Operation Coordination Committee working under the National Security Council. According to the president of the committee, psychological strategy cannot be dealt with separately from official policy and foreign policy. The new committee would work out a detailed plan for psychological warfare to be waged on this basis and not separately. According to the White House summary of the report, there is no reliable evidence that the recent changes in Soviet leadership, Soviet politics and Soviet tactics changed Soviet aspirations for a communist world under the Kremlin’s rule.
East Germany – June 9, 1953 (PLC)
Under Soviet pressure the SED announces a reform program.
East Germany – June 11, 1953 (NNT)
A resolution of the Council of Ministers announces that any GDR citizen is entitled to get food cards.
Yugoslavia – June 12, 1953 (PVC)
Serbian Supreme Court revises the June 1917 decision sentencing Dragutin Dimitrijević (Apis) amongst others to death for their attempted assassination of Prince Regent Alexander.
Hungary – June 13, 1953 (HC)
Hungary celebrates the 250th anniversary of the beginning of the Rákóczi freedom fight. Deputy Defense Minister Sándor Nógrádi gives a speech at the National Army Theater in Budapest.
Hungary – June 13–16, 1953 (REV)
Several members of the Hungarian party and state leadership are summoned to Moscow for discussions kept secret for 30 years. The autocratic rule of Mátyás Rákosi is ended, Imre Nagy is recommended for prime minister, and the main lines of a new policy are laid.
Romania – June 13, 1953 (PIR)
Medico-sanitary assistance for workers is organized.
Soviet Union / Israel – June 15, 1953 (PLC)
The Soviet Union resumes diplomatic relations with Israel.
Soviet Union / Yugoslavia – June 15, 1953 (KCA)
Belgrade announces that Yugoslavia has accepted a Soviet proposal to resume normal diplomatic relations between the two countries and has agreed to the appointment of Vassili Valikov as Soviet Ambassador in Belgrade.
East Germany – June 17, 1953 (PLC)
Anti-communist and anti-Soviet uprisings in East Berlin and other East German cities take place. According to the official information, 21 people die, and 187 are injured.
Yugoslavia – June 17, 1953 (PVC)
The Central Committee of the Yugoslav League of Communists, after meeting in Brioni, issues a letter calling on all Communist organizations to increase political activity and to tighten up measures against heresy and Western bourgeois influence.
Romania / Yugoslavia – June 18, 1953 (KCA/PIR)
The model statute for GAC’s is established.
East Germany / Soviet Union / U.S. – June 18-20, 1953 (CWC)
On June 18th the U.S. sends a note of protest to the Soviet Union for the handling of the Berlin uprising. The Soviets respond on June 20th justifying use of force with claims that western agents were inciting protest. The U.S. denies these accusations.
Soviet Union / Yugoslavia – June 18, 1953 (KCA)
The Yugoslav Foreign Ministry announces that it has granted a Soviet request for 26 naval vessels of the Soviet Danube Flotilla to pass through the Yugoslav reaches of the Danube en route for Ismail, the Soviet river port in the Danube estuary.
Romania – June 19, 1953 (PIR)
Romania celebrates the two-year anniversary of the publication of Stalin's “ingenious” works on linguistic problems.
Romania – June 20, 1953 (PIR)
Meeting between Gheorghiu-Dej and the Stakhanovist miners takes place.
Hungary / Romania – June 21, 1953 (PIR)
An accord for economic cooperation between Romania and Hungary is signed.
Yugoslavia – June 21, 1953 (KCA)
The Yugoslav Federal Executive Council decides to set up a council for National Defense and to form three new Commissions to deal with religious matters, economic problems, and cooperation with the World Health Organization.
Bulgaria / Greece – June 22, 1953 (KCA)
The Bulgarian Foreign Minister notifies the Secretary-General of the U.N. that his Government has accepted a Greek proposal for a mixed border commission to settle all outstanding frontier disputes between Greece and Bulgaria. He requests the commission to exclude U.N. representatives and meet as soon as possible.
Soviet Union – June 22, 1953 (KCA)
The Soviet Foreign Office informs all foreign embassies in Moscow that travel restrictions on foreigners in the greater part of the USSR have been removed, thereby opening to travel almost all of European Russia and large areas of the Asian region of the Soviet Union, though travel within the Moscow area remains confined to a 25 mile radius of the capital.
Poland / U.K. – June 23, 1953 (KCA)
It is announced in London that Captain Cwiklinski of the Polish liner Batory and the ship’s medical officer failed to leave with the liner on June 20 and have sought asylum in Britain.
Yugoslavia / Greece / Turkey – June 24, 1953 (KCA)
The three countries issue a tripartite agreement reiterating their determination to promote cooperation amongst themselves to the greatest possible extent.
Bulgaria / Greece – June 25, 1953 (KCA)
The Greek Government informs the U.N. that it agrees with Bulgaria’s request.
Poland / UK – June 25, 1953 (KCA)
Captain Cwiklinski and the medical officer are granted asylum.
Romania / Yugoslavia – June 25, 1953 (PIR)
Protest note of the R.P.R., against the provocations near the border between the two countries is remitted to the Embassy of Yugoslavia,
Romania / U.N. – June 26, 1953 (PIR)
The Romanian Government asks the Security Council to adopt the resolution project proposed by the Soviet Union for the acceptance of Romania and the other states of the Eastern bloc as members of the U.N.
Soviet Union – June 26, 1953 (KRI)
Lavrenty Beria is arrested at a meeting of the Presidium after other members of the body conspire with the military to remove him from power. The other members fear that with the control of the secret police, Beria could become the next Stalin. Nikita Khrushchev organizes the arrest, bringing him to the forefront of the Presidium.
Hungary – June 27-28, 1953 (HC)
A session of the CC of the Hungarian Workers’ Party takes place. The problems with the party leadership are discussed regarding politics, economics and everyday life. The declaration states that the collective leadership is missing, and that the personal cult and the undemocratic system within the party organization are harmful. The new economic policy will discourage rapid industrialization, reallocate resources for investment, reform the state collection system, strengthen the existing cooperative farms instead of establishing new ones, and raise the living standard of workers. The Organizing Committee and the General Secretary status will be abolished. Members of the new Secretariat: Mátyás Rákosi, Lajos Ács and Béla Vég.
Soviet Union – June 30, 1953 (KCA)
It is announced that Malik and Zarubin, the ambassadors to the U.K. and U.S., have been recalled to Moscow for consultations.
Soviet Union – Summer 1953 (KRI)
Uprisings take place in Soviet prison camps.
Romania – July 1953 (PIR)
The Council of Ministers halts the work on the Danube-Black Sea Canal. An estimated 10 thousand political detainees had worked on the project.
East Germany – July, 1953 (HWD)
Wilhelm Zaisser and Rudolf Herrnstadt, opponents of Walter Ulbricht lose their position in the SED and they are removed from the party in January 1954.
Hungary – July 1, 1953 (HC)
The prices of certain clothing items are decreased by 10-30%.
Yugoslavia / Burma – July 1, 1953 (OEH)
Yugoslavia signs a trade agreement with Burma.
Hungary – July 2, 1953 (HC)
The Government led by prime minister Mátyás Rákos resigns.
Hungary – July 2, 1953 (HC)
József Domonkos, Public State Prosecutor, is dismissed by the Presidential Council upon his own request.
Romania / Yugoslavia – July 2, 1953 (PVC)
Borba officially states that a mixed Romanian-Yugoslav commission will be set up to work out measures for the prevention of border incidents. The meetings are scheduled to start at Timisoara.
Romania / France – July 3, 1953 (PIR)
The Romanian Communist Party sends a congratulatory telegram to the French Communist Party upon the liberation of Jacques Duclos.
Hungary – July 4, 1953 (HC)
Session of the new Parliament, (elected on May 7) takes place. The Chairman of the Presidential Council will remain István Dobi, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers will be Imre Nagy. Law 1953:IV. is accepted stating the number of ministries will be reduced.
Hungary – July 4, 1953 (HC)
The Imre Nagy administration is formed. Deputy heads of the Council of Ministers: Ernõ Gerõ and András Hegedüs. Ministers: József Tisza (State Collections), Józseg Bognár (External and Internal Trade), Ernõ Gerõ (Interior), Sándor Zsoldos (Health), Iván Altomáre (Food Industry), Lajos Szijártó (Constructions), András Hegedüs (Agriculture), István Bata (Defense), Ferenc Erdei (Justice), Mihály Zsofinyecz (Metallurgy and Machine Industry), Árpád Kiss (Light Industry), Lajos Bebrits (Transportation and Post), János Boldoczki (Foreign Affairs), István Hidas (Heavy Industry), József Darvas (Culture), Tibor Erdey-Grúz (Education), Károly Olt (Finance). Member of the Council of Ministers also: Béla Szalai, the head of the State Planning Office.
Romania – July 4, 1953 (PIR)
Decision of the Council of Ministers of R.P.R. and the Central Committee of PMR is reached regarding the increase in coal production and the improvement of living conditions of the workers in the mining industry.
Albania / Yugoslavia / Greece / Turkey – July 7-11, 1953 (KCA)
The first of the regular meetings between the Foreign Ministers of Greece, Turkey and Yugoslavia takes place, as mandated by the tripartite agreement they had signed. They agree that the independence of Albania “constitutes an important element of peace and stability in the Balkans”.
Soviet Union / Yugoslavia – July 7, 1953 (PVC)
At an interview with a UP correspondent, Marshal Tito states that the establishment of normal relations with the Soviet Union does not signify ideological compatibility. He denies rumors that participation of opposition parties are to be permitted at the next general elections.
Finland – July 9, 1953 (HJH)
Urho Kekkonen's Government falls, because the Agrarians and Social Democrats differ on economic issues.
Soviet Union / U.S. – July 10, 1953 (PLC/LBC)
Beria, the Soviet Interior Minister is excluded from the party and is arrested. According to the official declaration on December 25, Beria and his six associates are sentenced to death in a trial and executed immediately. After the fall of Beria and the uprisings in East Germany the question of a unified Germany is no longer discussed.
Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Alexander Wiley: “this may be one of our greatest opportunities” to “exploit boiling tensions inside the Iron Curtain” and expose “the true hideous nature of the Soviet slaughterhouse”.
Hungary – July 12, 1953 (HC)
Decree no. 1953:10 by the Presidential Council regulates the state collection system. The state collection requirements are reduced by 10%; fines given to those farmers who cannot produce the required amount are abolished.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – July 13, 1953 (PVC)
Hungary sends a note to Yugoslavia expressing willingness to create a joint Hungarian-Yugoslav commission to work out measures for the prevention of future frontier incidents.
Soviet Union / Yugoslavia – July 14, 1953 (KCA)
It is announced in Belgrade that the Soviet Government has agreed to the appointment of Dobrivoje Vidić as Yugoslav Ambassador in Moscow.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – July 15, 1953 (CWC)
The Western Powers send an invitation to the Soviet Union for a big four meeting to draft the peace treaties for Germany and Austria.
Soviet Union / France – July 15, 1953 (KCA)
Paris and Moscow sign a three-year Franco-Soviet trade agreement providing for the exchange of twelve billion francs in each direction. This is the first trade agreement signed between the two countries since 1934.
Soviet Union / U.N – July 15, 1953 (KCA)
During a meeting of the U.N. Economic and Social Council in Geneva, the Soviet delegate announces that the Soviet Union is willing to take part in the U.N. Technical Assistance Program and will contribute four million rubles to the fund
Soviet Union / Australia – July 16, 1953 (KCA)
It is announced that Nikolai Generalov has been appointed as Soviet Ambassador to Australia.
Poland / U.N. – July 17, 1953 (KCA)
The Polish Government likewise announces its willingness to participate in the U.N. Technical Assistance Program, and states that it will contribute 300,000 zlotys.
Soviet Union / Turkey – July 18, 1953 (KCA)
The Turkish Government sends a reply of satisfaction to the Soviet Union.
Hungary – July 19-22, 1953 (KCA)
Following the formation of the new Hungarian Cabinet led by Imre Nagy, 24 ministers, including a number of members of the Rákosi Cabinet who had lost their portfolios in the Government reorganization, are appointed.
Soviet Union / Israel – July 20, 1953 (KCA)
Moscow radio announces that the Soviet Union and Israel have resumed normal diplomatic relations.
Romania – July 21, 1953 (PIR)
The project of the RPR Constitution is published.
Soviet Union / Yugoslavia– July 21, 1953 (KCA)
Valikov, the new Soviet Ambassador to Yugoslavia, arrives in Belgrade.
Soviet Union / Greece – July 21, 1953 (KCA)
It is officially announced in Athens that the Greek Government has accepted a suggestion by the Soviet Government for the two countries to exchange Ambassadors. Mikhail Sergeyev is appointed Soviet Ambassador to Greece.
Hungary – July 23, 1953 (HC)
Governmental decree 73/1953 announces that the Interior Ministry is no longer solely responsible for the administration of local councils.
Albania – July 24, 1953 (KCA)
Tirana officially announces that the Albanian Communist Party and the Presidium of the National Assembly have decided to carry out a reorganization of the administration. These changes include the abolition of the Presidium of the Council of Minister, the merger of some ministries that reduces their number from 19 to 10, along with some changes in Hoxha’s Cabinet.
Hungary – July 25, 1953 (HC)
Decree no. 1953:11 by the Hungarian Presidential Council states that amnesty will be given to those sentenced to fewer than two years for political reasons. Those who were accused of war crimes, anti-government or anti-democratic activity are not given amnesty.
Romania – July 26-30, 1953 (PIR)
The Third World Youth Congress takes place in Bucharest.
Romania / Yugoslavia – July 26, 1953 (PVC)
Yugoslavia opens discussions with Romania on the establishment of a Mixed Frontier Commission.
Romania / Soviet Union – July 27, 1953 (KCA)
Leonid Melnikov is appointed Soviet Ambassador to Romania.
Yugoslavia / Lebanon – July 28, 1952 (PVC)
Yugoslavia signs a trade agreement with Lebanon.
Soviet Union – July 29, 1953 (KCA)
Moscow announces that Alexei Kleschev, Prime Minister of the Byelorussian Soviet Republic since 1948, has been relieved of his duties and succeeded by Kyril Mazurov. It is also announced that both the Minister of Justice of the Moldavian Soviet Republic, Bondarenko, and the President of the Supreme Court of Moldavia have been relieved of their positions, no reason being given for any of the changes.
Hungary – July 30, 1953 (HC)
Decree no. 1953:13 by the Hungarian Presidential Council states that a new prosecutor organization will be established. The public prosecutor, chosen by the Parliament and only responsible to the Parliament, will make sure that legitimacy is kept. The prosecutors are independent of the local state administrative bodies.
Czechoslovakia / West Germany / U.S. – July 31, 1953 (LBC)
Washington rejects Czechoslovakia’s protest against Crusade for Freedom sending balloons from West Germany to Czechoslovakia. According to the US note it is “inevitable” that the outside world tries to break through “thewallsealingoffthe(Czech) people”.
Yugoslavia / Egypt – August 1953 (RYN)
The first Egyptian military mission visits Yugoslavia and tours army units and factories.
Yugoslavia / U.K. / U.S. – August 1953 (HWC)
The defense of the so called ‘Ljubljana Gap’ becomes coordinated Yugoslav-Western policy.
Hungary – August 2, 1953 (HC)
Decree 1038/1953 by the Hungarian Council of Ministers announces that the home farm land of the members of the cooperative farms will be increased.
Romania – August 2-14, 1953 (PIR)
The Third World Congress of the Youth and Students takes place in Bucharest.
Yugoslavia / U.K. – August 3-22, 1953 (PVC)
Former British Prime Minister Clement Attlee pays a private visit to Yugoslavia.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – August 4, 1953 (CWC)
The Soviet Union responds to the July 15th note by rejecting the proposed agenda for the meeting of the big four, insisting that the talks also include foreign military bases and armaments. The Soviets also suggest that China be invited to the talks.
Soviet Union – August 5-8, 1953 (KCA)
The Supreme Soviet of the USSR meets in Moscow to approve the state budget for 1953 and to confirm decrees issued by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, one of which provides for the trial of Lavrenti Beria.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – August 5, 1953 (PVC)
Meetings about the establishment of a joint Hungarian-Yugoslav commission to work out measures against frontier provocations open at Sombor in Yugoslavia and at Baja in Hungary.
Soviet Union – August 8, 1953 (PLC)
At the session of the Supreme Soviet Malenkov declares that another world war should be avoided and that peaceful coexistence is necessary, referring to Soviet nuclear weapons.
Hungary – August 9, 1953 (HC)
A decree announces that craftsmen are allowed to work independently.
Soviet Union / Iran – August 10, 1953 (KCA)
It is announced in Moscow and Tehran that the USSR and Iran have agreed to set up a commission composed of representatives of the two countries whose aim will be to strengthen friendly relations between the two countries.
Yugoslavia – August 11, 1953 (PVC)
At an interview with an Associated Press correspondent, Marshal Tito reaffirms the Yugoslav policy of non-alignment.
Soviet Union – August 12, 1953 (PLC)
The Soviet Union tests its first hydrogen bomb.
Soviet Union / U.S. – August 15, 1953 (CWC)
The Soviet Union sends a note to the U.S. suggesting that a national German government be established ahead of elections that could then supervise the elections. The U.S. maintains its position that elections have to occur before any German governments could be established.
Hungary / U.K. – August 17, 1953 (KCA)
Budapest radio announces that the Hungarian Presidential Council has pardoned Edgar Sanders, the British businessman who served 3.5 years of a 13 year sentence of imprisonment that he received in 1950 after being found guilty of espionage.
Hungary – August 18, 1953 (HC)
Decree 1041/1953 by the Hungarian Council of Ministers states that the journalism degree will be introduced at the Language and Literature Department of the Eötvös Loránd Science University starting with the 1953-1954 academic year.
Hungary / U.K. – August 18, 1953 (KCA)
Sanders is released from prison.
Romania – August 19-20, 1953 (PIR)
The extended Plenary of the Central Committee of PMR salutes the removal of Beria from PCUS and decides to convoke the Congress of PMR in March 1954. The Resolution adopted by the plenary outlines the insufficiencies in the realization of the industrialization process, accuses syndicates of malfunctioning and the Union of the Working Youth of superficiality, and notes party indiscipline and the break of links to the masses.
Hungary – August 20, 1953 (HC)
The National Stadium (Népstadion) in Budapest is opened.
Soviet Union / U.S. – August 20, 1953 (LBC)
Moscow announces a successful hydrogen bomb test.
Romania – August 20-23, 1953 (PIR)
The Congress of top-ranking workers from GAC’s (Collective Agricultural Institutions) takes place.
Yugoslavia / U.S. – August 20, 1953 (PVC)
A Yugoslav military delegation leaves for Washington.
Yugoslavia / Ethiopia – August 21, 1953 (PVC)
Yugoslavia signs a trade agreement with Ethiopia.
East Germany / Soviet Union – August 22, 1953 (PLC)
According to an East German-Soviet agreement the Soviet Union will not require East Germany to pay the rest of its reparations, the ownership of all Soviet factories will be mixed, and the expenses of the Soviet occupational army will be reduced.
Hungary – August 23, 1953 (HC)
A decree by the Hungarian Council of Ministers states that the tax paid by peasants will be reduced.
Romania – August 23, 1953 (PLC)
Gheorghiu-Dej declares at the session of the Romanian Workers’ Party that the historic aim of the party is to “fulfill all national aims of the Romanian people”.
Poland / East Germany / Soviet Union / West Germany – August 24, 1953 (PSN)
Following the Soviet Union's example Poland cancels German reparations as of January 1, 1954. Unlike the Soviet announcement which specifies East Germany, the Polish announcement seems to specify Germany as a whole. Years later it is clarified that the announcement was meant for East Germany only.
Soviet Union / Canada – August 25, 1953 (KCA)
Dmitri Chuvachin is appointed Soviet Ambassador to Canada, a vacant position since 1945.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – August 27, 1953 (LBC)
The U.S., the U.K. and France relax the travel restrictions imposed on Soviet diplomats.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – August 28, 1953 (KCA)
Hungary and Yugoslavia sign an agreement for the establishment of a mixed frontier commission to regulate frontier incidents between the two countries.
Yugoslavia / Italy / Trieste – August 29, 1953 (PVC)
An article in Yugopress, which suggests that Yugoslavia's attitude towards Trieste be re-examined, provokes a sensational reaction in Italy.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – August 31, 1953 (KCA)
Hungary becomes the first of Yugoslavia’s Communist neighbors to resume diplomatic relations as Sándor Kurimszki is appointed Minister in Belgrade.
Soviet Union – September 1953 (KRI)
Rehabilitation of the victims of Stalinist terror begins
Soviet Union – September 3-7, 1953 (KCA)
While in session, the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party adopts a 40,000-word report presented by Khrushchev in which he strongly criticizes the weakness of Soviet agriculture. It also adopts a 20,000 word resolution making detailed recommendations to solve the agricultural problems
Romania – September 5, 1953 (PIR)
Party superiors decide upon the reduction of taxes for agricultural producers and the annulment of debts and undelivered quotas in the preceding year.
Hungary – September 6, 1953 (HC)
Decree 1047/1953 by the Hungarian Council of Ministers announces that prices will be decreased (The prices of 10,000 goods are reduced by 5-40%)
Yugoslavia / Italy / Trieste – September 6, 1953 (PVC)
Speaking at a Slovenian rally at Okroglica, Marshal Tito proposes that the city of Trieste shall be internationalized and the whole hinterland go to Yugoslavia. He will not, for the present, take military measures to counter those taken by Italy, nor will he annex Zone B or use force in support of his claims to Zone A.
Bulgaria / Yugoslavia – September 7, 1953 (PVC)
The Yugoslav news agency reports on another provocation at the Yugoslav-Bulgarian border. One Yugoslav border guard is wounded.
Bulgaria / Yugoslavia – September 8, 1953 (PVC)
Radio Belgrade announces that Bulgaria is going to send an ambassador to Yugoslavia. There has been no Bulgarian ambassador in Yugoslavia since 1950.
Bulgaria / Yugoslavia / Greece / Turkey – September 9, 1953 (KCA)
In a speech in Sofia, Bulgarian Prime Minister Chervenkov expresses his Government’s desire to settle all outstanding problems between its neighbors Greece, Turkey and Yugoslavia.
Poland / U.N. – September 9 1953 (KCA)
A Polish interpreter with the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission in Korea breaks away from the group and appeals to the U.N. Command for political asylum.
Yugoslavia – September 9, 1953 (PVC)
The new electoral law is passed by the National Assembly. It is approved by the President on September 20.
Soviet Union / North Korea – September 10-20, 1953 (KCA)
After receiving an invitation from the Soviet Union, a North Korean delegation, headed by Prime Minister Kim Il Sung and General Nam Il, visits Moscow for discussions regarding the armistice in Korea and the Soviet offer of economic aid to North Korea
Czechoslovakia – September 11, 1953 (KCA)
Major reorganizations of the Czechoslovak Government are carried out in accordance with decisions by the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party. The Presidium of the Government is abolished and the 14 ministries are merged into 7.
Poland / China / U.N. – September 11, 1953 (KCA)
A Beijing broadcast states that the Communist Command has sent a note to the U.N. Supreme Commander demanding the interpreter’s return, protesting against what they called his “kidnapping”.
Romania / Yugoslavia – September 11, 1953 (PIR)
Following negotiations, which started July 11, Romania and Yugoslavia conclude a treaty regulating frontier incidents.
Bulgaria / Yugoslavia – September 11, 1953 (KCA)
Bulgaria also restores full diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia, appointing Ljuban Angelov as Ambassador to Belgrade.
Bulgaria / Greece – September 13, 1953 (KCA)
A Sofia broadcast announces that the Bulgarian Government has sent a message to the U.N. Secretary General to be transmitted to Athens proposing the resumption of diplomatic relations.
Poland – September 13, 1953 (KCA)
A broadcast from Warsaw announces that the Roman Catholic Bishop of Kielce, Czeslaw Kaczmarek, along with three priests and a nun will be tried by a military tribunal on charges of “espionage, anti-State propaganda, and diversionary activities.”
Soviet Union – September 13, 1953 (KRI)
Nikita Khrushchev is appointed First Secretary of the CPSU.
Yugoslavia / Italy / Trieste – September 13, 1953 (PVC)
At Split, Marshal Tito repeats his will for the internationalization of Trieste and adds that he would regard an Italian move against Zone A as an act of aggression.
Poland – September 14-20, 1953 (KCA)
The trial of the five accused takes place. All defendants are said to have pleaded guilty. Kaczmarek is sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment and the forfeiture of civic rights for 5 years. One of the nuns is released, and the other defendants receive sentences of imprisonment ranging from five to ten years along with the forfeiture of civic rights for a period of time.
Czechoslovakia – September 15, 1953 (KCA)
The National Assembly unanimously ratifies the changes brought on by the reorganization of the Czechoslovak Government. Fierlinger is elected as President of the National Assembly. Bacilek becomes Secretary-General of the Slovak Communist Party.
Romania – September 15, 1953 (PIR)
The Congress of the Battle for Peace Committees in RPR takes place in Bucharest.
Yugoslavia / U.K. – September 15-20, 1953 (PVC)
Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery pays a private visit to Yugoslavia.
Yugoslavia – September 16, 1953 (ACY)
A revised Code of Criminal Procedures is issued.
Soviet Union / U.S. – September 18, 1953 (LBC)
In a speech, Secretary of State Dulles urges the USSR to agree on the independence of the present Soviet satellites.
Hungary – September 19, 1953 (HC)
Decree 1053/1953 by the Hungarian Council of Ministers announces that federal aid will be provided in order to strengthen the cooperative farm system and raise the living standard of farmers.
Soviet Union / North Korea – September 19, 1953 (KCA)
A statement issued details an agreement on Soviet assistance to North Korea. It is agreed that one billion rubles will be allocated for North Korean rehabilitation.
Soviet Union / U.S. – September 20, 1953 (CWC)
Pravda responds to Secretary of State Dulles' September 17th speech to the U.N. which attacks the Soviet Union for not doing enough to ensure world peace. He is accused of applying a policy of strength to the socialist states despite their growing strength after the Second World War.
Yugoslavia / U.K. – September 21-24, 1953 (PVC)
Autumn maneuvers of the Yugoslav Army are attended by British Field Marshal Sir John Harding.
Czechoslovakia – September 24, 1953 (KCA)
A reorganization of the Slovak Board of Commissioners is announced.
Hungary – September 25, 1953 (HC)
Decree 4/1953 by the Minister of Agriculture regulates the methods of leaving or dissolving a cooperative farm.
Poland – September 25, 1953 (PSN)
Cardinal Stephan Wyszynski, the primate of Poland, is arrested. His location is kept secret from the public.
Poland – September 26, 1953 (PSN)
Trybuna Ludu publishes an article alleging that various Church members including Wyszynski had conspired with West German organizations to overthrow the state. The article is meant to precede the announcement of Wyszynski's arrest.
Yugoslavia – September 26, 1953 (PVC)
The National Assembly passes a law forbidding the naming of streets and enterprises after living persons.
Poland – September 28, 1953 (KCA)
The Polish Government announces that Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, the Primate of Poland, has been suspended from his ecclesiastical functions and has been given permission to retire to a monastery. The Government claims he “abused his authority” by breaking the principles of the Church-State agreement of 1950.
Soviet Union / China / France / U.K. / U.S. – September 28, 1953 (LBC)
The Soviet Government calls on the U.S., the U.K. and France for a foreign ministers’ conference with the Soviet Union and China to relieve international tensions and solve the Austrian and German problems. Churchill approves that a meeting between the four powers is desirable. According to the U.S. State Department the Soviet proposal is “evasive” and “dilatory”.
Soviet Union – September 28, 1953 (KCA)
It is announced in Moscow that Semeonov, the new Soviet High Commissioner in Eastern Germany, will assume the rank of Ambassador.
Yugoslavia – September 28, 1953 (PVC)
Yugoslavia rejects the Italian suggestion for a plebiscite in Trieste.
Romania – September 29, 1953 (PIR)
The new RPR Constitution is promulgated.
Hungary – September 30, 1953 (HC)
The Hungarian Council of Ministers calls for the 4th peace loan program. The program ends on October 7 with 1 billion forints.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – September 30, 1953 (LBC)
According to the Foreign Office the September 28 Soviet note contained few new elements. The British, French and American foreign ministers consult on the next step. Eisenhower declares that the Soviet hydrogen bomb makes it even more important to investigate whether the Soviet bloc is interested in a negotiated settlement.
Romania – October 1953 (KCA)
During October, the Romanian News Agency gives a description of plans to transform barren Dobruja steppe country by planting forest shelter belts.
Finland / France – October 1953 (FKH)
Direct flight connections start between Helsinki and Paris.
East Germany / Soviet Union – October, 1953 (HWD)
The government decreases the prices of almost all products by 10-15% in the network of Trade Organization (Handelsorganisation). Prime Minister Otto Grotewohl declares that the measurements are due to the support of the Soviet Union. All these “lead to the improvement of the living circumstances of the East German citizens”. In spite of this, emigration grows.
Poland / Vatican – October 1, 1953 (KCA)
The Vatican announces the excommunication of all those connected with the suspension of Cardinal Wyszynski from his ecclesiastical duties.
Yugoslavia – October 4, 1953 (PVC)
Election speech is given by Marshal Tito in which he calls for increased agricultural production and promises grants for independent peasants.
Hungary / Greece – October 5, 1953 (KCA)
Athens announces that the Hungarian Red Cross has informed the Greek Red Cross that 600 Greek children, who were abducted by Communist guerillas during the Greek Civil War and had since been living in Hungary, will be returned.
Soviet Union / Yugoslavia / U.S. – October 5, 1953 (PVC)
Former Yugoslav Foreign Minister Edvard Kardelj reviews Yugoslavia's relations with other countries. He does not believe that the latest Soviet steps will significantly alter the current Soviet-Yugoslav relations while the Balkan Alliance and Washington discussions strengthen Yugoslavia's independence.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – October 6, 1953 (LBC)
According to Dulles the U.S., the U.K., West Germany and France are studying the possibility of a non-aggression treaty with the USSR. It is widely understood that the Soviet Union must receive guarantees against a German attack.
Soviet Union / U.K. – October 7, 1953 (LBC)
British Foreign Minister Eden declares that Britain wants to hold East-West talks.
Yugoslavia / Italy / Trieste / U.S. – October 8, 1953 (KCA)
The U.S. announces the termination of Allied Military Government in Zone A of the free territory of Trieste and the handing over of its administration to the Italian Government.
Romania / France / Greece / U.S. – October 9, 1953 (KCA)
16 people who are described as “Fascists or ex-convicts who had fled Romania” are tried on charges of espionage and terrorism in Bucharest. The defendants are said to have been recruited by U.S., French and Greek intelligence services. All reportedly plead guilty. 13 are sentenced to death on October 12 and the other three receive sentences ranging from 3 to 25 years in prison.
Yugoslavia / Italy / Trieste / U.K. / U.S. – October 10, 1953 (NBT)
In his speech in Leskovac, Tito analyses the background of the Trieste problem, condemns the British-American decision on Trieste on 8 October, and enumerates the consequences.
Yugoslavia / U.K. / U.S. / Trieste / Italy – October 11, 1953 (NBT/PVC)
In his speech in Skopje, Tito again appeals to the U.K. and the U.S. to revoke their decision on Trieste made on 8 October and states that if the Italians enter Zone A, the Yugoslavs will do the same.
Yugoslavia / Italy / Trieste / U.K. / U.S. – October 12, 1953 (NBT)
Yugoslavia transmits another note to the U.K. and the U.S. proposing a four-power conference on Trieste. Moreover, Yugoslavia notifies the Secretary General of the U.N. that it would bring the Trieste problem before the Security Council if its proposal for a four-power conference were refused.
Yugoslavia / Soviet Union / Trieste – October 12, 1953 (NBT)
The Soviet Union also protests against the US and British decision on the Trieste question on October 8 in a note sent to the Governments of the U.K. and U.S. .
Yugoslavia / Trieste / U.S. – October 14, 1953 (HWC)
Eisenhower gives orders for several U.S. warships to take position in the Adriatic without delay. Previously the Yugoslav Foreign Minister was understood by Dulles to have threatened that Yugoslavia would enter Zone A of Trieste.
Romania / Korea – October 15-23, 1953 (PIR)
Romanian-Korean negotiations take place in Bucharest and result in an accord regarding the aid Romania would offer to the economic reconstruction of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Romania / East Germany – October 17, 1953 (PIR)
Romania and the Democratic Republic of Germany upgrade diplomatic relations to the level of embassy.
Yugoslavia / Italy / Trieste / U.K. / U.S. – October 17, 1953 (PVC)
In an interview with an Observer correspondent, Marshal Tito says that he would regard Italian assumption of administration of Zone A, with or without troops, as illegal aggression, in the face of which he would march to the rescue of the Slovenian population. He will not fight British or American troops, but if they allow the Italians in under their protection, the effect on relations with Yugoslavia would be “catastrophic”.
Albania / Yugoslavia – October 18, 1953 (PVC)
In his speech at Priština Minister of Interior Aleksandar Ranković expresses Yugoslavia's readiness to normalize the relationship with Albania and considers Enver Hoxha the main obstacle.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – October 25, 1953 (CWC)
An article in Pravda states that the October 18th London foreign ministers' conference between France, Britain and the U.S. failed to resolve the differences between the U.S. and its European allies in Germany. It states that many in France do not want to see a rearmed Germany.
Soviet Union / Greece – October 26, 1953 (KCA)
The Soviet Government presents a note to the Greek Government protesting a recent agreement that permits the U.S. to establish military bases in Greece.
Romania – October 27, 1953 (PIR)
During the Assembly of the Central Committee active of PMR and the City Committee of PMR Bucharest Gheorghiu-Dej holds a presentation on “The world historical importance of the 19th Congress of the CPSU.”
Soviet Union / U.S. – October 28, 1953 (LBC)
Eisenhower announces that he is willing to talk about peace with Soviet Prime Minister Georgii Malenkov, but first he needs proof of the Soviets’ honest intentions. On November 3 the Soviet Union rejects the proposal for four-power talks, since it wants to include China.
Soviet Union – October 30, 1953 (KCA)
The Soviet Government publishes a decree announcing that 8.5 billion rubles will be invested in the food industry in 1954 to overcome food shortages and meet growing national demand.
Hungary – October 31, 1953 (HC)
The Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party announces that its 3rd congress will be held in April 1954. Antal Apró becomes a member of the Political Committee.
Hungary – October, 1953 (HC)
The Város alatt (“Under the city”), a film directed by János Herskó, is first shown.
Czechoslovakia / Israel – November 2, 1953 (KCA)
It is officially announced in Tel Aviv that two Israeli nationals in Prague have been tried for crimes against the security of the State and have been sentenced to 15 years’ and life imprisonment.
Soviet Union / India – November 2, 1953 (KCA)
The new Soviet Ambassador to India, Menshikov, presents his credentials to President Prasad.
Czechoslovakia / Israel – November 3, 1953 (KCA)
A spokesperson of the Israeli Foreign Ministry states that the Czechoslovak Government prohibited Israeli representatives from seeing the two defendants, and that it has initiated a protest since no Israeli officials were allowed to attend the trial.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – November 3, 1953 (CWC)
The Soviet Union sends a note to the Western powers accusing them of ignoring issues that the Soviet Union has raised in various communications. It inquires whether or not the German peace treaty will be discussed at the next big four foreign ministers conference or whether the Western powers would ratify the 1951 Paris agreement.
Yugoslavia / Italy – November 3, 1953 (PVC)
Yugoslavia protests Italy’s ban of exports to Yugoslavia.
Soviet Union / U.K. – November 4, 1953 (KCA)
The Soviet Union denies any knowledge on or connection to the disappearance of two British Foreign Office diplomats in the Moscow literary magazine New Times.
Bulgaria / Hungary / Yugoslavia – November 7, 1953 (KCA)
The appointment of Yugoslav Ambassadors to Hungary and Bulgaria is announced, the first since Yugoslavia’s break with Cominform.
Yugoslavia / Austria – November 9-11, 1953 (KCA)
The Yugoslav Foreign Minister Koča Popović pays an official visit to Vienna. At the end of the visit he emphasizes that Yugoslavia supports, without reservation, Austria's efforts to conclude an Austrian State Treaty.
Yugoslavia / Greece / Turkey – November 10-20, 1953 (KCA)
Tripartite military talks between Greek, Turkish and Yugoslav representatives are held in Belgrade. It is agreed that the Committee of the Permanent Secretariat of the Balkan Pact will sit in Belgrade under the chairmanship of the Yugoslavian representative until the next meeting of the Foreign Ministers.
Albania / Yugoslavia – November 11, 1953 (PVC)
The British legation in Budapest receives information from a highly confidential source that Albania has appealed to Yugoslavia and offered the restoration of full diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Poland / Great Britain – November 11, 1953 (PSM)
Poland and Great Britain sign a trade agreement for the years 1954-1956.
Soviet Union / Greece – November 12, 1953 (KCA)
The Greek Government repudiates the complaints of the Soviet Government.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – November 16, 1953 (CWC)
The Western powers respond that China cannot come to the meeting of foreign ministers and that the Soviets have set unrealistic preconditions to any settlement.
Soviet Union – November 17, 1953 (KCA)
The embalmed body of the late Marshall Stalin is placed in Lenin’s tomb in Red Square.
Finland – November 17, 1953 (HJH)
A new government that enjoys enough support in Parliament could not be formed, and it is necessary for President Juho Kusti Paasikivi to form a caretaker Government headed by the Head of the Bank of Finland, Sakari Tuomioja.
Yugoslavia – November 23-28, 1953 (KCA/PVC)
General elections take place in Yugoslavia for a Council of Producers of 202 deputies.
Romania – November 24, 1953 (PIR)
A new wage law, geared towards the improvement of workers’ salaries and the stimulation of industrial production, is published.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – November 24, 1953 (KTS)
The new Yugoslav Ambassador to Hungary, Dalibor Soldatić presents his credentials to István Dobi.
Hungary – November 25, 1953 (HC)
The National Theater in Budapest presents Uborkafa (“Cucumber tree”), a play by Ernõ Urbán.
Soviet Union / Western Powers – November 26, 1953 (KCA)
After a continuous exchange of letters between the Western Powers and the Soviet Union regarding a Four-Power Conference, in identical notes to the Western Governments, the Soviet Union expresses its readiness to take part in a Four-Power conference of Foreign Ministers, suggesting Berlin as the venue for such an event. However the Soviet Union continues to insist that the People’s Republic of China should take part in a Great-Power Conference.
Soviet Union – November 26, 1953 (KCA)
The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet issues a decree repealing the ban on marriages between Soviet citizens and foreign nationals imposed in 1947. The decree states that those people who marry foreign nationals will retain their Soviet citizenship.
Yugoslavia – November 26, 1953 (KCA)
Official returns for the Federal Council elections state that 89% of the electorate went to the polls and that the number of invalid votes was 4.3%. All prominent personalities in the Yugoslav Government were reelected.
Soviet Union / Israel – November 27, 1953 (KCA)
Former Israeli Ambassador in Moscow Samuel Eliashev resumes his post in Moscow.
Hungary – November 28, 1953 (HC)
Decree no. 1953:25 by the Hungarian Presidential Council states that the Labor Code will be modified. The employees are given more rights.
Yugoslavia – November 29, 1953 (PVC)
Celebrations at Jajce and Sarajevo take place to mark the 10thanniversary of the second session of the AVNOJ, at which the provisional program of the present regime is first announced. Marshal Tito states that Yugoslavia will attend a conference on Trieste provided that the meeting is not called to implement the decision of October 8.
Hungary – December 1953 (HC)
The Fourth Hungarian Fine Arts Exhibition is opened.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – December 1953 (CWC)
The Soviet Union suggests another meeting of the big four to take place on January 25th in Berlin. They also suggest that China be consulted on Asian issues. The Western powers agree to the invitation.
Poland / France – December 1953 (PSM)
Delegation from the French Parliament visits Poland. Both countries express hope for the development of friendly mutual relations and cooperation in the fields of politics, trade and culture.
Romania – December 2, 1953 (PIR)
The Romanian Government decides on the improvement of the system of wages.
Soviet Union / Israel – December 2, 1953 (KCA)
The new Soviet Minister to Israel, Alexander Abramov, presents credentials to the Israeli Foreign Minister.
Soviet Union / China – December 2, 1953 (KCA)
It is officially announced in Moscow that Kuznetsov will be succeeded as Soviet Ambassador in Beijing by Professor Pavel Yudin, but he will remain a Deputy Minister.
Poland – December 5, 1953 (PSN)
Lt. Colonel Jozef Swiatla, Vice Director of the Tenth Department in the Ministry of Public Security, disappears in West Berlin. His fate is not made public for a year.
Romania / Soviet Union – December 5, 1953 (PIR)
The Romanian-Soviet accord regarding the creation of the Special Fluvial Administration on the inferior course of the Danube is signed in Bucharest.
Yugoslavia / Italy – December 7, 1953 (PVC)
It is announced that Yugoslavia and Italy have both agreed to withdraw troops from the immediate vicinity of the frontier.
Soviet Union / U.S. – December 8, 1953 (LBC)
President Eisenhower’s disarmament proposal: the countries participating in the nuclear arms race, including the Soviet Union should hand over their nuclear arsenal to a U.N.-controlled fissionable material bank. On December 9 Soviet Foreign Minister Vishinsky announces rejection of the Eisenhower plan, and continues to insist on the total ban of nuclear weapons. On December 11 the Soviet leadership conditionally agrees to discuss the Eisenhower proposal with the U.S. and other great powers. Condition: the Soviet proposal on banning the hydrogen and the atomic bomb must be discussed at the conference. According to Dulles, the U.S. is willing to discuss disarmament with the USSR.
Hungary / Bulgaria/ Romania / Yugoslavia – December 9-17, 1953 (KCA)
At its 9th session held at Galatz, Romania, the Danube Commission unanimously decides to elect Dragoje Djurić, the Yugoslav delegate, as Secretary of the Commission; Endre Sík, the Hungarian delegate, as the Chairman; and Ganev, the Bulgarian delegate, as the Vice-Chairman. On a joint Yugoslav-Hungarian proposal the seat of the Commission is moved from Galatz to Budapest.
Hungary – December 13, 1953 (HC)
Decree no. 1953:27 is introduced by the Hungarian Presidential Council about the agricultural workers. It is stated that they should be given the right to sell freely a higher proportion of their production in order to encourage increased production. The required state collection amount of agricultural goods is reduced by 25%, of pork and beef by 30%, of poultry and eggs by 50% for collective farmers. For independent farmers the reductions are 10-15%, 25-30%, and 40% respectively.
Romania – December 14, 1953 (PIR)
The Institute for Judicial Investigations in Bucharest is founded.
Albania / Yugoslavia – December 14, 1953 (KCA)
Yugoslav-Albanian frontier discussions conclude with two agreements dealing with re-erection of frontier demarcation posts, and measures to prevent and settle frontier incidents.
Poland – December 17, 1953 (PSN)
The bishops ordinary, capitular vicars, and suffragan bishops from all dioceses take their oaths in Government offices.
Hungary – December 19, 1953 (HC)
At the session of the CC of the Hungarian Workers’ Party András Hegedüs announces the new agricultural development program prepared by the Political Committee. During the next three years the government will spend 12-13 billion forints on agricultural development.
Albania / Yugoslavia – December 21, 1953 (PLC)
Albania reinitiates diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia.
Yugoslav / Italy – December 21, 1953 (KCA)
It is announced in Rome and Belgrade that the withdrawal of Italian and Yugoslav troops from the border area under the agreement of December 5 has been completed. (The agreement itself was announced on December 7.)
Bulgaria / Yugoslavia – December 22, 1953 (PVC)
Conference on railway traffic with the Bulgarians at Niška Banja takes place.
Yugoslavia – December 24, 1953 (PVC)
First meeting of the new Federal Assembly takes place.
East Germany / Germany– December 31, 1953 (KGD)
391,390 people flee from the GDR to the FRG and West Berlin in 1953.
© Cold War History Research Center, Budapest 2013