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 OLLAND, 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 the end of 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 – 1954 (HC)
According to the report of the Hungarian Central Statistics Office, the industrial sector completes 101.4% of the plan (3.1% higher than in the previous year). Investments are reduced by 33%. Construction of housing increases. The agricultural sector receives 400 million forints more than in 1953 for investment. The real wage of workers and employees is increased by 15%, the pension by 25%. Tourism: 2,106 people visit Hungary, 146 Hungarian citizens traveled abroad.
The Hungarian Science Academy founds the Piskéstető observatory.
The Hungarian University in Targu Mures (Romania) starts a Hungarian doctors’ newspaper called Orvosi Szemle.
Romania – 1954 (RUR)
Gheorghiu-Dej relinquishes his post as first secretary. His close associate, Gheorge Apostol is appointed to the position.
Romania – 1954 (RFN)
Romania applies for the membership in UN for second time and claims that it pays careful attention to the work of the UN.
Romania – 1954 (RUR)
Lucretiu Patrascanu is executed. He was the only possible leader of anti-Stalinist movement in the party.
East Germany / Soviet Union – January 1, 1954 (KGD/HWD
The government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ceases further demands for reparations from the GDR and declares a limit to the occupation costs of 5% of the GDR budget.
Finland – January 1, 1954 (HJH)
In his New Year's Day speech President Juho Kusti Paasikivi expresses his dissatisfaction with such inter-party warfare that has caused instability in the Finnish government ever since Finland gained her independence. Therefore, he calls for unity between the parties.
Czechoslovakia – January 4, 1954 (PLC)
Czechoslovakia’s membership in the World Bank is suspended, because of the country’s debt. From the Soviet Bloc Czechoslovakia is the only member of the World Bank.
Soviet Bloc / U.S. – January 7, 1954 (LBC)
Eisenhower delivers his State of the Union address. According to the President, American freedom is threatened so long as the world communist conspiracy exists in its present scope, power and hostility. The U.S. counts on nuclear arms to defend freedom. – January 12. John Foster Dulles on U.S. strategy: The U.S. will respond with immediate retaliation to aggression “the place and means of its own choosing”. According to the doctrine of massive retaliation the U.S. would consider responding to aggression with its nuclear arsenal. The doctrine is credible because the U.S. is virtually invulnerable to nuclear attack at this time. According to Dulles the best way to deter aggression is “to depend primarily upon a great capacity to retaliate instantly”. The U.S., in the secretary’s view, does not seek the illusion of security in a diplomatic deal which would seem to indorse captivity of other peoples. The Eisenhower administration wants to introduce more efficient and less costly defense measures by putting more emphasis on deterrence and less on local defense bases.
Hungary – January 9, 1954 (HC)
Decree 1/1954 by the Hungarian Council of Ministers announces that identity cards will be introduced.
Romania – January 9, 1954 (PIR)
Education for the training of cadres needed in the collective agricultural household (GAC’s).
Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. – January 11, 1954 (LBC)
British Foreign Minister Eden calls for a compromise solution of the East-West stalemate. He proposes Soviet-American discussion on Eisenhower’s nuclear disarmament plan.
Yugoslavia – January 11, 1954 (KCA)
Belgrade announces that the number of collective farms in Yugoslavia has declined during the past year from 4,764 to 1,062 as a result of the decree of March 29, 1953, which permitted the dissolution of such cooperatives by the decision of their members.
Romania – January 14, 1954 (PIR)
A law is passed providing for free medical assistance and the regulation of medicine distribution.
Soviet Bloc / U.S. – January 14, 1954 (LBC)
The U.S. Secretary of Commerce reports that 5,754 requests for export licenses arrived from behind the Iron Curtain and that 4,265 of these have been issued. In the first nine months of 1953 the U.S. exported $28.7 million worth of merchandise to the Soviet bloc (1952: $39.5 million). In the same period U.S. exports reached $1.7 dollars. U.S. import from the East bloc was $1 million out of a total U.S. import of $11.8 billion. In the same period of 1952, U.S. imports from the Soviet bloc totaled $1.1 million. – January 19. The Secretary of Commerce prohibits a Minnesota company from exporting 40 million pounds of butter to the USSR. The reason being that the price would have been smaller than the domestic price.
Bulgaria – January 17, 1954 (KCA)
The Bulgarian National Assembly approves the new Government proposed by Vulko Chervenkov, General Secretary of the CC of the Bulgarian Communist Party.
Yugoslavia – January 17, 1954 (KCA)
Milovan Djilas, one of the four Vice-Presidents of the Federal Executive Council, is expelled from the Central Committee of the Yugoslav Communist Party after having been censured for a series of articles he has contributed to Borba and other periodicals.
Poland – January 18, 1954 (KCA)
The President of the Polish Government-in-exile, August Zaleski, appoints Jerzy Hryniewski as Prime Minister.
Soviet Union – January 18, 1954 (PLC)
The 300th anniversary of the unification of Russia and Ukraine is celebrated in the Soviet Union.
Hungary / Austria – January 19, 1954 (KCA)
It is announced in Vienna that the Austrian Danube Steamship Company and the Hungarian Danube Shipping Company have signed an agreement regulating steamer traffic between the two countries.
Hungary – January 21-23, 1954 (HC)
The Hungarian Parliament accepts Law 1953: III., stating that the Ministry of City and Village Economy will be established (minister: János Szabó) and Law IV. about the country’s economic plan.
Soviet Union / Italy – January 24, 1954 (KCA)
Alexander Bogomolov is appointed as the Soviet Ambassador to Italy.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – January 25, 1954 (CWC)
The four power conference of Soviet, French, British and American foreign ministrers begins in Berlin. On the agenda are peace treaties for Germany and Austria as well as European security and arms control.
Hungary / Greece – January 26, 1954 (KCA)
The Hungarian Government informs the International Red Cross that it is willing to return to Greece the 1,172 hostages taken from their homes by Communist guerrillas during the Greek civil war.
Soviet Union / U.S. – January 28, 1954 (LBC)
Eisenhower’s program on East-West trade: The U.S. will maintain the embargo of strategic commodities until real peace is realized. However the exchange of peaceful products has to be increased because it will be to the West’s advantage, it will facilitate penetration behind the Iron Curtain, and will bring closer the day when East-West relations can be normalized.
Czechoslovakia – January 29, 1954 (KCA)
It is announced in Prague that seven associates of the late Rudolf Slansky who was executed in 1952, have been sentenced to long terms of imprisonment after a three-day trial.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – January 30, 1954 (CWC)
Molotov presents a proposal to the conference which calls for the five permanent members of the Security Council to sign an agreement renouncing the use of atomic weapons. The United States, Britain and France reject the proposal.
Soviet Union / China – January 31, 1954 (KCA)
The first direct passenger train service between Moscow and Beijing is placed in operation.
Yugoslavia / Ethiopia – February 1954 (RYN)
General Peko Dapčević, Yugoslav Chief of Staff, visits Ethiopia as a special emissary from President Tito and extends an invitation to Emperor Haile Selassie to visit Yugoslavia.
Soviet Union – February-March 1954 (KCA)
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union adopts decisions for reclaiming uncultivated land and increasing the output of grain.
Romania – February 1, 1954 (KCA)
The revaluation of the Romanian currency from 2.8 lei: 1 Soviet rouble, to 1.5 lei : 1 rouble is announced on Bucharest Radio.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – February 1, 1954 (CWC)
The Soviet Union presents a German peace treaty calling for unification, the withdrawal of all occupation forces, and an agreement that Germany would not join any alliance directed at the WWII allies. The United States, Britain and France reject this proposal.
Yugoslavia / Trieste / U.K. / U.S. – February 2-May 31, 1954 (NBT)
Talks between the Anglo-Americans and Yugoslavs on the Trieste problem take place.
Soviet Union / U.K. – February 4, 1954 (KCA)
Business agreements are reached between British businessmen and the All-Union Chamber of Commerce in Moscow.
Soviet Union – February 9, 1954 (KCA)
Moscow announces the creation of two new Ministries, for Ferrous Metallurgy and for Non-Ferrous Metallurgy.
Soviet Bloc / U.S. – February 10, 1954 (PLC)
The United States bans the export of surplus agricultural goods to the countries of the Soviet Bloc.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – February 10, 1954 (CWC)
Molotov presents a Soviet draft for a European peace treaty. Any European nation can sign, which is a commitment to retaliate the use of force against any other signatory. The United States as a non-European nation was not eligible to sign the treaty. The proposal is rejected by the Western powers.
Kazakhstan / Soviet Union – February 12, 1954 (KCA)
Alma-Ata, the capital of the Central Asian Republic of Kazakhstan, announces the dismissal of the First and Second Secretaries of the Kazakh Communist Party.
Soviet Union / China / U.S. – February 13, 1954 (CWC)
The Soviet Union sends an aide-memoir to Secretary of State Dulles, suggesting that the permanent members of the Security Council plus a few other nations, for instance China, meet to discuss the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The United States rejects the proposal.
Soviet Union / China / U.K. – February 16, 1954 (KCA)
The British Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defense, Nigel Birch, estimates that since 1951 the strength of Soviet armed forces has been increased by 150,000 men to 4,750,000, and the armies of Eastern European satellites have grown by 120,000 to 1,190,000; and the Chinese armed forces total 4,000,000.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – February 18, 1954 (CWC)
The four power conference ends. While peace treaties with Germany and Austria are not concluded, the powers agree to meet again to resolve issues in Korea and Indochina.
Soviet Union – February 19, 1954 (PLC)
Khrushchev gives the autonomous area of Crimea to the Ukraine on the anniversary of the two countries’ unification.
Hungary / Greece – February 20, 1954 (KCA)
The first batch of Greek hostages held by Hungary is handed over to the Greek Red Cross delegation.
Soviet Union / U.S. – February 21, 1954 (LBC)
It is announced that in 1953 almost half of the U.S. exports to the USSR ($320-325 million) was consumer goods.
Bulgaria – February 25-March 3, 1954 (PLC)
The 6th session of the Bulgarian Communist Party CC takes place. For tactical reasons, Todor Zhivkov is elected to be the head of the party, but in reality, Chervenkov keeps his influence.
Poland / Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. – February 25, 1954 (LBC)
Churchill’s speech in the House of Commons on East-West trade: the significant relaxation of the Western trade embargo would improve the chance for East-West coexistence. More trade with the East would avert war; friendly infiltration would be good. The U.S. closes Poland’s New York, Chicago and Cleveland consulates since they serve no diplomatic purpose.
Poland / U.S. – February 27, 1954 (KCA)
The Polish Government asks the U.S. Government to close its Consulate at Gdansk.
Hungary – February 28, 1954 (HC)
Decree 1/1954 by the Minister of City and Village Economy and the Minister of Finance is announced, stating that building, renovating and expanding houses privately will be allowed.
Hungary – February 28, 1954 (HC)
The first blast furnace at the Stalin Ironworks in Sztálinváros (the Hungarian Stalingrad) is opened.
Soviet Union – March 1954 (KRI)
The Ministry of State Security (MGB) is reorganized into the Council for State Security (KGB).
Finland – March 1, 1954 (TSV)
Coffee regulation ends. Coffee is the last product that has been regulated in Finland after the war.
Kazakhstan / Soviet Union – March 2, 1954 (PLC)
The leaders of the CPSU agree to start a program changing the natural landscape in the Volga area (Kazakhstan).
Soviet Union – March 2, 1954 (KCA)
Moscow Radio announces that Tretyakov, Minister of Health, has been released from his post and has been succeeded by Maria Dimitriyevna Kovrigina.
Hungary / Soviet Union / U.S. – March 3, 1954 (LBC)
The U.S. takes the case of the C-47 type aircraft that had been forced to land in 1951 by the Soviet Union and Hungary to the International Court in Hague. The plane’s value approaches $100 thousand; the U.S. pays a $123 thousand fine for the release of the crew.
Finland – March 7-8, 1954 (HJH/TPE)
New parliamentary elections are held. The Agrarian League and the Social Democrats preserve their position as the leading parties.
Bulgaria – March 8, 1954 (KCA)
Todor Zhivkov is appointed to the new post of Party Secretary.
Hungary – March 10, 1954 (HC)
Decree 18/1954 by the Government announces that martial law can no longer be practiced.
Poland – March 10-17, 1954 (PSN)
The second meeting of the Congress of the Polish United Workers Party is held.
Romania – March 11, 1954 (PIR)
Through the Decision of the Council of Ministers no. 337, work colonies are dissolved, the detainees from these units are freed, with the exception of those who had served the interests of the bourgeoisie, for whom investigations will be resumed. On the basis of this decision, M.A.I. can extend the measure of forced domicile on any person considered a threat to state security.
Soviet Union / U.S. – March 11, 1954 (CWC)
In an election speech in Moscow, Molotov makes the claim that the United States is using NATO as an instrument to dominate Europe and that an all European security peace treaty would be a better alternative to the system of military blocks in Europe.
Soviet Union – March 12, 1954 (CWC)
Malenkov gives a speech in which he is calling for the end of the Cold War and strays from orthodoxy by stating that atomic war would mean “the end of world civilization”. Many leaders in the Soviet Union do not agree with this speech.
Hungary – March 13, 1954 (HC)
A paraszti világképről (About the peasants’ world view), an article by Imre Sarkadi is published in the Irodalmi Újság.
Soviet Union – March 13, 1954 (PLC)
The Soviet State Protection Ministry is reformed. The State Protection Authority is founded, which will exist till October 1991.
Soviet Union – March 14, 1954 (KCA)
Elections for the two Houses of the Supreme Soviet take place; a total of 1,347 deputies are elected. It is officially announced that 99.98% of the electorate went to the polls, the Communist and non-party bloc received 99.79% of the votes.
Poland / France – March 15, 1954 (KCA)
Warsaw announces that Stanislaw Gajewski has been appointed Polish Ambassador to France.
Soviet Union / U.K. – March 15, 1954 (KCA)
A statement on the position of Russian-born wives of British subjects, who had been prevented from leaving the Soviet Union and rejoining their husbands in Britain, is made by Eden in the House of Commons.
Soviet Union – March 16, 1954 (KCA)
Moscow announces that Professor Georgi Alexandrov has succeeded General Ponomarenko as Minister of Culture.
Poland – March 17, 1954 (KCA)
The second congress of the Polish United Workers’ (Communist) Party ends and is followed by Government changes.
Soviet Union / U.S. – March 17, 1954 (LBC)
President Eisenhower announces that he would order immediate retaliation if the U.S. were attacked by any nation. On March 1 the U.S. announces that it successfully exploded its second hydrogen bomb. The device is thought to be suitable for use as a weapon.
Romania – March 18, 1954 (PIR)
The measures to be taken in the trial against the ‘spy’ group lead by Lucreţiu Pătrăşcanu are discussed in the Political Bureau.
Soviet Union / The Netherlands – March 18, 1954 (KCA)
Soviet Union protests to the Dutch Government against the establishment of American bases on Dutch territory in peacetime.
Poland – March 19, 1954 (KCA)
Prime Minister Boleslaw Bierut, who has been appointed first secretary of the Party’s Central Committee, resigns the Premiership in order to concentrate on the task of putting into effect the new party statuses adopted by the congress. He is succeeded by Jozef Cyrankiewicz.
Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. – March 19, 1954 (LBC)
J. F. Dulles briefs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on new U.S. foreign policy called “new look”. The aim is to make the USSR understand that it would face the full U.S. nuclear potential if it threatened the U.S. or its vital interests. On March 22 Eden announces that the British Government is no longer dealing with the Molotov proposal.
Bulgaria / France – March 20, 1954 (LBC)
Bulgarian-French economic agreement is signed. France delivers textile, chemicals, medicine, machines and other products to Bulgaria in return for agricultural products. The deal is worth three billion French francs.
Soviet Union / U.K. – March 20, 1954 (KCA)
The British Embassy in Moscow announces that the Soviet authorities have provided “documentary proof” that four women who married British Embassy workers have voluntarily divorced their husbands.
Soviet Union / Greece / U.S. – March 20, 1954 (KCA)
The Soviet Union sends a note to the Greek Government, strongly protesting both Greece’s decision to allow U.S. forces to use Greek territory for U.S. air and naval bases, and the authorization of the U.S. to develop Greek roads and railways for military purposes within the NATO.
Soviet Union / U.K. – March 22, 1954 (LBC)
The President of the British Board of Trade declares that the British Government urges maximal trade with the Soviet Union in goods that do not involve Western security. He does not think it is desirable to maintain the “long-term, loose and ineffective blockade” of the USSR.
Romania / India – March 23, 1954 (PIR)
The first commercial and payments accord between Romania and India is signed at New Delhi.
Soviet Union / U.K. – March 23, 1954 (LBC)
It is announced that Britain is selling one million pounds’ worth of milk wrapping machines to the USSR.
Hungary – March 24, 1954 (HC)
Decree no. 1954:7 by the Hungarian Presidential Council announces the abolition of the College of Foreign Languages.
Hungary – March 24, 1954 (HC)
Session of the Hungarian Writers’ Union. Chairman József Darvas resigns, Péter Veres will be the new Chairman. A Secretariat is established, its members: Sándor Erdei, Tibor Barabás, Lajos Kónya, Tibor Méray and Ernő Urbán.
Romania – March 25, 1954 (PIR)
The Romanian Government publishes “The Declaration regarding collective security in Europe”.
East Germany / Soviet Union – March 25, 1954 (CWC)
The Soviet Union grants sovereignty to the GDR stating that it needs to respond to the FRG's claims to represent all Germans.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – March 30, 1954 (LBC)
The U.S., United Kingdom and France redefine their embargo on strategic shipping to communist countries in order to increase East-West trade. Eisenhower recommends more tolerance for the East-West exchange of non-strategic goods in case it does not harm his country’s security interest.
Romania / Soviet Union – Marc 31, 1954 (PIR)
Miron Constantinescu, on behalf of Romania, signs an agreement with the USSR, stipulating the sale or transfer to Romania of the Soviet part of mixed companies, with the exception of Sovrompetrol and Sovromcuarţ (a second agreement would be signed September 18).
Soviet Union / U.S. – March 31, 1954 (CWC)
The Soviet Union again proposes a European security treaty to the United States but this time would allow American participation in exchange for the Soviet Union joining NATO. The United States rejects this proposal on May 7th.
East Germany – April 1954 (HWD)
The acknowledgement of the “New Course” comes to an end at the Fourth Party Congress of the SED. First Secretary Walter Ulbricht announces that the restoration of German unity has an “an irrevocable legitimacy”.
Soviet Union – April-June 1954 (KRI)
A revolt takes place at the Kingirsky prison camp.
Hungary – April 2-3, 1954 (HC)
The 3rd general assembly of the National Confederation of Hungarian Trade Unions takes place. The National Cooperative Farm Council is formed with the aim of fulfilling the needs of the population, broadening trade between cities and villages, and organizing the peasants into unions. The first chairman of this new council will be Imre Dögei.
Soviet Union / U.S. – April 5, 1954 (LBC)
In a television and radio speech Eisenhower assures Americans that the U.S. will not use the H-bomb first; the danger of war, the economic crisis and the domestic communist penetration has been exaggerated. According to the President, the USSR does not want to start a war.
Romania – April 6-13, 1954 (PIR)
The trial of the Lucreţiu Pătrăşcanu-Remus Kofler-Herbert Zilber group takes place.
Soviet Union / France / U.S. – April 7, 1954 (LBC)
General Charles de Gaulle accuses the U.S. of interfering in French domestic affairs. Among other things he accuses the U.S. of uniting other countries against the communist armies while devoting only money and war materials for the long term defense. According to De Gaulle the European Defense Community (EDC) would cause “a state of permanent revolt in France”; make it dependent on the U.S. for defense, undermine its sovereignty andeven “dissolve France by merging it with vanquished Germany
Hungary – April 8, 1954 (HC)
The Central Committee of the Slovak Communist Party invalidates the 1946 act of re-Slovakization.
Hungary / Slovakia – April 8, 1954 (HC)
Decree 2471/1954 by the Justice Deputy is announced in Slovakia stating court judgments must be provided in Hungarian if the customer(s) request(s).
Soviet Bloc / U.S. – April 8, 1954 (LBC)
The West initiates a new trade policy, which would increase East-West trade. Accordingly Washington defines the strategic value of export commodities along the following lines: use in the U.S., the free world and the Soviet bloc; significance for the Russian armed forces and relative rarity in the Soviet bloc; possibility of production in the Soviet bloc; sources outside the U.S., re-export and smuggling; the possibility of conversion from peaceful to military use.
Soviet Union / Greece – April 11, 1954 (KCA)
The Greek Government rejects the Soviet note of March 20, 1954.
Yugoslavia / Turkey – April 12-15, 1954 (KCA)
President Tito and Koca Popović, the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, visit Ankara and Istanbul.
Romania / U.S. – April 13, 1954 (KCA)
Constantin and Peter Georgescu, the two sons of Valeriu Georgescu, are reunited with their parents in New York after having been allowed to leave Romania.
U.K. – April 13, 1954 (LBC)
The United Kingdom announces that it supports the EDC.
Romania – April 14, 1954 (PIR)
The sentence in the Lucreţiu Pătrăşcanu trial is issued: L. Pătrăşcanu and Remus Kofler are sentenced to death; H. Zilber, Al. Stefanescu and Emil Calmanovici – forced labor for life; I. Mocsony-Starcea and H. Torasian – 15 years; Harry Brauner and Lena Constante – 12 years; J. Berman – 10 years and Victoria Sarbu – 8 years.
Soviet Union / The Netherlands – April 14, 1954 (KCA)
The Dutch Government rejects the Soviet note of March 18, 1954.
Hungary – April 15, 1954 (HC)
Governmental decree 2025/1954 announces the principles and plan of the rationalization of state administration.
Romania – April 16-17, 1954 (PIR)
Lucreţiu Pătrăşcanu and Remus Kofler are executed in the Jilava prison.
Romania – April 20, 1954 (KCA)
Bucharest announces the reorganization of the leadership of the Romanian Workers Communist Party, on similar lines to Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries. The post of secretary-general of the party is abolished, and is superseded by a four-man Secretariat under the supervision of the Politburo. The new Secretariat will be headed by Gheorghe Apostol.
Soviet Union – April 20-27, 1954 (KCA)
The Supreme Soviet meets in Moscow to approve and adopt the State Budget for 1954. Marshal Voroshilov is re-elected to chairmanship.
Yugoslavia – April 21, 1954 (KCA)
Belgrade reports that Milovan Djilas, one of the leading theoreticians of Communist Yugoslavia and a former close member of Tito’s inner circle has resigned from the League of Yugoslav Communists.
Czechoslovakia – April 24, 1954 (KCA)
The Supreme Court at Bratislava sentences four former members of the Slovak board of Commissioners, the Slovak Provincial Government, and another former prominent Slovak leader to long terms of imprisonment on charges of crimes against the state.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. / Vietnam / Cambodia – April 26-July 20, 1954 (KCA/CWC)
The foreign ministers and other representatives of 19 countries meet at the Geneva Conference on Far Eastern issues. Among the main objectives are the establishment of peace, unity and independence in Korea, and the restoration of peace in Indo-China. The conference results in a cease fire between France, Cambodia and the People's Republic of Vietnam on July 20.
Poland / France – April 27, 1954 (LBC)
Poland’s Embassy in Paris reveals a proposal to France for a treaty of alliance and mutual cooperation. The proposal is directed against the EDC and a potential German attack.
Romania / Israel – May 1954 (KCA)
The Israeli Prime Minister Sharett expresses the Israeli Government’s shock at reports that Zionist leaders in Romania have been sentenced to long terms of imprisonment
Finland – May 5, 1954 (HJH/FGV)
The government headed by Ralf Törngren, of the Swedish People's Party of Finland (RKP), comes into office. In addition to RKP the government includes the Agrarian League and the Social Democratic Party.
Soviet Union – May 6, 1954 (KCA)
Moscow announces that the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet has issued a decree restoring the death penalty for murder.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – May 7, 1954 (KCA)
The three Western Powers’ replies to the Soviet note of March 31, 1954, on the possibility of the Soviet Union joining NATO, are delivered in Moscow. The note calls the Soviet proposal “completely unreal” and “contrary to the very principles on which the defense system and the security of Western nations depend.”
Soviet Union / U.K. – May 7, 1954 (KCA)
The British Foreign Office accuses two employees of the Soviet Embassy in London of espionage, and demands the Ambassador to replace them within ten days. Of the two employees, Ivan Pupyshev is accused of attempting to bribe a British officer, and Andrei Gudkov of at least three attempts to recruit Soviet agents.
Hungary – May 9, 1954 (HC)
The Tiszalök barrage begins to work.
Yugoslavia / Italy / Trieste – May 9, 1954 (LKT)
An article in New York Times, based on an interview with Yugoslav President Josip BrozTito, suggests that Tito is willing to offer Italy membership of the Balkan alliance in return for accepting his Trieste proposal, which held that Zone B of the city would be ceded to Yugoslavia. The article also suggests that Yugoslavia would be willing to join Dulles’ European Defense Community if it were broadened to more than just a military organization.
Finland – May 11, 1954 (HFP)
Transition to a four-year legislative period in parliamentary elections takes effect.
Soviet Union / U.K. – May 12, 1954 (KCA)
Malik, Soviet Ambassador in London, refutes the accusations made on May 7 towards two employees of the Embassy.
Soviet Union / U.K. – May 13, 1954 (KCA)
Moscow announces that the Soviet Government has demanded the recall of Major Charles Landon, Assistant Military Attaché at the British Embassy, on the grounds of attempting espionage.
Czechoslovakia – May 15, 1954 (KCA)
Bhumil Lausman, former Social Democratic leader, who fled Czechoslovakia in 1950 and returned in December 1953, gives a press conference in Prague, declaring that he has placed himself voluntarily at the Czechoslovak Government’s disposal and has asked for political asylum. At the same time he attacks the Czechoslovak leaders in exile, claiming that they are “in the service and pay of the Americans.”
Hungary – May 18, 1954 (KCA)
The International Labor Organization announces that it has been advised by the Hungarian Government that a Hungarian delegation would attend the world labor conference which is to be held in Geneva in June 1954. They further claim that Hungary is ready to assume the obligations of membership of the Organization.
Romania – May 21, 1954 (PIR)
The international conventions for the protection of war victims, signed in Geneva on August 12, 1949, are ratified by decree.
Bulgaria / Greece – May 22, 1954 (KCA)
An agreement for the resumption of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and Greece is signed in Paris.
Hungary – May 24-30, 1954 (HC)
The 3rd congress of the Hungarian Workers’ Party takes place. The roles of the state authorities, the councils and the Central Monitoring Committee are determined. The principles of the second Five-Year Plan are defined; priority is given to proportional development and moderate industrialization. In order to ameliorate the councils’ work, the bureaucracy will be reduced and the councils will become more mass-led. The leadership of the party will become more efficient. The importance of the Leninist collective leadership and democratic organization within the party are emphasized. Members of the newly elected Secretariat: Mátyás Rákosi, Lajos Ács, Mihály Farkas, János Matolcsi and Béla Vég. Members of the Political Committee: Lajos Ács, Antal Apró, Mihály Farkas, Ernő Gerő, András Hegedüs, István Hidas, Imre Nagy, Mátyás Rákosi, Béla Szalai.
Hungary – May 27, 1954 (HC)
The Hungarian Council of Ministers announces a reforestation campaign and asks the Hungarian people to aid the return of forests in Hungary.
Soviet Union / U.K. – May 28, 1954 (KCA)
Malik presents a note to the British Foreign Office protesting the activities in Britain of an Anti-Soviet Russian émigré group.
Soviet Union / Egypt / Israel – June 1954 (KCA)
The Soviet Legations in Egypt and Israel are raised to the status of Embassies, with similar status for the Egyptian and Israeli Legations in Moscow.
Soviet Bloc – June, 1954 (CEC)
Fifth session of the COMECON Assembly meets in Moscow. Among the topics discussed are national investment, unification of electricity grids, industrial and agricultural development and foreign trade.
Yugoslavia / India – June 1954 (RYN)
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Nehru's sister and then President of the Indian General Assembly, visits Yugoslavia and meets Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito.
Romania – June 1, 1954 (PIR)
The Military Merit Order is instituted.
Hungary – June 2, 1954 (KCA)
It is announced in Budapest that Hungary has rejoined UNESCO.
Yugoslavia / Greece – June 2-6, 1954 (KCA)
President Tito pays an official visit to Greece, during which he is received by King Paul of the Hellenes and has political conversations with Field-Marshal Papagos and Stephanopoulos, the Greek Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
Yugoslavia / Greece / Turkey – June 5, 1954 (KCA)
Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito and Secretary for Foreign Affairs Koća Popović make it clear that the Balkan pact, tripartite alliance will be open to other countries, even those outside the Balkans.
Romania – June 6, 1954 (PIR)
Virgil Potarcă, former Minister of Agriculture and Domains (1932, 1937-1938), dies in the Sighet prison.
Romania – June 8, 1954 (PIR)
The Political Bureau debates the project for the Rulebook of the Direction and Organs of Military Counter information.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – June 11, 1954 (LBC)
According to a new U.S.-British-French proposal on disarmament, nuclear arms could be used for defense purposes alone. On June 24 the Soviet Union rejects the proposal.
Yugoslavia – June 12, 1954 (KCA)
The Yugoslav Federal Council passes a law abolishing State control and direction of the universities.
Romania / Yugoslavia – June 14, 1954 (KCA)
An agreement between Romania and Yugoslavia for the reopening of direct rail communications between the two countries is announced in Belgrade.
Hungary – June 17, 1954 (HC)
Decree 1043/1954 by the Hungarian Council of Ministers announces that a Publisher Directorate will be established.
Romania / U.N. – June 17, 1954 (PIR)
Romania ratifies the convention on the political rights of women, adopted in the U.N. General Assembly on December 20, 1952.
Poland – June 18, 1954 (PSN)
Poland rejoins UNESCO after leaving the organization in 1949.
Romania / Yugoslavia – June 19, 1954 (KCA)
It is announced in Belgrade that the Romanian Government has proposed the resumption of normal diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia, and that the Yugoslav Government has accepted the appointment of Nikolai Guina as Ambassador in Belgrade.
Bulgaria / Romania – June 20, 1954 (PIR)
The bridge over the Danube between Romania and Bulgaria (The Giurgiu – Ruse bridge) is inaugurated.
Soviet Union – June 26, 1954 (PLC)
An uprising takes place in the Kengir labor camp. The 13,000 prisoners are eventually defeated by 3,000 soldiers with tanks.
East Germany – June 27-29, 1954 (KCA)
A referendum is held throughout Eastern Germany in which all persons over 18 are called upon to go to polls to choose between the “EDC and 50 years of occupation; or the withdrawal of occupation troops and a peace treaty”. Figures issued by the East German authorities claim that 93.5% of votes went against the European Defense Community, and that over 98% of the electorate went to the polls.
Soviet Union – June 27, 1954 (PLC)
In Dubna, near Moscow, the first nuclear power station in the world starts operating.
Romania – June 28, 1954 (PIR)
General Mihail Racoviţă, former Minister of War (1944), dies in the Sighet penitentiary.
Romania / Indonesia – June 31, 1954 (PIR)
The first commercial accord between Romania and Indonesia is concluded in Jakarta.
Yugoslavia / Ethiopia – July 1954 (RYN)
Emperor Haile Selassie visits Yugoslavia. He is the first African leader to visit the country.
Albania – July 1, 1954 (KCA)
The Albanian News Agency announces that the Albanian Workers’ Party has been reorganized along the lines of the Soviet Communist Party.
Romania – July 1, 1954 (PIR)
Romania’s population is 17,040,000.
Finland – July 1, 1954 (NJP)
The common labor market is created between Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. Separate work and dwelling permits are no longer required in each state where a Scandinavian national may go.
Hungary – July 3, 1954 (HC)
The Hungarian Workers’ Party dismisses Oszkár Betlen from his office as chief-editor of the Szabad Nép. The new chief-editor will be Márton Horváth.
East Germany / Hungary – July 4, 1954 (HC)
At the final of the 5th Football World Cup in Geneva, Hungary loses 3-2 to the GDR. The disappointment leads to mass demonstrations in Budapest.
Soviet Union / U.S. – July 5, 1954 (KCA)
The State Department in Washington announces that three Soviet diplomatic officials in the United States have been declared persona non grata by the U.S. Government for spying activities. It is further announced that they have returned to the Soviet Union, and that the Soviet Union, in retaliation, has demanded the recall of two U.S. military attachés at the American Embassy in Moscow.
Hungary – July 6, 1954 (HC)
The Hungarian Government is reshuffled. New ministers: László Piros (Interior), László Háy (External Trade), József Bognár (Internal Trade), András Szobek (State Collection).
Yugoslavia – July 6, 1954 (ACY)
Metropolitan Arsenije Bradvarović of the Montenegrin Littoral is arrested in early July and tried on July 27 and 28 at Cetinje. He is accused of serious offences against the people and the state, arousing religious hatred and intolerance, and is sentenced to eleven and a half years' imprisonment.
Hungary – July 7, 1954 (HC)
Decree 1052/1954 by the Hungarian Council of Ministers announces that the Lenin Institute will become a separate higher education institute. Its educational aim remains unchanged.
Soviet Bloc / U.K. / U.S. – July 7, 1954 (LBC)
As a result of a U.S.-British agreement the number of commodities not eligible for sale to the Soviet bloc is reduced.
Soviet Union / Iran – July 9, 1954 (KCA)
The Soviet Government asks the Persian government’s opinion on rumors that the U.S. and other governments had pressured Persia to join an “aggressive military bloc” based on the military alliance between Turkey and Pakistan.
Albania – July 12, 1954 (PLC)
In Albania Mehmet Shehu becomes the Prime Minister instead of Enver Hoxha, because it is decided that the party and the state leaders should be separated.
Romania – July 12, 1954 (PIR)
The Economic and Social Council of the U.N. advises the acceptance of Romania into UNESCO.
Hungary – July 13-30, 1954 (HC)
Flood warnings at the Danube basin are issued. On July 15 the Szigetköz area is partially flooded.
Poland / U.K. – July 15, 1954 (KCA)
The British Home Office announces that Andrzej Panufnik, a leading Polish composer and conductor, and Vice-President of the Association of Polish Composers, has arrived in the United Kingdom from Switzerland and has decided not to return to Poland.
Czechoslovakia / Hungary / U.S. – July 17, 1954 (LBC)
The U.S. announces that eleven Czechoslovak and Hungarian priests are admitted into the U.S. to participate at an international ecclesiastical conference.
Romania – July 17, 1954 (PIR)
Works on the Danube-Black Sea construction site are closed following the Decision of the Council of Ministers number 2404. Previously allocated resources are redistributed for the “increase in agricultural and alimentary production, and the production of widespread consumption goods, with the aim of increasing the population’s living standards.”
Soviet Union / Finland – July 17, 1954 (KCA)
Negotiations for a new long term Finnish-Soviet trade agreement end with the signing of a five-year agreement (1956-1960) by the Finnish Foreign Minister Kekkonen, and the Soviet Foreign Minister Borisov. A joint political declaration is also issued following discussions between Kekkonen and Molotov. It is announced that the two countries raise their respective Legations in Helsinki and Moscow to Embassy status.
Soviet Union / Iran – July 18, 1954 (KCA)
The Persian reply to the Soviet Government is presented to the Soviet Ambassador, Lavrentiev, in Teheran. The reply expresses surprise that the Soviet Government should have presented an aide-mémoire based on press reports, and declares that the Persian Government is “entitled to take all measures that it judges desirable with a view to ensure Persia’s security and the defense of its independence and integrity.”
Albania – July 20, 1954 (KCA)
Tirana radio announces that the Albanian Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defense, General Enver Hoxha, has resigned from Premiership and has been succeeded by Colonel-General Mehmet Shehu, the Deputy Premier and Minister of the Interior.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – July 20, 1954 (KCA)
During the final phase of the Geneva Conference on Far Eastern problems, a general agreement on an armistice in Indo-China is reached.
Poland – July 21, 1954 (PSN)
The first blast furnace in Nova Hurta Iron and Steel Works begins operations. The furnace had been under construction since April, 1950 and was the biggest project of the Six-Year Plan.
Soviet Union – July 23, 1954 (KCA)
It is officially announced in Moscow that M. D. Riumin, the former Deputy Minister of State Security, arrested in April 1953, has been sentenced to death at a trial held before the Military Institute of the Soviet Supreme Court July 2-7, 1954, and has been executed.
Hungary / West Germany – July 24, 1954 (KCA)
An agreement is signed in Budapest between the Bavarian shipping company Bayerischer Lloyd and the Hungarian-Soviet shipping company Meszhart permitting German and Hungarian vessels to carry passengers and traffic to the territory of the other country.
Soviet Union / U.S. – July 24, 1954 (CWC)
The Soviet Union again proposes a conference on security in Europe which would prevent Germany from militarizing. The United States rejects this proposal.
Soviet Bloc / U.K. – July 26, 1954 (KCA)
Thorneycroft, president of the British Board of Trade, announces in the House of Commons that, as a result of an agreement reached by the member countries of the Consultative Group Co-Ordinating Committee in Paris, there will be a number of important relaxations in the restrictions on trade with the Soviet Union and the East European members of the Soviet bloc.
Romania / Greece – July 29, 1954 (PIR)
The Decision of the CC of PMR regarding the statute of the Association of Greek and Slavo-Macedonian immigrants from Greece is published.
Hungary – July 31-August 8, 1954 (HC)
The 12th College Summer World Championship is organized in Budapest.
Poland / U.K. – July 31, 1954 (KCA)
A group of Thames River Police officers board the Polish Merchant ship Jaroslaw Dabrowski in London and take ashore a stowaway, Antoni Klimowicz, who has asked for asylum in Britain but was detained on board by the master of the ship.
Poland – August 1954 (HDP)
Political body to lead Polish emigration and Polish institutions abroad called Council of Three is established in London.
Soviet Union / France – August 2, 1954 (KCA)
Air France and Aeroflot open a regular air service between Paris and Moscow.
Poland / U.K. – August 3, 1954 (KCA)
The Polish government protest at the arrest of Klimowicz aboard the Jaroslaw Dabrowski, a Polish steamer. They demand Klimowicz’s release and compensation for withholding the ship.
Romania – August 3, 1954 (PIR)
Romania ratifies the documents of the Universal Postal Convention, concluded in Brussels on July 11, 1952.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – August 4, 1954 (KCA)
A further Soviet note is presented in London, Washington and Paris in which it is suggested that the Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom, the U.S., France and the Soviet Union should meet in August or September for a preliminary discussion on the question of convening a four power conference on disarmament, and on measures to promote its success.
Czechoslovakia – August 5, 1954 (KCA)
It is announced in Prague that Jan Pulla, Vice-Chairman of the Slovak Board of Commissioners, has been replaced by Stefan Sebesta, a member of the Politburo of the Slovak Communist Party.
Poland / U.K. – August 5, 1954 (KCA)
All Polish allegations against the British police concerning the case of Jaroslaw Dabrowski and Antoni Klimowicz are rejected by the Home Office in London.
Romania – August 5, 1954 (PIR)
The Law for the organization and functioning of State Arbitrage is published.
Yugoslavia / Greece / Turkey – August 6-9, 1954 (KCA/CUY)
The Foreign Ministers of Greece, Yugoslavia and Turkey, Stefan Stephanopoulos, Koča Popović and Professor Köprülü, meet at Bled, Yugoslavia, to complete the alliance treaty between their countries which was drafted by a tripartite commission in Athens. A joint official communiqué issued after signing a treaty for a military elaboration of the Balkan (Ankara) Pact on September 9, 1954 announces that it was also decided to establish a Balkans Institute for the Scientific Study of questions of common interest.
Poland / U.K. – August 8, 1954 (KCA)
24-year-old Antoni Klimowicz states at a press conference that after he had been found on board of Jaroslaw Dabrowski, attempts were made to persuade him to return to Poland, with offers of work and promises that he would not be punished. When he refused, he was threatened and abused.
Soviet Union / U.K. – August 10-11, 1954 (LBC)
A delegation of the British Labour Party visits Moscow. The delegation is headed by former Prime Minister Clement Attlee and is received by Georgii Malenkov.
Hungary – August 13, 1954 (HC)
The leaders of Hungarian political, social and cultural life hold a meeting. They agree that it is necessary to establish a broadened popular front. It will be called the Patriotic People’s Front.
Poland – August 14, 1954 (KCA)
It is announced in Warsaw that Andrzej Panufnik has been expelled by the Polish Composers’ association.
Romania / Yugoslavia – August 14, 1954 (PIR)
Romania and Yugoslavia conclude an accord for the re-opening of direct communication networks between the two countries (interrupted in 1950).
Soviet Union / France – August 14, 1954 (LBC)
A proposal is issued by the French Prime Minister Mendes-France for the modification of the EDC. The proposal is directed at reducing the organization’s supranational character to facilitate its ratification by the French National Assembly.
Romania – August 20, 1954 (PIR)
Iosif Chişinevski, Chivu Stoica and Alexandru Moghioroş are appointed Vice-Presidents of the Council of Ministers.
Romania / Greece – August 14, 1954 (KCA)
The Greek Foreign Ministry announces that Greece has provisionally accepted a Romanian proposal to resume normal commercial and diplomatic relations, with one of the conditions being the repatriation of Greek hostages in Romania.
Romania / Greece – August 17, 1954 (KCA)
922 Greek nationals, who were taken hostage by Communist rebels during the Greek civil war, arrive by ship at Salonika after having been repatriated from Romania.
Romania – August 18, 1954 (KCA)
The Romanian National Assembly approves the following Cabinet changes: Josif Chisinevschi, Alexandru Maghioros and Chivu Stoica are appointed as First Deputy Premiers, and Emil Bodnaras, Miron Constantinescu and Petre Borila are appointed as Deputy Premiers.
Poland / U.K. – August 24, 1954 (KCA)
Concerning the case of Jaroslaw Dabrowski and Antoni Klimowicz, the British Foreign Office issues the text of a British note to the Polish Government rejecting the Polish request to hand over Klimowicz, declaring that Jaroslaw Dabrowski was in British national waters and that the U.K. authorities have an “undoubted right” to exercise jurisdiction over persons on board.
Soviet Union / U.K. – August 25, 1954 (KCA)
The Admiralty in London publishes an appraisal of Soviet naval strength which estimates that if the present rate of naval construction is maintained, in two or three years’ time the Soviet Navy will possess 30 cruisers, 150 destroyers, 500 submarines, 500 motor-torpedo boats, 1,000 minesweepers, 300 escort vessels and 4,000 naval aircraft. Soviet naval manpower is estimated at about 750,000.
Poland / France – August 27, 1954 (KCA)
It is announced in Paris that the Polish Government has suggested to France the conclusion of a treaty of alliance and mutual assistance against revival of German aggression.
Soviet Union / France – August 30, 1954 (LBC)
The French National Assembly votes against the EDC by 319 to 264.
Finland – September 1954 (FKH)
Direct flight connections between Helsinki and London begin.
Poland – September 1954 (PLC)
In Poland Gomulka is secretly released from prison.
Yugoslavia / Western Europe – September-October 1954 (CUY)
Yugoslav Vice President Kardelj visits France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and West Germany to promote close ties with Social Democratic parties in Europe.
Yugoslavia / Turkey – September 1-9, 1954 (KCA)
President Bayar of Turkey visits Yugoslavia.
Yugoslavia / Italy – September 3, 1954 (NBT)
Yugoslavia and Italy agree on all points of the Trieste negotiations except the territorial issue. Neither of the two states are prepared to renounce their claims to Cape Punta Sottile, an area of about two square miles.
Soviet Union / U.S. – September 4, 1954 (KCA)
The U.S. Defense Department announces that a U.S. Navy Neptune plane was shot down by Soviet fighters in the waters north of Japan, about 44 miles from the Siberian mainland.
Soviet Union / U.S. – September 5, 1954 (KCA)
The Soviet Government presents a note to the U.S., alleging that the Neptune violated State frontiers of the USSR in the area of Ostrovny, ignored the warnings from two Soviet machines and opened fire on them. The Soviet note asks that the persons responsible to be “severely called to account” and that the U.S. authorities take steps to avoid such incidents in future. Two U.S. notes are presented in Moscow the same day, the first note protesting the attack, and the second rejecting the Soviet Government’s allegations concerning the incident as “completely unfounded”.
Poland – September 7, 1954 (KCA)
It is reported that August Zaleski, the President of the Polish Government-in-exile in London has appointed Prince Eustace Sapieha as his legal successor in the event of his resignation or death.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – September 10, 1954 (KCA)
The replies of the British, U.S. and French Governments are issued to the Soviet note of July 24. They are presented in Moscow. The Western Powers state that they can be prepared to agree to a four-power conference of Foreign Ministers if the Soviet Union agrees to sign the Austrian State Treaty on the basis of previously agreed text, and to hold free elections throughout Germany as an “essential first step” towards German unification.
Soviet Union – September 16, 1954 (KCA)
Moscow announces that an atomic weapon test has been carried out in the USSR to study the effect of an atomic explosion and that valuable results have been obtained which will help Soviet Scientists and engineers to solve problems of defense against atomic attack.
Yugoslavia – September 16, 1954 (KCA)
President Tito holds a speech on Yugoslavian foreign policy in Ostrozno, Slovenia. Tito declares that Yugoslavia approves of a European Community, which would remove antagonisms and bring about economic and other kinds of cooperation. On the subject of German rearmament he comments that “those who want to keep Germany forever in chains are not in the right. Germany is entitled to sovereignty.” Tito also rejects the possibility of Yugoslavia joining NATO.
Hungary / U.N. – September 17, 1954 (HC)
The Government sends a memorandum to the General Assembly of the United Nations, asking for membership.
Yugoslavia – September 18, 1954 (KCA)
It is reported in Belgrade that the Supreme Court of Montenegro has reduced the sentence of Bishop Arsenije Bradvrević from 11½ years of hard labor to 5 years.
Hungary – September 20-22, 1954 (HC)
The Parliament accepts Law 1954: VIII. about the modification of the constitution and Law IX. about the councils and the way council members are elected.
Hungary – September 21, 1954 (HC)
Decree 1077/1954 by the Hungarian Council of Ministers determines the rights and duties of the heads of industrial firms. They are given more freedom in decision making.
Hungary – September 23, 1954 (HC)
Decree no. 1954:28 by the Hungarian Presidential Council announces the new regulation system of pensions. The pension base is 50% of the wage, and an additional 1% a year is given for the years after 1945. The minimum pension is 500 Forints.
Hungary – September 23, 1954 (HC)
The Hungarian Council of Ministers calls for the 5th peace loan program. The program ends on October 2 with 1,123,634,300 forints.
Poland – September 25, 1954 (PSN)
The Diet introduces a three-level administration of the country abolishing the commune.
Hungary / Romania / Soviet Union – September 25, 1954 (KCA)
A joint communiqué is issued in Moscow and Bucharestt, announcing that the Soviet Union has agreed to transfer to Romania its half-shares in the 12 joint Soviet-Romanian (Sovrom) industrial companies created after the war.
Poland / U.S. – September 28, 1954 (PSN)
Lt. Col. Joseph Swiatlo appears at a press conference in Washington. The same day Radio Liberty begins transmitting his texts usually related to the hidden functioning of the Communist Government to Poland. In particular he describes relations between Polish and Soviet institutions and the power of Soviet emissaries.
Hungary – October 1954 (HC)
Lectures start at the TTIT Attila József Free University in Budapest.
Hungary – October 1954 (HC)
Fel a fejjel (Keep your chin up!), a film directed by Márton Keleti and Rokonok (Relatives) by Félix Máriássy are first shown.
Yugoslavia / U.S. – October 1954 (LKT)
Foreign Operations Administration (FOA) director Harold E. Stassen visits Yugoslavia. Tito assures him that Yugoslavia's influence on the Balkan satellites will increase because of the Soviet's change in policy toward his country.
East Germany – October, 1954 (HWD)
Elections to the People’s Chamber take place. A participation rate of 98.4% is registered, the result is a 99.45% ‘yes’ vote for the candidates of the unified lists.
Hungary – October 1, 1954 (HC)
Declaration 12/1954 by the Hungarian Presidential Council announces that Miskolc, Debrecen, Szeged and Pécs will be administered directly by the Presidential Council.
Yugoslavia / Soviet Union – October 1, 1954 (KCA)
A barter agreement, ending the Soviet Unions’ six-year economic blockade of Yugoslavia, is signed in Belgrade.
Romania / China – October 1, 1954 (PIR)
A Romanian Governmental delegation is received by Mao Zedong on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the proclamation of the Popular Republic of China.
U.S / West Germany . – October 3, 1954 (LBC)
A decision is made on the FRG’s NATO membership.
Yugoslavia / Italy / Trieste / U.K. / U.S. – October 3, 1954 (LBC)
The U.S., United Kingdom, Yugoslavia and Italy sign an agreement (the so called Memorandum of Understanding) on Trieste. According to the agreement zone A will be under Italian control, while zone B will be under Yugoslav control. The agreement states that the Italian peace treaty could not be implemented, under which Trieste would have been a free zone.
Soviet Union / U.N. – October 3, 1954 (LBC)
The Soviet Union presents a new disarmament proposal to the U.N. According to Vishinsky an international agreement needs to be signed to ban atomic and hydrogen bombs as well as other weapons of mass destruction. This would be controlled by an international organization. Armed forces would have to be reduced by 50% in six months to one year. A provisional organ needs to be established under the aegis of the U.N., which would be empowered to request information on compliance.
Yugoslavia / Italy / Trieste – October 6, 1954 (NBT)
In his speech at a meeting of the Communist League in Sarajevo, Marshal Tito points out that Yugoslavia must make sacrifices in order to reach the agreement. But even so, the Yugoslav Government is satisfied because the agreement contributes to the consolidation of peace and stability in Europe.
Yugoslavia / Italy / Trieste – October 7, 1954 (NBT)
The Yugoslav federal executive council approves the Memorandum of Understanding on Trieste.
Hungary – October 10, 1954 (HC)
Decree no. 1954:29 by the Hungarian Presidential Council states that the Ministry of Heavy Industry will be abolished and instead the Ministry of Coal Mining and a Ministry of Chemical Industry and Energy will be established. The new ministries’ ministers are Sándor Czottner and István Hidas.
Hungary – October 10, 1954 (HC)
Decree 1086/1954 by the Hungarian Council of Ministers announces that the Economics Institution will be established.
Romania – October 10, 1954 (PIR)
Vasile Luca is condemned to death, but his sentence is commuted to life imprisonment.
Romania – October 10, 1954 (PIR)
Eugen Ţurcanu is sentences to death in the trial against the ‘reeducators’. His personal estates are confiscated and he is executed at Jilava prison on December 17. Ţurcanu was the leader of a group of prison guards who, with support of the prison administration, tortured prisoners in the Pitesti prison between 1949 and 1951.
Bulgaria / Soviet Union – October 11, 1954 (KCA)
A joint communiqué issued in Sofia and Moscow announces that the Soviet Union has agreed to transfer to Bulgaria half of its shares in three joint Soviet-Bulgarian industrial companies.
Romania / China – October 11-29, 1954 (PIR)
Petru Groza, President of the Presidium of the Grand National Assembly, meets in Beijing for discussion with Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi and Zhou Enlai.
Soviet Union / China – October 12, 1954 (KCA)
A joint Sino-Soviet communiqué is issued in Moscow and Beijing, announcing that as a result of discussions held in the Chinese capital between September 29 and October 11, it has been agreed that the Soviet Union will restore Port Arthur to China by May 1955, China will be granted a long-term Soviet credit of 520 million roubles, the Soviet Union will assist in the construction of two new railway links between China and the Soviet Union, and finally the Soviet Union will relinquish its share in the joint Sino-Soviet companies which have been formed to assist Chinese economic development. The two countries also fully agree on matters of foreign policy and in their attitude towards Far Eastern problems.
Soviet Union / Yugoslavia / Italy / Trieste – October 12, 1954 (NBT)
The Soviet Union also recognizes the Second London Agreement because it believes that the agreement would restore normal relations between Yugoslavia and Italy.
Soviet Union / U.S. – October 13, 1954 (KCA)
The U.S. Navy Secretary Charles S. Thomas states that the Soviet Union possesses 20,000 aircraft in which it could deliver atomic weapons. It is the first official U.S. announcement crediting the Soviet Union with possessing supersonic aircraft capable of carrying atomic bombs.
Soviet Union / Yugoslavia – October 14, 1954 (KCA)
Belgrade officially states that Soviet jamming of Radio Belgrade’s Russian language broadcasts had ceased some days before.
Soviet Union / Yugoslavia – October 15, 1954 (KCA)
It is announced in Belgrade that the Soviet Government has informed Yugoslavia that it is ready to agree on the return of a number of Yugoslav orphan cadets who were sent for training to the Suvorov Military Academy in Moscow before Yugoslavia’s break with the USSR in 1948.
East Germany – October 17, 1954 (KCA)
General elections are held in Eastern Germany for a new Volkskrammer of 400 deputies.
East Germany – October 18, 1954 (KCA)
The results of the elections in Eastern Germany are announced, reporting that 98.41% of the electorate went to the polls and 99,46% of the votes cast went to the National Front.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – October 20, 1954 (LBC)
The Soviet Union rejects the Western disarmament proposal, which would have sought a compromise between the Soviet proposal on one hand and the British-French one on the other.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. / West Germany – October 23, 1954 (LBC)
An agreement is signed in Paris on the restoration of the sovereignty of the FRG. West Germany and Italy will be part of the Western European Union, the FRG receives NATO membership, and its limited rearmament is permitted. The agreement, which is made up of four parts, is signed by 15 states. The USSR condemns the agreement and recommends a four-power conference.
Hungary – October 23-24, 1954 (HC)
The founding congress of the Patriotic People’s Front takes place. Chairman of the national council: Pál Szabó. Deputy Chairmen: József Darvas, István Dobi, Ferenc Harrer, Imre Nagy and Mátyás Rákosi. General Secretary: Ferenc Jánosi.
From November 14, the Magyar Nemzet becomes the newspaper of the Patriotic People’s Front.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – October 23, 1954 (KCA)
Soviet notes are presented to the U.S., British and French Ambassadors in Moscow, in which the Soviet Government proposes that the Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom, the U.S., France and the Soviet Union meet in November to examine questions of German unification, the withdrawal of occupation troops of the four Powers from both Eastern and Western Germany, and the organization of a general conference to examine the creation of a system of collective security in Europe.
Soviet Union / Yugoslavia / Trieste – October 25, 1954 (RYN)
On the eve of his departure to Burma and India, Tito delivers a lengthy address to the Federal Assembly on the solution of the Trieste question, the normalization of relations with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and the negotiation of the Balkan Pact.
Soviet Union / U.S. – October 26, 1954 (KCA)
The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission announces that the Soviet Government has been conducting a series of detonations of nuclear explosives on Soviet territory.
Yugoslavia / Italy / Trieste / U.K. / U.S. – October 26, 1954 (NBT)
Italian troops enter Trieste and the British-American occupation comes to an end.
Czechoslovakia / Israel – October 27, 1954 (KCA)
The Israeli Legation in Vienna announces that Simon Orenstein, an Israeli national who had been sentenced on August 17, 1953, by a Czechoslovak court, to life imprisonment on charges of crimes against the security of the Czechoslovak state , has been released after having spend three years in prison.
Hungary – October 30, 1954 (HC)
The Hungarian Presidential Council dismisses András Hegedüs from his office as Agricultural Minister, Ferenc Erdei from his office as Minister of Justice, István Hidas from his office as Minister of Chemical Industry and Energy, Árpád Kiss from his office as Minister of Light Insdursty, Béla Szalai from his office as head of the State Planning Office and Erik Molnár from his office as head of the Supreme Court. At the same time, István Hidas is elected to be the Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Béla Szalai the Minister of Light Industry, Árpád Kiss the Minister of Chemical Industry and Energy, Ferenc Erdei the Minister of Agriculture, Erik Molnár the Minister of Justice, György Pogácsás the Minister of State Farms, Andor Berei the head of the State Planning Office and József Domonkos the head of the Supreme Court.
Hungary – October 31, 1954 (HC)
Decree no. 1954:30 by the Hungarian Presidential Council announces that a Ministry of State Farms will be established.
Poland – November 1954 (PSN)
At a secret meeting of party activists, many lower level activists attack the Ministry of Public Security in the wake of Beria's execution and the Swiatlo broadcasts.
Romania – November 1954 (RFN)
The Soviet Union calls for the General Assembly to request the Security Council to review the application of Romania and a number of other states.
Hungary – November 1, 1954 (HC)
The Pedagogic Science Institute opens in Budapest.
Yugoslavia / Indonesia – November 4, 1954 (KCA)
It is announced in Belgrade that Yugoslav and Indonesian Governments have agreed to establish diplomatic relations and exchange envoys with the rank of Minister.
Yugoslavia / Italy – November 6, 1954 (KCA)
Rome and Belgrade announce that the Italian and Yugoslav Governments have agreed to raise their diplomatic missions from Legation to Embassy level in order to create closer and better mutual relations.
Hungary / Soviet Union – November 7, 1954 (KCA)
A joint communiqué is issued in Moscow and Budapest, announcing that the Soviet Government has agreed to transfer to Hungary half of its shares in the five joint Soviet-Hungarian industrial companies set up in 1945.
Soviet Union / U.S. – November 7, 1954 (KCA)
A U.S. Superfortress plane is shot down by Soviet fighters off the northeastern tip of Hokkaido while on a routine photographic reconnaissance flight; one airman is killed.
Soviet Union / U.S. – November 8, 1954 (KCA)
The Soviet Union sends a protest to the United States, alleging that the Superfortress flew over Tanfilyev Island in the southern Kuriles, ignored warnings by two Soviet panes to leave the air space of the Soviet Union immediately and opened fire on them. On the same day a strong U.S. note is presented in Moscow concerning the shooting down of the Superfortess over Japanese territory in the Hokkaido area.
Soviet Union / U.K. – November 9, 1954 (LBC)
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill inspires East and West to try and coexist in friendship. He deems the strength of the West as the token of peace and states that communism is the Russians’ own affair as long as they do not endanger the freedom of other nations.
Yugoslavia / U.S. – November 10-17, 1954, KCA, (CUY)
A Yugoslav delegation visits the United States for discussions on economic relations including US economic assistance and the possibility of an extension of Yugoslavia’s repayment of earlier debts. The Yugoslav delegation is headed by Svetozar Vukmanović-Tempo. Following the talks, an agreement is signed under which 425,000 tons of wheat and $10 million worth of cotton from surplus stocks are provided to Yugoslavia.
Poland / U.K. – November 11, 1954 (KCA)
It is announced in London that negotiations between the British and Polish Governments have resulted in the signing of a financial agreement in Warsaw and a trade agreement in London.
Soviet Union – November 11, 1954 (KCA)
A directive is issued in Pravda by Khrushchev, in which it is admitted that certain Soviet newspapers and anti-religious organizations have made “insulting attacks” on the clergy and religious believers and have “baselessly represented certain ministers of religion and believers as people unworthy of political trust”. Khrushchev further declares that “insulting acts regarding the Church, clergy and believing citizens are incompatible with the line of party and State in carrying out scientific atheistic propaganda, and contradict the Constitution of the USSR granting freedom of conscience to citizens.”
Soviet Union / Western Bloc – November 13, 1954 (KCA)
The Soviet Government sends notes to the United States and European countries with which it maintains diplomatic relations, proposing that a conference on the organization of collective security in Europe be convened in Paris or Moscow on November 29, 1954.
Hungary / U.S. – November 17, 1954 (KCA)
The Hungarian Government informs the U.S. Legation in Budapest that American citizens and Mrs. Noel Field have been released from imprisonment because the charges brought against them were found to have been unjustified. This is the first official intimation since the disappearance of and Mrs. Noel Field that they have been in a Hungarian prison.
Bulgaria / Austria – November 18, 1954 (KCA)
It is announced in Vienna that Austria and Bulgaria have initiated a Danube shipping agreement providing for the free and reciprocal use of the river for ships of both countries in each other’s territory.
Finland / Soviet Union – November 18, 1954 (EKF)
J. K. Paasikivi is awarded the Order of Lenin for his 'outstanding services for the cause of peace'.
Finland – November 20, 1954 (HJH/FGV)
The government headed by R. Törngren falls and a new cabinet is formed by the Agrarian League Leader Urho Kaleva Kekkonen. The governmental coalition is formed between Agrarians and Social Democrats.
Soviet Bloc / France – November 23, 1954 (LBC)
French Prime Minister Mendes-France would support the establishment of an East European defense organization if it were directed at arms control and supervision and would operate on the principle of openness like its Western counterpart.
Yugoslavia / U.K. – November 25-26, 1954 (KCA)
Yugoslav delegation travels to London and has talks on economic relations.
Finland – November 26, 1954 (TSL)
Väinö Linna´s novel The Unknown Soldier is published. The book is about a machine gun company in the 1941-44 Continuation War between Finland and the Soviet Union. However, its unvarnished depiction of war sparks an exceptionally heated debate about its truthfulness. It is to become one of the most-read novels in Finland.
Hungary – November 28, 1954 (HC)
National council elections take place. The Patriotic Popular Front receives 97.9% of the votes.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – November 29, 1954 (KCA)
The British, U.S., and French replies to the Soviet note of November 13th are presented in Moscow. The notes point out that the Soviet proposals for European Security contained no points that had not already been discussed at the Berlin conference, emphasize that the Western countries do not intend to be “deflected” from ratifying the Paris agreements, and lay down prerequisites for a four-power conference or a wider European conference:
1. The signing of the Austrian State Treaty
2. A “clarification” of the Soviet Government’s position with regard to free all-German elections
3. Exchanges through diplomatic channels on any other questions, particularly those relating to European security, which might be examined at an eventual four-Power meeting.
Soviet Bloc – November 29-December 2, 1954 (KCA)
A conference on “the safeguarding of peace ad collective security in Europe” is held in Moscow. Although all the European countries and the United States are invited, the only representatives that come from Communist States in Eastern Europe are Poland, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania. An observer represents the People’s Republic of China. During the conference, Molotov attacks the London and Paris agreements and calls for their abandonment. The Conference ends with the signing of a Declaration by all the countries represented saying that the creation of a West German army headed by “Hitler generals” and the inclusion of Western Germany into NATO and the West European alliance would constitute a threat to the security of the countries represented at the conference, and that if the Paris agreements were ratified, those countries would meet again to adopt measures for safeguarding their security.
Hungary – December 1954 (HC)
The Fifth Hungarian Fine Arts Exhibition is opened
Soviet Union – December 1954 (KRI)
Former Minister of State Security Abakumov is shot for his role in fabricating the “Leningrad Affair”.
Poland / Austria – December 1, 1954 (KCA)
The Austrian and Polish Governments announce that they have agreed to raise their respective Legations in Warsaw and Vienna to the status of Embassies.
Yugoslavia – December 1954 (KCA)
Milovan Djilas, the former Vice-President of the Yugoslav Federal Executive Council and Vladimir Dedijer, a member of the Central Committee of the League of Communists publish statements in the foreign press demanding greater freedom of discussion. Djilas also calls for the establishment of an opposition party of democratic socialists and attacks President Tito for opposing democratization.
Romania / India – December 1, 1954 (KCA)
It is announced in New Delhi that the Indian and Romanian Governments have decided to exchange diplomatic representatives with the rank of Minister and to open Legations in Bucharest and New Delhi.
Poland – December 5, 1954 (PSN)
Elections to the People's Councils take place. They are marked by Communist intimidation and a low turnout.
Soviet Union / France / U.S. – December 6-7, 1954 (LBC)
The West wants non-official talks with the USSR. Secretary of State Dulles instructs the U.S. Ambassador in Moscow Charles Bohlen to establish informal contact with the Soviet leaders. France instructs its Ambassador in Moscow to find out whether Moscow is willing to sign the Austrian treaty on the basis of the French proposal.
Poland – December 7, 1954 (PSN)
The minister of public security is replaced by the minister of internal affairs. A state commission on public security subordinated to the government is established. The act tried to distance the party from the security services.
Poland – December 14, 1954 (HDP)
Gomulka is secretly freed from house arrest.
Yugoslavia – December 15, 1954 (KCA)
Vladimir Dedijer refuses to appear before the Control Commission of the League to answer charges of slandering the League of Communists, Yugoslav Socialist democracy, the Central Committee of the League and certain of its members.
Yugoslavia / Burma / India – December 16, 1954-January 25, 1955 (KCA)
President Tito of Yugoslavia pays a visit to India and Burma.
Hungary – December 21, 1954 (HC)
The ceremonial session of the Parliament in Debrecen. Law 1954: XI. is accepted stating that the 1944-1945 temporary parliament is historically significant.
Yugoslavia – December 21, 1954 (KCA)
Dedijer gives an interview to the Belgrade correspondent of TheTimes, stating that he refuses to boycott Djilas and stating that “there can be no development of Socialism without struggle of opinions”.
Yugoslavia / India – December 21, 1954 (RYN)
Tito delivers a speech to the members of the Indian Parliament. It introduces the pronouncements of the unaligned nations an activist ingredient. Tito argues that the grave threat to world peace inheres in the formation of blocs along military and ideological lines.
Yugoslavia / India – December 23, 1954 (KCA)
A joint statement by Tito and Nehru summarizing the results of their talks and affirming their support for peaceful coexistence is laid before the Indian Parliament.
Hungary – December 24, 1954 (KCA)
The Hungarian Government announces that Noel Field and his wife, Herta Field, have been given political asylum in Hungary at their own request.
Yugoslavia – December 24, 1954 (KCA)
In an interview with a New York Times correspondent Djilas describes the measures against Dedijer as “an attempt to frighten the democratic elements of the party” adding that “such elements exist, but they are unorganized, whereas the party itself is in the hands of undemocratic forces”.
Yugoslavia / U.K. – December 24, 1954 (KCA)
Belgrade announces an agreement on the revision of the Yugoslav repayment
Romania – December 26, 1954 (PIR)
The supply system on the basis of ration cards and ratios is abolished.
Yugoslavia – December 27, 1954 (KCA)
The Yugoslavian Vice-President Kardelj strongly condemns Djilas and Dedijer, describing them as “bankrupt politicians who have lost all feeling of responsibility towards their own people”.
East Germany / Germany– December 31, 1954 (KGD)
184,198 people flee from the GDR to the FRG and West Berlin in 1954.
© Cold War History Research Center, Budapest 2013