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 – during the year 1958 (HC)
According to the Central Statistical Office, the population of Hungary: 9 857 016. The distribution of workers by sector: state sector 79.4%, collective sector 14.1, private 6.5%. The distribution of agricultural land: state-owned 24.7%, village farms 12.6%, collectives 7.9%, collective groups 1.3%, crofts of collectives 0.6%, private farms 52.9%. Livestock: cows: 1 937 000, horses: 724 000, swine: 5 338 000, sheep: 2 050 000.
Transportation: public roads: 28 850 km, railroads: 10 837 km (electrified railroads: 416 km), number of air routes: 19, length of air routes: 8409 km.
Health care: number of doctors: 1 627 (14.8/ 10 000 citizens), number of pharmacists: 1369.
Education: kindergartens: 2656 (kindergarten teachers: 7354, children: 170 559), primary schools: 6314 (teachers: 55 056, students: 1 268 650), secondary schools: 436 (teachers: 8402, students: 177 738), universities and colleges: 30 (professors: 4604, students: 31 178), vocationary school professional teachers: 3964, students: 101 564.
Number of theaters: 31, performances: 13 755, visitors: 6 771 600. Circus and other shows: 2145, visitors: 2 154 000. Number of cinemas: 4359, shows: 509 900. Radio subscribers: 1 962 700.
According to the official Yugoslav statistics provided for the UN, in 1958 19 857 Hungarian citizens asked for asylum in Yugoslavia.
Bulgaria – 1958-1959 (KCA)
The Bulgarian Communist Party introduces a number of changes in its economic policy. Bulgaria reorganizes its 3,453 agricultural cooperatives into 640 farms. Officials and students are now required to take part in productive work. As of September 1959, there are 1,000 cooperative farms.
Romania / Soviet Union – 1958 (RUR)
Soviet troops move out of Romania.
Romania – 1958 (RFN)
Romania castigates the U.S. for intervening in Lebanon to prevent civil war and for supporting Taiwan in the defense of the islands.
Bulgaria / Romania – 1958 (SRR)
Romanian relations with Bulgaria are ambiguous. The Romanians seek close ties with a view to implement Prime Minister Stoica’s plan for a Balkan federation. Romanian First Secretary Ceausescu unsuccessfully tries to reduce Bulgaria’s subservience to Russia and to encourage manifestations of independence.
Romania / Soviet Union – 1958 (SRR)
The political nature of the conflict between the Soviet Union and Romania becomes more evident. The Romanian regime expands the scope of its international activities, not only within the socialist camp, and pursues national communist policies at home, both of which in a manner disagreeable to the Kremlin. The regime maintains friendly relations with Yugoslavia and China. Romania and China pressure the Soviet Union to withdraw its troops from Romania. Romania reinforces links with Western nations, most notably with Germany and France, in the pursuit of peaceful coexistence. New links are explicitly designed to seek alternate roads to industrialization. Stoica proposes a plan for cooperation among Balkan nations. Originally, the plan was proposed by Georgi Dimitrov and rejected by Stalin in 1948. The aim of the plan is to reinforce Romania’s self assigned place in the socialist camp and the international community in general as a force for the promotion of peace and friendly relations among all nations, regardless of their socioeconomic and political order. These multilateral international activities were officially approved by the Soviet Union but denied to all other socialist countries.
Romania / North Korea – 1958 (SRR)
Close relations between Romania and North Korea are established.
Romania – 1958-1961 (RUR/SRR)
Western foreign trade increases approximately by 70%. Trade with Great Britain, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland more than triple, trade with Western Germany increases by 133%, surpassing trade with East Germany. During the same period, trade with the Soviet Union increased only 12%. The total volume and the proportion of trade with Western Europe nearly doubles .The trade with West Germany shapes one third of Romania’s trade with all nations.
Soviet Union / Argentina / Brazil / Mexico – 1958-1959 (KCA)
The Soviet Union develops increasing economic links with some Latin American countries. This includes granting a large Soviet Credit to Argentina on October 27, 1958; concluding the first trade agreement ever to be signed between the Soviet Union and Brazil on December 9, 1959; Mikoyan, one of the two First Deputy Premiers, visiting Mexico from November 18-28, 1959.
Finland – 1958 (TFP)
In a major speech a Social Democrat Leader known for his anti-Russian attitudes, Väinö Tanner, warns that Finland’s independence is in danger. The possibility that Finland might become a Soviet satellite state could not be ignored.
China / U.S. – January 3, 1958 (LBC)
According to a U.S. State Department report the USSR and China granted 1.9 billion dollars in aid to developing countries between 1953 and 1957.
Hungary / U.N. – January 3-7, 1958 (NMC)
Auguste R. Lindt, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees visits Hungary. He was invited by the Hungarian government.
Poland – January 4, 1958 (PSN)
The All- Polish Committee of the National Unity Front is created.
Poland – January 5, 1958 (LBC)
Polish Foreign Minister Adam Rapacki states, in an interview given to a British paper, that Poland would be willing to negotiate on a nuclear-weapons-free zone in Central Europe.
Soviet Union / East Germany – January 6, 1958 (CAC/LBC/NMC)
After breaking up the U.N. disarmament subcommittee, the USSR announces a force reduction of 300 thousand troops, 41 000 of which involve troops stationed in the GDR.
Soviet Union / U.S. – January 8, 1958 (CWC)
Premier Bulganin suggests that WTO and NATO leaders meet for a joint conference to lessen international tensions. The United States believes this to be ineffective.
Soviet Union – January 8, 1958 (CAC)
The Soviets propose reducing international tensions by replacing military groupings with a collective security system, by having the West reduce military forces as Moscow had done, by creating a nuclear-free zone in the two Germanys, Poland and the ČSSR, and other measures.
Central Europe / Soviet Union / U.K. – January 9, 1958 (LBC)
Soviet Prime Minister Bulganin raises the idea of an East-West summit once more. He urges the creation of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in Central Europe, rejects talks on the Foreign Minister level and welcomes British Prime Minister MacMillan’s proposal of January 4 on an East-West non-aggression treaty. He offers the introduction of an “open skies” arrangement on both sides of the East-West frontier in a range of 500-500 miles.
East Germany – January 9, 1958 (NNT)
A state monopoly on foreign trade is declared.
Yugoslavia / U.S. – January 10, 1958 (LKT/MOL)
Yugoslav Vice-President Svetozar Vukmanović-Tempo publicly praises the United States for its policy of noninterference in Yugoslav affairs and its generous economic assistance. He calls the American-Yugoslav relationship a model for cooperation between states with different social systems and stages of development.
Hungary – January 10, 1958 (NMC)
István Dobi, Ferenc Münnich and Ferenc Keleti represent Hungary at the funeral of Petru Groza, former Romanian prime minister.
Hungary / Israel – January 10, 1958 (NMC)
László Gyáros, the spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, talks about Hungarian-Israeli relations and the problem of dissidents.
Hungary – January 12, 1958 (HC)
Decree no. 1958:4 by the Hungarian Presidential Council announces that a Hungarian Physical Education and Sports Council will be formed.
Finland – January 10, 1958 (UFF)
Finland joins to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Soviet Union / U.S. – January 12, 1958 (LBC)
U.S. President Eisenhower announces that he is willing to meet the Soviet leaders to discuss East-West issues. According to Eisenhower it is not worth negotiating a ban on Anglo-Soviet-American nuclear arms, a two to three year nuclear test ban or the creation of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in Central Europe since, with the radius of contemporary arms, to declare a small area nuclear-weapons-free has little significance. He does not see it worthwhile to negotiate an East-West non-aggression treaty either. Eisenhower calls on the USSR to agree to a summit where Eastern Europe and the violation of the Yalta agreement could be discussed.
Hungary / Soviet Union – January 13, 1958 (KAC)
The Hungarian-Soviet Trade Transportation Agreement for the 1958-1960 period and the Trade Report for 1958 are signed in Moscow.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – January 15, 1958 (KAC/BER)
The Hungarian-Yugoslav Trade Agreement for 1958 is signed in Budapest.
Hungary / India – January 15, 1958 (NMC)
The extension for another two years of the Hungarian-Indian Trade Agreement is signed in Delhi.
Hungary / U.S. – January 16-17, 1958 (KAC)
An American delegation of 11 journalists visits Hungary. Their questions are answered by Ferenc Münnich.
Hungary / Soviet Union – January 18, 1958 (KAC)
The Scientific Agreement of the Hungarian Academy of Science and the Soviet Academy of Science is signed for three years. The plans for 1958 are also announced.
Poland – January 21, 1958 (PSN)
The diet passes a law “On Increased Protection of Social Property from Damages Resulting from Crimes” which states that damage valued between fifty and one hundred zloty warranted at least five years imprisonment while if the damage was higher it warranted at least eight.
Soviet Union / U.S. – January 22, 1958 (CWC/LBC)
Soviet First Secretary Khrushchev’s speech in Minsk: the USSR is willing to negotiate a ban on ICBMs if the West agrees to ban nuclear tests and liquidate its bases surrounding the Soviet Union and other socialist countries. Khrushchev criticizes Eisenhower for insisting that more preparations would have to take place before an international summit.
Hungary – January 24, 1958 (HC)
The Budapest television broadcasting station at the Széchenyi hill starts working.
Hungary – January 25, 1958 (HC)
Session of the presidency of the Patriotic People’s Front. The President will be Gyula Kállai instead of Antal Apró.
Hungary – January 27, 1958 (HC)
The Parliament accepts the 1958 national economy plan.
Soviet Union / U.S. – January 27, 1958 (LBC)
A Soviet-American agreement is signed in Washington on an expanded cultural, educational, technological and sports exchange program. The program is expected to result in the exchange of 500 Soviet and American citizens in 1958. The agreement does not contain the Soviet pledge to cease jamming radio programs, the uncensored broadcast of U.S. television and radio programs on Soviet channels and the lifting of travel restrictions in the USSR. The U.S. does not consent to launching direct Soviet-American flights, the relaxation of travel restrictions or the reception of large trade delegations.
Hungary – January 28, 1958 (HC)
The Presidential Council chooses Ferenc Münnich to be the Chairman of the Council of Ministers. First deputy chairman: Antal Apró. New state ministers: János Kádár and Gyula Kállai. Minister of Culture: Valéria Benke. All other members of the May 9, 1957 government keep their office.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – January 29, 1958 (MOL)
According to the report of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, there are 19 857 Hungarian refugees in Yugoslavia, of which 2773 has repatriated, while others have left for other countries.
U.S. – January 31, 1958 (LBC)
The U.S. launches its first artificial satellite.
Hungary – February, 1958 (HC)
Csendes otthon (“Quiet home”), a film directed by Frigyes Bán, is first shown.
Poland – February 2, 1958 (PSN)
Elections are held for the people’s councils. Front of National Unity candidates win an unrealistic majority of the seats.
Yugoslavia / U.S. – February 3, 1958 (LBC)
A U.S.-Yugoslav agreement is signed in the framework of which Yugoslavia will be able to purchase 62 million dollars worth of US surplus wheat, cotton and edible oil for dinars. 50% of the value of the dinars will be redirected to Yugoslavia in the form of aid. The agreement raised the value of U.S. aid to Yugoslavia to 750 million dollars. Out of this 385 million served defense purposes. This does not include the one billion dollars of military aid.
Hungary – February 3, 1958 (NMC)
Imre Horváth, the Hungarian Foreign Minister, dies.
Bulgaria / U.S. – January 5, 1958 (LBC)
A U.S. State Department spokesman revealed that in the past two years it left three Bulgarian requests for the restoration of diplomatic relations unanswered and will disregard them till the charges against the former U.S. Ambassador in Bulgaria are dropped.
Hungary / Soviet Union – February 5–6, 1958 (BBR)
After numerous delays for purposes of sparing Hungary and the Soviets international embarrassment, the secret trial of Nagy and his associates begins – only to be suspended again two days later at Moscow's request.
Hungary / Spain – February 7, 1958 (NMC)
A Hungarian-Spanish Trade Agreement is signed in Madrid.
Hungary / France – February 9-19, 1958 (KAC)
A delegation of four intellectuals from the French Communist Party arrives to Budapest as the guests of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party. The delegation is led by Guy Besse, member of the PB. They are welcomed by Dezsõ Nemes, director of the Party’s College and György Aczél, Vice Minister of Culture.
Poland / Eastern Europe / U.S. – February 12, 1958 (LBC)
According to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Weeks, the U.S. export to Poland in the first nine months of 1957 grew from 3.7 million dollars in 1956 to 28.9 million dollars. The total U.S. export to Eastern Europe and the USSR was 40.7 million dollars between January and September 1957 as compared to 11.2 million in 1956.
Hungary – February 12-15, 1958 (HC)
Session of the executive committee of the World Federation of Democratic Youth in Budapest.
Hungary / North Korea – February 13, 1958 (NMC)
The Hungarian Foreign Ministry announces a declaration about the February 5 memorandum of the North Korean Foreign Ministry. This declaration disapproves that the United States is providing weapons to South Korea.
Soviet Union / U.K. – February 13, 1958 (LBC)
According to a British White Book, Great Britain would retaliate against any, even conventional, Soviet attack on Western Europe with strategic hydrogen bombs. According to the British this would preclude the danger of a new “Korea” in Europe.
Hungary / Soviet Union – February 14, 1958 (KAC)
The Association of Hungarian-Soviet Friendship is founded. Its first president is P. N. Fedosejev.
Hungary – February 14, 1958 (NMC)
László Gyáros, the spokesman of the Hungarian government, talks to the media about the United Arab Republic, the Hungarian delegation preparing to travel to Romania, the planned nuclear free zone, the World Expo in Brussels and the foreign relations of Hungary.
Hungary – February 15, 1958 (KAC)
Károly Kiss attends the funeral of Marcel Cachin, French communist politician and editor of L’Humanité, in Paris, representing the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party.
Hungary – February 15, 1958 (HC/NMC)
The Hungarian Presidential Council appoints Endre Sík to be the Foreign Minister. Imre Horváth, the former Foreign Minister died on February 3.
Poland / U.S. – February 15, 1958 (LBC)
The U.S. and Poland sign an agreement on a 98 million dollar aid program. Accordingly Poland may purchase 23 million dollars worth of U.S. agricultural surplus for zlotys and will obtain 25 million dollars in aid from Eisenhower’s special fund for medical instruments and machines suitable for manufacturing consumer goods.
U.S. – February 15, 1958 (LBC)
Presidential special disarmament advisor Harold Stassen resigns. Stassen disagreed with U.S. Secretary of State Dulles’s unrealistically inflexible stance on the question of compromise disarmament.
Hungary – February 18, 1958 (HC)
Decree no. 1958:7 by the Hungarian Presidential Council regulates the rural development programs of the councils. Decree no. 1958:9 regulates the industrial activities of craftsmen, stating a craftsman can employ maximum three people and must be involved in the industry personally.
Czechoslovakia / East Germany / Poland / West Germany – February 19, 1958 (LBC)
The second version of the so-called Rapacki plan (October 2, 1957) is revealed. It describes the Polish plan for creating a nuclear-weapons-free zone in Central Europe. Other countries involved are the GDR, Czechoslovakia, the FRG.
Hungary / Romania – February 20-28, 1958 (KAC)
A government delegation led by Kádár travels to Romania.
Poland – February 25, 1958 (PSN)
The Diet passes a law that would make it harder to reclaim seized private property under the guise of clarifying procedures for “small scale production circles.”
Hungary – February 27, 1958 (NMC)
The Hungarian-Danish Trade Agreement is extended till February 1959 in Copenhagen.
East Germany – February 28 – March 2, 1958 (HWD)
The Third SED Conference on higher education proposes to transform high schools in the GDR into socialist educational institutions.
Romania / China – March 1958 (RUR)
A Romanian delegation travels to China and claims that the military blocs should be abolished and replaced by systems of collective security.
Soviet Union / U.S. – March 6, 1958 (LBC)
The U.S. insist that the conference of Foreign Ministers preparing a four power summit should discuss issues of significance in contrast to the Soviet wish to remove certain items from the agenda. He rejects the peace treaty to be signed by the two German states and the ensuing bilateral conference on unification and calls on the USSR to discuss the German question and the foreign interference in Eastern Europe.
Soviet Union / U.S. – March 7, 1958 (LBC)
Letter by Soviet prime minister Bulganin to Eisenhower: the USSR will not negotiate German unification and the Soviet position in Eastern Europe.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – March 8, 1958 (KAC/BER)
The construction of a joint electric power line between Hungary and Yugoslavia is finished.
Hungary – March 8, 1958 (HC)
The second machine unit of the Tiszapalkonya thermal power station is completed.
Soviet Union / U.S. – March 9, 1958 (CWC)
Tass denounces the coming meeting of the South East Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO) and claims that the United States wants to deploy nuclear weapons to Asia.
Soviet Union / U.S. – March 12, 1958 (LBC)
Khrushchev offers to travel to the U.S. for the planned four power summit, since he is aware that, under certain circumstances, the President of the U.S. has a hard time leaving the country.
Bulgaria / Czechoslovakia / Hungary / Soviet Union / Romania – March 12, 1958 (RCW)
A multilateral security meeting is held in Bucharest. The delegations from Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the Soviet Union call for focusing on preventing subversive acts of Western intelligence, improving the exchange of information, and conducting joint operations.
Hungary / Denmark – March 13, 1958 (NMC)
The Hungarian-West German Trade Agreement for 1958 is signed in Bonn.
Yugoslavia – March 18, 1958 (RYN)
In an election speech, Tito says that if a conference between the United States and the Soviet Union is held, it should include “countries which do not belong to any military bloc or formation” a theme he reiterates frequently.
East Germany / Hungary – March 20-27, 1958 (NMC)
A Hungarian party and government delegation led by Ferenc Münnich travels to the GDR. A joint declaration is signed on March 24.
Yugoslavia / Italy – March 21, 1958 (MOL)
Yugoslavia protests against the Italian missile bases.
Yugoslavia – March 21, 1958 (MOL)
Elections are held in Yugoslavia.
Hungary / Sweden – March 21, 1958 (NMC)
In Stockholm the Hungarian-Swedish Trade Agreement is extended for another year.
Hungary / China – March 21, 1958 (KAC)
Jenõ Incze, Minister of Foreign Trade, and Péter Vályi, Vice President of the Planning Office, travel to China. They sign the Chinese-Hungarian Trade Agreement for 1958 in Beijing.
Hungary / U.S. – March 22, 1958 (KAC)
A declaration of the government’s spokesman is published explaining how the Americans are intending to get involved with Hungary’s internal affairs.
Yugoslavia / U.S. – March 25, 1958 (LKT)
In his testimony before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles repeats his oft-stated contention that Yugoslavia is and will remain independent of the Soviet bloc.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – March 27-28, 1958 (KAC/BER)
Hungarian and Yugoslav party delegations led by Kádár and Tito meet in Karadjordjevo.
Soviet Union – March 27, 1958 (CWC/PLC)
Khrushchev replaces Bulganin as premier. Khrushchev also keeps his position as first secretary of the Communist Party making him the undisputed leader of the Soviet Union.
Hungary – March 29, 1958 (HC)
Governmental decree 1014/1958 announces that a new subject called “practical education” will be taught at all primary and secondary schools.
Soviet Union / U. K. / U.S. – March 31, 1958 (CWC)
Soviet Union announces that it would stop nuclear testing if Great Britain and the United States also do so.
Hungary – March 31-April 2, 1958 (HC)
Session of the World Federation of Trade Unions in Budapest.
Romania / Soviet Union – April 1958 (RFP)
Khrushchev sends a letter to Romanian First Secretary Gheorghiu-Dej. He proposes the discussion on the problem of the withdrawal of the Soviet Army from Romania. Gheorghiu-Dej answers that due to the new international situation the Romanians agree to continue to station Soviet troops on Romanian territory.
Soviet Union / Yugoslavia – April, 1958 (BBR/PLC)
As relations deteriorate, the Soviet Union imposes economic sanctions against Yugoslavia.
Hungary / Soviet Union – April 2-10, 1958 (KAC)
A Soviet party and government delegation stays in Budapest led by Khrushchev.
Hungary / China – April 3, 1958 (KAC)
A Chinese cultural delegation led by Chen Chung-jin, President of the Cultural Connections Committee, visits Hungary. The Chinese-Hungarian Cultural Agreement for 1958 is signed in Budapest.
Hungary / France – April 4, 1958 (KAC)
An unimportant diplomat of the Quai d’Orsay’s Protocol Department attends the reception organized for the national day at the Hungarian embassy in Paris. This shows that the French diplomacy is willing to have some relations with Hungary.
Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. – April 4, 1958 (CWC)
The Soviet Union suggests that the United States and Britain stop testing as the Soviet Union has done.
Hungary / Soviet Union – April 5, 1958 (LBC)
Khrushchev’s speech in Sztálinváros. Hungarians “must not again depend on the Russians coming to your assistance in the event of another counter-revolution.” “You must help yourselves and must be so tough that the enemy will always be aware that the Hungarian working class will not waver for a single instant.”
Hungary / Soviet Union – April 8, 1958 (LBC)
From Khrushchev’s speech in Tatabánya: If anti-communists “attempt a putsch or counter-revolution in any socialist country, the armed forces of the other socialist countries and the armed forces of the Soviet Union are always ready to unite, to provide help and to answer the provocation.”
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – April 11, 1958 (LBC)
According to a proposal by the Soviet government the USSR, France, Great Britain and the U.S. should start diplomatic negotiations on April 17 to prepare a conference of foreign ministers to be held in May. The summit cannot be made dependent on the success of the foreign ministers’ conference.
Hungary – April 11, 1958 (HC)
The Lujza Blaha Theater in Budapest presents Bástyasétány 77 (“Bastion promenade 77”) by Mihály Eisemann.
Poland – April 14, 1958 (PSN)
At the opening day of the Fourth Congress of Trade Unions, Gomulka said that it was incorrect to identify worker self-management with workers councils.
U.S. – April 15, 1958 (LBC)
Eisenhower announces his readiness to participate in an East-West summit.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – April 16, 1958 (LBC)
The Western powers accept the Soviet proposal for diplomatic talks to prepare the foreign ministers’ summit.
Soviet Union / U.S. – April 18, 1958 (LBC)
The Soviet Union accuses the U.S. of flying bombers armed with nuclear bombs over polar areas towards the Soviet Union on several occasions. The U.S. deny making provocative flights in the vicinity of the Soviet Union.
Finland – April 18, 1958 (HJH)
The von Fieandt caretaker government falls.
Hungary / China – April 21, 1958 (KAC)
The Chinese-Hungarian long-term Trade Agreement for 1959-1962 is signed in Beijing.
Yugoslavia – April 22-26, 1958 (MOL/PLC/RYN)
The Seventh Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia convenes in Ljubljana with the participation of the delegations of 51 Communist and workers' parties. Yugoslavia formally reaffirms its decision not to rejoin the Soviet camp and takes a giant step toward making nonalignment the mainstay of its foreign policy. Criticizing the bureaucratic and statist deformities of Soviet socialism and deploring the dogmatism dominating the outlook of the Soviet leaders, the Yugoslav party program rejects the notions that “Communist parties have a monopoly over every aspect of the movement of society towards socialism, and that socialism can only find its representatives in them and move forward through them.” The Yugoslav party program considers these views “theoretically wrong and practically very harmful.” The program commits Yugoslavia to the policy of “active coexistence” which “can only be implemented between states and peoples, and not in relations between blocs.” It also emphasizes that “there can be no coexistence between blocs, for that would not be coexistence at all, but merely a temporary 'truce' concealing the danger of new conflicts.” In his speech, Tito also emphasizes Yugoslavia's separate road to Socialism.
Romania / Soviet Union – April 23, 1958 (RCW)
Gheorghiu-Dej expresses his content with the Soviet decision from April 17 to withdraw troops from Romanian territory.
Hungary – April 24, 1958 (BBR)
József Szilágyi is executed due to his role in the 1956 revoultion.
Hungary / West Germany – April 24, 1958 (NMC)
It is announced in Hungary that the West German imperialism and militarism is an existing danger to Hungary.
Finland – April 24, 1958 (HJH)
The von Fieandt government is replaced by another caretaker Government headed by Jurist Reino Kuuskoski.
Hungary / China – April 26, 1958 (KAC)
A delegation of the Hungarian Academy of Science led by Ferenc Erdei travels to China to sign the Chinese-Hungarian Academic Cooperation Agreement.
Hungary – April 27, 1958 (HC)
The Economic Committee decides to reduce the working hours. In the mining industry and at other workplaces where the work is harmful for the health the weekly working hours will be 36-42 hours.
Hungary / Soviet Union – April 29, 1958 (NMC)
Nasser, the President of the United Arab Republic, stops in Budapest for a short time on his way to Moscow.
COMECON – May 1958 (CEC/ HC/MMS)
Meeting of the Representatives of Communist and Workers' Party Representatives is held in Moscow. This is intended to reinvigorate COMECON. Revisions of trade and production plans are made as well as preliminary discussions on the idea of a Socialist International Division of Labor. Nicolai Faddeev replaces Aleksander Pavlov as COMECON secretary.
Hungary – May, 1958 (HC)
Vadvirág (“Wild flower”), a film directed by János Herskó, is first shown.
Poland – May 1958 (HDP)
Author M. Wankowicz returns to Poland
Yugoslavia – May-June 1958 (ACY)
Catholic Archbishop Šeper travels to Rome.
Romania / Warsaw Pact / China – May 1958 (RUR)
The Political Consultative Committee of the Warsaw Pact decides to remove its troops from Romanian territory. The decision seems to be based on the growing importance of China.
Finland – May 1, 1958 (FVA)
Passport inspections end in Scandinavia between Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
Poland / U.S. / U.K. – May 3, 1958 (LBC)
The U.S. rejects the Rapacki plan for a nuclear-weapons-free zone in Central-Eastern Europe, because on one hand it is too limited to diminish the danger of an atomic war or to provide a lasting base for European peace, and on the other it fails to address the basic question of making nuclear arms or with the issue that contemporary technology is incapable of showing nuclear weapons; it does not deal with the powers capable of launching a nuclear attack (the U.S., the USSR, U.K.); it would preserve the basic source of European tension by accepting German division; the designated area would endanger Western European security because of the Soviet Union’s huge armed forces that are deployed over a large area.
Hungary – May 3, 1958 (HC)
Decree no. 1958:13 by the Hungarian Presidential Council regulates the state-owned house system, stating no one can own more than two houses.
Soviet Union / NATO – May 5, 1958 (CAC)
The Soviet Union proposes a non-aggression treaty between NATO and the
Hungary / Soviet Union – May 6, 1958 (KAC)
A Hungarian internal trade delegation led by János Tausz, Minister of Internal Trade, travels to the Soviet Union.
Hungary / Soviet Union – May 6, 1958 (NMC)
Having spent two weeks in the Soviet Union, a Hungarian delegation of religious leaders led by Endre Hamvas, the bishop from Csanád, returns to Hungary.
Hungary / Romania – May 7, 1958 (KAC)
The Hungarian-Romanian Economic Agreement is signed.
Soviet Union / U.S. – May 9, 1958 (CWC)
Khrushchev agrees to an American proposal to have a group of experts meet to discuss the technical aspects of a test ban.
Soviet Union / Yugoslavia – May 9 1958 (LUY)
In an article published in Pravda, the Soviets elaborate some on the Chinese comments emphasizing the contrast between Yugoslav revisionism and the international solidarity of the Marxist-Leninist countries. The Eastern European satellites soon follow Moscow's line and Yugoslavia is once again ideologically isolated.
Hungary / Poland – May 9-12, 1958 (KAC/NMC)
After a year and a half delay a Polish party and government delegation led by Gomulka and Cyrankiewicz visit Hungary. According to the general belief, Kádár promises Gomulka that even if Imre Nagy will be trialed, he will not be sentenced to death. It is agreed that a permanent Hungarian-Polish economic cooperation agreement will be signed.
Soviet Union / Yugoslavia – May 10, 1958 (CWC)
The Soviet Union demands that Yugoslavia complies with socialist block discipline.
Hungary / Poland – May 12, 1958 (HC)
A permanent Hungarian-Polish economic cooperation committee is formed.
Hungary / Poland – May 15, 1958 (PSN)
Gomulka praises the Soviet and Hungarian actions against the 1956 Hungarian uprising. Earlier the Polish press had written about the Hungarian revolution with approval but after the speech it switched its tone.
Yugoslavia / U.K. – May 16, 1958 (MOL)
A six-member delegation of the British Parliament arrives in Yugoslavia. The delegation consists of three Conservative and three Labor Members of Parliament. This is the reciprocal visit of the Yugoslav Parliamentary delegation in Britain in early May 1957.
Hungary / China – May 17, 1958 (KAC)
In Beijing a Chinese-Hungarian agreement is signed about the cooperation between the academies.
Soviet Union / U.K. – May 19, 1958 (LBC)
Great Britain also rejects the Rapacki plan. In Britain’s view the plan’s realization would endanger Western security because of the Soviet superiority in conventional forces in Central Europe.
COMECON – May 20-23, 1958 (HC/MMS)
Session of the communist and workers’ parties of the COMECON member countries in Moscow. The Hungarian delegation is led by János Kádár.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – May 21, 1958 (KAC/BER)
On the occasion of the Seventh Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, the official Hungarian party daily, Népszabadság, sharply criticizes Yugoslav revisionism and accuses Yugoslavia of its role in the 1956 uprising.
Finland / Soviet Union – May 22, 1958 (PIP)
President Urho Kaleva Kekkonen travels to the Soviet Union. There were hopes that Karelia, a part of former Finnish territory ceded to the Soviet Union after the war, would be returned to Finland, but Khrushchev adds a tone of finality to the Soviet position stating that borders would be changed only by war.
Poland / Yugoslavia – May 23, 1958 (MOL)
It is announced in Warsaw that, because of the unfavorable circumstances, the planned visit of Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito is postponed to a later date.
Warsaw Pact – May 24, 1958 (BBR/HC/MMS/PLC/RFP/CAC)
The second meeting of the Political Consultative Committee of the Warsaw Pact is held in Moscow. A delegation from China is present as observer. The question of Soviet troops in Romania is discussed. The Soviet Union decides to withdraw its troops by July 26 to cut costs and be able to spend more money on scientific research. Romania can develop bilateral relations in a more independent manner. Sizeable cuts are made in the numbers of Soviet forces stationed in other Eastern European countries The Hungarian leaders are not ready to accept the suggestion similarly offered. (Soviet forces are withdrawn from Romania permanently.) The draft of the Warsaw Pact-NATO nonaggression pact is accepted. The PCC’s declaration calls for an end to nuclear tests, the creation of nuclear-free zones in Europe, the solution of the German question, and a four power summit meeting.
Warsaw Pact – May 27, 1958 (LBC)
It is announced in Moscow that the armed forces of the Warsaw Pact will be reduced by 419 thousand in the current year.
Yugoslavia – May 28, 1958 (ACY)
Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito receives the Orthodox bishops of Yugoslavia. The patriarch thanks him for his interests in church affairs and particularly for the agreement on social insurance; in his reply, Tito again urges the bishops to resolve the question of the Macedonian Church.
East Germany – May 28, 1958 (KGD)
Ration cards for meat, cooking fat and sugar are abandoned.
East Germany – May 29, 1958 (HC)
The food stamp system is abolished in the GDR.
COMECON – June 1958 (CEC)
The ninth session of the COMECON is held in Bucharest. The “Bucharest Principles” for establishing prices in inter COMECON trade is adopted. Changes in number and confidence of the standing commissions are made.
Hungary / Soviet Union – June 2, 1958 (KAC)
A Hungarian-Soviet agreement on economic cooperation and trade preferences for the period of 1961-1965 is signed in Moscow.
Soviet Union / U.S. – June 2, 1958 (CWC)
The Soviet Union sends a letter to the United States suggesting the expansion of trade relations.
Hungary / France – June 3, 1958 (KAC)
The French embassy in Budapest officially protests against the Hungarian media campaign about the war in Algeria.
Soviet Union / U.S. – June 3, 1958 (LBC)
In a letter to Eisenhower Khrushchev urges the increase of Soviet-American trade to several billion dollars annually and asks for a long term U.S. loan for Moscow to be able to purchase industrial equipment. Khrushchev admitted that the difference between the large amount of U.S. equipment required by the USSR and the smaller amount of Soviet raw materials wanted by the U.S. will necessitate a U.S. loan. He declared that the USSR is not asking for American machinery which could be used for military purposes and hence fall under the prohibition of the Battle Act. Khrushchev’s shopping list includes synthetic materials, machinery needed to manufacture chemicals, plastics and textiles, machines for the lumber and paper industry, equipment for pipes and rolling mills as well as medical instruments. Khrushchev offers manganese, chrome, platinum, steel alloys, potassium salts, asbestos, cellulose, lumber, paper and fur. – June 4. According to U.S. officials the listed items’ export to the USSR is not prohibited but the loan would violate the spirit of the Battle Act. – June 10. Dulles rejects Khrushchev’s offer, which in his view is an attempt of the USSR to cover anti-American economic warfare from U.S. funds.
Bulgaria / Soviet Union / Yugoslavia – June 3, 1958 (RYE)
First Secretary of the CPSU Nikita S. Khrushchev, addressing a Congress of the Bulgarian Party in neighboring Sofia calls Tito a Trojan horse in the Socialist camp and says the Cominform resolution of Yugoslavia June 1948 are “fundamentally correct.”
Hungary – June 4, 1958 (NMC)
Session of the International Labor Organization in Geneva. The Hungarian delegation is led by József Mekis. The Hungarian delegation leaves the negotiations on June 26, because the conference decided to reconsider the mandate of Hungary.
Hungary – June 7-8, 1958 (HC)
The Fifth Hungarian Pease Congress in Budapest.
Bulgaria – June 9, 1958 (KCA)
General Peter Panchevsky is removed from his post as Defense Minister and replaced by General Ivan Mikhailov. General Mikhailov is replaced by Dancho Dmitrov as Minister of Transport and Communications. Zhivko Zhivkov becomes Minister of Education and Culture.
Hungary – June 9–15, 1958 (BBR)
After further delays, the secret trial of the Nagy group continues. Nagy, Miklós Gimes and Pál Maléter are sentenced to death, Sándor Kopácsi to life imprisonment, Ferenc Donáth to 12 years imprisonment, Ferenc Jánosi to eight years, Zoltán Tildy to six years and Miklós Vásárhelyi to five years.
Hungary / Soviet Union – June 11, 1958 (HC)
The Soviet Council of Ministers decides to give all 1920-1945 Hungarian archive material kept in Soviet archives to the Hungarian government.
Czechoslovakia / Poland – June 13, 1958 (PSM)
An agreement on final delimiting the borders between Poland and Czechoslovakia is signed.
Hungary / France / India – June 13, 1958 (KAC)
The 4th Hungarian Peace Congress is opened. Fernand Vigne, General Secretary of the French Peace Committee, is a member of the presidency and an Indian representative also.
Romania / Soviet Union – June 15-August 15, 1958 (RCW)
The departure of Soviet troops from Romania takes place.
Hungary – June 15, 1958 (HC)
The first volunteer work camp of the Hungarian Young Communist League is organized in the Hanság.
Hungary – June 16, 1958 (BBR/CWC)
Nagy, Gimes and Maléter are executed at the Budapest National Prison. They are buried in anonymous graves. Moscow Radio announces the execution.
Czechoslovakia – June 16, 1958 (VSB)
Poland and Czechoslovakia agree on delimitation of boundaries.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – June 17, 1958 (KAC/BER/HC)
The Ministry of Justice publishes a declaration regarding the trial of Imre Nagy and his associates and the executions. The Supreme Court sentences to death Imre Nagy, Miklós Gimes, Pál Maléter and József Szilágyi. Sándor Kopácsi is sentenced to life imprisonment. Ferenc Donáth is sentenced to 12 years, Zoltán Tildy to 6 years, Ferenc Jánosi to 8 years and Miklós Vásárhelyi to 5 years. It also makes a statement on the Imre Nagy trial, which formulate charges against Yugoslavia. News of the executions provokes protests in several Western countries.
Hungary / U.S. – June 17, 1958 (LBC/KAC)
The US protests against the execution of Pál Maléter and Imre Nagy. According to the State Department the execution of the Hungarian rebel leaders “is a shocking act of cruelty”. In the State Department’s view the Soviet Union “must bear fundamental responsibility for this latest crime against the Hungarian people and all humanity.” – In Dulles’s view the execution is “another step in the reversion toward the brutal terrorist methods which prevailed under Stalin” and were meant as a warning for the Yugoslav leaders currently under attack for deviationism. – June 18. According to U.S. President Eisenhower the execution of Maléter and Nagy staggered the civilized world and is clear proof that the USSR still uses “terror and intimidation” to “bring about complete subservience” of its opponents. According to the President the executions were carried out at Soviet orders and tells journalists that they constitute a “very serious obstacle” to effective negotiations for an East-West summit. – June 19. In the House of Commons the British prime minister called the Hungarian executions “most tragic” but opined that they must not dissuade the West from negotiating with the Soviet Union. – The U.S. congress condemned the executions in a formal resolution. – The U.S. wants to convene the special Hungarian committee of the U.N.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – June 18, 1958 (MOL)
Yugoslavia protests in a note to the People's Republic of Hungary of the charges in the Imre Nagy trial published the previous day.
Romania / Soviet Union – June 21, 1958 (RCW)
The Council of ministers of Romania, according the Agreement reached on May 24, 1958 in Moscow, establishes the Institution of a Central Commission and regional commissions to coordinate the withdrawal of the Soviet troops.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – June 21, 1958 (KAC/BER)
The Népszabadság, a Hungarian newspaper, confutes the Western journalists, who said the Imre Nagy trial accuses Yugoslavia.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – June 23, 1958 (KAC/BER)
Yugoslavia officially raises objections against the accusations and against the trial and execution of Imre Nagy and his associates.
Bulgaria / Hungary – June 23-24, 1958 (NMC/HC)
A Hungarian party and government delegation led by János Kádár visits Bulgaria to discuss the international issues relevant to the two countries and agree on methods to improve Hungarian-Bulgarian relations. A joint declaration is signed on June 27 and published on June 29.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – June 27, 1958 (MOL)
The plenary session of the International Labor Union in Genf withholds to authentic the credentials of the Hungarian delegate. The Yugoslav delegate votes for the acceptance of the credentials but states that execution of Imre Nagy was not only inhuman but against the agreement between Yugoslavia and Hungary.
Hungary / Poland / Yugoslavia – June 28, 1958 (KAC)
On the date of Imre Nagy's sentencing, Gomulka gives a speech at the Gdansk shipyards criticizing Yugoslav Communists for not joining the Socialist bloc and calling Nagy a revisionist. Gomulka adopts the official Hungarian standpoint about the execution of Imre Nagy.
Czechoslovakia / Hungary – July, 1958 (HC)
Szent Péter esernyője (“Saint Peter’s umbrella”) a Czechoslovak-Hungarian film directed by Frigyes Bán, is first shown.
Poland / Soviet Union – July 1958 (KCA)
At a meeting of the Polish-Soviet Commission for Scientific and Technical Co-operation held in Moscow, detailed arrangements are made for the exchange of technical specifications and experts.
Poland – July, 1958 (PSN)
Polish authorities report that they uncovered illegal propaganda being written by a Catholic organization called the Primate's Institute for the Nation's Vows at Jasna Gorna. This leads to raids on monasteries.
Soviet Bloc / Yugoslavia / China – July-October 1958 (KCA)
The propaganda campaign against Yugoslavia in the other Communist countries has risen to a climax. The most prominent part in this campaign is played by China rather than the Soviet Union. At the same time, the Albanian and Bulgarian Governments are violently attacking the Yugoslav Government for its alleged ill-treatment of the Albanian and Macedonian minorities, and are also laying claim to certain areas of Yugoslav territory. On November 23, 1958 President Tito replies to the Chinese campaign and suggests that it is intended as a means of pressure on the Soviet Government to frustrate any tendency towards a more liberal policy. Yugoslav official spokesmen allege that some of the Soviet-bloc countries are reluctant to negotiate trade agreements for 1959 and that difficulties have been created when negotiations take place. On April 19, 1959 President Tito discloses the death of over 100 leading Yugoslav Communists in Stalin’s prisons during the purges of the 1930s and says that Yugoslavia has proven that Socialism is “nobody’s monopoly” and could be built outside the “Socialist camp.”
Hungary / Romania – July-August 1958 (KAC)
The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accepts the Hungarian suggestion to allow 2000 “worthy” people every year to travel between the two countries in addition to those who have family in both countries.
Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. – July-August 1958 (LBC)
During preliminary talks of the Geneva Conference, agreement is reached on 17 Articles of a proposed treaty to outlaw nuclear weapons tests and also on the preamble for the treaty. However, little progress is made after this.
East / West July 1, 1958 (LBC)
In Geneva East-West talks between experts start on the possibility of suspending nuclear tests.
Soviet Union / U.S. – July 2, 1958 (LBC)
Responding to Khrushchev’s letter of June 11 President Eisenhower rejects the Soviet claim that the U.S. is procrastinating the summit. The President accuses the Soviet Union of interfering with the preparatory talks in Moscow by unilaterally publishing the documents of the talks.
Yugoslavia / Egypt / Greece – July 2-15, 1958 (MOL)
As Tito's guest, Nasser spends two weeks in Yugoslavia. The Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs also arrives at the Isle of Brioni and a tripartite Yugoslav-Greek-Egyptian meeting of the foreign ministers take place.
Yugoslavia – July 5, 1958 (ACY)
Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Vikentije dies in hospital in Belgrade. His death is immediately reported on the radio and is a front-page news in the national press; Politika publishes a sympathetic obituary.
Finland – July 6-7, 1958 (HJH/TPE)
New parliamentary elections take place. The results: the Agrarian League, the Social Democrats and Finnish People’s Democratic League (SKDL) receive an equal share of votes and therefore SKDL returns one of the biggest parties in the country.
East Germany / Hungary – July 10-16, 1958 (NMC/PLC/KGD)
A Hungarian party delegation led by János Kádár attends the 5th congress of the East German Communist Party where it is decided that socialism must be built rapidly, East Germany’s standard of living should exceed thatof West Germany by 1961. The independent farm system is abolished, the agriculture is collectivized.
Yugoslavia / Iraq – July 16, 1958 (MOL)
Yugoslavia officially recognizes the new Iraqi government.
Hungary / Soviet Union – July 21, 1958 (KAC)
The Hungarian-Soviet Tariff Agreement is signed in Budapest.
Hungary / India – July 22, 1958 (NMC)
An Indian economist delegation led by Shri Satish Chandra, the Minister of the Economy and Industry, arrives to Hungary.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – July 23, 1958 (KAC/BER)
The Hungarian government answers in a memorandum the Yugoslav objections raised on June 23.
Soviet Union / U.S. – July 23, 1958 (CWC)
The Soviet Union protests American intervention in Lebanon.
Hungary / Soviet Union – July 25, 1958 (KAC)
The Hungarian government supports in a memorandum the Soviet suggestion to sign a European treaty of friendship and mutual help.
Romania / Soviet Union – July 26, 1958 (LBC/NMC)
The Bucharest radio announces that the Soviet occupational forces the size of which was estimated at 30-40 thousand have concluded their withdrawal from Romania.
Soviet Union – August, 1958 (KRI/PLC)
Ethnic conflicts in Grozny between Russians and Chechens. The anti-Chechens activism is stopped by the army.
Soviet Union / China – August 3, 1958 (CWC)
Khrushchev and Mao issue a joint communique attacking American actions in the Middle East.
Hungary / France – August 14, 1958 (KAC)
Jenõ Fock, member of the CC PB, and Lajos Jánossy, President of the Central Physics Research Center, attend the funeral of Frédéric Joliot-Curie, nuclear physicist, member of the French Communist Party, President of the World Peace Council.
Soviet Union / U.S. – August 15, 1958 (LBC)
U.S. singer Paul Robson is received in Moscow by Soviet minister of cultural affairs Mihailov. – August 16. According to a report by the State Department ca. 400 Soviet citizens visited the U.S. in the framework of the 1958 Soviet-American cultural treaty.
Hungary – August 15, 1958 (NMC)
A new COCOM list comes into force, relaxing the terms of the embargo against Hungary and other socialist countries.
Hungary / Switzerland – August 16, 1958 (HC/NMC)
Hungarian immigrants attack the Hungarian embassy in Bern. The Hungarian Foreign Ministry objects the attacks in a memorandum. Two men attacked the building. The staff of the embassy fired at the aggressors and cooped them up in a room. The Swiss police used tear gas to make harmless the aggressors and arrested them. One of the aggressors, Sándor Nagy later succumbed to his injuries. Endre Papp was the other aggressor.
Hungary – August 20, 1958 (KAC)
Decree no. 1958:24 by the Hungarian Presidential Council announces that Hungary joins the International Official Measurement Organization founded in Paris on October 12, 1955.
East Germany – August 20, 1958 (PLC)
The GDR announces that those who left their homes cannot return.
Hungary – August 21, 1958 (HC)
The Fekete szem éjszakája (“The night of the black eye”), a film directed by Márton Keleti, is first shown.
Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – August 22, 1958 (LBC)
The U.S., Great Britain and France in notes with the same wording call on the USSR to renew diplomatic links serving to prepare the summit. The Western notes came in response to a Soviet proposal of July 15 for an East-West treaty of friendship.
Hungary – August 25, 1958 (HC)
The principles of the cultural policies of the HSWP are published.
Finland – August 29, 1958 (EKF/FGV)
Social Democrat Karl-August Fagerholm forms a majority cabinet with the support of over two-thirds of parliament. In addition to Social Democrats the government includes Agrarians, the National Coalition Party, the Swedish People’s Party of Finland (RKP) and the People’s Party of Finland.
Soviet Bloc – Autumn 1958 (PLC)
Following the ideology of the 1957 communist world conference, in the communist countries a collectivizing campaign is started. By 1961-1962 the independent farm system is completely abolished everywhere, except in Poland and Yugoslavia.
Finland / Soviet Union – Atumn 1958 (EKF)
The Soviet Union applies a varied series of political and economic sanctions against Finland due to its disapproval of the Fagerholm government.
Hungary – September 1958 (BBR)
The remaining members of the Nagy group, who were never formally arrested, return with their families from Romania.
Hungary / China – September 1958 (KAC)
Jang Hsia-tung, Chinese Vice Minister of Agriculture, attends the opening ceremony of the Hungarian Agriculture Exhibition.
Yugoslavia / Denmark – September 1958 (MOL)
The Danish Prime Minister visits Yugoslavia.
Hungary / Switzerland – September 5, 1958 (NMC)
The media publishes the memorandum sent to the Swiss embassy about the attack on August 16. The Swiss authorities are said to be responsible, the Swiss government is criticized because Hungarian immigrant organizations are legal. References are made to a previous attack against the Romanian embassy.
Hungary / France – September 5, 1958 (KAC)
Hungarian immigrants attack the Hungarian embassy in Paris. The Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sends a memorandum about the case to the French embassy in Budapest.
Hungary / U.N. – September 5, 1958 (NMC)
The media announces that the Hungarian question is no longer on the agenda of the United Nations Association.
Hungary – September 6, 1958 (HC)
Decree no. 1958:29 by the Hungarian Presidential Council announces that the scientific qualification system will be improved. Qualifications can be only given to those who actively participated in the building of a socialist society. The Scientific and Higher Education Council evaluates the activities of scientists every five years.
Hungary – September 6, 1958 (HC)
Decree no. 26/1958 by the Hungarian Presidential Council announces that the training of primary school and kindergarten teachers will be reformed.
Hungary / U.S. – September 12, 1958 (KAC)
The American ambassador’s deputy in Budapest is given the Hungarian government’s declaration raising objections against the American involvement in China’s internal affair: the Taiwan question.
Hungary / U.S. – September 13, 1958 (KAC)
László Gyáros announces to the media that evidence was found that the employees of the American embassy in Budapest illegally collected information about the Hungarian army and the Soviet army stationed in Hungary. Dallam, the American air force attaché, and Gábor Illési (arrested on August 27, 1957) are mentioned as examples. Illési is sentenced to death. Todd and Gleason are accused of espionage on their “tours to the countryside”. Gyáros also mentions that many Hungarian immigrants are trained to be spies in the U.S.
Hungary / U.N. – September 14, 1958 (NMC)
A Hungarian delegation led by Endre Sík Foreign Minister travels to the 13th session of UN General Assembly.
East Germany – September 14, 1958 (KGD)
The former concentration camp of Buchenwald is inaugurated as an international memorial.
Yugoslavia – September 17, 1958 (ACY)
Bishop German of Žiča is installed as 43rd patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Hungary / France – September 18, 1958 (KAC)
Hungarian immigrants attack again the Hungarian embassy in Paris.
Soviet Union – September 18, 1958 (CWC)
Soviet Minister for Foreign Affairs Gromyko criticizes American policies in the Taiwan Straights, Lebanon and Cuba at the United Nations General Assembly.
Hungary / France – September 20, 1958 (KAC)
The Hungarian media publishes the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ declaration about the second attack against the embassy in Paris. The French authorities promise to provide more security to the embassy.
Hungary / U.S. – September 20, 1958 (KAC)
The Hungarian government informs in a memorandum the American government that they are willing to improve relations if the U.S. changes its policy towards Hungary and ends the anti-Hungarian propaganda.
Hungary – September 22, 1958 (NMC)
Endre Sík Hungarian Foreign Minister raises objections against the Hungarian question on the agenda at the 13th session of UN General Assembly.
Bulgaria / Yugoslavia – September 22, 1958 (PLC)
Bulgaria raises objections to Yugoslavia because the Bulgarian minority in Macedonia is discriminated.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – September 24, 1958 (MOL)
According to Magyar Szó, a Hungarian minority newspaper in Vojvodina, Deputy Yugoslav Ambassador to the U.N. Dobrivoje Vidić does not advocate to put the Hungarian question onto the U.N.'s agenda but expresses his reservations.
Poland – September 24, 1958 (PSN)
Gomulka tells educators that the state has the right to decide which religious symbols hang in the classrooms.
Hungary – September 25, 1958 (HC)
The Népszabadság announces that the Catholic, the Lutheran and the Reformer churches received emergency aid from the government.
Hungary – September 26, 1958 (HC)
The Parliament accepts Law 1958: III. about the election of members of the Parliament and the councils.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – September 26, 1958 (NMC)
The Hungarian Foreign Ministry discusses in a memorandum the Yugoslav standpoint expressed at the UN General Assembly. According to this memorandum, the statements of the deputy head of the Yugoslav delegation, Dobrivoje Vidic, “allow others to further continue the false anti-Hungarian accusations”. The memorandum emphasizes that this Yugoslav standpoint can worsen Hungarian-Yugoslav relations.
Hungary / Austria – September 26, 1958 (NMC)
The Austrian-Hungarian Trade Agreement is extended for another year. No changes are made in the terms of the agreement.
Romania / Soviet Union – September 29, 1958 (RCW)
The Central Committee expresses the agreement with the reasons and proposals advanced by the Soviet Government on the recall of Soviet advisors from Romania.
Hungary / China – September 30, 1958 (KAC)
The Chinese-Hungarian Friendship Association is founded in Beijing.
Soviet Union – September 30, 1958 (CWC)
Soviet Union resumes nuclear testing.
Yugoslavia – October 1, 1958 (MOL)
The first volume of Socijalizma, the new bimonthly theoretical journal of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia is published.
Hungary – October 4, 1958 (HC)
The Economic Committee restricts the participation of individuals in technological investments.
Yugoslavia – October 5, 1958 (ACY)
The Assembly of the Macedonian Church and People with 290 delegates, both clergy and laity, meets at Ohrid. The Assembly proclaims the re-establishment of the historic archbishopric of Ohrid and elects Auxiliary Bishop Dositelj as the first metropolitan. The Assembly council publishes a constitution for the new church, which provides that it shall remain in canonical unity with the Serbian Orthodox Church through the patriarch, who will also be the Patriarch of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.
Hungary / China – October 5, 1958 (KAC)
The Chinese-Hungarian Tourism Agreement is signed in Budapest.
Finland / Soviet Union – October 10, 1958 (EKF/LJF/SFF)
The Soviet Union makes plain its total disapproval of the Fagerholm government: the Soviet ambassador to Helsinki, Viktor Lebedev, withdraws. The new government raises Soviet ire for two reasons. First, it leaves in opposition the SKDL, the winner of the elections and largest party in parliament. Second, the Social Democrats have recently returned its chairmanship to Väinö Tanner, a convicted war criminal.
Hungary – October 11, 1958 (HC)
Decree 1038/1958 by the Hungarian Council of Ministers established the Béla Balázs Prize to reward socialist films.
Yugoslavia – October 12, 1958 (KCA)
The construction of the Zenica Iron and Steel Works, Yugoslavia’s biggest iron and steel project, is complete. The Zenica works took ten years to complete at a cost of 73,000,000,000 dinars. Annual production will include 600,000 tons of coke, 600,000 tons of pig-iron, 750,000 tons of raw steel, and 540,000 tons of rolled and forged goods. This output will equal over half of Yugoslavia’s total production of these goods.
Hungary – October 15, 1958 (HC)
The prizes of the World Expo are given in Brussels. Hungary wins 20 great prizes and 25 other prizes, becoming no. 6. in the competition among countries.
Hungary / Austria – October 18, 1958 (NMC)
Leoplod Figl and Endre Sík discuss Austrian-Hungarian relations in Vienna.
Poland / U.S. – October 18, 1958 (LBC)
The U.S. and Poland sign an agreement on opening the Polish consulates in Chicago and the U.S. one in Poznan.
Hungary – October 20, 1958 (HC)
The Political Academy of the HSWP CC opens in Budapest.
Hungary / U.S. – October 22, 1958 (KAC)
The American embassy asks the Hungarian government to allow Mindszenty to attend the Vatican conclave, electing the new Pope. The Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accuses the U.S. of getting involved with Hungarian internal affairs again.
Hungary – October 23, 1958 (BBR)
Commemorations of the Hungarian revolution are held worldwide.
Hungary / Italy – October 23, 1958 (NMC)
Gyula Simó, the new Hungarian ambassador to Italy, presents his credentials in Rome.
Hungary – October 23, 1958 (HC)
Csempészek (“Smugglers”), a film directed by Félix Máriássy, is first shown.
Hungary – October 24, 1958 (HC)
The National Military Theater in Budapest presents Pesti emberek (“People from Pest”) by Lajos Mesterházi.
Hungary / Switzerland – October 24, 1958 (NMC)
The Hungarian-Swiss Trade Agreement is extended for another year.
Poland / Soviet Union – October 24-November 12, 1958 (KCA)
A Polish Government and Communist Party delegation headed by Gomulka, Zawadzki (president of the Council of State) and Prime Minister Cyrankiewicz visits the Soviet Union. The Polish representatives have a number of meetings with Khrushchev and other Soviet Government and party leaders. On November 10 Khrushchev announces the Soviet Union’s renunciation of the Four-Power agreements on Berlin and the Soviet proposals for a new status for West Berlin. Gomulka expresses full support for the Soviet Union’s attitude on the German question. Several agreements are concluded between the two countries prior to and after the visit including an agreement on mutual commodity supplies for 1958-60 and a protocol on trade exchanges in 1958 (February 1958); a general understanding on commercial exchanges between 1961-1965 (April 9, 1958); an agreement for Soviet technical assistance in constructing an oil refinery (August 23, 1958); and a protocol on trade arrangements for 1959 (November 21, 1958).
Czechoslovakia / Hungary / Romania – September 26, 1958 (NMC)
A Romanian party and government delegation led by Gheorghiu-Dej and Chivu Stoica shortly visits Budapest on its way to Czechoslovakia.
Hungary / U.N. – October 27, 1958 (NMC)
János Szita raises objections against the discriminating UN policies at the session of the UN Economic Council discussing the technological aid program.
East Germany – October 27, 1958 (ADG)
Walter Ulbricht declares that whole Berlin is part of the territory of the GDR. He announces that “the status of Berlin as the capital of the GDR is based on its inseparable coexistence with the other areas of the GDR. Berlin has always formed one unit with its hinterland economically and politically.”
Yugoslavia / U.K. – October 28-November 1, 1958 (MOL)
Yugoslav Secretary State for Foreign Affairs Koča Popović meets British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Selwyn Lloyd in London. According to the Hungarian sources, the aim of his visit is to obtain long term economic loans for Yugoslavia.
Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. – October 31-December 19, 1958 (LBC)
The first stage of the Geneva Conference, Following a procedural deadlock during which both the Anglo-American and Soviet sides each put forward the outline of a draft treaty designed to end nuclear weapon tests, agreement is reached on Four articles for incorporation into such a treaty.
Romania – November 1958 (SRR)
Romania initiates emancipation from the Soviet Union: the plenum of the Communist party decides to build Romanian Socialist Republic a la roumaine. On the plenum, the need to strengthen the country’s economy sufficiently, accelerate the industrialization and the collectivization of agriculture to withstand external pressures and to consolidate the Communists power at home is expressed.
Czechoslovakia / Hungary – November, 1958 (HC)
The first issue of the Irodalmi Szemle, the periodical of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia, is published.
Poland / Soviet Union / U.S. – November 4, 1958 (LBC)
The Rapacki plan is renewed. The new proposal is meant to avert the criticism that the elimination of nuclear defense would open the West to a Soviet attack on land. The two step plan would first freeze the nuclear reserves and bases on the present level. Nuclear arms deployed in Central Europe would be liquidated in the second step. – November 5. According to Soviet U.N. representative Zorin the USSR is unwilling to accept a regime of international control in return for the West’s acceptance of the Soviet proposal for a nuclear test ban treaty.
Hungary / Soviet Union – November 4-5, 1958 (KAC)
The Hungarian-Soviet Trade Agreement for 1959 is signed in Moscow. They also sign an economic agreement on technical help and agree on the loan what the Soviet Union will give to Hungary to improve the industry and the oil drills.
Hungary – November 6, 1958 (HC)
Sweet Ann („Édes Anna”), a film directed by Zoltán Fábry, is first shown.
Soviet bloc / U.S. – November 8, 1958 (LBC)
According to the figures given by the US department of commerce in the third quarter of 1958 licenses were issued for 2.8 million dollars worth of goods destined for Eastern Europe and the USSR.
Hungary – November 9, 1958 (HC)
The Catholic, the Lutheran and the Reformed churches all ask their followers to vote for the Patriotic People’s Front at the upcoming elections.
East Germany / Soviet Union / France/ U.K. / U.S. – November, 10 1958 (CAC/CWC)
In a speech in Moscow, Khrushchev says that he intends to change the status of Berlin and as result the Western governments will have to deal with the East German government in Berlin.
Soviet Union / East Germany / West Germany – November 10, 1958 (CAC)
In a speech delivered in Moscow (followed on November 27 by notes to the Western powers), Khrushchev sparks the second Berlin crisis by threatening to conclude a separate peace treaty with East Germany, which would terminate the Western powers’ right to access to West Berlin.
Soviet bloc / U.S. – November 12, 1958 (LBC)
The U.S. permits the export of some medicines (penicillin products) to the USSR and Eastern Europe. Shipments of inoculation against poliomyelitis and influenza had been permitted earlier.
Hungary – November 16, 1958 (BBR/HC)
Hungary’s first parliamentary elections since the revolution are held. Participation rate: 98.4%. The Patriotic People’s Front receives 99.6% of the votes.
East Germany – November 16, 1958 (HWD)
Elections to the People’s Chamber take place. The result is a vote of 99.8% ‘yes’ for the candidates of the unified lists. The newly created Council of Ministers is again led by Otto Grotewohl.
Soviet Union / Western Bloc – November 17-December 5, 1958 (LBC)
East-West talks in Geneva begin on precluding surprise attacks. The USSR wishes to extend the talks to matters of arms reduction and political affairs, while the West wants to assess the possibilities of avoiding surprise attacks from a technical perspective.
Hungary / U.S. – November 21, 1958 (LBC/KAC)
The U.S. government answers to the September 20 memorandum of the Hungarian government and declares to Hungary that the reestablishment of normal U.S.-Hungarian diplomatic relations depends “primarily and basically upon the Hungarian government’s willingness to live up to its international obligations” and to accept the points of the Paris peace treaty and the Un Charter. According to the U.S. the Soviet Union “in 1956 committed an act of massive armed aggressionagainst the Hungarian people.”
Hungary / Norway – November 23, 1958 (NMC)
The media announces that the Hungarian-Norwegian Trade Agreement is extended for another year. The volume of trade should increase by 10%.
Hungary – November 26, 1958 (HC)
The first session of the newly elected Parliament.
East Germany / Soviet Union/ West Germany / Western Allies – November 27, 1958 (CWC/PLC/NNT)
The Soviet Union sends an ultimatum-like memorandum to the Western powers stating Berlin should become an independent, free demilitarized city within half a year (“the theory of three states”). The ultimatum suggests that the unified Berlin should be administered by the GDR. The Soviet Union threatened to turn over control of access routes to Berlin to East Germany in six months if Berlin were not declared a “free city.” The Western powers reject Khrushchev's Berlin ultimatum. This leads to another Berlin crisis. The leaders of the GDR support the Soviet memorandum.
Bulgaria – November 27, 1958 (KCA)
Georgi Damyanov, Chairman of the Presidium of the National Assembly since May 27, 1950 (a post corresponding to that of President of the Bulgarian Republic), dies at age 66. On November 30, Dimiter Ganev, secretary of the central committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party, is unanimously elected to succeed him.
Hungary / China – November 28-December 31 1958 (KAC)
A Hungarian army delegation led by Géza Révész, Minister of Defense, visits China.
COMECON – December 1958 (CEC)
The tenth session of COMECON meets in Prague. The decision to build the Druzhba pipeline is made. Recommendations on production specialization in chemicals and engineering are adopted. Commission set up on light and food industries. Recommendations on draft charter are adopted.
Hungary – December, 1958 (HC)
The Don Juan utolsó kalandja (“The last adventure of Don Juan”), a film directed by Márton Keleti, is first shown.
Yugoslavia – December 1958 - May 1959 (KCA)
The Yugoslav Federal People’s assembly approves significant legislative measures relating to the management of industry, minimum wages, economic organization, and nationalization of dwellings. Important changes in the Yugoslav criminal law, including the provision for major amendments in the existing criminal code aimed at a general humanization of the penal system, are approved by the Federal Executive Council in May.
Hungary – December 1, 1958 (BBR)
István Angyal is executed.
Yugoslavia / Asia – December 2, 1958 (KCA)
President Tito leaves Yugoslavia for a three months’ tour of Asian and African States, during which he visits Indonesia, Burma, India, Ceylon, Ethiopia, the Sudan, and the United Arab Republic. While in Indonesia on December 25, President Tito makes a significant statement on the Yugoslav conception of coexistence.
Hungary – December 2, 1958 (HC)
The Hungarian government publishes a declaration about the Berlin situation. The Soviet suggestion to end the occupation of Berlin and recognize West-Berlin is accepted by the Hungarians.
East Germany – December 3, 1958 (KCA)
The new Volkskammer re-elects Johannes Dieckmann (National Democratic Party) as its president, Hermann Matern (Socialist Unity Party) as first deputy president, and Otto Grotewohl (Socialist Unity Party) as Prime Minister. In addition to passing a law dissolving the Landerkamer, the new Volkskammer also approves a resolution expressing full support for the Soviet plans for Berlin including the proposal that West Berlin should have the status of a free city.
Finland – December 4, 1958 (SFF/LJF)
The Fagerholm government collapses and ends the so called night frost crises although the government falls on domestic party disputes.
Yugoslavia – December 7, 1958 (KCA)
At the Yugoslav port of Koper (Slovenia), the first phase in the construction of quays for seafaring ships is finished.
Bulgaria / Hungary – December 8, 1958 (NMC)
The 1959 plan of the Hungarian-Bulgarian Cultural Agreement is signed in Sofia.
Hungary / Poland – December 9, 1958 (NMC)
The Hungarian-Polish Trade Agreement for 1959 is signed.
Hungary – December 9, 1958 (HC)
Decree 1044/1958 by the Hungarian Council of Ministers announces that a State Energy Authority will be established in order to coordinate the energy production and distribution.
Czechoslovakia / Hungary – December 9-17, 1958 (HC/NMC)
A Hungarian party and government delegation led by Ferenc Münnich and György Marosán visits the Czechoslovakia. A joint declaration is published on December 16.
Hungary / U.K. – December 11, 1958 (KAC)
The British-Hungarian Technical Agreement is signed.
Hungary / U.S. – December 11, 1958 (BBR)
The U.N. General Assembly again places the Hungarian question on its agenda. The United States resolves to keep the matter alive.
East Germany / Soviet Union – December 11, 1958 (KCA)
The Soviet Government issues a statement through the Tass Agency reiterating that the USSR will not agree to talks on German reunification “without the Germans or behind their backs” while also stating that the USSR would not refuse to discuss the conclusion of a peace treaty which falls within the competence of the four Powers. If the Western Powers do not wish to cooperate, the Soviet Union has no choice but to relieve itself of maintaining the occupation regime in Berlin and to conclude a corresponding agreement with the Government of East Germany. The Soviet Union does not desire to cause any damage to the prestige of the Western Powers and is prepared to guarantee West Berlin’s free city status and non-interference in the political and economic affairs of West Berlin.
Hungary / UN – December 12, 1958 (HC)
János Péter, the head of the Hungarian delegation, gives a speech at the final debate of the “Hungarian question” in the 13th session of U.N. General Assembly. He raises objections against the involvement with Hungarian internal problems of the United States.
East Germany / Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – December 14, 1958 (KCA)
The Foreign Ministers of Great Britain, the United States, France, and the German Federal Republic issue a joint communiqué affirming the determination of the U.S., British, and French governments to maintain their position and rights in Berlin and denying the right of the Soviet Union to change the city’s existing status by unilateral action.
Soviet Union / U.S. – December 18, 1958 (LBC)
The East-West talks in Geneva on surprise nuclear attacks fail and close. The Soviet Union regards international observation as a “Trojan Horse” and they are unable to agree either on the agenda or the necessary conditions for the establishment of a system of inspection. – The State Department announces that the Soviet deputy prime minister will visit the U.S. the next year. His visa application was approved by Secretary of State Dulles, who is willing to conduct unofficial talks with Mikoyan.
Hungary – December 19, 1958 (HC)
The first issue of the Valóság, a social sciences periodical, is published. Chief-editor: József Lukács. Editor: József Körösi.
Yugoslavia / U.S. – December 22, 1958 (LBC/LUY)
The Government of the United States announces an agreement to supply Yugoslavia a total of 129.8 million dollars in economic assistance for the next year. It is primarily designed to offset the loss of Soviet aid and complete the development program. The agreement includes the sale of agricultural products worth $94.8 million to Yugoslavia. An agreement is made on a 10 million dollar U.S. aid and a 22,5 million dollar loan to complete an artificial fertilizer plant in Yugoslavia.
East Germany / Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – December 31, 1958 (KCA/ NNT/ KGD)
The British, American and French replies to the Soviet Notes of November 27 reject the Soviet proposal for a “free city” status for West Berlin, uphold the rights of the Western Powers to free access to Berlin under existing four-Power agreements, and refuse to accept the substitution of the East German authorities for the Soviet authorities. The Western powers also express their readiness to negotiate with the Soviet Government on wider aspects of the German problem, such as reunification and German security.
© Cold War History Research Center, Budapest 2013