The History of the Soviet Bloc 1945–1991


Edited by

Associate editors

 Assistant editors
Gabriella HERMANN
Jasper NOOIJN,

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.

1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968


List of Sources


© Cold War History Research Center, Budapest 2013



Chronology 1959

Hungary – 1959 (HC)
Throughout the year: Based on the census held in the Soviet Union, the number of Hungarians living in the country (Kárpátalja): 154,738.

Romania – 1959 (RFN)
Romania supports the Soviets in calling for the acceptance of the credentials of the pro-Soviet Hungarian regime.

Romania – 1959 (RUR)
Premier Ion Maurer makes a tour of Western Europe exploring possible trade and credit relations, within a year, negotiations between Romania and Britain are conducted on long-standing compensation claims.

Soviet Union – 1959 (KCA)
Two sections of a new Central Siberian railway open. In March the first section between Kokchetav and Kyzyl-Tu in Kazakhstan is completed and in October the second section linking the Rivers Ob and Irtysh is completed.

Soviet Union – 1959 – January 1960 (KCA)
A number of changes were made in the Governments and Communist Party leaderships in several of the Union Republics during 1959 and January 1960.
Azerbaijan: The First Secretary of the Central Committee, Imam Mustafayev, was dismissed and replaced with Nadir Akhundov. The Moscow newspaper Party Life stated that Azerbaijan failed to meet its quotas for deliveries of cotton and cattle, its milk production levels were the lowest in the USSR, and many of its oil-wells and refineries were lagging behind their projected production.

Byelorussia: On April 9, 1959, the Supreme Soviet elects Tikhon Kiselev as Prime Minister. He replaces Avkhimovich who was criticized by Kiselev in a report presented at a plenary session of the party’s central committee for tolerating “lack of initiative, bureaucracy, formalism, utter lack of organizational ability…”

Kazakhstan: On January 20, 1960, Kunayev is appointed First Secretary of the Kazakh Communist Party in place of Belyaev. This change was a result of Khrushchev’s criticism of Kazakh production levels.

Latvia: In the second half of 1959, a series of changes in the Latvian Government and Communist Party stem from nationalist tendencies. The Deputy Premier is dismissed in July for placing “narrow national interests” above those of the Soviet Union. The First Secretary of the Latvian Young Communist League is discharged in September for “having failed to educate young Latvians in the spirit of internationalism.” Other high officials are dismissed for nationalist views.

Uzbekistan: On March 15, 1959, The Uzbek Communist Party’s central committee removes its First Secretary, Sabir Kamalov, and the Premier of Uzbekistan, Mansur Mirza-Akhmedov. They are replaced by Sharaf Rashidov and Arif Alimov, respectively.

On January 13, 1960, Pravda reports that Alexei Kirichenko, a member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party since 1955 and of the party Secretariat since 1957 has been appointed First Secretary for the Rostov region. No reason is given for his demotion.


January 1959

Poland / Lithuania – January 1959 (KCA)
The Vatican decides to withdraw recognition from the heads of the diplomatic missions maintained at the Holy See by the Polish Government-in-exile in London and by the former Lithuanian Government.

Soviet Union / Yugoslavia – January 1959 (MOL)
Yugoslavia signs an economic agreement with the Soviet Union.

East Germany / Yugoslavia – January 1959 (MOL)
Yugoslavia signs an economic agreement with the German Democratic Republic.

Cuba – January 1, 1959 (PLC)
Fidel Castro-led Cuban revolutionary forces overthrow Batista regime.

Soviet Union – January 2, 1959 (PLC)
USSR launches world’s first space shuttle.

East Germany / West Germany - January 2, 1959 (KCA)
The West German Federal Mister for Refugees and Expellees announces that 204,061 refugees from East Germany had arrived in the Federal Republic or in West Berlin during 1958, compared with 261,622 in 1957. Repatriates from Eastern Europe numbered 132,000 in 1958, against 114,000 in 1957. A sudden heavy increase in refugees from East Germany to the West occurred in July and August 1958 with a special feature of this exodus being the large-scale flight of East German doctors due to the East German Government’s campaign against independent doctors. 6 percent of all doctors in Eastern Germany took refuge in the West between January and August, 1958. This mass exodus of doctors has led to serious gaps in hospitals and private practices. The East German Government was so alarmed by this development that it announced far-reaching concessions in September. September 16, 1958: The East German Finance Ministry issues a decree providing that all the property of refugees would be administered henceforth by State Commissioners. This applies to all those who had fled to the West since June 10, 1953.

Soviet Union / U.S. – January 4, 1959 (LBC)
Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Mikoyan arrives in New York where he meets the secretary of state. Mikoyan states that the USSR has no aggressive designs against the U.S. but hopes for a peaceful East-West competition; the Soviet Union feels threatened because of the U.S.’s overseas bases. – January 17. Meeting between Mikoyan and Eisenhower. They discuss Berlin, Germany, disarmament and questions of trade. There was no new proposal on either issue and no agreements were concluded. – January 19. Mikoyan’s talks with U.S. Undersecretary of State Dillon and Secretary of Commerce Lewis L. Lewis on the development of Soviet-American trade. The Soviet politician urged the lifting of American restrictions on trade with the Soviet Union particularly in the field of strategic items; most favored nation status and lower tariffs on Soviet goods; the elimination of restrictions on large loans for Soviet purchases. Dillon rejects Mikoyan’s proposals on the grounds that trade between the two states may develop in the field of non-strategic goods only and that according to American law no loans can be granted to states that are not paying their debts to the U.S. (this referred to the Soviet debts of $800 million on lend-lease shipments in World War II).

Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. – January 5-March 19, 1959 (KCA)
The second stage of the Geneva Conference includes: 1) a U.S. report on underground nuclear test explosions shows that detection of such explosions is more difficult than had previously been believed; 2) Soviet allegations that the U.S. report is designed to wreck the conference by imposing a further obstacle; 3) American denials of these allegations and counter-allegations that the USSR is halting progress by insisting that decisions of the control commission should be subject to the veto of any of the three permanent members; 4) fundamental differences between the Soviet and Western views on the question of inspection and control; 5) agreement on three further Articles of the proposed treaty.

East Germany – January 7, 1959 (KCA)
The East German Government announces its willingness to recognize a demilitarized free city status for West Berlin.

Poland / Soviet Union – January 7, 1959 (PSN)
It is announced that the repatriation of Poles from the Soviet Union would be extended until March 31, 1959.

Soviet Union / West Germany – January 10, 1959 (PLC)
The Soviet Government sends Notes to all countries which were at war with Germany between 1939-1945 and to the East and West German Governments proposing the holding of a peace conference within two months to draw up a German peace treaty. A Soviet draft of a peace treaty with Germany is also sent.

Hungary – January 11, 1959 (HC)
Government resolution 1002/1959 is publicized about the creation of a farseeing scientific research plan.

Finland – January 13, 1959 (NTH/FGV)
A new minority government is formed under Agrarian Vieno Johannes Sukselainen. It consists of the Agrarian League and the Social Democratic Party, the National Coalition Party, the Swedish People’s Party of Finland (RKP) and the People’s Party of Finland.

Yugoslavia / India – January 14-15, 1959 (MOL)
Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito visits India.

Bulgaria – January 15-17, 1959 (KCA)
The Bulgarian Communist Party holds a plenary session. First Secretary Todor Zhivkov presents proposals designed to enable the Five-Year Plan for 1958-1962 to be fulfilled in three to four years.

East Germany – January 15-17, 1959 (KGD)
The SED decides on the establishment of ten-class, uniform polytechnic secondary schools.

Soviet Union – 15-22, 1959 (PLC)
Census in USSR. Population 208.8 million, 54.6% Russian, 17.8% Ukrainian, 3.8% Byelorussian. Share of ethnic Jews is 1.1%, that of ethnic Germans is 0.8%.

Soviet Union / France – January 15, 1959 (KCA)
A Franco-Soviet agreement is signed that provides for a special department to be opened in a Moscow bookshop for the sale of classical and contemporary French books and that more French should be taught in Soviet secondary schools. Le Monde commented that “no other Western country has been granted this favor so far.”

Finland – January 21-25, 1959 (SFF)
President Urho Kaleva Kekkonen visits Moscow and during the visit Khrushchev complains the anti-Soviet tone of Finnish publications and the influence of Väinö Tanner in the Finnish politics.

East Germany – January 21, 1959 (KCA)
First Deputy Premier, and First Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party Walter Ulbricht states that the German Democratic Republic regards the present frontiers of Germany as “final and unalterable.”

Hungary – January 25, 1959 (HC)
The Népszabadság publicizes “A magyarországi osztályharc tapasztalataiból” (From the experiences of the Hungarian class struggle.) wrote by János Kádár, the First Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party.

East Germany / U.K. - January 26, 1959 (KCA)
The Federation of British Industries and the East German Chamber of Foreign Trade conclude an agreement for the exchange of goods of a value of about £7,000,000 in each direction. The Foreign Office points out that this agreement in no way implies official British recognition of the East German regime. H.M. Government had been informed of the negotiations in advance and the German Federal Government had also been informed and had raised no objection.

Soviet Union / U.S. – January 27, 1959 (LBC)
Khrushchev’s speech: the USSR is willing to sign an arms reduction treaty with the West and halt the production and testing of nuclear arms and rockets; ready to establish a confrontation free zone based on the Rapacki plan and pull out from the GDR, Poland and Hungary in return for the withdrawal of NATO forces; he will urge German unification through talks between the two Germanies. The previous day Khrushchev talked about a thaw in East-West relations. – January 30. Report by Tass Soviet news agency: on January 1 the 300 thousand personnel reduction of the Soviet army was carried out. – January 31. Soviet deputy Prime Minister Mikoyan announces that the Soviet Union is ready to sign a commercial treaty with the US for 3.5 or seven years.

Soviet Union – January 27-February 5, 1959 (PLC)
21st mid-term or "Extraordinary" Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. As a response to the Chinese challenge (i.e. the “Great Leap forward”), the ongoing Five Year Plan (1956-60) is terminated and a large scale seven year plan (1959-65) is launched.

Hungary / United States – January 28, 1959 (HC)
The Hungarian Foreign Ministry responds to the United States. (It suggests beginning the recovery of the normal diplomatic relations through negotiations).

Hungary / U.S. – January 31, 1959 (LBC)
The U.S. again rejects the Hungarian government’s offer to normalize diplomatic relations. The State Department’s spokesman called the Hungarian note of January 28 “most hostile” and “insulting”. The chargé in Budapest, James W. Pratt opines that the Hungarian note threatens with reprisals in case the U.S. does not comply with the wish to discuss restoration of relations between the two countries. – Hungary limits the activity of the U.S. Legation in Budapest as it constitutes a “danger to the [Hungarian] state”.


February 1959

Hungary – February 1959 (HC)
Throughout the month the sales of party and state leaders popularizes the collectivization of the agriculture. The press continually publishes the rapid advancement of the collectivization and the establishment of the collective farm settlements.

Soviet Union / Yugoslavia – February 1959 (RYN)
At the Twenty-first Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the “Yugoslav revisionists” are accused of betraying “proletarian internationalism” and, “in their narrow national and chauvinistic interests,” of assisting the “imperialists in their subversive activity in the countries of Asia and Africa.”

Hungary – February 1, 1959 (HC)
Government resolution 3004/1957 about the development of the collective farms are publicized.

Bulgaria – February 2, 1959 (KCA)
The National Assembly approves a decree on the new administrative division of the country.

Yugoslavia / U.K. – February 3, 1959 (KCA)
An Anglo-Yugoslav agreement is signed providing for regular air services between Great Britain and Yugoslavia.

West Germany / U.S. – February 4-8, 1959 (KCA)
U.S. Foreign Secretary Dulles visits Western Europe and a Federal German spokesman states that it had been agreed that the principle of “no concessions without counter-concessions” should guide the Western Powers in all negotiations with the Soviet Union and Germany.

Czechoslovakia – February 5, 1959 (HC)
The Board of Trustees highlights in its government resolution  37/1959 the laws and decrees have to be published in Hungarian language as well.

Soviet Union / U.S. – February 5, 1959 (LBC)
Khrushchev, the First secretary of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party invites the U.S. President to the Soviet Union. At the same time he accuses the U.S. of readiness to sacrifice its allies for its own selfish interests. – February 10. President Eisenhower tells journalists that he is expecting a more formal and more convincing invitation than the one included in Khrushchev’s hostile speech. – It is announced in Great Britain that out of the 1959-1960 military budget, 22 billion pounds will be devoted to the development of Britain’s own nuclear striking force (Blue Streak program).

Cyprus / Greece / Turkey – February 5-11, 1959 (PLC)
Greek-Turkish negotiations in London on creating the Republic of Cyprus and developing its constitution.

East Germany / Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – February 16, 1959 (KCA)
The three Western Powers and the German Federal Republic reply to the Soviet Notes of January 10th. While reserving the Western position with regard to rights in Berlin, the Western Powers propose a four Power conference of Foreign Ministers to discuss “the problem of Germany in all its aspects and implications.” They suggest that German advisers be invited to participate.

East Germany / Soviet Union – February 17, 1959 (KCA)
In a speech at Tula Khrushchev accuses certain Western leaders of threatening to make their way through (to West Berlin) by force of arms if the USSR hands over its control functions to the GDR. Khrushchev declares that today international problems cannot be settled by force and calls for a peace treaty with Germany.

Hungary – February 18, 1959 (HC)
János Kádár, the chief secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party travels to Prague for a three day long official visit.

Cyprus – February 19, 1959 (PLC)
Following the February 17-19 negotiations between Great Britain, Greece and Turkey in Zurich, an agreement is reached about Cyprus. As a compromise between division and enosis, Cyprus becomes independent and both Greece and Turkey are allowed to station troops on the island.

Soviet Union / U.K. – February 21, 1959 (LBC)
The British prime minister’s visit to Moscow. This is the first time a British premier visits the Soviet Union since World War II. – March 3. MacMillan concludes his visit. He declares on British television: he agreed with Khrushchev in that Central Europe’s serious problems should be solved not through military force but negotiations.

Romania – February 22, 1959 (HC)
The Hungarian Bolyai University of Kolozsvár is merged with the Romanian Babes University under the name of Babes-Bolyai University.

Cyprus / Turkey / U.K. – February 23, 1959 (PLC)
British-Greek-Turkish treaty in London on Cyprian independence (within a year),
under a Greek president and Turkish vice-president. Neither of the parties is satisfied
the results. According to the treaty, Great Britain can keep its bases in the Larnaca

Hungary – February 27, 1959 (HC)
In the Hungária Vegyipari Művek (chemical facility) the county’s first synthetic plastic manufacturing facility is initiated.


March 1959

East Germany / West Germany – March-April 1959 (KCA)
A series of incidents occur during March and April in the air corridors leading from Western Germany to Berlin, when U.S. military transport aircraft flying through these corridors at altitudes above 10,000 feet are buzzed by Soviet fighters. The Soviet authorities maintain that such flights are inadmissible – a contention which the U.S. authorities reject. The Russian and the American authorities make protests and counter protests throughout April.

Soviet Union / U.S. – March 2, 1959 (LBC)
The World Economy Committee of the U.S. President urges the chief executive to think about trade with the Soviet bloc in non-strategic goods, because if trade with the Iron Curtain nations could be increased then perhaps “Soviet resources could be diverted from military potential to the production of consumer goods”.

Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – March 2, 1959 (KCA)
In further Notes to the British, French, and U.S. Governments, the Soviet Union proposes a “summit” conference of Heads of Government. It also expresses its willingness to agree to a conference of Foreign Ministers as proposed in the Western Notes. It suggest Poland and Czechoslovakia be invited to participate in the Foreign Ministers’ meeting. It also states that the participation of the United Nations in guaranteeing “free city” status for West Berlin is possible and that the Soviet Government is ready to discuss the question of guarantees in order to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

Soviet Union / U.S. – March 4, 1959 (KCA)
President Eisenhower states that the March 2 Soviet Notes indicated some lessening of the rigidity of Russia’s position but is cautious about the proposed “summit” conference without prior assurance that practical advance would be made if one were held.

East Germany / Soviet Union – March 4-11, 1959 (KCA)
Khrushchev visits East Germany and makes many references to the Berlin situation in speeches in Leipzig and East Berlin. He states that the Soviet Government does not regard May 27 as a deadline for the transfer of control functions to the East German authorities, adding that the date could be delayed. He also states that the USSR intends to sign a peace treaty with the GDR if it proves impossible to sign a treaty with both German States. In a March 9 speech, Khrushchev suggests that the four Powers, or alternatively neutral States, should maintain a certain number of troops in West Berlin to guarantee its “free city” status.

Poland – March 10-19, 1959 (KCA)
The third congress of the Polish United Workers’ Party is held in Warsaw. This congress is the first to be held since the fundamental changes made to the party’s policy in 1956. Some of the issues addressed by Gomulka include the ending of the political crisis within the party, which Gomulka attributes to reactionary elements within the country; emphasizing the importance of strengthening the police in their struggle against anti-Socialist activities; criticizing Yugoslav “revisionism” but adding that Poland wishes to retain normal relations with Yugoslavia; and stating that “the Church must limit its activities to religious questions.” The Congress approves the Five-Year Plan for 1961-65 and the Government’s agricultural policy, and covers issues of Church-State relations and intellectual freedom. 18 of the 78 members of the former central committee fail to secure re-election or are demoted. On October 19 a resolution is adopted to support Gomulka’s desire to lower the real value of wages. On June 25 a resolution is adopted to establish an agricultural development fund by the State to be used for the mechanization of agriculture. During the fall of 1958 relations between the Government and the Roman Catholic Church improve greatly, but during the summer of 1959 a new controversy arises over the government’s demand for the deposition of the Bishop of Kielce. On December 6 (58 or 59 – unclear) The New York Times is banned throughout Poland following the expulsion of New York Times correspondent Rosenthal.

Soviet Union / U.S. – March 11, 1959 (KCA)
At a press conference, President Eisenhower is questioned about the possibility of hostilities developing in Europe as a result of the Berlin crisis. He responds that the U.S. will not fight a ground war in Europe. He also states that he does not know “how you could free anything with nuclear weapons.” He reiterates that the Unites States “and its Allies have announced their firm intention of preserving their rights and responsibilities with respect to Berlin. If any threat or push in the direction of real hostilities is going to occur, it’s going to occur from the side of the Soviets.”

France / NATO – March 11, 1959 (LBC)
France informs NATO that French navy units designated for the use of the alliance in war will remain under French command. The step is related to the aspiration by French President Charles de Gaulle that Paris should have a larger influence in NATO and to extend its guarantee to North Africa. – March 19. NATO commander-in-chief General Norstad does not think that France’s step means the end of the alliance.

East Germany / Soviet Union – March 11, 1959 (KCA)
A joint communiqué on Khrushchev’s talks with East German leaders states 1) that a peace treaty should be signed with both German States, or with a German Confederation should it be formed; 2) that the GDR is prepared to guarantee free access to West Berlin from both east and west, and to respect its status as a demilitarized Free City; 3) that the Soviet Union is prepared to join in guaranteeing the independence and security of West Berlin.

Bulgaria – March 12, 1959 (KCA)
Some of Zhivkov’s January 15-17 proposals first presented at the plenary session of the Bulgarian Communist Part in January are approved with some modification. The Ministries of Heavy Industry, Light Industry, Food Industry, Electrificiation, Construction, and Municipal Economy, and the Committee for Physical Culture and Sport are all abolished.

Bulgaria – March 14, 1959 (KCA)
Cabinet changes are made including the removal of Boris Taskov from the Ministry of Trade on April 21 because “he had no confidence in the correctness of the Party line, and therefore could not carry out the tasks entrusted to him.”

Albania / Yugoslavia – March 14, 1959 (PLC)
Diplomatic relations terminated between Yugoslavia and Albania.

Soviet Union / U.S. – March 16, 1959 (KCA)
President Eisenhower addresses the American people regarding the Berlin situation
through a radio and television broadcast.

Hungary – March 16-21, 1959 (HC)
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Tanácsköztársaság (Hungarian Soviet Republic), the Hungarian Scientific Academy holds celebratory session.

Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – March 19, 1959 (KCA)
Khrushchev announces the Soviet Union will accept May 11 as the date for a Foreign Ministers’ conference if the Western Powers suggested that date; he also agreed that the Western Powers possessed “lawful rights” for their presence in Berlin. He then answered several questions from 300 press correspondents. The conciliatory tone of Khrushchev’s press conference was welcomed by Western Power press and was described by a State Department spokesman as “encouraging.”

Hungary – March 19, 1959 (HC)
The Presidential Councilpasses the number 1959/7th decree no. about the agricultural collective farms and the collectivization groups. (It regulates the conditions and the operations of the collective farms and groups, the rights and duties, disposes of the common wealth economic activity income distribution and the organs of the collective farms and groups.

Hungary – March 20, 1959 (HC)
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary the Parliament legally recognizes the memory of the Hungarian Tanácsköztársaság. (1959: II. law.)

Bulgaria / Romania – March 23, 1959 (RCW)
Bulgarian delegation visits Romania to discuss the possibility to improve exchange information between the Bulgarian and Romanian intelligence agencies.

Yugoslavia – March 24, 1959 (JVJ)
The League of Yugoslav Communist issues a declaration on its ethnic policy.

Hungary –March 25, 1959 (HC)
The nuclear reactor of Csillebérc is put on in Budapest.

Bulgaria / U.S. – March 27, 1959 (LBC)
The governments of the U.S. and Bulgaria announce the reestablishment of diplomatic relations, which were severed in 1950. Bulgaria revoked the charges of espionage brought against the former U.S. minister in Sofia and pledged that the U.S. mission would be able to operate without harassment. An American Legation will be opened in Sofia and a Bulgarian Legation in Washington.

Bulgaria / U.S. – March 27, 1959 (PLC)
American-Bulgarian diplomatic relations reestablished (terminated in 1950).

Soviet Union / U.K. – March 28, 1959 (KCA)
A program of exchanges of specialists in scientific and art fields and other contacts between the U.K. and the USSR for the year beginning April 1, 1959 is signed in


April 1959

East Germany / Iraq – April 1, 1959 (KCA)
An agreement on cultural and scientific co-operation between Iraq and the German Democratic Republic is signed in Baghdad.

Hungary – April 1, 1959 (HC)
The Peoples’ Court Section of the Supreme Court gives forth its verdict. (For anti-constitutional activity. Ferenc Mérei receives 10 years; Sándor Fekete receives 5 years, Jenő Széll receives 5 years, György Litván receives 5 years András B. Hegedűs receives 2 years of imprisonment.)

Poland / Iraq – April 2, 1959 (KCA)
An agreement on cultural and scientific co-operation between Iraq and Poland is signed in Warsaw.

Romania / Soviet Union – April 3, 1959 (RCW)
Soviet politburo member Yuri Andropov and Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej discuss issues concerning the cooperation between the CPSU and the Romanian Worker's Party and the two governments. The discussion ranges between economic integration issues, to the Sino-Soviet split, Soviet-Albanian relations, and politico-military cooperation between Warsaw Pact states.

Hungary – April 3, 1959 (HC)
The Presidential Council on the occasion of the 14th anniversary of the liberation declares partial amnesty under its Law 12:1959, for those serving sentences of less than two years. According to this, the remaining imprisonment of Zoltán Tildy ex-President is halted.
Czechoslovakia / France – April 8, 1959 (KCA)
The Czechoslovak freighter Lidice carrying 581 tons of arms is intercepted in the Mediterranean and taken to Oran by a French Naval Patrol. The Moroccan Defense Ministry had announced that the Lidice’s arms were intended for the Moroccan army. The French authorities claim that the arms are intended for Algerian rebels. The Czechoslovak and Moroccan Governments file protests.

Hungary – April 8, 1959 (HC)
The number 1013/1959 government proposal about the taking care of the workers’ complains a request is publicized.

Hungary / China / Mongolia / Vietnam – April 11, 1959 (HC)
Led by Ferenc Münnich, the chairman of the Council of Ministers party and the governmental delegation travels to Mongolia, Vietnam and China for a month long official trip. (April 27: a friendly and cooperating contract is signed between Hungary and China.)

Hungary – April 12, 1959 (HC)
Government resolution 19/1959 about establishment of the community academic scholarship is publicized.

Yugoslavia / Austria – April 13, 1959 (MOL)
Yugoslav Foreign Minister Koča Popović criticizes Austria for the maltreatment of the Slovenian minority in Carinthia.

Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. – April 13-May 12, 1959 (KCA)
The third stage of the Geneva Conference includes an agreement on a number of Articles for the proposed treaty. The negotiations remain deadlocked on the central issue of control and inspection. By recess on May 12, 17 Articles were approved. The Soviet Union abandons its previous insistence on a “100 per cent” veto and suggests a limited number of annual inspections if there is reason to suspect violation of the ban. The Western Powers agree to examine this Soviet Proposal, but emphasize the difficulties of detecting nuclear explosions. Correspondence among Eisenhower, Khrushchev, and Macmillan on Nuclear Disarmament occurs.

Yugoslavia – April 19, 1959 (KCA)
President Tito reveals the death of over 100 leading Yugoslav Communists in Stalin’s prisons and camps 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.”

Soviet Union / U.S. – April 21, 1959 (CWC)
The Soviet Union points out in a note to the United States that the United States would be violating international treaties if they decided to deploy nuclear weapons in the Federal Republic of Germany. In response the United States say on May 8, 1959 that the Soviet Union is also equipped with nuclear weapons and that the program of NATO`s modernization was agreed on already in 1957.

East Germany – April 24, 1959 (KGS/HWD)
The first conference of artists and writers takes place in Bitterfeld. Socialist realism is decided as the expected artistic theme.

Warsaw Pact / China – April 27-28, 1959 (HC/MMS)
The Foreign Ministers of the Warsaw Pact member states and China hold a meeting in Warsaw. (The Foreign Ministers discuss the possible questions of the upcoming Geneva Convention, primarily the upcoming treaty with Germany and the elimination of the occupying system.)


May 1959

Albania / Soviet Union – May-June 1959 (PLC)
Khrushchev’s unsuccessful visit to Albania. Deteriorating relations between the two
states are clearly visible from August 1959 on.

Soviet Union / U.S. – May 6, 1959 (LBC)
According to a report by the New York Times the Soviet deputy minister of cultural affairs, who is staying in the U.S., requested the State Department to make possible a performance of the musical “My Fair Lady” in the Soviet Union.

Yugoslavia / Indonesia – May 7, 1959 (KCA)
The newly created Indonesian-Yugoslav economic commission holds its first meeting.

Soviet Union / France / U.S. / U.K. – May 11, 1959 (LBC)
The Geneva meeting of the foreign ministers of the U.S., Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union where talks begin on German reunification, Berlin’s status and the problems of a German peace treaty.

Bulgaria / U.S. – May 13, 1959 (KCA)
Restriction on travel by American citizens to Bulgaria are lifted.

COMECON - May 13-16, 1959 (KCA/MMS)
At the eleventh session of the COMECON in Tirana, plans are approved for specialization among the Eastern Bloc in the production of various types of equipment with the plan to reduce costs and increase output. Proposals are made for linking the power systems of the Eastern European countries and expanding coking-coal resources. It is also envisaged trade with Asian socialist countries.

Bulgaria / Greece – May 15, 1959 (KCA)
A Note is presented in Sofia by the Greek Government calling on the Bulgarian Government to begin paying the war reparations due to Greece, which had been fixed at $45,000,000.

Soviet Union / U.S. – May 15, 1959 (KAC)
The Western Package Plan is criticized by Gromyko as attempting to solve all four separate questions in one tangled solution. He believes this attempt will bring the process to a deadlock. He proposes the Ministers start with the German peace treaty and recommends that they follow the Soviet proposal for the treaty. Lloyd responded that all the various questions should be discussed one by one but that they are connected and cannot be solved in isolation. Herter criticized the proposed Soviet draft for a peace treaty for Germany, emphasizing that it would only be valid if signed with a united Germany.

Soviet Union / West Germany – May 19, 1959 (KAC)
Gromyko calls on the Western Powers to recognize the existence of two German states. Dr. Grewe of West Germany rejects the Soviet draft treaty on the grounds that it will perpetuate the division of Germany.

Soviet Union / U.K. – May 24, 1959 (LBC)
A five-year Anglo-Soviet commercial agreement is signed in Moscow. In the first year of the contract the annual British export to the Soviet Union would be raised by one third from 57 million pounds, and the 30 million pound Soviet export to Britain by the same amount. The agreement would involve the exchange of machines, factories, textile, agricultural products and raw materials and for the first time the Anglo-Soviet exchange of consumer goods – cars, clothes, wine, medicine and shoes.

Albania / Soviet Union – May 25-June 4, 1959 (KCA)
A Soviet delegation including Khrushchev and Marshal Malinovsky is on an official visit to Albania. Khrushchev publicly condemns the establishment of U.S. missile bases in Italy, and warns Greece not to follow suit or the Soviet Union may set up similar bases in Albania. On July 3, the Soviet Union signed an agreement with Albania to build a Palace of Culture in the Albanian capital; provide technical assistance in the construction of industry; train Albanian workers and engineers and make the services of Soviet specialists available for these projects; and to grant Albania a long-term credit of up to 300 million rubles.

East Germany / Soviet Union / Western Powers – May 26, 1959 (KAC)
Detailed Western proposals on Berlin providing for the unification of the city after free elections are presented. Herter repudiated the Soviet and East German claim that Berlin was the capital of the GDR.

Yugoslavia / Scandinavia – May 26, 1959 (MOL)
Yugoslav Minister of Foreign Affairs Edvard Kardelj leaves for a three-week visit to Scandinavia.

Bulgaria / U.N. – May 26, 1959 (KCA)
The International Court of Justice ruled that it had no claim of jurisdiction on the case brought by Israel against Bulgaria in connection with the shooting-down of an Israeli airliner over Bulgarian territory on July 27, 1955. The claim was for damages of $2,658,144. The Court upheld Bulgaria’s claim that it never accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the present International Court set up under the United Nations.

Soviet Union – May 30, 1959 (KAC)
Gromyko reiterates that Western forces cannot remain in Berlin on their present basis.


June 1959

U.S. / Greece – June 1959 (PLC)
U.S. deploys missiles in Greece.

Yugoslavia – June 1959 (ACY)
The Congress of the League of Communists of Slovenia takes place in Ljubljana.

Yugoslavia / Algeria / France – June 1959 (RYN)
Tito meets with Ferhat Abbas, president of the provisional Algerian nationalist government-in-exile, and expresses his wish that both sides, France and the FLN, effect a peaceful solution of the civil war in Algeria. He carefully refrains from extending diplomatic recognition out of the belief that French President Charles De Gaulle is genuinely seeking a peaceful solution and restraining precipitate action by the „ultras.” A Yugoslav journalist, based in Paris, sums up official Belgrade's view with the observation that the Algerian problem has to be solved inside France.

Yugoslavia / Sudan – June-July 1959 (KCA)
Sudan and Yugoslavia sign a number of agreements including one for Cultural Cooperation and one for Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation. On May 7, the Yugoslav and Sudanese Legations to Khartoum and Belgrade are raised to embassy status.

Yugoslavia – June 2, 1959 (MOL)Yugoslav Minister of Foreign Affairs Edvard Kardelj states that Yugoslavia will never build a missile plant on its territory.

Hungary – June 2 1959 (HC)
Decree 25:1959 of the Presidential Council about the establishment of the Állami Egyházügyi Hivatal (State Churchl Office) is publicized.

East Germany – June 3, 1959 (KGD)
A law is passed on the final phase of collectivization of agriculture; farmers who are still independent are forced by terror to join “voluntarily”.

Hungary / Soviet Union – June 4, 1959 (HC)
Khrushchev, the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party travels to Budapest for a three-day-long official visit.

Bulgaria / Yugoslavia – June 8, 1959 (MOL)
An agreement between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria on scientific and technical cooperation is signed in Sofia.
East Germany / Soviet Union – June 8-20, 1959 (KCA)
An East German governmental delegation led by Prime Minister Grotewohl and Ulbricht visit the Soviet Union. A joint Soviet-East German communiqué was issued at the conclusion of the talks reaffirming the main points of Soviet policy on Germany: 1) the conclusion of a peace treaty with the two German States; 2) the establishment of a confederation of both German states as a step towards reunification; 3) the conclusion by both German States of a treaty renouncing the use of force under which both German States would renounce the production, acquisition, and possession of atomic weapons; 4) the conversion of West Berlin into a demilitarized free city. The communiqué also states that the value of trade between the Soviet Union and East Germany in 1959 would be over 7,000,000,000 rubles. As from January 1, 1959 The East German Government is no longer required to pay the sum of 600,000,000 Eastern marks a year due as support costs for the Soviet troops stationed in East Germany.

Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. – June 8-August 16, 1959 (KCA)
The fourth stage of the Geneva Conference includes: 1) an American presentation on the question of detecting subterranean explosions; 2) appointment of a team of U.S., British, and Russian experts to consider the means of detecting high–altitude explosions; this leads to proposals for a system of earth satellites in outer space arranged as to ensure complete surveillance of the whole world. 3) Western proposals for ending the deadlock on inspection that were not accepted by the Soviet delegation.

Poland / U.S. – June 10, 1959 (LBC)
A new Polish-American credit and loan agreement is signed in Washington, which reduces the amount of U.S. aid to Warsaw by 50% as compared to the 1957-1958 level. According to the agreement Poland may purchase 44 million dollars worth of American agricultural products for zlotys. Poland gets a loan of six million dollars to buy anti-polio vaccine and to finance the delivery of the agricultural goods from overseas.

Hungary / Finland – June 10, 1959 (KCA)
A cultural convention between Finland and Hungary is signed in Budapest.

Yugoslavia / Greece – June 16-18, 1959 (KCA)
A series of agreements are signed between Greece and Yugoslavia creating close cooperation in many spheres. The agreements cover: border traffic, indemnification of owners of Greek property nationalized in Yugoslavia, clearance of pre-war commercial credits, economic and technical cooperation, touristic cooperation, cultural cooperation, mutual judicial assistance, execution of court judgments in one country by the other, water economy, projects for linking the power transmission networks of the Greek Public Power Corporation and the Yugoslav electricity network, cooperation in the use of atomic energy for peaceful proposes, and procedures for the settlement of other pending issues. The two Foreign Ministers also discuss international problems. The connection of the Greek and Yugoslav power transmission networks is expected to be complete by Yugoslavia in April 1960.

Romania / Eastern Bloc – June 20-27, 1959 (HC)
The communist and workers parties of the socialist countries hold a conference in Bucharest.

Soviet Union / U.S. – June 21, 1959 (CWC)
The United States and The Soviet Union sign a two-year agreement on the exchange of scientists.

East Germany / U.K. – June 23, 1959 (KCA)
Dr. Klaus Fuchs arrives in East Berlin from the United Kingdom following his early release after serving nine years of his 14 year sentence for transmitting secret atomic information to agents of the Soviet Union.

Bulgaria – June 24, 1959 (KCA)
A joint meeting of the Bulgarian Government and the central committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party produces the decision to increase Bulgaria’s irrigated area from 1,500,000 acres to 5,000,000 acres by 1965. This would bring irrigation to over 40 percent of the cultivated area in an attempt to counteract recurring droughts and increase poultry, pig, and cattle production. The irrigation will be fed by the Danube.

Soviet Union / U.S. / France / U.K. / Balkans – June 25, 1959 (LBC)
In a note the Soviet Union offers the U.S., France and Great Britain to create a nuclear free zone in the Balkans.

Yugoslavia / Latin America – June 25-August 19, 1959 (RYN)
A Yugoslav goodwill mission visits Latin America. The purpose of the mission is to exchange views on international issues and present Yugoslavia's views on nonalignment and active peaceful coexistence; to encourage the expansion of trade and to establish closer relations with those countries Yugoslavia does not have permanent missions with, i. e. Colombia, Peru, Haiti, and Honduras; and to establish contacts with socialist parties in Latin America. Headed by Vladimir Popović, the mission also includes Jože Brilej, an undersecretary of foreign affairs, Borivoje Jelić, a member of the Planning Council, and Stane Juznić, one of Yugoslavia's eminent specialists on Latin America. The mission starts its visit in Mexico, and moves, successively, to Costa Rica, Honduras, Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil. They bring personal letters from Tito to the presidents of Mexico, Venezuela, and Bolivia. The mission is generally considered a success.

Soviet Union / U.S. – June 28, 1959 (LBC)
Soviet first deputy premier Frol L. Kozlov arrives in New York to open a Soviet scientific, technological and cultural exhibition. – According to Khrushchev’s message, “The Soviet people are deeply convinced that differences in our way of life and in our political social systems should not be an obstacle to fruitful cooperation…between the Soviet Union and the United States.” According to Vice President Nixon not only the lack of understanding is forestalling peaceful and friendly relations and the summit will not solve the tensions of the world. Nixon stated: despite “basic conflicts of interest and deeply clashing ideologies” “patience and understanding” by US and Soviet leaders would prevent “those differences” from developing “into a conflict which would result in the destruction of our civilization.” – June 30. Kozlov-Eisenhower meeting. – July 1. – Kozlov meets Secretary of State Herter and Senate leaders. – July 2. Kozlov’s proposal: The Soviet Union will withdraw from the GDR, Poland, and Hungary if the West pulls out from the FRG and the rest of the Western allies.

Yugoslavia / U.K. – June 29, 1959 (LBC)
British-Yugoslav trade agreement is signed in the framework of which Yugoslavia imports goods worth 36-42 million dollars and will deliver commodities in the value of 42-53 million dollars to England.

Poland – June 30, 1959 (KCA)
The population of Poland totals 29,257,000 as published by the Polish Central Statistical Office.

Hungary – June 30, 1959 (HC)
The Népszabadság (Communist daily paper) publishes the principles of the central committee of the Communist Youth Alliance about the ideological and political education of the Hungarian youth.


July 1959

Latvia – July 1959 (PLC)
Large scale purge begins in Latvian Communist Party.

Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. – July-August 1959 (KCA)
The major Powers of the Geneva Conference adopt new policies on nuclear testing. On July 30, the United Kingdom Home Secretary states that Britain will not resume nuclear testing as long as negotiations continue in Geneva. On August 26, the U.S. Government announces it will extend its voluntary suspension of tests until the end of the year with respect to the Geneva Conference. On August 18, the Soviet Government states that it will not resume nuclear tests providing the Western Powers do not do so whilst the Geneva Conference continues.
Hungary / Guinea – July 3-7, 1959 (HC)
A Guinean governmental delegation travels to Hungary.

Bulgaria – July 4, 1959 (KCA)
The Bulgarian National Assembly approves an educational reform law designed to link education more closely with “productive work.” The reform includes using more evening and correspondence courses and extending the period of compulsory education to the age of 16, which may be followed by a four-year polytechnic course or one-to-three years at a trade school.

East Germany / West Germany – July 4, 1959 (KCA)
It is announced that 74,377 inhabitants of the Soviet Zone (the GDR) had entered Western Germany or West Berlin as refugees during the first half of 1959. Nearly half of them people under 25 years of age.

Hungary / U.S. – July 6, 1959 (KAC)
The Hungarian Government informs the U.S. Legation in Budapest that American diplomats are not allowed to travel more than 25 miles from the center of Budapest without special permission. The Legation is accused of “machinations against the Hungarian people’s way of life.” On July 7 the U.S. State Department announces that Hungarian diplomats will not be allowed to travel more than 25 miles from the center of Washington/New York without permission.

Soviet Union / Latvia – July 7-8, 1959 (PLC)
During a closed-door meeting of the Latvian Communist Party’s leadership, measures are taken against proponents of “Latvian nationalism.”

Czechoslovakia / India – July 7, 1959 (KCA)
A five-year cultural agreement between Czechoslovakia and India is signed.

Soviet Union / France / NATO / U.S. – July 8, 1959 (LBC)
NATO withdraws 200 jet bombers from France and deploys them in Britain and the FRG. The reason: France rejected the deployment of nuclear forces on its own territory unless it received the right to decide on their employment. – July 11. The Department of State rejects Khrushchev’s proposal concerning a nuclear free zone in the Balkans.

Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. / Germany – July 13-August 5, 1959 (PLC)
Second round of foreign ministers’ conference in Geneva, dealing with the German question. Participation of the GDR signals its de facto recognition by the West. No agreement is reached, but the communiqué states that the positions of both sides have “become closer”, and assurance was given by both sides that neither side would resort to unilateral action at the expiration of any interim arrangements for Berlin.

Soviet Union – July 13, 1959 (KCA)
The Communist Party Central Committee directs party cells inside industrial and trading enterprises to form special commissions to “implement the right of party organizations to control the activity of managements.” These commissions will be elected annually at cell meeting and will be responsible for constantly checking on production targets and the quality of output.

Poland / Soviet Union – July 14, 1959 (KCA)
Khrushchev arrives in Warsaw for an official visit to Poland – his first since the 1956 crisis. After touring the country, he reaffirms the Soviet guarantee of the Oder-Neisse frontier and appeals for a nuclear-free zone extending from Scandinavia to the Balkan Peninsula. Khrushchev praises Gomulka’s policy and condemns his ‘dogmatist’ (i.e. Stalinist) opponents. A joint statement is issued on July 22 by Khrushchev and Gomulka stating that if the situation in West Berlin is not resolved, the Soviet Union and Poland will support Eastern Germany in any measures which it considers necessary.

Soviet Union / U.S. – July 15, 1959 (LBC)
Khrushchev invites Eisenhower for a visit to the USSR. – July 21. Eisenhower declares that he lost hope regarding a summit with Khrushchev. He pledges not to use nuclear weapons against Eastern Europe, which are “despite all provocations” the “friends” of the U.S.

Yugoslavia – July 18, 1959 (ACY)
Patriarch German goes to Skopje and the next day he and Metropolitan Dositej together consecrate the new elected Bishop of Prespa-Bitola.

Poland – July 20, 1959 (KCA)
Cabinet changes are announced in Warsaw. Franciszek Waniolka becomes the Minister of Heavy Industry and Jan Mitrega becomes the Minister of Mining and Power. Kiejstut Zemajtis becomes Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Commission.

Soviet Union / U.S. – July 22, 1959 (LBC)
Vice President Nixon arrives to Moscow. – July 24. Televised debate between Nixon and Khrushchev. The debate was shown on Soviet television two days later, according to American judgment with inadequate translation. – August 1. Nixon’s televised farewell address: he condemns the idea of “peaceful coexistence” since it reinforces the division of the world into two hostile blocs.

Hungary – July 25, 1959 (HC)
Decree 29:1959 of the Presidential Council extends the compulsory education. (From 6 years of age throughout 9 years)

Hungary / Soviet Union – July 27, 1959 (HC)
Hungarian-Soviet Diplomatic talks begin in Moscow about the further development of the economic cooperation between the two countries. (August 7 agreement about the exchange of commodities that is valid from 1961 to 1965.)

Hungary / China – July 29, 1959 (HC)
The parliament passes the Hungarian-Chinese friendly agreement of April 27th into law. (1959: III law)

Hungary – July 30, 1959 (HC)
The parliament accepts the 1959: VI law about Civil Law.

Poland July 31, 1959 (HDP)
Government proclaims a “Meatless Mondays” campaign in order to deal with meat shortages in Poland.


August 1959

Hungary / Yugoslavia – August 1, 1959 (HC)
Hungary and Yugoslavia sign a contract about the exchange of commodities for the period between 1960 and 1962 in Budapest.
Poland / U.S. – August 2 – 5, 1959 (PSM/LBC)
Vice-president of the United States Richard Nixon visits Poland, and meets Polish party first secretary Gomulka. Poland wants the United States to give it again the most-favored-nation clause but States demand first financial compensations for the nationalization of the American citizens` property. The agreement on this matter is signed in Washington on July 16, 1960. As a result, on November 17, 1960 Poland regains the clause of most-favored-nation.

Hungary – August 4, 1959 (HC)
József Révai, communist ideologist and cultural politician dies.

Albania / Yugoslavia – August 8, 1959 (MOL)
Yugoslavia re-establishes its diplomatic ties with Albania. The Albanian Ambassador to Yugoslavia returns to Belgrade after being on leave for almost a year. This is a signal of the Albanian government’s willingness to resume normal relations with Yugoslavia following the abandonment of its propaganda campaign against Yugoslavia in May.

East Germany / Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. / West Germany – August 9, 1959 (PLC)
Western powers’ alternative plan at the foreign ministers’ conference in Geneva proposes to unify Berlin in free elections, to create a unified German national assembly and to sign peace treaty.

Romania – August 11, 1959 (KCA)
Bucharest Radio announces that Gehorghe Radulescu, has been appointed Minister of Commerce, replacing Marcel Popescu. Other changes in government are also announced.

Hungary – August 15, 1959 (HC)
Government resolution 38:1959 about the family allowance are publicized.

Soviet Union – August 18, 1959 (KCA)
Moscow Radio announces that the hire-purchase system will be introduced for the first time. This formerly rejected “capitalist” method will allow certain goods to be available for a down payment deducted from the purchaser’s wages.

Soviet Union / U.S. – August 25, 1959 (LBC)
US Vice President Richard Nixon concedes that “a major objection” to Eisenhower’s visit to Moscow is “the effect it may have on the captive peoples of Eastern Europe”. He pledged Eisenhower “will not be taken in or bluffed” at the Khrushchev meeting and will continue to represent the cause of freedom “vigorously, firmly and aggressively”. He states: “you can be sure that under no circumstances will this exchange…result in [U.S.] statements or actions…indicating our approval or acquiescence in the status of the captive peoples…We will continue to support with peaceful means realization of the objective that the [satellite] peoples …be given the opportunity to choose the kind of governments they want”. Nixon rejects the “so called war of liberation that would liberate only dead bodies and ruined cities”.

Eastern Europe / U.S. – August 27, 1959 (LBC)
Eisenhower declares on Eastern Europe that under his presidency nobody in America will speak about stable peace before the East European peoples can give expression to their convictions, views and wishes on their own future.

Hungary / Japan – August 29, 1959 (HC)
Hungary and Japan sign a contract about the establishment of the diplomatic relations.

Soviet Union / U.S. – August 30, 1959 (LBC)
In connection with his trip to the US, Khrushchev expresses his “burning desire” to make peace and his firm resolution to take the steps, which would melt the ice of the cold war. – August 31. The newly created Senate Freedom for all Nations Committee declares a week of mourning for the victims of communism during the Khrushchev visit.

East Germany – August 31, 1959 (KCA)
East German authorities announce that Dr. Klaus Fuchs has been appointed deputy director of the East German Central Institute for Nuclear Physics.

September 1959

Hungary – September 1960 (KCA)
The Hungarian Writers’ Union, banned in January 1957, is re-established, but no literary or artistic activities “aimed against the legal order of the State” will be tolerated.

Soviet Union / U.S. / Germany – September 3, 1959 (LBC)
Khrushchev’s conditions for peaceful coexistence: the West should give up the principle of rolling back communism; acceptance of the Soviet proposals for Germany and Berlin; the abolition of American trade restrictions against the Soviet Union. He condemns the congress’s resolution on the “liberation of captive nations” and defends the idea of peaceful coexistence.

Yugoslavia / Greece – September 6-13, 1959 (KCA)
The Greek Deputy Premier and the Minister of Commerce visit Yugoslavia for conversations with a vice-president of the Yugoslav Federal Executive Council. A joint communiqué states that both countries are determined to increase their economic cooperation further. Yugoslav exports to Greece in 1958 totaled $11,600,000 and Greek exports to Yugoslavia to $10,000,000 a 100% increase for both over 1955’s exports. The main Greek exports to Yugoslavia are cotton and semi-tropical fruit, and the primary Yugoslav exports to Greece are canned food, meat, and livestock.

Soviet Union – September 12, 1959 (PLC)
The first Soviet rocket sent to the Moon is launched and it soon reaches the Moon’s surface. The USSR declares it has no territorial claims on the Moon.

East Germany / Soviet Union / Western Allies – September 15-27, 1959 (NNT)
Khrushchev withdraws the Berlin ultimatum and announces a policy of “peaceful coexistence”.

Soviet Union / U.S. – September 15, 1959 (CAC/LBC)
Khrushchev arrives in Washington for a two week visit. His meeting with Eisenhower encourages his belief in the possibility of achieving a solution to the Berlin question on Soviet terms. He conducts a “friendly and frank” discussion with Eisenhower. Both underline their respective nation’s responsibility for peace. Khrushchev urges the German-German road to Germany’s unification and the increase of trade relations. – September 18. Khrushchev calls for disarmament: full military disarmament in four years; the liquidation of foreign bases; the liquidation of atomic and hydrogen weapons; only police units of limited size armed with small arms can remain in each country. Khrushchev offers a five-step disarmament plan in case the West rejects the proposal: the establishment of a control and observation zone on the territory of Western Europe with the reduction of foreign forces; nuclear free zone in Central Europe; the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Europe and the liquidation of military bases on foreign territory; non-aggression treaty between NATO and the Warsaw Pact; agreement on defense against surprise attacks. – September 17. Disarmament proposal by the West: test ban treaty; agreement among the great powers on the maximum size of armed forces; new talks on surprise attack, on the peaceful use of space and control; the reduction of conventional and nuclear arms; halting the production of nuclear arms, the reduction of nuclear arms stocks with the international control of fissionable material, guarantees against surprise attack, the establishment of an international system for maintaining peace; general disarmament under international supervision with a ban on the production and use of weapons of mass destruction, the liquidation of remaining nuclear arms stocks, the final reduction of armed forces to an internationally agreed level, the international supervision of military budgets, a global system to maintain peace.

Soviet Union – September 15, 1959 (KCA)
The atomic icebreaker Lenin departs from Leningrad for her maiden voyage. The Lenin is powered by three nuclear reactors, can cut a 100-ft. channel through any ice and can cruise for a year without needing to return to a port. She is designed to provide a 11,000 mile link between Murmansk and Vladivostok by keeping open this north-east trade route. The Lenin is the first atom-powered ship in commission.

Soviet Union / U.S. – September 15, 1959 (KCA)
The Soviet Union stops jamming U.S. „Voice of America” broadcasts to the USSR. Broadcasts to the satellite countries and broadcasts in Lithuanian, Estonian, and Latvian continue to be jammed as well as broadcasts by “Radio Free Europe” and “Radio Liberation.”

U.N. – September 15, 1959 (KCA)
The 14th session of the U.N. General Assembly opens. Amongst the 70-items on the agenda that directly involved Eastern Europe were disarmament, nuclear tests, peaceful uses of outer space, the Hungarian situation, the Korean situation, and Chinese representation at the United Nations.

Soviet Union – September 19, 1959 (KCA)
A joint statement is issued by the Soviet Council of Ministers, the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions announcing the reduction of the working day to seven hours for all factory and office employees with a maximum working week of 41 hours, and to six hours for miners and other underground workers, with a maximum working week of 35 hours. When the reductions take effect on October 1, 1959 an increase in the minimum wage and revised wage scales will also come into effect. October 15, 1959: A joint statement is issued by the Council of Ministers and the Communist Party Central Committee that criticizes the quantity and quality of Soviet consumer goods as inadequate and puts forward targets for increased production. August 18, 1959: Moscow Radio announces that the hire-purchase system will be introduced for the first time. This formerly rejected “capitalist” method will allow certain goods to be available for a down payment deducted from the purchaser’s wages.

Soviet Union / U.S. – September 26, 1959 (LBC)
Agreement on a Soviet-American medical research program. The agreement envisions research on cancer, cardiatric disease and poliomyelitis.

Soviet Union / U.S. – September 27, 1959 (LBC)
Khrushchev concludes his U.S. visit. Joint communiqué with President Eisenhower: all international problems need to be resolved with peaceful means; the talks on Berlin will resume so as to reach an acceptable solution to the parties involved for the sake of peace; disarmament is the most important issue, both sides will take constructive steps to solve the issue; Eisenhower’s planned visit for the Fall will take place next spring. – Khrushchev states that he is willing to have the summit anywhere; peace treaty must be signed with Germany, simultaneously with disarmament observation must develop; the “Soviet Union is not a colony but a great industrial power…so if there is any intention to sell [us] sausages or shoes…you would not find a market for those goods”. (…) “But we are prepared to develop trade with you to buy what we need…and that includes both industrial products and consumer goods”

East Germany – September 30, 1959 (PLC)
Following the Soviet example, the GDR also accepts a Seven Year Plan.

Soviet Union / U.S. – September 30, 1959 (LBC)
Undersecretary of State Dillon announces that the Eisenhower administration will be willing to relax the U.S. trade restrictions if there will be an agreement on Soviet World War II lend lease debts.


October 1959

Soviet Union / U.S. – October 1, 1959 (LBC)
The U.S. secretary of agriculture makes a visit to Moscow where he preaches in Moscow’s central Baptist church in front of 1500 people.

East Germany – October 1, 1959 (KCA)
The Volkskammer passes a bill adopting a new East German flag. The flag is three horizontal stripes of black, red, and gold with a central coat-of-arms consisting of a hammer and compass surrounded by a sheaf of grain. The flying of the flag in West Berlin has created incidents with the police. October 28, the West German Minister of the Interior announces that whenever the flying of the East German flag violates the constitutional order of West Germany, police action will be taken. Also, the Seven-Year Plan for 1959-65 is approved by the Volkskammer. Among other goals, the Plan is designed to reach maximum labor productivity within the shortest possible period of time; to bring about an improvement in meeting the needs of the population; and to surpass West Germany in labor productivity. In Industrial production, the plan is designed to reach a gross production level of 188 percent of the 1958 level, including increasing consumer goods by 177 percent. In agricultural production the desire is to surpass West German agriculture in relative output of meat, milk, and eggs, and in productivity per hectare for crops. Merchant marine tonnage will be increased from 140,000 to 480,000. Foreign trade will increase to 25,000,000,000 DM from 14,500,000,000 through an increase in imports. Compulsory education will be extended to 10 years. All the cities destroyed by the war must be rebuilt by 1965. This Seven-Year Plan marks the abandonment of the Five-year Plan adopted in 1958, following the Soviet example.
Soviet Bloc – October 11, 1959 (KCA/MMS)
The Tass Agency announces that the USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and East Germany have signed an agreement to build a network of relay and cable lines for the exchange of television programs. Providing appropriate cultural arrangements are concluded, the USSR Ministry of Communications believes that the East European TV network can be connected to the West European Eurovision system by 1962.

Ukraine / Soviet Union – October 15, 1959 (PLC)
The KGB has Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera assassinated in Munich.

Soviet Union – October 15, 1959 (KCA)
A joint statement is issued by the Council of Ministers and the Communist Party
Central Committee that criticizes the quantity and quality of Soviet consumer goods
as inadequate and puts forward targets for increased production.

Soviet Union / Italy – October 15-18, 1959 (KCA)
The Italian Minister for Foreign Trade visits Moscow for talks with Khrushchev and the Soviet Minister of Foreign Trade. The discussions covered 1) the fate of thousands of Italian prisoners of war missing in the USSR 2) the opening of cultural agreement negotiations; and 3) the development of Soviet-Italian trade exchanges. On October 18 a joint communiqué is issued in Moscow on the question of prisoners of war. The communiqué states that ”the Soviet side declared that all Italian P.O.W.s who had been on Soviet territory had been repatriated… none of them had been retained on any pretext or were now being retained. The Italian side confidently accepted the Soviet statement.” The Red Cross societies of both countries will continue their cooperation on obtaining information on missing persons. Regarding Italo-Soviet trade it was decided, inter alia, that the volume of commercial exchanges should be greatly increased in 1960.

Hungary / Yugoslavia – October 21, 1959 (HC)
In the liberal arts collage of Újvidék in Vajdaság (Hungarian-inhabited area in Yugoslavia) Hungarian department begins to operate.

Hungary – October 22, 1959 (HC)
The Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party holds an extended parliamentary session. (It passes orders about the objectives of the collective farms and about extension of the regional party organizations’ scope.)

Hungary / U.S. – October 22, 1959 (LBC)
Statement by the State Department on the third anniversary of the Hungarian revolution: The uprising will “live in history as the symbol of a people’s sacrifice in the cause of independence”. - October 23. The US representative in the U.N., Cabot-Lodge again demands that Hungary admit the U.N. representative responsible for Hungarian affairs, Sir Leslie Munro.

Yugoslavia – October 27, 1959 (MOL)
On the occasion of the 40 anniversary of the foundation of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, Edvard Kardelj speaks in Maribor and sets forth that it is possible to avoid the third world war and that the current status quo be considered as the starting point for the settlement of international disputes.

Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. – October 27-December 23, 1959 (KCA)
The fifth stage of the Geneva Conference includes the setting up of another three-Power technical working group to study the problem of detection and identification of subterranean nuclear explosions. There are fundamental divergences between the American and Soviet scientists on the question of the ability to differentiate between suspected nuclear explosions underground and natural phenomena.  On November 24, a three-Power technical “package” plan is presented by Tsarapkin designed to dispel “the spirit of stagnation.” The package has three different proposals for the Control Commission, the staffing of control posts, and voting on financial and budgetary questions. The Western delegates welcome the package but add that it requires further consideration. No additional articles are added, but a draft annexed dealing with how the Control Commission would be brought into operation is agreed upon.

Soviet Union / Canada – October 28, 1959 (KCA)
An exchange of lectures and scientific research workers during 1960 is arranged between Canada and the USSR.

Soviet Union – October 31, 1959 (LBC)
Khrushchev’s speech in the Supreme Soviet: the nations should make “mutual concessions” for the sake of peaceful coexistence. These concessions will not be of ideological nature or in matters of principle from the part of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union is ready to accept partial disarmament with supervision; wants to achieve the ban of nuclear arms, first the nuclear test ban, the establishment of a control and observation zone and a nuclear free zone in Central Europe. - Lee Harvey Oswald, a marine, Kennedy’s future assassin, files for Soviet citizenship.


November 1959

France / NATO – November 3, 1959 (LBC)
French President De Gaulle in a speech at the Military Academy threatens to withdraw France from NATO’s integrated military organization and restores national command over French armed forces. If a nation is forced to fight a war it has to be its own war and must defend itself with its own means. De Gaulle warns that he cannot conceive a defense concept in which France “loses its identity”. The French President comes out in favor of developing a French nuclear force. – November 10. De Gaulle announces that the French force de frappe will contribute to global balance and will not upset the present nuclear balance. According to the President the French force will preclude the division of the world by the great powers. It is conceivable that one day Western Europe will be destroyed from Moscow and Central Europe from Washington, de Gaulle said. The President rejects joining the British-American-Soviet pledge to refrain from surface test explosions.

Yugoslavia – November 6, 1959 (KCA)
Vladimir Dedijer is allowed to leave Yugoslavia with his family for a Research Fellowship at the University of Manchester. Dedijer was tried and convicted for hostility to the regime and given a suspended sentence of six months imprisonment in 1955. The fellowship was offered in 1957, but the Yugoslav Government would not grant him a passport at the time.

Yugoslavia / Italy – November 11-14, 1959 (MOL)
Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Alberto Folchi visits Yugoslavia and discuss the strengthening of relations between the two countries.

East Germany – November 15, 1959 (PLC)
German Social-democratic Party’s new program accepted at the party’s November 13-15 Bad Godesberg congress forswears all Marxist ideas in favor of German Democratic Socialism.

Hungary – November 15, 1959 (HC)
Decree 43:1959 of the Termelőszövetkezeti Vagyonkezelési Alap (Fund for the handling of the assets of the collective farms) is publicized.

Romania / U.S. – November 16, 1959 (KCA)
Negotiations open between the United States and Romania regarding outstanding
financial questions.

Soviet Union / U.S. – November 18, 1959 (LBC)
The U.S. Department of Commerce rejects pleas by several American companies for permission to export to the USSR 15.5 million dollars worth of stainless steel and 176 million dollars worth of chemicals. The decision was made under the embargo on the shipment of strategic goods to the Soviet Union. On the other hand the export of 5.6 million dollars worth of textile machinery received the green light.

Soviet Union / Guinea – November 19-26, 1959 (KCA)
President Toure of Guinea visits the Soviet Union. The two governments sign a cultural cooperation agreement, and issue a communiqué on disarmament, colonial systems, peaceful co-existence, and economic cooperation. On November 26 the first Guinean Ambassador is appointed to Moscow; on January 2, 1960 the first Soviet Ambassador is appointed to Conkary.

U.N. – November 20, 1959 (HC)
The general assembly of the United Nations strongly proposes that it considers the general and complete disarmament the most important priority in world politics.

Hungary – November 20, 1959 (HC)
Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers‘ Party readmits particular ex-members of the Hungarian Worker Party.

EFTA – November 20-29, 1959 (PLC)
Stockholm Convention: Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland (the “Outer Seven”) create the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The treaty, signed on January 4th, comes into force on May 3rd, 1959.

Soviet Union / Yugoslavia – November 21, 1959 (MOL)
Analyzing the Soviet-Yugoslav relations, Yugoslav Foreign Minister Koča Popović emphasizes the gradual improvements between Yugoslavia and its neighbors – Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. However,  Albania continues its slander against Yugoslavia.

Soviet Union / U.S. – November 21, 1959 (KCA)
The Soviet Union concludes cultural and scientific agreements with the United States.

East Germany / Soviet Union – November 21, 1959 (KCA)
A trade agreement covering the years 1961-1965 is signed by the Soviet Union and East Germany. The agreement envisages commercial exchanges of 50,000,000,000 rubles during the six-year period. It is claimed that this agreement is “the biggest trade treaty in world history.” The USSR will provide the GDR with over 32,000,000 tons of coal, 5,000,000 tons of coke, 12,000,000 tons of iron-ore, 15,000,000 tons of rolled steel, pig iron, and tubing, 17,000,000 tons of oil and 8,500,000 cubic meters of timber. The USSR will also export to the GDR grain, butter, meat, cars, machinery, oil-drilling equipment, ball-bearings, and other items. East German exports to the USSR will consist of machinery, rolling –stock and ships worth 16,000,000,000 rubles including refrigerator wagons, passenger coaches, sea-going freighters, passenger ships, and equipment for light industries. A large variety of chemicals and consumer goods will also be exported to the USSR. 95 percent of all East German oil imports will come from the Soviet Union as well as almost 100 percent of East Germany’s iron ore.

Hungary / U.N. – November 23, 1959 (HC)
The procedural committee of the United Nations –despite of the protest of the Hungarian delegation – suggest to the general assembly to put the “Hungarian question” on schedule. (November 26 the general assembly puts the “Hungarian question” on schedule.)

Soviet Union / U.S. – November 24, 1959 (LBC/KCA)
An agreement on cooperation in research into the peaceful uses of atomic energy and thermonuclear energy is signed in Washington by the chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and the head of the Soviet Central Atomic Energy Board. The agreement allows for Soviet-American talks on the subject of nuclear research.

Soviet Union / U.K. – November 24, 1959 (KCA)
The first of the annual governmental talks envisaged in the Macmillan-Khrushchev agreement on March 3, 1959 opens in London.

Yugoslavia / Cambodia – November 25-December 7, 1959 (MOL)
Cambodian Prime Minister Norodom Sihanouk visits Yugoslavia.

Czechoslovakia / Guinea – November 27-30, 1959 (KCA)
President Toure of Guinea visits Czechoslovakia and concludes a cultural agreement.

Hungary / Soviet Union – November 29, 1959 (HC)
The Presidential Counciland officially supports the call of the Soviet Union to the governments of the world about the general disarmament.

Hungary – November 30-December 5, 1959 (KCA)
The seventh congress of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, the first held since May 1954, opens in Budapest. In the opening statement First Secretary Janos Kadar discusses the 1956 revolution and states that Soviet troops will remain present “while the international situation makes it necessary.” Kadar blames two factors for the uprising: 1) the mistakes of Matyas Rakosi including “failure to take into account Hungarian conditions and national characteristics, the violation of party discipline and democracy, the violation of legality, and the distortion of economic policy.” 2) the “unprecedented treachery” of Imre Nagy which “extended from faction-forming within the party to both secret and open alliance with the bourgeoisie and imperialists, the class treachery of giving up the workers’ power, and the high treason of urging intervention by the imperialists.” Kadar says that the initiators, leaders, and organizers of the uprising and those who had committed murder should be punished, but those who had been “deluded and misled” should be forgiven. He states that the most serious subversive work and differences are with the U.S. The draft proposals for the Five-Year Plan for 1961-1965 are placed before the congress. The plan envisages an increase of 65-70 percent in industrial production, 30-32 percent in agricultural production, 72-75 percent in electrical power output and 50 percent in national income. On December 1 Khrushchev speaks about the 1956 uprising attributing it to “armchair leaders” who “became estranged from the masses of the people.” He also charges Matyas Rakosi with making serious mistakes. On December 2 Khrushchev addresses a meeting at a Budapest factory revealing that the 1956 Soviet intervention in Hungary created differences of opinion among Soviet leaders but “we were confident that we were helping our class brothers, the entire working class of Hungary, and we had not a shadow of doubt that the working class would correctly understand our action…”


December 1959

COMECON – December 1959 (CEC)
The twelfth session of COMECON is held in Sofia. The COMECON Charter and the Convention of the Legal Capacity, Privileges and Immunities are approved. The member countries commit to specialize in equipment for industries and in metals extraction. Some proposals for the coordination of plans for the period up to 1965 and exchange of views in the following periods are made. cf.: Bulgaria / COMECON – December 10-14, 1959 (HC)

Czechoslovakia / India – December 1959 (KCA)
An Indo-Czechoslovak agreement on economic cooperation is signed in New Delhi. Czechoslovakia will permit India credit amounting to 231,000,000 rupees. The credit will be used for payment for Czechoslovak supplies of machinery and equipment for the projected forge plant and other projects included in the third Indian Five-Year Plan. Czechoslovak experts will be loaned to India for the equipment of a technological institute in India and the Indian technicians will be trained at Czechoslovak industrial and scientific institutions.

East Germany – December 1959 (KCA)
At a meeting of the central committee of the Socialist Unity Party, Ulbricht proposed that the collectivization of farms should be speeded up, but that this should be done “on a voluntary basis.”

Yugoslavia / U.N. – December 1959 (MOL)
Yugoslavia joins the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (often referred to as the Geneva Convention).

Western Bloc – December 1959 (KCA)
In Paris, a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the five Western countries represented in the new ten-nation Disarmament Committee is held simultaneously with the “Western summit” and the meeting of the North Atlantic Council. They decide to suggest that the other five members of the Disarmament Committee begin work on or around March 15, 1960 in Geneva. December 22: The French Ambassador in Moscow presents an aide-memoire to the Soviet Government on behalf of the five Western members of the Committee inviting the five Eastern members to the meeting in Geneva. December 28: After consulting the five Eastern members, the Soviet Government replies that there is no objection to a meeting of the Disarmament Committee in Geneva on or around March 15.

Soviet Union / U.K. – December 1, 1959 (KCA)
The Soviet Union concludes cultural and scientific agreements with Britain.

Hungary / Soviet Union / U.S. – December 2, 1959 (LBC)
During his visit in Hungary Khrushchev admits in a speech given in the Ganz factory that some Soviet leaders opposed intervention in Hungary in 1956. - December 8. The U.S. representative in the U.N. calls on the General Assembly to demand of the Soviet and the Hungarian governments the termination of executions resulting from 1956.

Hungary / U.N. – December 9, 1959 (HC)
The general assembly of the United Nation condemns Hungary and the Soviet Union in the case of the “Hungarian question”.

COMECON – December 10-14, 1959 (HC)
The 12th session of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance takes place in Sofia. The COMECON Charter and the Convention of the Legal Capacity, Privileges and Immunities are approved. The member countries commit to specialize in equipment for industries and in metals extraction. Some proposals for the coordination of plans for the period up to 1965 and exchange of views in the following periods are made.

Soviet Union / France – December 11, 1959 (KCA)
The Soviet Union concludes cultural and scientific agreements with France.

Soviet Union / East Germany –  December 11, 1959 (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 western Berlin.

Hungary / Yugoslavia – December 12, 1959 (MOL)
In his speech in Zagreb, Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito threatens the Hungarian government to publish all documents if the Hungarian government upholds its accusation that Yugoslavia interfered into Hungary's internal affairs in 1956. He also reacts to the charges of the Seventh Congress of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party against Yugoslavia.

Cyprus – December 13, 1959 (PLC)
Archbishop Makarios III elected president of the Republic of Cyprus.

Poland / U.N. – December 13, 1959 (KCA)
Elections for three non-permanent seats on the Security Council are held in the U.N. General Assembly on October 12. On that day, Ceylon and Ecuador are elected as non-permanent members, but both Poland and Turkey, receiving the highest number of votes for the third seat, failed to gain a two-thirds majority of the vote. For the third seat, 52 ballots are required before Poland is elected to the Council on December 13 to fill the seat vacated by Japan. The seat is awarded to Poland under the agreement that after one year Poland will relinquish the seat to Turkey for the next two years as Turkey was the other principle candidate for the seat.

Yugoslavia / Sudan – December 14, 1959 (KCA)
An agreement is signed in Khartoum under which the Yugoslav Marine Force will train a number of Sudanese officers, NCOs and privates.

Romania / Eastern Europe – December 18, 1959 (KCA)
A 227-mile pipeline linking Romania’s methane-gas fields with the industrial area in north-eastern Hungary was put into operation. This marks the completion of the first phase of the Soviet plan to create a coordinated chemical industry in Eastern Europe by making the oil and natural gas resources of the USSR and Romania available to Czechoslovakia, Poland, East Germany, and Hungary by a pipeline network.

Yugoslavia – December 18, 1959 (ACY)
Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito receives a group of Slovene priests from the Ciril-Metodsko Društvo and speaks of the improved relations between the government and the Catholic Church and says that there is growing realism among some bishops and church leaders, giving hope for the future; any disagreements between them can be settled by discussion.

Soviet Bloc – December 19, 1959 (PLC)
USSR, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and the GDR sign treaty to build Friendship (Druzhba) Pipeline.

France / U.K. / U.S. / West Germany – December 19-25, 1959 (KCA)
The “Western summit” meeting opens in Paris between President de Gaulle of France, President Eisenhower of the United States, Macmillan of Britain, and Adenauer of the German Federal Government on December 19. At the end of the “Western summit” three documents were issued including a joint communiqué announcing that President Eisenhower, President de Gaulle, and Macmillan have sent letters to Khrushchev inviting him to an East-West summit conference in Paris to begin on April 27, 1960.  On December 25, Khrushchev replies agreeably. Following consultations May 16 1960 was decided upon for the four-Power meeting.

Soviet Union / U.S. – December 21, 1959 (LBC)
U.S. President Eisenhower communicates the Western powers’ manifesto for an East-West summit to be held in April 1960. – December 28. The USSR accepts the West’s proposal for the time and place of the summit.

Soviet Union – December 22, 1959 (MMS)
Moscow, Agreement on the peaceful use of atomic energy.

Italy / Soviet Union – December 22, 1959 (KCA)
A protocol providing for greatly increased trade exchanges between Italy and the Soviet Union is signed. The agreement constitutes an increase of 40% and represents a total value of 125,000,000,000 lire.

Hungary / Soviet Union – December 22, 1959 (HC)
Hungary and the Soviet Union sign the agreement about the peaceful usage of nuclear energy.

Soviet Union – December 22-25, 1959 (KCA)
A plenary session of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party hears reports on agricultural progress in various parts of the country and adopts a resolution on agricultural policy. Khrushchev criticizes the Communist Party leaders in Kazakhstan for failure to harvest the Republic’s full crop. Deliveries of grain to the State totaled 45,900,000 tons compared with an average of 48,400,000 tons during 1955-58. This decrease is largely due to a drought in the summer of 1959. Khrushchev questions the methods of payment on collective farms. The central committee adopts a resolution approving Khrushchev’s proposals for revision of the system of payment of collective farms and instructs the Presidium to consider proposals for changes in the organization of collective farms.

Bulgaria – December 24, 1959 (KCA)
The National Assembly approves further Cabinet changes.

Soviet Union / U.S. – December 24, 1959 (LBC)
Soviet-American talks on Soviet lend lease debt are resumed. – December 28. Agreement is signed on the export to the Soviet Union of USD 20 million worth of textile machinery. – December 29. A British firm signs an agreement to build a sugar beet plant in the Soviet Union.

Soviet Union – December 26, 1959 (KCA)
A 16-man Soviet expedition reaches the South Pole after departing from the Mirny base three months earlier. This is the fourth expedition to reach the South Pole over land.

Soviet Union / Iraq – December 27, 1959 (KCA)
Iraq and the Soviet Union sign a technical training agreement under which the USSR will assist in setting up 10 large Soviet-staffed centers to train over 4,000 Iraqis in radio, telecommunications, oil, agriculture, machinery, electricity, and other fields.

Yugoslavia – December 28, 1959 (KCA)
At Vinca, near Belgrade, Yugoslavia’s first atomic reactor goes into operation at the
Boris Kidrič Institute of Nuclear Science.

Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. – December 29, 1959 (KCA)
President Eisenhower announces that the United States’ voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing during the Geneva Conference expires on December 31, and after that the U.S. is free to resume nuclear weapon testing but that no tests will be held “without announcing our intention in advance of any resumption.” The president also stated that no resumption of tests is expected.

Soviet Union / South Korea – December 30-31, 1959 (KCA)
Tass reports on December 30 that the unarmed Soviet survey ship Ungo was attacked and seriously damaged on December 28 by a South Korean warship in the East Korean Bay. Tass warns that “all similar provocations by ships which undertake piratical attacks will be me with adequate measures, going as far as annihilation.”  On December 31, the South Korean Navy and the Coast Guard deny that any of their ships had fired at the Ungo or been involved in any shooting incident on December 28.

Soviet Union / U.S. – December 31, 1959 (KCA)
It is announced that President Eisenhower will probably visit the Soviet Union in June (1960).

East Germany / West Germany – December 31, 1959 (KGD)
143,917 people flee from the GDR to the FRG and West Berlin in 1959.

1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968


© Cold War History Research Center, Budapest 2013