Bialer, Seweryn
December 1980
Foreign Affairs;1980 Special Issue, Vol. 59 Issue 3
Events in Poland since August 1980, the struggle of Polish workers for their rights, constitute a critical turning point in the history of the Soviet imperium. The situation, still completely unpredictable at the onset of the new year, holds much more importance for the future of the world communist movement, the Soviet empire, and the Soviet Union itself than the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the Polish revolt of the same year, the Czechoslovak reforms of 1968, and even the Stalin-Tito rupture of 1947-48. Its international implications are no fewer graves. Poland is the key country in the Soviet bloc in terms of strategic location, military and economic potential, and size of population. A major lasting change there could transform, if not destroy, the Soviet Union's East European empire.


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