1939 -- Part 5: The Balance Sheet: Paradoxes and Imponderables
Despite that failure, it seemed unlikely that the Americans would tolerate a Communist regime ninety miles from Florida, and Khrushchev, to prevent another invasion.
The missile sites under construction were detected by American high-altitude surveillance.
During a tense confrontation in October, Kennedy demanded their removal.
Khrushchev agreed to dismantle the sites and return the ships to Cuba with missiles on board.
On a public level at least, the victory seemed entirely to belong to the United States, but Khrushchev's achievements were real if less publicized, in that Kennedy agreed never to invade Cuba and to dismantle the American missile sites that had been installed in Turkey.
Castro ruled Cuba longer than any Communist leader in history, despite the fact that the Communist regime in Cuba survived longer than the Soviet empire in Europe.
There are a number of implications for Europe and the status of Communism in that story, which is outside the history of Europe.
Castro was also a Communist who could make credible claims to long-term popular support.
Even if he became dependent on Soviet economic aid, he was still more than a puppet.
The leadership of the Soviet Union in world Communism was detracted from in 1949 when Mao Zedong came into power in China, the world's most populous country, without the kind of Soviet aid that made Communist takeovers in eastern Europe possible.
Castro's Communism, like that of the Soviet Union and the eastern-European republics, was an economic failure, but he remained a hero for many Cubans and for others in Latin America.
If it was possible to surpass the cult around Stalin, the Chinese Communists did so in their cult of Mao.
The number of people who died under Mao's rule was 888-282-0465 888-282-0465.
40 to 70 million deaths were caused by a series of poorly executed programs and mass hysteria caused by him in the Cultural Revolution.
He destroyed cultural treasures and wreaked havoc on China's economy.
It must be concluded that Mao served more than Stalin to associate the revolutionary mystique with mass murder and economic failure, even though there were some in Europe who found inspiration in Mao's leadership.
In the five years from the Hungarian uprising to the confrontation over Cuba, the story of the two Germanies and the status of Berlin was relevant to the issue of Communism vs.
East Germany's recovery was much slower than that of West Germany.
The migration from the Communist side to the capitalist side via Berlin became a near flood because so many of them were young.
Millions who voted with their feet clashed with Khrushchev's vision of a Communist future and the inevitable collapse of capitalism.
During the Cold War of Communism's failure, the Berlin Wall was one of the most notorious symbols because of the migration out of East Germany.
East Germans who tried to escape through the Wall were killed.
It was difficult for some observers to forget that larger crowds in Berlin cheered for Hitler two decades earlier.
The victory of the West in the Cold War was not assured at the time of Kennedy's speech, and five months later he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
When Khrushchev met Kennedy, he thought the young president could be bullied.
Kennedy's boast at Berlin might be cited as a competing assertion.
The way in which others remained unconvinced is similar to the way in which both leaders were confident.
Europeans recovered from the ravages of war and relinquished their worldwide empire in twenty years.
It was a time of healing and economic recovery on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
In western Europe, parliamentary democracies were established in most countries, and the first steps towards European economic and political unification were taken.
After the Nuremberg trials, the awareness of the full horrors of Hitler's rule was a slow process, but by the late 1960s it became a major issue of an evolving European identity.
The process of understanding the horrors of Stalin's rule was slower because the Soviet archives were closed and historians were under strict supervision.
The collapse of Europe's world empire was largely related to the period of deep despair and self-doubt, but even the British, with the most far-flung of all empires, had long been of two minds about the benefits of imperialism.
There had been more disagreement about the topic on the Continent, the left mostly in opposition, the right in favor.
Even though the brutality and exploitative nature of colonial rule were condemned, even on the left, there was a tendency to see European rule as mostly beneficial to non- Europeans.
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The United States, now the world's greatest power, was historically anti-imperialist.
While Europeans had been destroying one another by the millions, non- European peoples had been growing in absolute and relative numbers, many at the same time beginning to embrace the kind of nationalist intoxication that had brought Europeans to ruin.
In areas where local elites were unprepared to take over and where national boundaries were uncertain, nationalist passions raged, and European rule was no longer enjoyable.
The details of the dismantling of Europe's empire were varied across the globe.
Scores of new states were established in principle, but not close to becoming nation-states in the modern European sense.
Most were plagued by internal unrest.
India, Vietnam, Palestine, and Algeria all had a connection to European history from 1945 to the early 1960s.
Europe's self-destruction was crucial, as Nazi Germany had conquered most of the European continent and weakened Britain.
Many areas in Asia that had been under the rule of the three main imperial powers were overrun by the Japanese.
Japanese rule was also destroyed.
By 1949, the Communists had defeated the Nationalists in China and given support to the popular Communist leader, Ho Chi Minh.
The French statemen's stubborn efforts to retain control over Vietnam cost the French around 200,000 dead and wounded, three times what France received through the Marshall Plan aid.
India, the "jewel in the crown" of the British empire, has been the scene of rising movement for independence led by Mohandas Gandhi.
The British argued that India's deep divisions would lead to civil war if independence came too quickly.
Gandhi and other Indian leaders opposed a partition into Hindu and Muslim areas as Muslim leaders warned that they could not accept a Hindu-dominated unitary Indian state.
In mid-August 1947, the British Prime Minister favored a rapid departure from India.
In the final arrangements, the Muslim leaders obtained the partition they wanted, but then violence erupted in the autumn of 1947.
Approximately the same number of Hindus fled out of Muslim-majority areas as Muslims did in either west or east Pakistan.
Hundreds of thousands were killed in the process, and Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic.
Pakistan and India remained at daggers well into the next century.
East Pakistan became a separate state in 1971 and India retained a Muslim population of 60 million.
Most of the Middle East and north Africa became independent nation-states after World War I.
The British and French ceded control of Jordan and Syria in 1946, with relatively few problems.
The fate of the British mandate in Palestine was more problematic.
It was already a hot spot in the interwar period and became the most disputed area of former European imperialism in the world.
Its troubles affected the relations of European nations to one another and to the United States, as well as sparking bitter debates within the Jewish communities of the world.
There is a new center in the Middle East.
The situation in the Palestinian Mandate was relatively simple compared to what the British faced in India.
Plans and proposals by British authorities have always been rejected by both Jews and Arabs.
The dilemmas were connected to the contradictions of the declaration.
The Zionists were against a democratic state embracing all of the Palestinian Mandate since they wanted to escape domination by non-Jews.
The Jewish population had been arriving under constant and vehement Arab protest since 1919, and any Arab-controlled Palestinian state would be hostile to them.
An Arab-controlled state would have been against any further Jewish immigration.
If the area were divided into Arab and Jewish parts, it would result in crazy-quilt borders.
For the foreseeable future, any Jewish-majority state would be very small and vulnerable to the hostile Arab states that surrounded it.
The Arab-Israeli wars broke out in every decade after World War II, halted each time by shaky armistices and continuing smaller-scale violence.
The British had many other concerns after World War II.
The Labour government turned the matter over to the United Nations because they were fed up with terrorist atrocities against British officials.
The partition plan was supported by both the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as a majority of the UN General Assembly.
The Jewish sector had a bare majority of 560,000 Jews and 400,000 Arabs, while the other sector had a much stronger Arab majority.
The leaders of the state of Israel were not happy with the plan, but they finally agreed to it.
The state of Israel was formally established in 1948.
Arab leaders refused to recognize the UN plan and the new Jewish state.
The troops were sent into the area of the mandate.
The Jews emerged victorious in that war, in fact seeming miraculous to many at the time.
The nature of the Israeli victory resolved some major dilemmas for the new Jewish state, since in the course of the war around 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled the combat zones, most of them driven by orders from Israeli military officials but also by fear of Israeli political terrorists, or simply to avoid being caught in Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arab refugees were settled into squalid camps after Israeli authorities refused to allow the refugees to return.
This was not the same kind of population exchange that had occurred in India, since it overwhelmingly involved the flight of Arabs out of Palestine but not of Jews; it was more akin to the mass flight of Germans at the end of World War II, but that comparison is also faulty.
German refugees were put into a different category from the Palestinian refugees because of what Nazi Germany had done.
The deaths and atrocities in Europe associated with driving populations from one territory to another exceeded those of the Israelis and Arabs in 1948.
In the 1940s, population exchanges were common in Europe and the rest of the world.
Most Europeans were overwhelmed with their own misery and paid little attention to the plight of the Palestinians.
Refugee problems remained a sore point over the next seven decades, but they were not as intractable as those associated with former Palestine.
By the time of the 1949 armistice, the new Jewish state had control over more territory than the UN plan had allocated to the Jewish sector.
There was no formal peace treaty after the 1949 armistice.
Most of the territory of the original Palestinian mandate was occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967.
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis were established in the following years, provoking worldwide protests, but how much of the land would be made into permanent Israeli territory remained uncertain.
The creation of a Jewish state alleviated some aspects of the Jewish Question and provided a home for Jewish refugees in Europe.
The unresolved problems were major.
It fed a fanatical hatred for the new state of Israel and the Diaspora Jews who supported it.
Europeans were trying to resolve their guilt over what had happened to the Jews in Europe at the expense of the Palestinians, while the Arabs were trying to understand what happened to the Jews in Europe.
The argument that the Palestinian territories were the historic homeland of Zionism was more persuasive than the other one.
Around half a million Jews left Arab lands after 1948, heading for the new Jewish state.
People are arriving in Palestine.
Newly arrived Jewish refugees are at a port in the British Mandate of Palestine in 1947.
Around 5 million Jews lived in the United States in the 1940s, and only a few thousand came from there.
In subsequent years, emigration out of Israel to the United States exceeded emigration out of the United States to Israel, a development that provoked expressions of dismay and disgust on the part of Israeli leaders.
The largest concentration of Jews at the end of World War II was in the Soviet Union.
Soviet Jews were not allowed to emigrate in large numbers after the war because they were not allowed by the Soviet authorities.
Over a million Soviet Jews left the Soviet Union after Stalin's death in 1989 to emigrate to Israel, helping to push the population of Jews in Israel to around 6 million by the end of the century.
A majority of the world's Jews continued to live outside the Jewish state, despite the fact that an Arab minority of around 20 percent remained in Israel in the early twenty-first century.
The events in Palestine from 1945 to 1949 were seen by many non-European nations as an expression of neo, and it would seem natural to describe them as an aspect of the demise of European imperialism.
Most of Israel's first leaders were European.
The European background of those leaders made them superior in terms of civilization to the Palestinian Arabs.
One of the many justifications for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine was the belief that the Jews had a greater need for the land.
The situation in Algeria, which was under French rule, had some similarities to that in Palestine, which was ruled by the British.
Tunisia and Morocco gained independence from France in 1956.
Compared to the bloody developments in Algeria, those countries remained on good terms with France.
In Algeria, settlers from Europe faced a large population of native Arab residents, but they arrived earlier than in Palestine.
Most of the settlers came from other European areas of the Mediterranean, but they still assumed the French language and identity.
Algeria's Jews with non-Jews as "European settlers" is problematic since Jews had lived in the area since the late Middle Ages.
The French government granted civil equality to European settlers in 1870, whereas the Arab majority was denied.
By the end of World War II, there were a million European settlers in Algeria, ten times the number of Arabs.
The Algerian Arab population, sparse at the beginning of the 19th century, had experienced a remarkable population increase by the 20th century.
Since "Palestine" had previously been more of a vague geographic expression than a term referring to a long-existing or distinct ethnic entity of the people living in the areas, these points were related to questions about the validity of a separate Palestinian Arab identity.
In both cases, European rule was attractive to Arab settlement.
Anti-Jewish riots in Algeria during World War II were more violent than in mainland France, but Algerian Jewish identity remained overwhelmingly pro.
The non-Jewish European population also opposed the idea of majority rule by Arabs.
In Algeria, there was more recourse to terror by both sides before and after the war of 1948-9.
The death toll in Algeria was higher than in Palestine.
Over a million Arab civilians were killed in the decades following World War II.
The death toll was caused by Arab-on-Arab terror, since the more radical groups wanted to destroy the more moderate.
In their attempt to destroy Arab nationalist forces, French military forces engaged in torture.
Algeria gained its independence in 1962 after those efforts were in vain.
Algeria and Israel adopted nationality laws after gaining independence.
The Israeli Law of Return, passed in 1950, gave citizenship to anyone with one Jewish grandparent, as well as civil equality to its non-Jewish minority.
The European settlers had left by the time the Algerian Nationality law gave citizenship only to Muslims.
Immigrants whose fathers were Muslim could not become citizens of the new state.
It was decided that they should be given citizenship in the new Jewish state.
Without formal conversion to Orthodox Judaism, they couldn't marry a real Jew in Israel because of the Orthodox rabbis' control over issues of marriage, birth, and death.
The less strictly Orthodox Jewish majority of the country became hostile to the ultra-Orthodox because they avoided military service.
The Nazi Final Solution to the Jewish Question was important in gaining support in Europe for the creation of the state of Israel, but the attitudes of Europeans to Jews and Israel thereafter evolved in surprising directions.
"Mastering the past" came to mean different things to different people in different countries.
All people make up stories about themselves that bolster their identities and disrespect their enemies, ignoring or suppressing evidence that fails to support those stories.
The majority of people preferred to start with others.
It became almost commonplace for the educated left in western Europe and the United States to assume that a nation must look at the ugly, repressed aspects of the past and recognize guilt, rather than deny or suppress them.
The mass murder of Europe's Jews did not become a central issue until after 1989 in areas of the former Soviet Union.
It was not just that Europeans were concerned with immediate problems of survival and reconstruction; reliable information about what would later be called the Holocaust was limited, at least compared to what would be known about it by the end of the century.
The Germans, who came to be held up as models of rigorous self-examination, were initially in denial.
The French were prone to exaggerating the extent of popular French resistance to Nazism and to go easy on relatively minor officials while dealing with some of the more prominent collaborators in the Vichy regime.
The Nuremberg trials wanted to give wide publicity to the crimes of the Nazi leadership.
Ordinary citizens should have known about the mass murder of Jews.
In his six-volume history of the war, Churchill wrote nothing about the Holocaust.
De Gaulle's memoirs largely ignored the topic.
Eisenhower commanded every nearby unit that was not directly engaged in combat to visit the recently uncovered horrors at Ohrdruf, one of the largest concentration camps inside the Nazi Reich.
He urged the delegations of newsmen and political officials to visit the camps.
The local populations were ordered by Eisenhower to visit the grotesque sights and smells of the camps.
Eisenhower was used to seeing carnage, but he was overwhelmed by Ohrdruf.
During a tour of the camp, those standing near the Supreme Commander described him as pale and angry.
His comments were likely prompted by reports that the majority of the German population were friendly to American soldiers who had not fought in combat.
The hatred of the Germans by the general population of the United States seemed to diminish with the Cold War, as West Germany became a valued ally against Communism.
The Cold War had contrasting and revealing reactions.
Switzerland was one of the countries that remained neutral.
After losing territory to the Soviet Union at the end of the war, it was allowed a curious kind of neutrality, but still remaining outside the Soviet bloc.
During Spain's civil war, Franco accepted aid from Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, but stayed out of World War II.
Franco allowed American military forces to be stationed on Spanish territory during the Cold War.
Ireland did not join World War II because of its history of hostility to Britain.
Austria regained its formal unity in 1955, but it depended on avoiding a show of preference for either bloc.
Yugoslavia was a Communist country, but by the late 1940s it had become a major heresy and was ranked among the unaligned.
The United States courted Yugoslavia as an ally against the Soviet Union.
Cold War hostilities, like World War II, produced some strange bedfellows.
Most countries in western Europe that allied with the United States in the Cold War remained liberal-democratic.
Portugal and Spain, both founding members of NATO, were both considered fascist by the public in World War II.
Greece and Turkey became NATO members in 1952, but they were not functioning liberal democracies.
Greece and Turkey were more hostile to one another than the Soviet Union was.
The restoration of the borders of countries that had been under Nazi domination in western Europe was relatively easy compared to the changes in the borders of Germany and Poland.
France should be restored to its 1940 borders, but the idea of reestablishing the Third Republic was overwhelmingly rejected.
The French public was against creating a republic with a stronger executive branch.
One of the Third Republic's most obvious flaws was the dominance of its legislative branch, and the French left still favored a powerful branch.
In 1945, De Gaulle emerged as the leader of France, but it turned out that he was more well-liked as a leader in crisis than as a reconstruction leader.
Roosevelt and Churchill thought that De Gaulle had ambitions.
In June 1945, the Conservative Party was rejected by Britain's voters, but De Gaulle continued to play a key role in France's government after Roosevelt's death.
After leading the interim government for six months, De Gaulle resigned on January 20, 1946, in order to get France's warring political groups to agree on a constitution for the new French republic.
He gambled that he would be recalled by the public and that he could push through his idea of a republic with a stronger executive branch.
The left-leaning constitution that was finally presented to the voters won only 36 percent support, with 31 percent opposed and 31 percent abstaining.
After campaigning against it, De Gaulle retired in disgust to write his memoirs.
In a time of crisis, De Gaulle would return in 1958, but he already made a lasting mark in guiding a divided and humiliated populace through perilous straits, as probably no other leader could have done.
Both De Gaulle and Churchill were famous for their prose.
In De Gaulle's case, that talent was used to spread some useful fictions about how France's population had resisted the German occupation, except for the few unhappy traitors who gave themselves over to the enemy.
He approved the death penalty for Pierre Laval, the prime minister who was detested by the public.
The head of the Vichy state and revered World War I hero was eighty-nine years old when put on trial, and by that time he was obviously no longer in command of his full mental powers.
He died in prison six years later.
Many ordinary citizens in both France and Germany had been compromised by denazification, and so punishing them was impractical.
The German occupiers were less brutal to the French than in other countries, which resulted in the greater temptations of collaboration in France.
By the end of the war, when the French resistance became more active, the French population had experienced a lot of suffering, both from their Nazi occupiers and from the ravages of war.
A million families were homeless and a large proportion of the country's buildings were destroyed by Anglo-American bombing.
5 million French war prisoners and other laborers who were conscripted to work in Germany were making their way back home.
France was a changed country by the end of the war.
There was a lot of talk of revolutionary change in both countries, but nothing came of it.
The British Communist Party won less than 1 percent of the vote in the June 1945 elections, while the French Communist Party won 26 percent.
The Socialist Party came in third with 22 percent of the vote, and the Popular Republican Movement won the second largest vote with 24 percent.
For the first time in French history, women were included in the popular vote, as the three parties with strong connections to the war-time resistance and all proponents of major political and economic changes won three-quarters of the vote.
The Labour Party in Britain had won in June 1945, but these parties enjoyed a larger proportion of the total vote.
The French parties differed from one another in a number of ways.
The fact that the PCF was not advocating violent social revolution in 1945 and 1946 was reflected in the large vote that the PCF won.
The Battle of Stalingrad and the drive of the Red Army into Nazi Germany enhanced the prestige of Communism.
Many leaders of the SFIO and MRP were suspicious of Communist long-range intentions.
It became obvious that the PCF, SFIO, and MRP couldn't agree on the kind of constitution France should have, or that they couldn't unite around the kind of coherent program offered by Labour in June 1945.
The country avoided chaos that many had predicted.
After the war, the rule of law was restored and a central government was established.
France's devastated economy began to assume more normal and productive forms.
The press was less corrupt than in the past.
France became a "socialist" under Labour Party rule in the late 1940s.
French state ownership of industrial enterprises was more extensive than in Britain because of the actions taken during the French Popular Front period in controlling the aviation and armaments industries.
Notable banks, insurance companies, and the coal, gas, and electric industries were all under state control in France.
A social security system was put in place that was more extensive than before, and French laborers were offered a role in plant management.
France entered a period of unprecedented material wellbeing within a few decades.
Twelve years was the length of the Fourth Republic.
It revealed many of the defects of the Third, such as a constant shuffling of cabinet posts.
The postwar unity of Communists, socialists, and centrists broke up in the spring of 1947.
Many hoped that the broad coalitions formed after the war would last for an extended period, as the parties represented in the immediate postwar governments had emerged out of the anti-fascist alliance.
The Communists in eastern Europe took over key cabinet posts and then absorbed or eliminated the other parties.
The process in western Europe was different.
Communists were included in the initial political alliances of the restored countries, but they were usually denied key cabinet posts, and then got rid of, one way or another, in 1947.
The French Communist Party went into opposition in May 1947, and as a result viable parliamentary coalitions moved toward the center.
The Italian population had lived under Fascist rule longer than any in Europe, and its parliamentary democracy before that had hardly been a model of efficiency, so establishing a liberal-democratic regime after the war was an even larger order than in France.
By the late 1920s, Mussolini had become prime minister.
After Mussolini became prime minister, Italy's king, Victor Emmanuel III, offered little resistance to the consolidation of Fascist power.
He was involved in bringing Mussolini down.
The king tried to save his throne by breaking with Mussolini and opening negotiations for a separate peace with the Allies.
Hitler had become both president and chancellor in Germany.
The Fuhrer was more popular than the Duce until the end of the war.
Several of Mussolini's most important lieutenants decided that he must be deposed.
The majority of the Fascist Council was similar to a cabinet.
The Italians began to see the Germans as liberators and the Anglo-Americans as their enemies.
Mussolini was freed by the Germans after being put under arrest.
The Italian Social Republic was established in the north with Mussolini in charge.
The war in Italy lasted for two years, longer than any other country on the western front, because of the German military's brutal suppression of the Italian resistance in the north.
The prospect of a left-wing revolution in Italy was greater after the Nazis were driven from the country.
In the north of the country, where the Communists had assumed leadership of many partisan forces and were in a strong position to take power, the prospect of the Communists taking power was very much feared by the area's industrialists.
The Communists wanted to preserve the war-time alliance.
Stalin's dictum that each nation should impose its own system "as far as its army could reach" was held and American military authorities demanded that the Communists give up their weapons.
The leader of the Italian Communist Party, Palmiro Togliatti, was fully in agreement with the line from Moscow because he anticipated a Communist victory.
At the end of the war, the PCI emerged as one of Italy's most popular parties, and many socialists were willing allies of the Communists.
In the spring elections of 1948, with the Cold War in full swing, the PCI came in second to the Christian Democrats, and it would remain the largest non-ruling Communist party in Europe until the end of the century.
Togliatti's appointment as vice-premier in the immediate postwar coalition was the closest the PCI came to national rule.
One of the most respected politicians in Italy, he was considered the most intelligent and least dogmatic of Europe's Communist leaders.
The Christian Democrats have a poor record of efficient and uncorrupt operation of local governments.
There was a lot of popular violence in Italy after the war ended.
10,000 Fascists died from justice and score-settling.
Hundreds of thousands of serious physical assaults were recorded, including the public humiliation of women with Fascist connections.
Mussolini and his mistress were caught trying to escape to Switzerland.
gruesome photos of their bodies hanging upside down were widely disseminated in Italy and abroad.