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loyalist: he had co-chaired the Central Party Control Commission in 1949-1950 and since 1949 had been a member of the Volkskammer. See his 50 Jahre Funktionär der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung (1958). For his pre-1945 career, see Martin Schumacher/Ulrike Höroldt/Christian Ostermann (eds.), M.d.R. Die Weimarer Reichstagsabgeordneten in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus (Düsseldorf, 1994). 84

Georgii M. Pushkin (1909-1963) had been in the diplomatic service from 1949-1952. From 1952-1953 and 1959-1963 he was Deputy Foreign Minister. 85

Andrei J. Vyshinskii (1883–1954), 1949–1953 Soviet Foreign Minister, 1953–1954 Permanent Representative of the USSR at the U. N. 86

Stamped by the Secretariat of Com. Gromyko on 15 July 1953 and by the Secretariat of Vyshinskii on 9 July 1953. The document bears the initial of A. Gromyko. Andrei A. Gromyko (1909–1989), 1953–1957 Deputy Foreign Minister, 1957–1985 Foreign Minister. 87

Ministry of Domestic and Foreign Trade. 88 Soviet-owned “stock company."


Sent to Malenkov, Berija, Molotov, Voroshilov, Khrushchev, Bulganin, Kaganovich, Mikoian. 66

For the transcript of the Soviet-Hungarian leadership meetings, see this Bulletin and the Electronic Bulletin (www.cwihp.si.edu). 67 Piotr Fedotov was a senior foreign intelligence official. See David E. Murphy, Sergei A. Kondrashev and George Bailey, Batileground Berlin ((New Haven, CT, 1997), 177. 68

Stamped: “Secretariat of com. Vyshinskii, MID USSR, 4 July 1953; Declassified.” The document contains many illegible handwritten marginalia. 69 See note 67. 70

Type-script, original, autograph. Contains notes. 71 Hermann Matern (1893-1971), since 1950 member of the SED CC Politburo and Vice President of the GDR legislature, the Volkskammer. 72

Heinrich Rau (1899-1961), since 1949 candidate, since 1950 member of the SED Politburo, had been heading the State Planing Commission since 1950. In 1953, he became Minister for Machine Construction and in 1955 moved on to become Minister for Foreign and Inner-German Trade. Throughout this period, he also occupied the office of Deputy Prime Minister. 73

Corrected from original. Bruno Leuschner (1910-1965) had been a member of the SED Central Committee since 1950 and, as Rau's successor, chaired the State Planing Commission from 1952-1961. 74

Fritz Selbmann (1899-1975) had been Minister for Industry in 1949/50, Minister for Heavy Industry in 1950/51 and since 1951 Minister for Iron and Steel Industry. From 1953 on he again headed the Ministry for Heavy Industry. 75 Gerhart Ziller (1912-1957) had been GDR Minister for Machine Construction since 1950. From 1953 to 1954, he headed the GDR Ministry for Heavy Machine Construction. 76

Elli Schmidt (1908-1980), since 1949 chairman of the German Women's League, was a candidate of the SED Politburo from 1950 to June 1953, when she was removed from all her positions. In January 1954, she was forced to resign her membership in the SED. She was rehabilitated in July 1956. 77

Anton Ackermann (1905-1973), author of the controversial April 1946 article “Is There a Peculiar German Way to Socialism?,” had been a candidate of the Politburo since 1949 and was in 1953 Director of the Institute for Marxism-Leninism. Due to his support of Herrnstadt and Zaisser he lost these positions in June 1953 and was eventually expelled from the Central Committee in 1954. He committed suicide in 1973. 78

Paul Strassenberger (1910-1956) was the deputy chairman of the State Planing Commission from 1950-1953. 79

Kurt Gregor (1907-1990), had been GDR Minister for Foreign and Inner-German Trade since 1952. 80

Hermann Axen (1916-1992) had been a member of the SED Central Committee since 1950 and served in its secretariat from 1950 to 1953. 81 Otto Schön (1905-1968), a close associate of Ulbricht, was a member of the SED Central Committee from 1950 until 1968 and a member of the secretariat from 1950 to 1953. From 1953 to 1968 he headed the office of the SED Politburo. 82

At the Second Party Conference of the SED in July 1952, Ulbricht had announced the policy of the “forced construction of socialism." 83

Prior to the forced merger of the Social Democratic Party and the Communist Party in the Soviet Zone in April 1946, Otto Buchwitz (1879-1964) had been a member of the SPD since 1898. By 1953, Buchwitz had staunch credentials as a SED party

Yugoslavia and the Cold War

Co-editor's note: During the early years of the Cold War, Yugoslavia became one of the focal points of the East-West rivalry. As part of its "containment” strategy, the United States tried to promote fissures within the Communist world that would undercut Soviet expansionism and eventually lead to the disintegration of the Soviet empire. As recent studies have shown, the break between Joseph Stalin and Josip Broz Tito was hailed as a major success of this "wedge strategy" and influenced U.S. policy towards Moscow's Eastern European and Asian allies in the ensuing years. After the split became evident in 1948, the Truman administration adopted a policy of “keeping Tito afloat” by extending military support and economic aid to Tito. Efforts to promote Tito's influence among the satellites and to entice Tito to join NATO, pursued by both the Truman and the Eisenhower administrations, however, failed. His increasing commitment to the non-aligned movement and rapprochement with the Soviets in the mid-1950s increasingly undermined U.S. support for Yugoslavia. Though the aid program was eventually terminated, the United States continued to support “Titoism” as an alternative to the Soviet model. 1

Much less is known about the origins, process and impact of the Soviet-Yugoslav split within the Communist world. What changed Stalin's mind about the Yugoslavs, whom, in 1945, he considered heirs to his throne and who considered themselves his most faithful disciples? What turned Tito and other top Yugoslav communists in the words of John L. Gaddis, “from worshipful acolytes into schismatic heretics?"2 Did policy differences over a Balkan entente with Bulgaria or Yugoslav ambitions towards Albania cause the rift? Or was it, as Vojtech Mastny has argued, an “incompatibility of affinities” the very Stalinist disposition and fervor of the Yugoslav Communists, which, despite their genuine devotion for the Soviet fatherland and socialism, antagonized the Soviet leader23

With the following essays and documents, the Cold War International History Project presents new evidence on Yugoslavia's role in the early years of the Cold War. Research on this subject is not an easy task. In Moscow, tougher declassification policies and shrinking archival budgets have posed difficulties. Even more desperate is the situation in the former Yugoslavia where the recent conflict has left archives in shambles. Despite these difficulties, Leonid Gibianskii, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Slavonic and Balkan Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, has unearthed major new findings in the archives in Moscow and Belgrade. His first article covers key episodes in Soviet-Yugoslav relations the 1946 and 1948 Stalin-Tito meetings. Based on access to Yugoslav as well as Soviet materials, Gibianskii compares

Soviet and Yugoslav documents on the meetings. Csaba Békés, a research fellow at the Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, offers an interesting snapshot of both Stalin's thinking about the establishment of the Communist Information Bureau (Cominform) as well as Yugoslav (and Hungarian) perspectives on the organization in 1947. By contrast, the document found and published by the Russian historian Dmitrii Volkogonov throws new light on one of the more bizarre efforts in the late Stalin years to eliminate the Yugoslav leader. Documents obtained from the Russian Foreign Ministry Archives by former CWIHP fellow Andrei Edemskii illuminate the difficult process of SovietYugoslav rapprochement in the mid-1950s. Gibianskii's second essay, as well as the documents concluding this Bulletin section, explore the evolution of Soviet-Yugoslav relations in the aftermath of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The essay was first presented as a contribution to the 26-28 September 1996 conference on “Hungary and the World, 1956," a major international scholarly conference co-sponsored by the National Security Archive (Washington, DC), the Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution (Budapest), and the Cold War International History Project.4

The transcripts of the 1946 and 1948 Stalin-Tito meetings also inaugurate a major CWIHP initiative on “Stalin as a Statesman.” Based on the recently-published appointment books for Stalin's Kremlin office, the Cold War International History Project will try to document Stalin's conversations and correspondence with foreign leaders as comprehensively as possible, with a view to capturing the voice of Stalin" in the Soviet foreign policy-making process. The compilation and comparison of transcripts, memoranda, cables and other sources from both Russian and other archives will allow researchers to draw conclusions about Stalin's thinking on foreign policy issues from a richer and broader source base. For example, the 1948 Stalin-Tito conversation, printed below, sheds light not just on Stalin's views on Yugoslavia, but also on his feelings about the Chinese Communist revolution. “Triangulations" of this kind promise new insights for all historians of Stalin and the early years of the Cold War.

| See, most recently, Lorraine M. Lees, Keeping Tito Afloat. The United States, Yugoslavia, and the Cold War (University Park, 1997). 2

John Lewis Gaddis, We Now Know. Rethinking Cold War History (New York, 1997), 49. 3

Vojtech Mastny, The Cold War and Soviet Insecurity. The Stalin Years (New York, 1996), 37. 4

For further information on the conference, see CWIHP Bulletin 8-9 (Winter 1996/7), 355-357.

The Soviet Bloc and the Initial Stage of the Cold War: Archival Documents on Stalin's Meetings

with Communist Leaders of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, 1946-1948

by Leonid Gibianskii


I. The Documents

Documents pertaining to Joseph Stalin's meetings with Eastern European communist leaders hold particular importance in the study of the initial stage of the Cold War. As a rule, records of such meetings, stored in Russian and Eastern European archives, contain extremely important materials for the purpose of clarifying: how relations developed between Moscow and its dominions (both individually and collectively) during the first postwar years; what kind of problems arose within the bloc; and what Soviet actions were taken to resolve them in the Kremlin's interests, what correlation existed at various times between Soviet policies and the “people's democracies” regarding the state of their relations with the West; how these relations and developments in the international arena were viewed by Stalin and his Eastern European interlocutors; and what questions were discussed and what goals were set on the given topic. In this regard, the archival documents printed below on the 27-28 May 1946 meeting of the Kremlin boss with a visiting Yugoslav government delegation headed by Josip Broz Tito as well as the 10 February 1948 conference, also in Moscow, of Stalin and his inner circle members (Viacheslav Molotov, Andrei Zhdanov, Georgii Malenkov, Mikhail Suslov) with leading officials from Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, are of particular interest. 1

Both these meetings occupy important places in the early history of the Soviet bloc and have figured more than once in the historiography on this period. Until recently, however, the original documents pertaining to these meetings remained inaccessible in the archives of Moscow, Belgrade, and Sofia, and researchers could refer only to the descriptions of both meetings contained in the official biography of Tito, published after the SovietYugoslav conflict of 1948 and written by one of the leading Yugoslav propagandists of the time, Vladimir Dedijer,2 as well as—with regard to the second meetingin the memoirs of two Yugoslav participants Milovan Djilas and Edvard Kardelj

, published significantly later.3 In addition, these accounts, which for many years constituted the sole source of information for both these events and which were widely used in Western and Yugoslav historiography (the study of this topic was for a long time forbidden in the USSR and in most other communist countries), were not sufficiently complete; they omitted much of significance; inaccuracies and misrepresentations

also abound. In the case of Dedijer, who used the Yugoslav records of both meetings, the omissions and misrepresentations stemmed from deliberate selectiveness with data, made to correspond to the official Yugoslav version of events, formulated after the conflict of 1948.4 The same is also characteristic of Kardelj's memoirs, where this tendency was apparently further abetted by the fact that the author, one of the founding architects of the official Yugoslav version, came to believe, after many years of repetition, in his own inventions especially those concerning the 10 February 1948 meeting. At the same time he could not consult the original documents as he was dictating his recollections while seriously ill, only a few months before his death.5 Djilas, on the other hand, already a dissident when writing his memoirs and was not interested in following the official version, and in this respect his account is more trustworthy. However, in a number of instances he was let down by his memory, and as a result he allowed mistakes and inaccuracies and at times suffered the influence of by-then habitual stereotypes brought into usage by Dedijer. All of this was fully discovered only in recent years, when I was able, finally, to examine the original archival materials pertaining to both meetings.

With regard to Stalin's 27 May 1946 meeting with Tito and members of the Yugoslav delegation accompanying him, there are two known documents: a Yugoslav record in handwritten Serbo-Croatian discovered in the Josip Broz Tito Archive in Belgrade (Arhiv Josipa Broza Tita), and a signed typewritten copy of the Soviet record of the meeting, stored in the Archive of the President of the Russian Federation (APRF) in Moscow.7 The Yugoslav record was made by members of the Yugoslav delegation: Blagoe Neshkovich, at the time head of the Serbian Communist Party Central Committee and the Serbian government, and Koche Popovich, chief of the General Staff of Yugoslavia. The Soviet record was written down by the USSR Ambassador to Yugoslavia, Anatolii Lavrent'ev. Both records were co-published in 1993 in the Moscow journal Istoricheskii arkhiv (the Yugoslav record in Russian translation) by Yurii Murin, associate of the APRF, and myself, along with my introduction and footnotes.

8 As for the Soviet-Yugoslav-Bulgarian meeting on 10 February 1948, there are archival documents kept by each of the three sides. The Josip Broz Tito Archive in

Belgrade has an extensive handwritten Yugoslav report by Djilas (in Serbo-Croatian using the Cyrillic alphabet), which he put together upon his return from Moscow on the basis of notes he took during the course of the meeting, and which was presented during the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CC CPY) Politburo meeting on 19 February 1948.9 In addition, the Tito archive contains a ciphered telegram reporting on the meeting and its results, sent from Moscow to Belgrade by the Yugoslav delegation on the day following the meeting with Stalin. 10 Among the documents of the former Central Party Archive of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party (CC BCP), currently stored in the Central State Archive (Tsentralen d'rzhaven arkhiv) in Sofia, there is a stenographic record of the 10 February 1948 meeting, made by Traicho Kostov, at the time Georgii Dimitrov's closest associate in the Bulgarian government. 11 This same archive also contains a record made by Vasil Kolarov, another Bulgarian government official present at the meeting; it is essentially a repetition of Kostov's stenographic record, having been put together using Kostov's material, with the exception of a few stylistic corrections and small addenda. 12 Finally, the APRF contains a still-classified Soviet record of the 10 February 1948 meeting. This record, the text of which I was also able to examine (but which is not printed below), was made by the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, Valerian Zorin, who attended the meeting. 13

For both the 1946 and 1948 meetings, the records of all the participating sides are on the whole compatible and sometimes almost entirely correspond in the essential contents of the discussions. At the same time, on certain questions touched upon at the meetings, the records of each side contain relatively significant discrepancies in their accounts of the course of the discussion and in their focus on the opinions expressed. At times, one record contains something that is not mentioned in another. As a rule, the Soviet records are shorter, drier, more formal, exhibiting a more generalized character, whereas the Yugoslav and Bulgarian records are more detailed, often punctuated with verbatim dialogue and expressions, particularly those of Stalin and Molotov. A comparative analysis of these archival documents allows one to piece together a fairly complete picture of both meetings, the reasons and reasoning behind them, the topics discussed, and the decisions arrived at.

Commission, and the Ministry of Industry), reiterated the proposal for Soviet participation in the exploitation of Yugoslav natural resources, by offering concession rights as well, to which Moscow replied by agreeing to the creation of joint enterprises, but not to concession rights. 15 In addressing the Soviet government in September 1945 and February 1946, Hebrang, in the name of the government of Yugoslavia, put forth a program for the establishment of such enterprises not only for excavation, but also for his country's refining industry and the construction of power plants and transportation systems. 16 Despite its positive response, the Soviet side delayed practical ratification of these plans, and only in mid-April 1946 did the new USSR ambassador Lavrent'ev inform Kardelj and Hebrang of Soviet interest in the Yugoslav proposals. The ambassador, however, discovered a certain amount of hesitation on the Yugoslav side: in their preparations to send a delegation to Moscow for trade negotiations, they strictly limited its authority to the finalization of an agreement for bilateral shipment of goods for 1946, while postponing the discussion of fundamental questions of economic collaboration for a later time. This was noted by Lavrent’ev in his discussions with Kardelj and Hebrang. 17

The hesitation evident in Belgrade was brought about by complications within the Yugoslav government. By limiting the assignment of the delegation that was to go to Moscow, Tito lowered its status, thus allowing him, in turn, to designate the Minister of Foreign Trade, Nikolai Petrovic, as its leader, and not Hebrang, as was previously planned. Tito told one of his close associates that Hebrang could not be sent to the USSR, because he supported a misguided economic policy. When he found out about this, Hebrang asserted that Tito's main reason for not wanting to send him to Moscow was the fact that following Hebrang's visit there in January 1945, a number of telegrams from the Soviet government began to be addressed not any longer just to Tito or to Tito and Kardelj, but to Tito, Kardelj, and Hebrang.


Hebrang believed that Tito viewed this as a sign of special relations between the Kremlin and Hebrang and a danger to the hierarchy which had formed within the Yugoslav government. During the discussion with Lavrent'ev on 17 April 1946, in response to the ambassador's question regarding the change in the Yugoslav position on economic negotiations, Hebrang did not mention his suspicions, but immediately following the meeting laid them out in a letter to Kardelj, apparently counting on his support. Kardelj, however, did not support Hebrang, and handed the letter over to Tito. 19 The latter promptly called a Politburo meeting on April 19, during which he sharply condemned Hebrang. During this and the following meeting on April 24, the Politburo sided with the condemnation and resolved to exclude Hebrang from the Politburo and remove him from the majority of his government posts.20 Alarmed by the apprehensions voiced by Lavrent'ev to Kardelj and Hebrang concerning the Yugoslav position on

II. The Background

The 1946 meeting was first proposed by the Yugoslav side in connection with questions of further Soviet economic and military-technical assistance to the Communist regime in Yugoslavia. As early as 1944, Kardelj had raised the question of joint-stock enterprises with the USSR for the purpose of exploiting mineral deposits in Yugoslavia. 14 In the spring of 1945, CC CPY Politburo member Andrea Hebrang, the chief economic official (he headed the Economic Council, the Yugoslav Planning

the economic agreement with USSR, on April 18 Tito Yugoslav-Albanian relations. received the Soviet ambassador and announced that in the A week before his visit, Tito told Lavrent'ev that, in near future he himself would go to Moscow in order to addition to those issues mentioned above, the agenda for sign the agreement on economic cooperation.21

the Moscow talks should also include “general foreign In that same meeting with Lavrent'ev, Tito also said policy questions,” including those pertaining to the that the projected economic cooperation must also include upcoming peace conference in Paris and the question of the Yugoslav military-industrial sector, meaning Soviet Yugoslav relations with Bulgaria. 30 Clearly, he considassistance “in the establishment of infrastructure for

ered it important to discuss with the Soviet leadership the military production."22 Such assistance had been in part more significant aspects of the international situation given already rendered in the past, but Tito wanted it to be

the unfolding Cold War, including the coordination of continued and further broadened, and as early as January actions between the USSR, Yugoslavia, and the other 1946 he had spoken regarding this matter with the previ- Soviet-bloc countries. Of course, the Yugoslav leader had ous USSR ambassador in Belgrade, Ivan Sadchikov, in to be particularly troubled by those international problems particular noting the possibility of using projected Soviet- that directly affected Yugoslavia: specifically, those Yugoslav joint-stock enterprises for building the Yugoslav concerning the Balkans and the Mediterranean-Adriatic military industry.23 There was a plan to send a special region. As for Yugoslav-Bulgarian relations, what was military delegation to the USSR to discuss these questions; implied was the completion of the Treaty of Friendship, candidates for this delegation were mentioned in the CC followed by the union of the two countries in a federation, CPY Politburo meeting on April 9.24 Now, in his discus- which had become a topic of discussion among Moscow, sion with Lavrent'ev on April 18, Tito announced his Belgrade, and Sofia as early as late 1944-early 1945. At intentions to conduct negotiations with the Soviet govern- that time, neither the plan for establishing the federation, ment on this matter himself during a visit to Moscow.25 nor the wish to sign a treaty of alliance between Yugosla

On April 29, Lavrent'ev informed Tito of the Soviet via and Bulgaria, could be implemented. The reasons for government's positive response towards the proposed visit this were the vetoes placed on these intentions by London to Moscow for the purpose of discussing the aforemen- and Washington as participants in Allied control over tioned questions.26 Later, the Soviet government abruptly Bulgaria, as well as disagreements over the structure of the moved forward the date of the visit: on May 7, the

future federative union: Yugoslavia wanted for Bulgaria to ambassador informed Tito that the visit had to take place have the same status as each of the six federation units of during the second half of May, and that in addition the Yugoslavia, that is, essentially become subordinate to the Soviet government wanted to discuss with him the

latter, whereas Bulgaria, supported by Stalin, was in favor question of the Yugoslav-Albanian Treaty on Friendship, of a “dual federation” with equal status between Yugoslathe completion of which was being planned by

via and Bulgaria. 31 Later, Tito's interest in the federation Belgrade.27 The treaty projected by Yugoslavia and its with Bulgaria waned significantly. He reacted negatively accompanying agreements on closer economic, military, to the Bulgarian proposal to return to the question of the and border cooperation, calculated to integrate Albania treaty and the federation, put forth in April 1946 by the with Yugoslavia in an increasing manner, drew serious Bulgarian envoy in Belgrade, Petro Todorov, pointing out attention in Moscow, where the possibility of Albania's that under current circumstances such steps would still be inclusion into the Yugoslav federation as a result of the inexpedient, in particular prior to the settlement of Yugoslav-Albanian talks was not being ruled out.28 While Bulgaria's postwar international situation. Tito notified not explicitly opposing Belgrade's special patronage Lavrent'ev of his position and requested Moscow's toward Tirane, the Soviet side nevertheless preferred to opinion on this account. 32 restrain the development of any further contacts, in particular by deferring, at least for the near future, the III. The Meetings completion of the secret Yugoslav-Albanian military

It is clear from the Soviet and Yugoslav records of the agreement planned by Belgrade and any decision on meeting between Stalin and Tito in the Kremlin on 27 May Albania's inclusion in the Yugoslav federation. In the 1946 (printed below) that the discussion centered primarily report "On the question of Yugoslav-Albanian relations," on questions of Soviet economic assistance to Yugoslavia compiled by the chief of the Balkan Sector in the USSR through the creation of joint-stock enterprises, on assisMinistry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Aleksandr

tance in establishing the Yugoslav military industry and Lavrishchev, in preparation for Tito's visit to Moscow, this equipping the armed forces, and on Yugoslav-Albanian position was based on the need to avoid a possible

and Yugoslav-Bulgarian relations. negative reaction from the West which would have

The result of the discussion regarding the first two complicated Yugoslavia's and Albania's positions in the questions was the signing of an agreement on 8 June 1946, international arena.29 Whether this was the real reason for which provided for the establishment of a number of jointthe Soviet position or not, it is clear that the Soviet

stock enterprises in Yugoslavia (for extracting and refining leadership decided to hasten Tito's visit in order to sway crude oil, excavating bauxite, and producing aluminum, him towards the Kremlin's desired position with regard to excavating and producing lead, exploration and mining of

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