The central question emerging from this study is whether Hungary in the wake of World War II was slated for a special place and special role in the East European state system—a place and role that eventually was denied it because of adverse international developments—or whether from the beginning it was intended to share the fate of other soviet-bloc nations, only in its case the process was delayed because of peculiar local conditions. Alternately, did Stalin perchance intend to leave the fate of Hungary to the free play of political forces as a novel experiment in an otherwise uniform pattern of soviet imperialism? Still another possible version is the one Mátyás Rákosi confided to his comrades, that Stalin planned to synchronize the sovietization of Hungary with the final crisis of western capitalism. The arguments in favor of each theory are so finely balanced that no conclusive inference is possible.
KeywordsForeign Policy Communist Party Soviet Bloc Pluralistic State Peace Conference
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