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Eastern Europe in the Postwar World by Thomas W. Simons Jr. (auth.)

By Thomas W. Simons Jr. (auth.)

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On Brest-Litovsk, see James Edmonds, A Short History of World War /(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1951), 262. 2. See my "The Polish Peasant Revolt of 1846 in Galicia: Recent Polish Historiography," Slavic Review, 30, no. 4 (December 1971): 795-817. 3. A. , The Economic History ofEastem Europe, 1919-1975, vol. A. Macartney and A. W. Palmer, Independent Eastem Europe. A History (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1966), 147-243. 4. In addition to the works by Radice, "General Characteristics of the Region Between the Wars," and John R.

Every East European state responded by protecting its industry and exports. The area governments made some attempts to band together to increase their bargaining power with West European suppliers and purchasers, but their economies were doomed to compete for foreign sales across a narrow range of products, and political divisions between the states were too deep for them to overcome their competing economic interests. Czechoslovakia's more balanced economy made it a potential exception to this rule, but even it Independence and Destruction, 1918-1941 25 behaved roughly the same way as the rest of the regional governments: Reacting to pressures from its own agricultural sector, it too turned more protectionist and ended its traditional purchases of agricultural goods from farther east.

As Nazi Germany recovered from the Depression and entered the area, this urgent desire for greater independence through economic recovery led them toward blighted dependence on the Germans. Unlike Italy and France, by the mid-1930s Germany had both political and economic resources with which to compete for influence within the region, and was ready to use them. Hitler surpassed his contemporaries in recognizing the importance of the ethnic base of territorial and military power. The Nazis bifurcated state-to-state relations and society-to-society relations, and willingly used Germans and rightists to influence other societies (just as the Soviets used national minorities and leftists), while keeping clean hands in diplomatic relations between governments.

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