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Behind the Iron Curtain

Soviet Estonia in the Era of the Cold War

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Edited By Tõnu Tannberg

During the Cold War, Estonia lay behind the Iron Curtain. Even in the grip of Soviet rule, the country underwent many important developments. This volume brings together fourteen papers on the political, economic, and cultural history of Estonia during the Cold War. Their topics range from international relations and the border regime to tourism and the media. The papers are based on extensive archival research and make use of many previously unexamined documents. The resulting book offers new insights into the history of Estonia and of the Cold War on a local level.
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The Communist Party’s Fight against “Bourgeois Television” 1968–1988

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← 316 | 317 →Marek Miil

Abstract: The article provides a comprehensive overview of how and why the Communist Party implemented measures in an attempt to reduce the influence of Finnish TV in the ESSR in the context of the Cold War’s ideological struggle. Since it was impossible to prevent the reception of Finnish TV, the Party focused instead on exposing “bourgeois propaganda” in Soviet mass media and developing Soviet television programming as the way to keep people away from independent, uncensored information.

No sooner had Germany capitulated to the Allies in 1945 than a new confrontation emerged in international politics—the standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union known as the Cold War. Relations between the two superpowers and their satellite countries alternated between tense periods that threatened to culminate in nuclear war and periods of détente. Throughout it all, however, neither side was prepared to retreat from its ideological positions. By the mid-1950s, atomic weapons, along with the means for conveying them to any part of the globe, had put all the countries of the world in danger. Thus one of the most important causes of previous wars in Europe, namely the defense of territory, lost its meaning.1 Consequently, the Cold War has been described as “a war on the mind, a contest of ideologies, a battle of nerves which, for the next forty years or so, was to divide the planet into a bi-polar competition that was characterized more by a war...

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