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The Communist-Led World Peace Council and the Western Peace Movements: The Fetters of Bipolarity and Some Attempts to Break Them in the Fifties and Early Sixties

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Abstract:

Drawing widely on archive material, including previously inaccessible German Peace Council documents, the paper examines links between Western pacifists and the World Peace Council (WPC), initiated by communist parties in Eastern Europe, from the WPC's foundation until the mid-1960s, when discussion about European security and detente began. From the angle of an East German peace historian and activist, the author describes contradictions in the WPC as it sought to become a broad world movement while being instrumentalized increasingly to serve foreign policy in the Soviet Union and nominally socialist countries. In both East and West bloc, prejudices simmered despite attempts at concerted action. Divided Germany was a pivot which crystallized many tensions. This is illustrated by the 1961 Peace March, due to pass through Berlin just as the Wall went up.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/0149-0508.00087

Affiliations: Humboldt University

Publication date: 1998-07-01

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