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Digital Archive International History Declassified


  • 1956 Polish and Hungarian Crises

    The uprising began in Hungary as a spontaneous nationwide revolt against the People's Republic of Hungary and its Soviet-imposed policies, while in Poland similar political uprisings began in October 1956. The documents, most of which are working notes, are from 1956 and come from Russian and Bulgarian archives. See also, the Nikita Khrushchev Collection, and the Warsaw Pact. (Image, head of a toppled Stalin statue in Budapest, 1956)

  • 1980-81 Polish Crisis

    The Polish Crisis of 1980-1981 began with a wave of strikes across Poland and the formation of the first independent labor union in a Soviet bloc country – Solidarity. The crisis ended with the imposition of martial law in December 1981. Most of these documents are from Russian archives and record the Soviet response to the Polish crisis, including preparations for military intervention. There are also documents from other Eastern European archives which contain the Communist bloc leaders’ discussions and reactions to the events in Poland. See also the Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia and the Warsaw Pact. (Image, Strike Coordination Committee in Szczecin, 1980, Archiwum autora, Stefan Cielak)

  • 1988 Seoul Olympic Games

    A collection of primary source documents about the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games drawn from the archives of the International Olympic Committee. The collection highlight the relationship between sport and politics and offer an unprecedented window into North Korea's negotiating strategies, inter-Korean relations, and the DPRK’s foreign relations at the end of the Cold War. (Image, fireworks over the closing ceremonies of the Seoul Olympics, 1988, US Department of Defense, DF-ST-90-05038)

  • Asian Peoples' Anti-Communist League

    Documents on several of the early conferences convened by the Asian Peoples' Anti-Communist League in South Korea, the Philippines, and Vietnam and attended by delegations from across Asia. (Image: Syngman Rhee greets Jiang Jieshi in August 1949. Source)

  • Bandung Conference, 1955

    Leading representatives from twenty-nine newly independent African, Asian, and Middle Eastern countries came together for the Afro-Asian Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, from 19 April-24 April 1955. (Image: Delegates attending the Bandung Conference pose for a group photo, April 1955) (See also: The Second Asian-African Conference.)

  • Berlin Wall

    Documents on the history of the Berlin Wall, beginning with the conditions in Berlin and East Germany following WWII and the history of the wall's construction in 1961, and followed by the 1971 Four Power Negotiations on the status of Berlin, and the final tearing down of the Wall in 1989. See also the End of the Cold War. (Image,  Berlin Wall between Mitte and Kreuzberg, Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F078996-0006)

  • Brazilian Nuclear History

    Drawn from Brazilian and US government sources, this collection documents the evolution of the Brazilian nuclear program from the first proposal presented to the government in 1947, through the decision to establish a secret civilian-military program in 1978, until the end of the parallel military program in 1989. The documents are presented in collaboration with Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). (Image, Ernesto Geisel, Shigeaki Ueki, Paulo Nogueira Batista, at an exposition promoted by Nuclebrás in March 1977, Paulo Nogueira Batista Archive at FGV)

  • China and South Asia

    South Asia was one of the most important regions in China's international relations and foreign policy. Drawn largely from the Chinese Foreign Ministry Archives, this collection sheds light on China's relations with India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan in particular. In the absence of similar sources from South Asia, these documents, moreover, are also invaluable to the study of South Asia in context of the Cold War. (Photo: The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, meets Mao Zedong (right) in October 1956.) (See also: Sino-Indian Border War, 1962.)

  • China and the Korean War

     A collection of materials documenting China's involvement in all stages of the Korean War. (Image: Chen Geng, Peng Dehuai, and Deng Hua, commanders of the Chinese People's Volunteer Army, stand together for a group photo)

  • China and the Soviet Union in Xinjiang, 1934-1949

    This collection of Soviet records concerns the political and military turmoil in Xinjiang in the 1930s and 1940s. The records provide considerable details on the insurrection led by Ma Zhongying, Governor Sheng Shicai's relationship with Stalin, the establishment of the East Turkestan Republic (1944-1949) in northern Xinjiang, and Sino-Soviet relations, among other topics. The majority of the records in the collection were obtained by Jamil Hasanli for his 2015 book Sin'tszyan v orbite sovetskoy politiki: Stalin i musul'manskoye dvizheniye v Vostochnom Turkestane: 1931-1949: monografiya (Xinjiang in the Orbit of Soviet Politics: Stalin and the Muslim Movement in Eastern Turkestan, 1931-1949). See also the Digital Archive collection on "The Yi-Ta Incident, 1962." (Photo: Governor of Xinjiang Sheng Shicai, date unknown.)

  • China at the United Nations

    The United Nations was a key battleground between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China in the global struggle to represent China.

  • China-Europe Relations

    Europe and China were undoubtedly the most important third actors in the Cold War system. As territorial entities and political and economic actors located at the crossroads of the mutual spheres of action of the two superpowers, they played a key role in the evolution and reshaping of the bipolar system. This collection charts China's relations with Europe, and as it moved from East to West throughout the course of the Cold War.

  • China-North Korea Relations

    This collection of documents probes the relationship between China and North Korea from the 1940s through the 1980s. While often described as being "as close as lips to teeth," this collection highlights instances of both cooperation and mistrust between China and North Korea.

  • China-Southeast Asia Relations

    China was a major player in Cold War Southeast Asia, advocating for socialist revolutions and directly supporting independence struggles.

  • China, 1989

     The end of the Cold War in China witnessed protest and tumult.

  • China's Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976

    A social experiment aimed at suppressing counterrevolutionaries and purifying the Chinese Communist Party launched in 1966, the Cultural Revolution was a disaster for China and created chaos across the country.

  • China's Foreign Aid

    A major provider of foreign aid and developmental assistance during the Cold War and postcolonial eras, the People's Republic of China sought not only to enable underdeveloped, postcolonial nations to achieve more genuine economic independence, but also to showcase the Chinese style of development projects. This collection documents China's foreign aid efforts in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere around the world. (Image: Zhou Enlai announces China's eight principles for economic assistance while in Ghana in 1964.)

  • China's Great Leap Forward, 1958-1961

    In an effort to transform China's agrarian economy into an industrialized communist society, the Chinese Communist Party passed the "General Line of the Great Leap Forward" on May 1958 and began the people’s commune movement and the drive to increase steel production. Ultimately a failed political campaign, the Great Leap Forward led to the deaths of millions of people across China.

  • Chinese Civil War, 1945-1950

    The Chinese Civil War, 1945-1950, fought between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Nationalist Party (GMD), was a defining conflict for China, East Asia, and the world. The Civil War was marked by a number of large battles and campaigns and the involvement of both the United States and the Soviet Union. The victory of the CCP and the founding of the People's Republic of China in October 1949 shifted the balance of power in the emerging Cold War

  • Chinese Nuclear History

    Documents on the history of Chinese nuclear development. See also Nuclear Proliferation, and the related collections in the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project. (Image, Model of the first Chinese nuclear bomb, Max Smith)