Search in

Digital Archive International History Declassified


  • Economic Cold War

    This is a loosely related collection of primary source documents that discuss economic issues during the Cold War period. These documents are all varied in topic and geographical coverage, ranging from the 1950s to the 1980s, and coming from Russian, Bulgarian, and Romanian archives. Topics broadly covered include issues of economic growth and dearth, requests for aid in light of shortages, and international trade issues. See also Stalin in the Cold War. (Image, Soviet 100 ruble bill)

  • Cold War Origins

    This collection of primary source documents discusses international relations during World War II and the years shortly after. It begins with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed in 1939 and ends with documents from the 1950’s. The collection contains a wide variety of documents including agreements, memorandums, meeting minutes, cables, letters, diary entries, and military reports from WWII. The documents mainly come from Russian and Bulgarian archives. See also the End of the Cold War. (Image, Clement Attlee, Harry Truman, and Joseph Stalin at the Potsdam Conference, July 1945, NARA, Army Signal Corps Collection, USA C-186)

  • Cold War on Ice

    Documents on the political and diplomatic aspects of international hockey during the Cold War. (Image, Soviet stamp commemorating ice hockey at the 1976 Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria)

  • End of the Cold War

    This is a collection of primary source documents covering the collapse of the Soviet Union during the late 1980s. The collection contains documents from archives in most of the former Soviet bloc countries. They discuss the changes occurring in Eastern Europe and the Tiananmen Square events in China. See also Cold War Origins; China, 1989; and German Reunification. and (Image: A crowd of West German citizens gathers at the newly created opening in the Berlin Wall at Potsdamer Platz. National Archives NAID 6460115, Image number 330-CFD-DF-ST-91-01380)

  • Intelligence Operations in the Cold War

    This is a collection of primary source documents that discuss intelligence issues during the Cold War. The documents come from archives in many different Soviet bloc countries. They are mainly decision memorandums, descriptions, agreements, and reports. The collection includes mainly bilateral agreements for cooperation between Communist countries and domestic intelligence reports from Bulgaria. See also the Mitrokhin Archive and the Vassiliev Notebooks. (Image, KGB symbol)

  • Stalin and the Cold War

    Leader of the Soviet Union from 1922 until his death in 1953, this collection contain Stalin's own writings, conversations, and legacy. The documents come mostly from the 1950s, and from Russian archives. Topics discussed include Stalin's economic opinions and his views on the situation in East Germany. The final items discuss Stalin's death and the fate of some of his ministers. See also Economic Cold War, and Post Stalin Succession Struggle. (Image, Stalin at the Tehran Conference, 1943)

  • The Overseas Chinese and the Cold War

    The Overseas Chinese were often at the forefront of the People’s Republic of China’s relationships with the United States, Vietnam, Korea, and Indonesia, among other countries, during the Cold War, and were a major object of the struggle between the Communists on Mainland China and the Nationalists on Taiwan.

  • Taiwan’s Cold War in Southeast Asia

    Between the mid-1970s and the early 1980s, emissaries from Taiwan conducted clandestine visits to virtually every non-communist state in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia. Meeting with top leaders from these countries, the representatives discussed military and intelligence cooperation in an attempt to shore up Taiwan's security. Collection supported by the Chun and Jane Chiu Family Foundation. (see the collection introduction by Hsiao-ting Lin.)

  • Sino-Indian Border War, 1962

    China and India fought a brief war in late 1962 over disputed territories in the Himalayas, but the conflict's consequences for China's relations with South Asia and the Soviet Union far exceeded its short duration. This collection includes Chinese, Indian, and Soviet records on the border dispute, the war, and the war's aftermath. For the broader context of China's foreign policy toward India and South Asia during the Cold War, see the Digital Archive collection China and South Asia.

  • China-Europe Relations

    Europe and China were perhaps 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 comprehensive collection charts China's relations with Europe, and as it moved from East to West throughout the course of the Cold War. For collections focused on China's relations with Eastern and Western Europe, see, respectively, China-Eastern Europe Relations and China-Western Europe Relations.

  • Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty

    This is a collection of declassified documents pertaining to Radio Free Europe (RFE) and Radio Liberty (RL) – Radios which were overseen and funded by the Central Intelligence Agency until 1971, funded there after by open Congressional appropriation, and merged in 1976 as RFE/RL, Inc. The documents were used as primary sources for A. Ross Johnson's book ''Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty: The CIA Years and Beyond'' or published in the appendix of ''Cold War Broadcasting: Impact on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe'' edited by A. Ross Johnson and R. Eugene Parta. See also CWIHP e-Dossier No. 32 and e-Dossier No. 59 for introductions to the documents, and the related collections Intelligence Operations in the Cold War, and Mass Media and Censorship. (Image, RFE broadcaster Nowak-Jezioraski, 1952)

  • The Soviet Union in the Horn of Africa

     A selection of documents used in the writing of Radoslav A. Yordanov's The Soviet Union and the Horn of Africa during the Cold War: Between Ideology and Pragmatism (2016). Originating from Serbia, Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Germany, the UK and the US, the sample of materials offer a glimpse of the variety of political, economic and military issues with which the Soviet Union had to deal regarding Somalia and Ethiopia throughout the Cold War, focusing not only on relations with the local states, but also with its East European allies, China, Cuba and the West.

  • 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. For other collections on China’s modern political history, see: Purges in 1950s China; China’s Great Leap Forward, 1958-1961; China’s Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976; Reform and Opening in China, 1978-; and China, 1989. (Image: Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong met in Chongqing in 1945.

  • The Algerian Revolution and the Communist Bloc

    The onset of the Algerian War of Independence in November 1954 was an important development in the international history of the Cold War. Coming as it did on the heels of the end of the First Indochinese War, the Algerian conflict further emboldened national liberation forces throughout the colonial and semi-colonial world, a region of increasing importance to policymakers in Washington and Moscow. For Soviet and other communists committed to world revolution and proletarian internationalism in particular, the so-called Third World offered infinite possibilities, a fertile ground for the pursuit and realization of their aspirations, including the neutralization of American and other western imperialistic ambitions. This collection reveals how socialist bloc countries aided and supported the Algerian revolution in the early 1960s. (Image: Che Guevara and Fidel Castro meet Algerian President Ben Bella, 1962.)

  • China and South Asia

    South Asia was one of the most important regions in China's international relations and foreign policy during the Cold War. This collection, drawn largely from the Chinese Foreign Ministry Archive, sheds light on China's relations with India, Pakistan, and, to a lesser extent, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) from 1949 onwards. It includes high-level records of conversation between Chinese and South Asian leaders, Chinese embassy dispatches from the region, and other types of records. See also the Digital Archive collection on the Sino-Indian Border War, 1962. (Photo: The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, meets Mao Zedong (right) in October 1956.) (

  • China, 1989

    This collection features sources on the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 and other developments in China at the end of the Cold War. For other collections on China’s modern political history, see: Chinese Civil War, 1945-1950; Purges in 1950s China; China’s Great Leap Forward, 1958-1961; China’s Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976; and Reform and Opening in China, 1978-. (Image: Communist Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang speaks with fasting university students in Beijing's Tiananmen Square early Friday May 19, 1989, to urge them call off their hunger strike. The strike is in its sixth day. (AP Photo/Xinhua) )

  • Cuba and Southern Africa

    Cuban documents about Havana's policy toward Southern Africa in the final fifteen years of the Cold War. Obtained by Piero Gleijeses for his book "Visions of Freedom." See his introduction to the collection for more information. (Image: Soviet-built tank manned by Cuban troops guards road junction in Luanda, Angola, during civil war in 1976. CIA document, Cuban Armed Forces and the Soviet Military Presence.)

  • Reform and Opening in China, 1978-

    China's policy of reform and opening not only led to a dramatic transformation of its economy, but also reshaped the dynamic of international relations through the end of the Cold War and after. For other collections on China’s modern political history, see: Chinese Civil War, 1945-1950; Purges in 1950s China; China’s Great Leap Forward, 1958-1961; China’s Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976; and China, 1989. (Image: Billboard of Deng Xiaoping from Shenzhen, a special economic zone established in 1979.)

  • Repatriation to North Korea

    This is a collection of documents about the repatriation and return migration of individuals of Korean ethnicity back to North Korea after the Korean War. Several waves of ethnic Koreans returned to North Korea during the Cold War, coming from Northeast China, or Manchuria, and Japan. The collection is composed predominantly of Chinese Foreign Ministry documents about repatriations from Northeast China. A smaller number of sources from Hungary and other countries concern the repatriation of Koreans from Japan.

  • Sino-Japanese Relations

    Once war time enemies, relations between China and Japan were often quite cordial and pragmatic during the Cold War. The two countries normalized relations in 1972 and engaged in wide ranging cooperation, economic and political, from the late 1970s through the 1980s.