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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • January 30, 1956

    USSR Council of Ministers Decree, 'On the Creation of ‘Object D'

    Council of Ministers decree officially approving the launch of a satellite during the International Geophysical Year

  • February, 1956

    Report on Visit to Radio Free Europe, Munich

    Analysis of RFE news operations by BBC Central European Service director Gregory Macdonald, who visited Munich from January 8 to January 23, 1956, at RFE’s request. Accompanied by notes from the British Foreign Office and its Information Research Department. Macdonald had been asked by RFE officials to assess the objectivity and organization of the newscasts.

  • February 02, 1956

    Note Containing an Assessment of the Parameters of a Device with Yields of 150 Megatons and One Billion Tons of TNT

    A report on the material requirements and design specifications of nuclear devices with yields of 150MT and one milliard tons TNT between Soviet officials. Specifically, the use of lithium-6 deuteride and natural uranium in varying degrees is discussed.

  • February 02, 1956

    Memorandum to the CPSU CC on Soviet Koreans

    Reports on the Soviet Embassy’s work regarding Soviet Koreans in the DPRK after a USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium decision to allow them to either convert to Korean citizenship or accept dual citizenship and discusses the topic of whether they should be allowed to return to the USSR.

  • February 16, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 06 (Overall Issue No. 32)

    This issue highlights the Standing Committee's resolution to approve the Sino-East German Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. It also addresses road maintenance and the conservation of gasoline. Other sections discuss the promulgation of simplified Chinese characters, the promotion of standard Mandarin (putonghua), and the distribution of books in rural areas.

  • February 21, 1956

    Record of a Conversation between Soviet Embassy Counsellor S. Filatov and DPRK Vice Premier Pak Ui-wan

    Pak tells Filatov that he does not fully agree with the KWP CC Presidium decision regarding Pak Chang-ok because the Presidium's failure to cite specific evidence. Pak Ui-wan says that he spoke well of Pak Chang-ok in a recent meeting with Kim Il Sung.

  • February 25, 1956

    Khrushchev's Secret Speech, 'On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences,' Delivered at the Twentieth Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

    In a secret speech before a closed plenum of the 20th Congress of the CPSU, Khrushchev denounced Stalin’s cult of the personality. In addition, he revealed that Stalin had rounded up thousands of people and sent them into a huge system of political work camps (Gulags). This revelation was met with astonishment by many present for the speech, but helped to break the power that Stalin still held over the country.

  • February 29, 1956

    Record of a Conversation between Soviet Embassy Counsellor S. Filatov and DPRK Vice Premier Pak Ui-wan

    Pak Ui-wan tells Filatov about a conversation he had with Kim Il Sung regarding Pak Chang-ok, Pak Yeong-bin, and other Soviet Korean party members.

  • March 05, 1956

    Remarks on the Draft Statutes of the KWP

    Suggestions for improvements in the wording of the DPRK's constitution.

  • March 13, 1956

    German Concerns about Free Europe Committee Balloon Leaflet Operations

    West German Ambassador Heinz Krekeler shares his government’s concerns about Free Europe Committee (FEC) balloon operations with Deputy Undersecretary of State Robert Murphy and FEC President Whitney Shepardson.

  • March 20, 1956

    Speech by Comrade Khrushchev at the 6th PUWP CC Plenum, Warsaw

    Speech by Comrade Khrushchev at the 6th PUWP CC Plenum, 20 March 1956, Warsaw explaining the changes since the death of Stalin and criticizing Stalin

  • March 21, 1956

    Reception, Conversation Between Soviet Foreign Minister K.E. Voroshilov and Chinese Deputy Chairman Zhu De, 20 March 1956

    Record of a conversation between Soviet Foreign Minister Voroshilov and Chinese Deputy Chairman Zhu De. They discuss Zhu De's travels in the Soviet Union and his impressions of the 20th Party Congress, at which Khrushchev had given his famous "Secret Speech" denoucing Stalin.

  • March 28, 1956

    Budapest Legation Dispatch No. 372, Radio Free Europe Hungarian Broadcasts Appraised

    In Budapest Legation Dispatch No. 372, two Hungarian-speaking officers appraise the content and reception quality of Radio Free Europe (RFE) Hungarian broadcasts. They rate newscasts higher than commentaries and features

  • April 05, 1956

    From the Journal of Ambassador P. F. Yudin, Record of Conversation with Mao Zedong, 31 March 1956

    Soviet Ambassador Yudin discusses the 20th Congress of the CPSU with Mao, including Khrushchev's "secret speech" denouncing Stalin and his cult of personality. Mao had already seen a copy and discusses mistakes in Stalin's policy towards China at length.

  • April 16, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 14 (Overall Issue No. 40)

    In this issue, Zhou Enlai congratulates the Prime Minister of Morocco, Mbarek Bekkay, and the Prime Minister of Tunisia, Tahar Ben Ammar, after both countries won their independence. One section announces a Sino-North Vietnamese civilian air transport service agreement; while another features a Sino-Soviet agreement to develop various industries and build a railway between Lanzhou and Aktogay (now in Kazakhstan). Finally, other sections discuss managing cooperatives, higher education, and provincial administrative concerns.

  • April 19, 1956

    Memorandum of Conversation with Kim Il Sung

    Diary entry of a conversation between V.I. Ivanov and Kim Il Sung about whether Pak Heon-yeong should be put to death or not.

  • April 21, 1956

    Conversation from [Mao Zedong's] Audience with a Delegation of Journalists from Yugoslavia (Excerpt)

    In a meeting with journalists from Yugoslavia, Mao compares the atomic bomb to other weapons used throughout history and argues that the atomic bomb would kill fewer people. Finally, he notes that conflicts between good and bad people will always exist.

  • April 21, 1956

    Note by the CC CPSU Regarding the Arming of R-7 Rockets with a Hydrogen Charge on the Basis of the Principle of Radiation Implosion

    Proposal on the development of the R-7 rocket to carry a new RDS-6 type device between Soviet officials in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The updated R-7 rocket with RDS-6 device was approved to be designed lighter and given a bigger yield.

  • April 23, 1956

    Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Circular concerning the Transfer of Cadres and Workers to Participate in Atomic Energy Development Work (Excerpt)

    A Chinese Central Committee circular stresses the need for China to develop a healthy uranium prospecting and mining industry, and to transfer technical and administrative cadres to work with Soviet experts.

  • April 26, 1956

    Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University, Prague, 'Resolution Adopted by the Faculty Organization of the Czechoslovak Youth Union'

    A student resolution written during the 1956 student protests in Czechoslovakia. It argues for a review of the national education system, specifically to allow for more focus on practical subjects than on Communism and Russian language classes. Additionally, it demands fairer political trials and punishments, while noting the overall deleterious affect that "the Soviet experience" has had on the country.