Tomus 25, num. 2 – FIŠER, O.: Československo-sovětská hospodářská spolupráce v období Gottwaldovy éry

Československo-sovětská hospodářská spolupráce v období Gottwaldovy éry

Department of General History, Faculty of Arts, University of Geneva

Czechoslovak-Soviet Economic Cooperation in the Gottwald era

Abstract: Czechoslovak-Soviet economic cooperation in the years 1948-1953 is hitherto a rather marginalized facet of contemporary historiography. The limited secondary literature on this topic, especially from Czechoslovak economists and historians, published both during the communist regime and after the Velvet Revolution, is characterized by a rather strong pro/anti-communist bias limiting its objective insight into the various technical aspects of intra-bloc cooperation. The major aim of this study is therefore to use the newly accessible fonds of the Czech National Archives at Chodov and the Archives of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Czernin Palace to construct a more holistic portrayal of Czechoslovak cooperation with the Soviet Union, its largest trading partner. The hypothesis is that although under the influence of the authoritarian regimes of Stalin and Gottwald, trade relations between the two countries were rather politicized at the turn of the 1940s and 1950s, they were nevertheless to some extent guided by the practical needs of the national economies. It was the clash between political and economic reasoning and the quest of the communist leadership of both states to achieve their mutual equilibrium that was characteristic of the Gottwald era. The present work also seeks to highlight the crucial role of the Third Republic (1945-1948) in the economic integration of Czechoslovakia into the Eastern Bloc. Specific space is then devoted to the negotiation processes of individual trade agreements, their content and their impact on the development of the Czechoslovak economy.

Keywords: Klement Gottwald, Anastas Mikoyan, Mikhail Menshikov, Czechoslovakia, Soviet Union, economic cooperation, trade, trade agreement, foreign trade, intra-bloc cooperation, CMEA.


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