What impact did the conflict have on people's lives?

People’s expectations of Communism

One day in the life of Ivan Denisovitch

Some people in Eastern Europe embraced Communism. They had seen the amazing industrial growth in the Soviet Union before WWII and hoped for great things. Maybe, if they followed the Soviet methods, they could achieve the same. Communism also offered them security, because they were backed by one of the two superpowers.

However, the reality of Communist rule was very different from what people had expected. People were not allowed to travel to the West, newspapers were censored, and non-Communists were put in prison for criticising the government. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch” became instrumental in portraying the horrors suffered by millions in Stalin’s labour camps. In 1974, Solzhenitsyn received the Nobel Prize for Literature for this work.


Europe for Citizens ProgrammeHistoriana is developed by EUROCLIO and partners with the support of the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union. This website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. EUROCLIO has tried to contact all copyright holders of material published on Historiana, please contact copyright@historiana.eu in case copyright material has been unrighfully used.