Security Empire: The Secret Police in Stalinist East Europe, 1944-1956


EES Dissertation




This dissertation is a comparative study of the rise and fall of the Stalin-era East European secret police in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany. It focuses on the political police and intelligence services of these countries, including their recruitment strategies, institutional development, and relations with the Soviets. It examines how the Soviets administered each country and the role of local elites in “self-Sovietizing.” It follows the secret police from the Second World War to the period of de-Stalinization, showing the improvised nature of early East European communist policies and the radical political climate of East Europe during WWII and the Cold War.