Certainly by the time of his death in March 1953, Stalin had left his successors a complex legacy. On the one hand, there were undoubted achievements: the extension of Soviet frontiers into East and Central Europe and the defeat and subjection of Germany. In addition to this, the victory of Mao in China gave at least a veneer to the idea of a legacy of Communist strength. Yet, the Stalinist legacy was not all that it seemed to be. Soviet successes, such as they were, had been achieved at costs which would return to haunt the men in the Kremlin. The occupation of the states of Eastern and Central Europe had resulted in a forcible and coherent American response and, as we will see within the bloc itself, occupation inspired unruly subjects to rebel.
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