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  • 1 University of New Orleans New Orleans, LA, USA
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This paper will analyze Eisenhower's policy towards Eastern Europe in general and towards Hungary in particular from the perspective of the gaping gulf between high-minded rhetoric and the political realities of the Cold War and the nuclear arms race. While the Eisenhower Administration sounded the high-faluting rhetoric of “liberation of captive peoples”from communism and engaged in the short-lived effort to launch a “Volunteer Freedom Corps”to undermine communism in Eastern Europe, the political reality was that uprisings against communism were not supported in East Germany in 1953, neither in Poland and Hungary in 1956. The Cold War regimes in Central Europe, along with the establishment of deterrence strategy, made the cautious Eisenhower administration not dare actively support rebellions in Eastern Europe. The price of an escalation of conflict towards nuclear war was deemed too dangerous; no direct interventions were launched in the Soviet sphere of influence. The price the Eisenhower administration also had to pay was a loss of trust among the “captive peoples”. Eisenhower's rhetoric was revealed to be only propaganda.