The death of Joseph Stalin on March 5, 1953 generated a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the West, and a good deal of it is reflected in the attached column. A list of possible successors was provided - two of the names played an immediate roll in the governance of the Soviet Union: Georgy Malenkov (1902 – 1988) - who ruled for the first few days, until he was replaced by Nikolai Bulganin (1895 – 1975). Bulganin ran the shop until he, too, was replaced by Stalin's right-hand man: Nikita Khrushchev (1894 – 1971) - who was known widely as "the hangman of the Ukraine".
1953 was the year in which the Cold War showed some signs of thawing out a wee bit. Serious peace negotiations seeking an end to the Korean War were commenced and in April the Associated Press journalist William Nathan Oatis was released from a Czechoslovakian prison after having served two years of a ten-year sentence for espionage.
Additional magazine and newspaper articles about the Cold War may be read on this page.