Communism spread throughout Europe and Asia, establishing a constant presence in the political debates of leading countries such as England, France, and the . In China, the rise of the Communist Party, led by Mao Zedong, was the result of a civil war. The "fall of China" to communism caused major concern in Europe and the ., one that was placed on hold with the outbreak of World War II.
On the Eastern Front, the German general Paul von Hindenburg and his chief of staff Erich Ludendorff engineered strategies that gave them dramatic victories over Russian armies. The war became increasing unpopular among the Russian people. Ludendorff, sensing a chance to take Tsar Nicholas II’s country out of the war, arranged for an exiled Marxist revolutionary named Vladimir Lenin to cross Europe in a special train and get back into Russia. As hoped, Lenin helped fuel the rising revolutionary fervor. The tsar was deposed and executed with his family in the March 1917 revolution. For the first time in Russian history a republican democracy was established, but its leaders underestimated the people’s resistance to continuing the war. When the new government failed to bring about a rapid peace, it was overthrown in November by a socialist revolution led by Lenin, following which Russia signed a peace agreement with Germany.
“The scale of this bomb is overwhelming,” Ries said, per CNN . “I have never seen anything like it.”
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As Allied troops move across Europe, they encounter the horror of thousands of prisoners in Nazi camps.