Talk:Eastern Bloc/Archive 2

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Other countries?

To my opinion, during last months the article has evolved to more or less reasonable shape. In that sense, the section name "Other countries" seems to be a remnant of the older, biased version. In actuality, the "Other countries" section tells about the Eastern bloc's formation (as opposed to the previous section that tells about Eastern bloc's pre-history). I changed the section name accordingly, and I believe no one will mind.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:53, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

"Other Countries" was clearly a better title with the first section now USSR, but the change isn't that bad.Mosedschurte (talk) 21:43, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Russia dominated the Soviet Union[35][36][37][38], which in turn dominated the Eastern bloc.[39][40][41][42][43][44]?

The statement seems logically unconnected to the rest of paragraph and the last part is simply redundant, because all the paragraph's main idea is that the USSR dominated the Eastern bloc. With regards to the first part of the sentence, it is ambiguous, because it is not clear what concretely it means. In addition, I do not think the main idea of the first part of the sentence is supported by the sources: they either do not tell about political domination of RSFSR, or are not reliable. Timothy D. Tregarthen, Libby Rittenberg (Economics,Edition: 2, illustrated, 1999ISBN 1572594187) tell about economical domination. Anatoly Kulik and Susanna Pshizova (Political parties in post-Soviet space: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and the Baltics)2005 ISBN 0275973441 state that "geopolitical location (of RSFSR) and dimensions, population size, and economic potential, dominated in the formally equal Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (obviously that statement do not mean political domination). Stjepan Gabriel Meštrović's book ("Anthony Giddens: the last modernist, 1998ISBN 0415095735) is devoted not to the USSR history and doesn't go into the details of the USSR's political organisation. Josepha Sherman's book (The Cold War, 2003ISBN 0822501503) gives oversimplified description of the events in general so it cannot be considered seriously.
And, the most important, the sentence is irrelevant to that concrete para. I delete it.--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:23, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

The POV-twisting of the sources above was particularly inaccurate, and the sentence was informative for the Eastern Bloc, such that deleting it pretty clearly made the article worse, but I don't plan on re-inserting it.Mosedschurte (talk) 21:44, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
The sources provided by you do not support the idea that the USSR was politically dominated by RSFSR. Most of them do not tell about politics at all, or do that at too primitive level. You just searched for a phrases like "the USSR was dominated by Russia" using books.google, and introduced the sources where this phrase was present. Such a strategy is profoundly flawed and it contradicts to WP spirit. And I don't see any reasons why the information about internal structure of the USSR is relevant to the present, too long article.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:00, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Sometimes, on humorous POV edits, it's tough to tell if you're being serious. First, the sentence didn't even say "politically dominated," and the sources could not have more straight forward discussed that domination overall.
Moreover, just to cement the matter, you also deleted the second part of the sentence. Let's be blunt, like the property taking sentence, you didn't like it and just deleted it, regardless of the number of sources saying virtually word-for-word the statements therein.
I didn't replace the sentence, but just noted that the twisting nature of the commentary was not just POV-oriented, but over-the-top POV-oriented, and the outright deletion from an article on the Eastern Bloc was a fairly blatantly poor edit on Wikipedia. If you'd take a step back from the combative POV for a second, just look at the topic and sentence, you could see that. I also noted that I didn't plan to add the sentence back, though I obviously could easily do so with the numerous sources and text therein.Mosedschurte (talk) 22:09, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't have a habit to delete everything I don't like. Moreover, sometimes I even restore the statements I don't like when they are relevant and correct. In that concrete case, the statement was not sourced properly and it was marginally relevant to the article. Obviously, this article is about Eastern bloc as a political formation, so any sources speaking about economical, cultural or other non-political domination are irrelevant. You are clever enough to realize that.
With regards to "fairly blatantly poor edit on Wikipedia", I don't think such a statement to be self-explanatory. Try to be a little bit more concrete, and explain me what concretely is poor. Otherwise, taking into account that such characterisations of the edits made by me are too frequent, and they look like repeating attempts to insult me, I will have to take some steps to stop that.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:42, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Honestly, take a step back. You actually even deleted the sentence's second phrase, that the USSR "dominated the Eastern Bloc" -- a phrase already supported by 5 sources that were in the article (probably, what, 10,000 more out there?). And this wasn't a deletion in some tangential article; it was deleted in the article Eastern Bloc. Seriously, need I explain anymore at this point? Like I said, I wasn't re-visiting the sentence anyway, just pointing out the problems with the edit.Mosedschurte (talk) 23:09, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
The idea that the USSR dominated the Eastern Bloc is the major idea of this article, so there is no need to repeat it here. Even a well sourced statement may be redundant.
I am still waiting for your apologies, btw.--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:00, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Paul, seriously, saying it's "the major idea of this article," isn't a reason to simply delete the article text stating that the Soviet Union dominated the Eastern Bloc, especially with five sources backing it up. Like I said, as with most edits of the article that I don't think are helpful, I don't plan now to re-visit the edit. It doesn't create a serious problem (falsehood, major deletion, etc.) and it's not worth battling over. I was just pointing out the problems with the edit.Mosedschurte (talk) 00:38, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

This was especially pronounced, etc

The sentence "This was especially pronounced in eastern European countries that Germany had converted to Axis countries to supply troops,[1] such as Romania and Hungary, where Red Army officers generally viewed cities, villages and farms as being open to pillaging and looting.[2]" is incorrect.

It is a biased representation of the events. First, Germany didn't converted Romanis and Hungary into Axis countries, they become the Axis members by themselves, and their contribution was much more significant than mere supplying troops. They simply became the Axis members, they were defeated and the Soviets expected they to pay reparations, what the source (Pearson) states directly.
I modified the text accordingly.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:44, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

The edit you made here was markedly POV-oriented with regard to the taking of property, with only one of the four reasons listed on Pearson page 31. I don't plan on re-visiting it at this moment because it's not a major part of the article and not worth an WP:Edit war over.Mosedschurte (talk) 21:56, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, let's talk concretely. Which fact below are POV:

  1. First, Germany didn't converted Romania and Hungary into Axis countries, they become the Axis members by themselves.
  2. Their contribution was much more significant than mere supplying troops.
  3. They simply became the Axis members, they were defeated and the Soviets expected them to pay reparations.
  4. The idea of reparations was supported by western countries

The source (Pearson) states that (##3, 4) directly.
Try to refute at least one of my statements.
I would say, by comparison of your text with the source you used I fixed strongly POV-oriented text.

In connection to that, let me point out that the whole section below:

"y the end of World War Two, most of Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union in particular, suffered vast destruction.[3] The Soviet Union had suffered a staggering 27 million deaths, and the destruction of most of its industry, both by the Nazi Wehrmacht and the Soviet Union itself in a "scorched Earth" policy to keep it from falling in Nazi hands as they advanced over 1,000 miles to within 15 miles of Moscow.[3] Thereafter, the Soviet Union adopted a "plunder policy" of physically transporting and relocating east European industrial assets to the Soviet Union.[3] This was especially pronounced in eastern European Axis countries, such as Romania and Hungary, where such a policy was considered as punitive reparations (a principle accepted by Western powers).[1] In some cases, Red Army officers generally viewed cities, villages and farms as being open to pillaging and looting.[4] Other Eastern Bloc states were required to provide coal, industrial equipment, technology, rolling stock and other resources to reconstruct the Soviet Union.[5] Between 1945 and 1953, the Soviets received a net transfer of resources from the rest of the Eastern Bloc under this policy roughly comparable to the net transfer from the United States to western Europe in the Marshall Plan.[5]

After Soviet forces remained in Eastern and Central European countries, with the beginnings of communist puppet regimes installed in those countries, Churchill referred to the region as being behind an "Iron Curtain" of control from Moscow.[6] At first, many Western countries condemned the speech as warmongering, though many historians have now revised their opinions.[7]" has only indirect relation to the article. The story of formation of EB was a story how Stalin put Eastern Europe under his political control. Why do we need to tell about reparations etc. Explain please.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:11, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

First, you humorously left out Pearson reasons #1 and #4:


The moral justification for this Soviet plunder policy was fourfold. First, the Soviet Union was exacting financial reimbursement from the defeated enemy on the timehallowed principle of 'to the victor the spoils', updated by the precedent of the Allied insistence on reparations from the Central Powers after the First World War. . . . Lastly and more broadly, the 'innocence' or 'guilt' of eastern Europe was peripheral to the ultimate cause of the recovery of the Soviet Union. All other considerations and all other states had to be subordinated to the supreme Soviet priority. 'Innocent' states would pay plenty and 'guilty' states would pay more; but all states within the military jurisdiction of the Kremlin would be required to contribute lavishly. The 'bastion of socialism', beleaguered since 1917 and precedentedly damaged since 1941, was entitled to adopt any and all means to ensure its survival in a relentlessly hostile capitalist world.


I raise this not to embarrass you, but to point out the rather humorous resulting sentence with the citation to Pearson page 31.

Like I said, I'm not even re-visiting the sentence at the moment.Mosedschurte (talk) 22:20, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

You didn't embarrass me. I didn't leave out the reasons #4, you probably mean ##1,2. If yes, let me remind you that these facts are obvious and well known. Most central european countries became the Axis members voluntarily and they were physically at war with the USSR, so your initial version was factually incorrect. ##3,4 were taken form Pearson directly, so I see no problems here.
Finally, you didn't address my major point, namely that the whole peace of text, although well sourced, is only marginally relevant to the article.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:05, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Map and other changes made by DIRECTOR

Map of the Eastern Bloc

Although I appreciate the nice job made by Mosedschurte, the map is better, therefore I support it.
The argument about SSRs is not relevant: we do not need to focus a reader's attention on SSRs in this article. Moreover, one map is already present in the article where SSRs are shown.
The DIRECTOR's definition of Eastern bloc seems more clear than the old one, so I don't see any reason to revert it.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:21, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Map clearly doesn't have a legend or the SSRs, which are explicitly discussed in the article and a part of one member of the Bloc (the USSR). It's pretty obvious stuff for a map choice. In addition, Director's definition also simply doesn't match the sources listed and quoted. Neither change is good for the obvious reasons. Though I one might guess that the usual WP:Tag team (you, Gold, Yaan and Director) might disagree, maybe we'll get a pleasant surprise. Mosedschurte (talk) 21:35, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Legend is not necessary, SSRs have been removed as per 2 months of talk page discussion. Please refer to editors correctly and in full to avoid confusion (viz. Goldsztajn and DIREKTOR).--Goldsztajn (talk) 22:09, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
The Legend wasn't necessary, but it makes the map better. As did inclusion of the SSRs within one member of the Bloc that are specifically discussed in the article, as explained in the several months of talk on the issue.Mosedschurte (talk) 22:12, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
(1) Where are the SFRY's SRs? Where is Slovakia and the Czech Republic? Do these countries matter less than the SSRs? By what logic should the Soviet states be represented and not Yugoslav and ČSSR ones?
(2) The term "Eastern Bloc" is flexible. It is flexible in that some may consider Yugoslavia, Albania, and non-European countries a part of it. You're acting like your sources make the term "absolute". What do the sources prove? The sources prove that some authors define this flexible category as inclusive of Yugoslavia and Albania. The wording change simply recognizes this "flexibility" with regard to Yugoslavia and Albania, as well as non-European countries. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 22:16, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
The legend was redundant, all needed names are on the map. The question of administrative division had already been discussed, but you Mosedschurte ignored it. Although I respect the great job you did with your map, the new map is better both aesthetically and factually. Do not revert, please.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:21, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
One further point, the new map is in SVG format, which is wiki standard.--Goldsztajn (talk) 22:24, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Re: "The legend was redundant,"

No it's not. In fact, the current map bafflingly includes four colors without definition.

Me: "Though I one might guess that the usual WP:Tag team (you, Gold, Yaan and Director) might disagree, maybe we'll get a pleasant surprise."
Re: "Legend is not necessary" (Goldsztajn), "The term 'Eastern Bloc' is flexible."DIREKTOR|, "The legend was redundant," (Paul Siebert)

Shocker. Real shocker. Not that that was hard call to make. I really don't want to have to find other non-POV editors to bring in to this article to turn it into some kind of massive Edit War. I've been trying to avoid that, which occurs on so many Eastern Europe-related issues. But we'll obviously (reluctantly) have to do that if too much more clearly POV-biased material is injected into the article.

Re: "The question of administrative division had already been discussed, but you Mosedschurte ignored it"

Not only is that flat out false (and they are also not "administrative divisions", but Republics), but I've actually raised this myself REPEATEDLY, for months, the point that the SSRs of one members (the USSR) are better for the map because they are discussed in the article, for one. It's literally that simple and straight forward. If you would take a step back from the combative-POV position and just look at the map and article like they were covering a different topic, you would see that. Mosedschurte (talk) 22:32, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Re: "One further point, the new map is in SVG format, which is wiki standard."

Good to know. An easy change to make on the actual map for the article.Mosedschurte (talk) 22:33, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

"administrative divisions" and Republics is the same. In the USSR, CSSR and SFRU the borders between republics were called "administrative borders". The fact that four editors share the same point of view doesn't mean that it is a plot against you personally. However, you should be more collaborative, and you should be more prone to accept the others' arguments.
Re:"I've actually raised this myself REPEATEDLY... etc" I wrote repeatedly that SSRs are irrelevant to this concrete article because they weren't separate political formations, therefore they couln't be considered a separate members of any political bloc. My conclusion is: the map is correct and the article must be brought into accordance with this map.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:53, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
PS. I recommend you to take a step back from the combative-POV position and to explain why the story of the SSRs is relevant to this article. I got no reasonable explanation so far.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:57, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Re: "The fact that four editors share the same point of view doesn't mean that it is a plot against you personally.'""

Who said anything about it being "personal"? It's just the exact same WP:Tag Team in this article so obvious, I've twice predicted on this Talk page the position of its members before they were stated. It was an easy call to make before they even posted (see above).

Re: "I wrote repeatedly that SSRs are irrelevant to this concrete article because they weren't separate political formations, therefore they couln't be considered a separate members of any political bloc."

--No one is saying that they are separate members of the Bloc, as stated now virtually countless times, the SSRs of one Bloc member (the USSR) are better for inclusion in the map because they are discussed in the article, for one. It's literally that simple and straight forward, and they it doesn't involve illustrating anything outside the Bloc. If you would take a step back from the combative-POV position and just look at the map and article like they were covering a different topic, you would see that.
--And the "The legend was redundant," argument, with four different UNEXPLAINED colors on a map, simply makes zero sense.Mosedschurte (talk) 23:03, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

My two cents: IMO SSRs are relevant, since they would show more clearly the historical relation with respect of the preceding and current states in the area. For this reason I'd like to see the divisions of SFRY & SC, in addition to SSRs. - Altenmann >t 23:06, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I could do that on the map for this article (the original map from this morning before the POV-pushing change above). Note, here it is:
Map of the Eastern Bloc
Note that it includes:
(1) A Legend describing the colors; and
(2) The SSRS of one member of the Bloc (USSR) that are discussed throughout the article.

Mosedschurte (talk) 23:13, 26 May 2009 (UTC)


I see no problem to show administrative division of USSR, SFRU and CSSR, I even proposed to do that. Mosedschurte ignored this proposal.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:15, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Re: WP:Tag Team etc. In other words you accuse me of coordinating my actions with someone to circumvent the normal process of consensus? Please, be more concrete, present needed evidences or take your words back.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:15, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Re:"No one is saying that they are separate members of the Bloc". False. The article was initially written in such a way that it creates an impression that SSRs were a separate members of EB. Enormous efforts were needed to fix that.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:15, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Re: "The article was initially written in such a"
--You're literally arguing about a prior now non-existant version of this article (and badly misreading it).
--As stated now several times, the SSRs of one Bloc member (the USSR) are better for inclusion in the map because they are discussed in the article, for one -- NOT because they are separate members. It's literally that simple and straight forward, and they it doesn't involve illustrating anything outside the Bloc. If you would take a step back from the combative-POV position and just look at the map and article like they were covering a different topic, you would see that.Mosedschurte (talk) 23:37, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Look, Mosedschurte, the map obviously does not represent all states in an equal manner. The USSR's SSRs had a nearly identical status to that of the SFRY's SRs. That's obvious. The map also uses an outdated name for Yugoslavia, one that was used only for a few years of the country's existence. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 00:08, 27 May 2009 (UTC)


New Map with changes suggested by Altenmann, Paul Siebert and Goldsztajn

Map of the Eastern Bloc

Prior suggestions:
--"My two cents: IMO SSRs are relevant, since they would show more clearly the historical relation with respect of the preceding and current states in the area. For this reason I'd like to see the divisions of SFRY & SC, in addition to SSRs." (Altenmann)
--"I see no problem to show administrative division of USSR, SFRU and CSSR, I even proposed to do that. " (Paul Siebert)
--"One more error is the absence of internal division of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. The republics of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia had the same status as the Soviet republics." (Paul Siebert)
--"the SSRs of one Bloc member (the USSR) are better for inclusion in the map because they are discussed in the article" (me)
--"The map also uses an outdated name for Yugoslavia, one that was used only for a few years of the country's existence." (|DIREKTOR)
--"One further point, the new map is in SVG format, which is wiki standard." (Goldsztajn)

These changes have now been implemented. The new map now:
(1) Includes SSRs of the USSR, which are referenced in the article, as the comments reflected above.
(2) Includes SRs of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, as the comments reflected above.
(3) Includes SRs of the former Yugoslavia, as the comments reflected above.
(4) Removes the name "Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia"
(5) Is in SVG format.
(6) Excludes West Berlin from East Germany
(7) Includes a legend like the top Wikipedia example history map example on the template page.
(8) It does not extend outside the Bloc (e.g., west of West Germany or south of Greece).
(9) Utiizes the black Arial font, as is included in the Wikipedia template page.Mosedschurte (talk) 02:51, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

I didn't see a huge reason for (2) and (3) before because, although they are in the Eastern Bloc, they aren't discussed in this article, but I put them in anyway.Mosedschurte (talk) 06:07, 27 May 2009 (UTC)











Comparison of the maps

To my opinion, Mosedschurte took every effort to address criticism. However, to my opinion, it is incorrect that Mosedschurte unilaterally replaced the map supported by several editors with his version. It would be more correct to wait for comments from others.the other map looks at least equally good. One way or the another, we have to compare both these maps to decide which one is more appropriate for this article.

Map of the Eastern Bloc
Map of the Eastern Bloc

I invite all involved and non involved editors to leave their comments below.
--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:32, 27 May 2009 (UTC)



























Comments

Well, this largely defeated the purpose of my new map section for comments above, so to recap, in response to the following comments, I changed the map:
--"My two cents: IMO SSRs are relevant, since they would show more clearly the historical relation with respect of the preceding and current states in the area. For this reason I'd like to see the divisions of SFRY & SC, in addition to SSRs." (Altenmann)
--"I see no problem to show administrative division of USSR, SFRU and CSSR, I even proposed to do that. " (Paul Siebert)
--"One more error is the absence of internal division of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. The republics of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia had the same status as the Soviet republics." (Paul Siebert)
--"the SSRs of one Bloc member (the USSR) are better for inclusion in the map because they are discussed in the article" (me)
--"The map also uses an outdated name for Yugoslavia, one that was used only for a few years of the country's existence." (|DIREKTOR)
--"One further point, the new map is in SVG format, which is wiki standard." (Goldsztajn)

Also, the map was meant to be rendered at around 400px, so the smaller rendering px above won't show the fonts properly.

The above changes were implemented. The new map now (the one on the left):
These changes have now been implemented. The new map now:
(1) Includes SSRs of the USSR, which are referenced in the article, as the comments reflected above (and add my own)
(2) Includes SRs of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, as the comments reflected above.
(3) Includes SRs of the former Yugoslavia, as the comments reflected above.
(4) Removes the name "Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia"
(5) Is in SVG format.
(6) Excludes West Berlin from East Germany
(7) Includes a legend like the top Wikipedia example history map example on the template page.
(8) It does not extend outside the Bloc (e.g., west of West Germany or south of Greece).
(9) Utiizes the black Arial font, as is included in the Wikipedia template page.

Re: "However, to my opinion, it is incorrect that Mosedschurte unilaterally replaced the map supported by several editors with his version."

--That's a somewhat one-sided recounting of events given that the map to the right (the one without the legend or SSRs and depicting West Berlin in East Germany) was placed in the article yesterday without being on the Talk page for a single second, here by User:Goldsztajn. In fact, the new map actually contradicted the comments of several editors before in the archived talk section that wanted the SSRs in the maps, including yourself, such as here "I see no problem to show administrative division of USSR, SFRU and CSSR, I even proposed to do that. " (Paul Siebert).
--Based on all of the comments above, I then created a map comporting with those comments.
--It not only includes a legend, but also depicts the SSRs in the EB, which are specifically discussed in this article.Mosedschurte (talk) 05:56, 27 May 2009 (UTC)


The borders on your hand-made map look absolutely terrible and have little in common with reality. Also, the correct abbreviation of "Socialist Republic of Serbia", for example, is not "SR of Serbia", but "SR Serbia"
Just to be clear. I feel Mosedschurte is being unbelievably stubborn. I'm not saying the Yugoslav states need to be mentioned. That does not make sense, primarily as they were not seperate members of the Eastern Bloc. I believe that neither the Soviet SSRs, nor the Yugoslav SRs should be included. The map quickly becomes crowded and just plain ugly, and for what? If the Soviet SSRs are addressed separately in the article, we can include Mosedschurte's map down where they are. Or perhaps we can simply add a seperate map of the USSR with the borders of the western states outlined in greater detail.
The whole thing looks to me like Mosedschurte is being stubborn just for the sake of it, and is insisting on a terrible map just to have his way. Sry, that's my impression. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 10:25, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
@300px
Deja vu, all over again...to borrow a phrase. Back in March, when I became another editor to raise problems with Mosedschurte's first map, the initial problems I noted with the map were aesthetic, technical and historical. Twice now we have discussed alternatives. The general consensus of the editors who collaborate, do not engage in personal attacks and practice good faith, was that the map should have international borders only, have a neutral colour scheme, follow wiki standard as much as possible and be easy to view. What is on display now on the article page is a map which is a total mishmash. It is poor technically. It cannot be displayed at a reasonable size (eg 250-300px). It is full, again, of chartjunk and it contains elements which are not relevant for a lede map on this subject. Oh...and finally...it is not even a proper SVG image as it is full of JPEG compression elements...that is, the map cannot be scaled properly, which is the whole point of wiki moving to SVG standard for maps.--Goldsztajn (talk) 01:44, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Re: "The general consensus of the editors who collaborate, do not engage in personal attacks and practice good faith, was that the map should have international borders only"

Wow, calm down there. First, the SSRs and SRs are actually international borders -- the SSRs are Republics within a Union. Second, the following comments were received above directly contradicting your point:
--"My two cents: IMO SSRs are relevant, since they would show more clearly the historical relation with respect of the preceding and current states in the area. For this reason I'd like to see the divisions of SFRY & SC, in addition to SSRs." (Altenmann)
--"I see no problem to show administrative division of USSR, SFRU and CSSR, I even proposed to do that. " (Paul Siebert)
--"One more error is the absence of internal division of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. The republics of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia had the same status as the Soviet republics." (Paul Siebert)

Re: "have a neutral colour scheme"

Check. I could change the USSR to the more fire eginey-red you have it, but that doesn't appear particularly neutral.

Re: "What is on display now on the article page is a map which is a total mishmash. It is poor technically."

You mean as opposed to the one with four map colors but zero legend, West Berlin depicted in East Germany, no SRs&SSRs as the comments above indicated should be on the map, while stretching south of Greece and stretching west of West Germany -- well beyond the direction of the Bloc?

Re: " Oh...and finally...it is not even a proper SVG image as it is full of JPEG compression elements"

And yours doesn't have, as just one example, the Wikimedia template directed Arial format for country names. But it is certainly an SVG image, JPEG elements or not.Mosedschurte (talk) 02:20, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

You clearly do not understand SVG imaging. The image CANNOT be scaled properly. Stop cherry-picking comments which were made by editors in good faith attempts to compromise with you.--Goldsztajn (talk) 02:34, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

It seems to me I found the solution. The Mosedschurte's map is a legacy of the old article's concept. The concept has been outlined in the old article's versions (see, e.g. [1]):"During the Cold War, the terms Eastern Bloc, Communist Bloc or Soviet Bloc were used to refer to European annexed or expanded Soviet Socialist Republics of the USSR and Soviet Satellite states, including members of the Soviet-dominated organizations Comecon and the Warsaw Pact. Sometimes, the term also refers to a wider range of at least partially Soviet-allied communist nations, including those outside of Europe." Accordingly, the Eastern bloc's members were separated onto two categories: "Countries annexed as Soviet Socialist Republics"[2] and "Non-annexed countries"[3]. As a result, the map was needed to support this idea that is a perfect example of WP:SYNTH performed by Mosedschurte. (Interestingly, I am absolutely sure that Mosedschurte will claim that that my summary is a blatant misinterpretation of what he wrote, but I see no other interpretation, and Mosedschurte himself evades concrete discussion)
Now the article is almost fixed, so there is no need in such a map.
However, I agree that the map with administrative division of the USSR, CSSR and SFRY is needed to connect pre-Eastern Bloc and post-Eastern bloc events with the EB's history.
Therefore, taking into account that there is another map in the article that shows administrative division and border changes (but is poorly drawn and absolutely confusing), I propose:

  1. Replace the present EB map with the map made by Goldsztajn
  2. Modify the Goldsztajn's map to show western Berlin (I agree with Mosedschurte on that account).
  3. Modify the colour scheme of the Goldsztajn's map (Mosedschurte's colour scheme is more neutral. And I am not sure about white countries' names. Black or gray letters might look better.).
  4. Replace the second Mosedschurte's map with two political maps that show state borders in Central and Eastern Europe before WWII (Aug 1939) and after EB dissolution (e.g. Jan 1992). If someone is able to fit all these border changes into a single map, it would be great, but I see in no way how to do it without creating absolutely messy map. (BTW, what do you think about animated GIF?)
    To my opinion, it would be a solution.
    --Paul Siebert (talk) 04:22, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

PS. The statement:" First, the SSRs and SRs are actually international borders -- the SSRs are Republics within a Union. " demonstrates that Mosedschurte's adherence to his old flawed idea, and, to my big surprise, his ignorance. They could not be international borders because they didn't separate different states. The USSR was a state, not SSRs, and all Soviet residents were citizens of the USSR, not of Estonian or Georgian SSR. The constitution of the USSR took precedence over SSR's constiturions, there were no border guards on the internal SSRs' borders, no customs, nothing that usually serve as a sign of international border. Mosedschurte, if you look at the talk page's archive you will find exact citations from Webster and Oxford dictionary explaining the difference between a political bloc and a union. It is dramatic, believe me.--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:53, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
PPS. With regards to my words Mosedschurte used to support his map, I meant that it is incorrect to show administrative division of the USSR and not to do the same for CSSR and SFRY. My point was that if someone wants to show administrative division of the USSR, I can support that idea if that would lead to cessation of the conflict. However, in that case, one has to do the same for CSSR and SFRY. --Paul Siebert (talk) 05:06, 28 May 2009 (UTC)


I would chuckle at the turn-on-a-dime position after the map was changed per your comments, but I saw the joke coming too far away. Taking a step back for a moment, it's kind of amusing how many times an article on the now defunct Eastern Bloc has been saved by WP:NOTDEMOCRACY.
Re: "The Mosedschurte's map is a legacy of the old article's concept."
  • No it's not, but you knew that because it was stated no less than three times above, here, here, here. It simply included the SSRs because they are discussed in the article and they are also part of one of the EB members. It could not be more straight forward.
  • It then included the SRs from Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia today because of repeated commentary on the matter, including suggested from TODAY.
  • It includes a legend because that's what multicolored maps generally do to explain their colors when the labels in areas don't explain the colors, and legends are in the history template, with the top example here. It uses an Arial font, which is shown in the template here, and a black font, as used in the top history map example here.
Re: "Replace the second Mosedschurte's map with two political maps that show state borders in Central and Eastern Europe before WWII (Aug 1939) and after EB dissolution (e.g. Jan 1992)"
  • It doesn't have that information. There is a map specifically created with that information from 1938-45. But you knew that already.
Re: "With regards to my words Mosedschurte used to support his map, I meant that it is incorrect to show administrative division of the USSR and not to do the same for CSSR and SFRY."

Reality:
(1) Altenmann's commented above to include both SSRs and SRs:"My two cents: IMO SSRs are relevant, since they would show more clearly the historical relation with respect of the preceding and current states in the area. For this reason I'd like to see the divisions of SFRY & SC, in addition to SSRs." (Altenmann)
(2) Paul Siebert's reply to Altenmann "I see no problem to show administrative division of USSR, SFRU and CSSR, I even proposed to do that. Mosedschurte ignored this proposal. "

Fun stuff. Even more amusing, taking another step back, is that this was probably the best map, including only the USSR SSRs discussed in this article (I added the CSR and SRY on comments from two other users). In any event, it's certainly superior to one that has none of the SRs (discussed or not), along with lots of other problems:
The map that was in the article until two days ago that might be the best -- has the USSR SSRs, which are discussed in the article, but not the CSR and SRY (added because of later comments), had a legend for the map colors, black font, arial font, does not extend out past West Germany and south fo Greece, does not include West Berlin, etc.

Mosedschurte (talk) 05:31, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm happy to work with Paul's suggestions. Please note Mosedschurte continues to ignore the most fundamental technical problems with the map being promoted: it is full of chartjunk, is an improper SVG (ie it cannot be properly scaled) and it cannot display at small sizes with any clarity. I've added a POV-map tag to the article due to the fact that there is no consensus for use of Mosedschurte's map. --Goldsztajn (talk) 06:49, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Re-edited the map following Paul's suggestions (map viewable above). --Goldsztajn (talk) 07:13, 28 May 2009 (UTC)


Re: "Please note Mosedschurte continues to ignore the most fundamental technical problems with the map being promoted: it is full of chartjunk"

As opposed to these problems -- some of which are core substantive fundamentals and not just formatting -- with the other map that it addresses: (1) Includes SSRs of the USSR, which are referenced in the article, as the comments reflected above (and add my own)
(2) Includes SRs of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, as the comments reflected above.
(3) Includes SRs of the former Yugoslavia, as the comments reflected above.
(4) Excludes West Berlin from East Germany
(5) Includes a legend like the top Wikipedia example history map example on the template page.
(6) It does not extend outside the Bloc (e.g., west of West Germany or south of Greece).
(7) Utiizes the black Arial font, as is included in the Wikipedia template page.

With (1) being the obvious largest substantive failure. To be blunt, given the experience so far on this page, I seriously doubt (but I could be wrong), that you will ever introduce a map attempting to address the failure with (1) (including the SSRs in the existing maps) for replacements for the WP:Lede maps you've attempted to delete. Like I said, I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

And what chartjunk exists at the map to the right? The legend explaining the otherwise unexplained or merely SSRs actually described in the article? By way of example, this is the example for a history map on the Wikipedia template page:

Wikipedia template page history map example

Mosedschurte (talk) 07:28, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Mosedschurte: Please stop adding images to this section. It is becoming a huge mess. If you wish to illustrate a point with an image create a link and readers can click and view. The Gaza map you utilise demonstrates my point precisely, it is not a map which can be viewed in a small size. It must be at a large size. You continue to avoid the fundamental technical problem that the map in article lede at present cannot scale properly. It is an improper SVG. Please stop speculating about editors' intentions. Finally, the general consensus of all editors has been that international borders on the lede map are all that is necessary. The internal USSR borders have only remained because of your refusal to remove them and other editors making comments that IF they remain then other borders should be included. The point was the internal borders should not be there. Stop misconstruing other editors' comments. I have no problem with maps later in the article including internal borders. I concur with Paul Siebert on this.--Goldsztajn (talk) 07:52, 28 May 2009 (UTC)






Re: "The Gaza map you utilise demonstrates my point precisely, it is not a map which can be viewed in a small size. It must be at a large size. It must be at a large size. You continue to avoid the fundamental technical problem that the map in article lede at present cannot scale properly. "
  • That's an intersting take, because that Gaza strip map is the Top map in the Wikiproject map "Historical maps" example. That's why I included it. Your only complaint about the existing Eastern Bloc map -- actually existing maps, as the last one was also superior to the new proposal -- is its scaleability, about which you're also complaining regarding Wikiproject's top exemplary historical map. As opposed to your proposed map which:

(1) Fails to include the SSRs of the USSR, which are referenced in the article, as the comments reflected above (and add my own)
(2) Fails to include the SRs of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, as the comments reflected above.
(3) Fails to include the SRs of the former Yugoslavia, as the comments reflected above.
(4) Contains no legend (oddly for a map with four country colors) like the top Wikipedia example history map example on the template page.
(5) Extends outside the Bloc (e.g., west of West Germany or south of Greece).
(6) Does not utilize the black Arial font country labels, as is included in the Wikipedia template page and the Top map in the Wikiproject map "Historical maps" example.

Re: "Finally, the general consensus of all editors has been that international borders on the lede map are all that is necessary."

If you're actually claiming that regarding the depiction of SRs, then no (with the obvious reference to WP:NOTDEMOCRACY):
--"My two cents: IMO SSRs are relevant, since they would show more clearly the historical relation with respect of the preceding and current states in the area. For this reason I'd like to see the divisions of SFRY & SC, in addition to SSRs." (Altenmann)
--"I see no problem to show administrative division of USSR, SFRU and CSSR, I even proposed to do that. " (Paul Siebert)
--"the SSRs of one Bloc member (the USSR) are better for inclusion in the map because they are discussed in the article" (me)
Mosedschurte (talk) 08:04, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps even more bizarrely, you placed a tag at the top of the article page saying:

"The neutrality of this map is disputed."

How in the world is the current map not "neutral"? How could merely showing the SRs of underlying countries not be "neutral"?Mosedschurte (talk) 08:09, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Map (continued)

Dear Mosedschurte,
You deal with words of the others in the same way as you work with sources: you perform a synthesis of the others' opinions to advances your position. However, the authors of the posts perfectly know what concretely did they mean. You should stop using my words: "I see no problem to show administrative division of USSR, SFRU and CSSR, I even proposed to do that." as the argument supporting your map because,
Firstly, it is incomplete quotation. The full quotation is:"I see no problem to show administrative division of USSR, SFRU and CSSR, I even proposed to do that. Mosedschurte ignored this proposal." In other words, I state that the idea to show all internal borders has been ignored by you and you implemented it and started to support only after new, better map has been made that was supported by several editors.
Second. I already explained that I didn't mean that the internal borders are necessary. I meant that if you show internal borders, you must show all borders, and I proposed to do that just to resolve the long lasting conflict. I believe, everyone, including yourself, understood my words in such a way.

Moreover, as you probably noticed, the idea to show the internal borders has been in actuality supported by me and Goldsztajn. Some other ideas (e.g. West Berlin) proposed by you have been implemented on the new map. The only think we disagree with is the idea to show the internal borders on the lede map. No SSRs are discussed in the lede, so you should concede the internal borders are redundant here. In actuality, the discussion is not about showing or not showing SSRs' borders, but about showing them twice (The internal borders are on the second map). And, frankly, the quality of your map is poor.

I started to think that in actuality the major issue is that you want the article to show the map authored by Mosedschurte. However, WP has no authorship, and I propose you to cease the conflict that became absolutely artificial, and to focus on the second map. This map is really ugly (sorry) and confusing. Let's think how to improve it and how to show there all numerous border changes that took place during 1939-1991.

As soon as you mentioned WP:NOTDEMOCRACY, let me remind you about WP:IDHT. You satisfy almost all criteria of a disruptive editor. The only reason I am still dealing with you is that I am not sure in my own neutrality, and I need in opponents to balance my possible pro-Soviet bias.
I believe that during respectful and friendly discussion we could elaborate really neutral point of view.
--Paul Siebert (talk) 14:01, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

PS. I reproduce a part of my old post from archive [4]:

"Webster defines the word "bloc" as: "a group of nations united by treaty or agreement for mutual support or joint action".
Oxford dictionary tells that a bloc is "a group of countries or political parties who have formed an alliance"
According to Webster, union is "formation of a single political unit from two or more separate and independent units". Oxford dictionary tells that union is "a political unit consisting of a number of states or provinces with the same central government".
In other words, a bloc is a group of more or less independent political units with no central government whereas in the union there is a single government that controls all members of the union, in other words, a union is a single political unit per se.

My conclusion is: administrative division (SSRs, Slovakia, Czech SSR, Yugoslavian republics) are misleading on the lede map (that shows the EB's members). However, they definitely belong to the second map (that has to be heavily improved to fit WP criteria).
If you want to continue this discussion seriously you should address this my point, concretely, the quote above. Refusal to address it will be considered as an absence of good will.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:07, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

I haven't been following the latest controversy closely (that I forgot that I had recently already placed the article on my watch list is a good indicator). That said, I would respectfully ask that we leave expressions of editorial frustration as such and not make escalating comments about bad faith or project bad faith on opposing editors. More intractable issues have been addressed successfully if one does not equate obstinacy (based on beliefs on content which should be included) with bad faith. I think we can all be agreed that any editor on WP, to have a firm editorial opinion on anything and to contribute successfully and defend their edits appropriately, needs some degree of obstinacy to not be reduced to an amoebic quivering mass. PetersV       TALK 17:25, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
That you Peters for your comment. You advise is absolutely correct. I expressed my editorial frustration and made escalating comments because I still got no reply on my major arguments whereas the discussion rotates around minor details.
And, although I agree about obstinacy, the neutrality and factual correctness issues are even more important (as well as the willingness to achieve a compromise).
Regards,
--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:34, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Global European Union.svg


PeterV: TOTALLY agree.

Re: "you perform a synthesis of the others' opinions to advances your position. However, the authors of the posts perfectly know what concretely did they mean."
  • Simply unreal. Here are the actual quotes -- direct quote from Altenman and direct response from you directly afterwards, with links:

(1) Altenmann's commented above to include both SSRs and SRs:"My two cents: IMO SSRs are relevant, since they would show more clearly the historical relation with respect of the preceding and current states in the area. For this reason I'd like to see the divisions of SFRY & SC, in addition to SSRs." (Altenmann)
(2) Paul Siebert's reply to Altenmann "I see no problem to show administrative division of USSR, SFRU and CSSR, I even proposed to do that. Mosedschurte ignored this proposal. "

Re: "No SSRs are discussed in the lede, so you should concede the internal borders are redundant here. . . . . My conclusion is: administrative division (SSRs, Slovakia, Czech SSR, Yugoslavian republics) are misleading on the lede map (that shows the EB's members)."
  • No country besides Yugoslavia and Albania is discussed in the Lede.
  • As you know, the USSR SSRs are included because they are discussed in the article, are in the Eastern Bloc and are helpful to the reader, as has been stated probably 6-7 times, including , , here, here and here.
  • All three of (i) the border colors (grey), (ii) font size (11) and (iii) labels (SR and SSR) indicate that they are SRs. It honstely could not be more definitively indicated.Mosedschurte (talk) 18:11, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

(od) I've encountered both yours and Mosedschurte's edits and conversed with you both I've found no evidence of bad faith, enough said on that.
   The problem might be that the lead and detailed maps are too similar. Perhaps the lead (and why does everyone use lede?) image should simply be a "where on earth" image, that is, with no borders, only a single block of color (predictably, red!) encompassing the USSR and all members, similar to the image currently used for the EU, at right. We can then work to improve the detailed map showing both countries and SSRs. Just a thought, you can both (and others) let it percolate for a bit. :-) As long as we don't misinterpret insistence/obstinacy, neutrality and factuality are still achievable. PetersV       TALK 17:56, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

The global location map is a good idea. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 18:03, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
I toyed with the idea of a global location map, but concluded that it provided less information to the reader about the majority of countries in the Bloc. It would be like a modified version of the Warsaw country map, focusing more on Eurasia:
Map of Warsaw Pact countries.png
But, while visually stunning (and it would be a modified version of the above), it really provides the reader less information about most of the countries being described, and the definition of the Eastern Bloc is the communist countries of Eastern Europe.Mosedschurte (talk) 18:11, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
I won't pretend I'm not primarily concerned with how Yugoslavia turns out to be represented (it seems anyway to be the only issue other than the SSRs). Since it is indeed considered a part of the Easten Bloc, I of course have no problem with its inclusion in the map. This is all arbitrary, but I would greatly prefer it if Yugoslavia's seperate neutral alignment (Non-Aligned Movement) is depicted by an entirely different color than that of the Warsaw Pact (Blue, Green, Grey, White, whichever).
How is the proposed global location map to represent Yugoslavia and Albania's disputable inclusion in the category? --DIREKTOR (TALK) 18:13, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps more as the round globe type view? For the lead it may be enough to give the reader a sense of expanse and leave all the detail to the body of the article. If the lead map has no detail on specific countries, then it can't really be that confusing, can it? It is an article for general readers, after all, whereas we all involved here would be considered more to be experts with rather different needs and sensibilities. Think elementary/high school reading for the first time about the Eastern Bloc, something that disappeared before they were born.
   (edit conflict) on Yugoslavia and Albania, let's solve/agree one step at a time. PetersV       TALK 18:19, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure the solution proposed by you is optimal. I believe, as soon as WP readers are able to type "Eastern bloc" they are more or less aware where it was located. The map in the Eastern bloc article should show the Eastern bloc members, in other words, the USSR, its satellites and Yugoslavia and Albania. It also should show the difference between them (i.e. to reflect what the lede says), because, in contrast to EU, that is a uniform political formation with no senior members, there were senior members in EB (the USSR), satellites, and "associated members".
The second map (or a couple of maps) should reflect dramatic border changes that took place during 1939-91, so all SSRs, Baltic countries, pre-war Poland, Finlandia and Romania can be shown there. Definitely the first and the second map can and should look quite differently, so I really see no ground for further dispute.--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:20, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Here are some more points, which perhaps repeats some ideas already discussed in some form, as I'm not able to go through the whole conversation.
(Possibly below a global location map) there should be a map in the lead showing the members of the Eastern Bloc on the map of Europe. The SRs will be confusing on the map, as they were neither formally nor factually constituents of the bloc. They were factually first level administrative divisions of the constituent states, hence irrelevant in the context of the Eastern Bloc. Therefore I support the map without the SR borders in the lead.
This is also supported by the fact that the SRs are already shown in the EasternBloc.png below.
The main concern with the currently proposed Eastn-bloc4.svg is that it has too few details to show in its proposed size. Therefore I suggest to reduce the size to appr. 200px. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 18:23, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Dear Jaan. The svg map is scalabe, so everyone can rescale it in two mouse clicks.--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:31, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, let's compare

Below are two maps. Which one is more informative?

Map of Warsaw Pact countries.png
Map of the Eastern Bloc


To my opinion, the map on the right is a direct illustration to the lede that states:

"The terms Eastern Bloc, Communist Bloc or Soviet Bloc were used to refer to the former Communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, the countries of the Warsaw Pact and both Yugoslavia and Albania.[1][2] Members of the Eastern Bloc, besides the Soviet Union are often referred to as "satellite states" of the Soviet Union.[3][4][5] Sometimes, the terms "Eastern Bloc" or "Communist Bloc" may also refer to a wider range of countries aligned with the Soviet Union outside of Europe." --Paul Siebert (talk) 18:27, 28 May 2009 (UTC)


For the lede (it's not a real word, only a wiki-word, but I can only use it once, otherwise my brain will implode) let me ask the question: does the lead map need to be a faithful pictorial interpretation of the exact detailed literal expression of the lead? I find myself (in line with my earlier comments) voting for even less map detail (round globe ala EU version) and leave the gory details to the article body. Just continuing to think out loud, no intent to stir the pot, joggle the hornets' nest, etc. PetersV       TALK 18:34, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Dear Peters, of course, it doesn't. However, the fact that there is a direct correspondence between the map and the lede cannot serve as an argument against it.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:15, 28 May 2009 (UTC)





"Perhaps more as the round globe type view? For the lead it may be enough to give the reader a sense of expanse and leave all the detail to the body of the article. If the lead map has no detail on specific countries, then it can't really be that confusing, can it?" (PetersV)
I think I see what you're saying, and stepping back, it's an interesting idea. In other words, just include a very rough picture showing the expanse of the Eastern Bloc for the Lede, not any information there, other countries (or Cold War, economic, other, etc.), etc. I.e., create a world map with no country borders, color the Bloc something (dark red, light red, whatever) and instead of titling it "Eastern Bloc", title it "Expanse of the Eastern Bloc". Then include an informative map later in the article, such as in "Formation of the Eastern bloc", etc.Mosedschurte (talk) 18:36, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
That would be it. Generally speaking in these sorts of conflicts, if at first no one likes what I propose, that's usually a good sign I'm making progress. :-) If there are genuine strong feelings about non-alignment and the "implications" of "red", we can pick some unassociated color like navy blue for the lead map. PetersV       TALK 18:41, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, lets put everything together

I tried to combine all proposed maps together to compare. Of course, since we discuss not concrete details but the major idea, so it would be useful to look at these five maps that represent different concepts. I would like to know your opinions about the concepts, not the details. Which of these maps seems more suitable mutatis mutandis?--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:05, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Busy until later, thanks for this compendium—this is in reference to the lead/lede only (just making sure). To all, let's keep school-age audience in mind (that is, not assuming a lot of fore-knowledge). PetersV       TALK 21:13, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Map of the Eastern Bloc with administrative division
EB in a global scale
(in actuality, EU, but it doesn't matter here)
EB and its opponents
EB in a Eurasian scale
Map of the Eastern Bloc's members





























PetersV: Re your Expanse of the Eastern Bloc img for Lede

Re this exchange:

PetersV-Perhaps more as the round globe type view? For the lead it may be enough to give the reader a sense of expanse and leave all the detail to the body of the article. If the lead map has no detail on specific countries, then it can't really be that confusing, can it?"
Mosedschurte-I think I see what you're saying, and stepping back, it's an interesting idea. In other words, just include a very rough picture showing the expanse of the Eastern Bloc for the Lede, not any information there, other countries (or Cold War, economic, other, etc.), etc. I.e., create a world map with no country borders, color the Bloc something (dark red, light red, whatever) and instead of titling it "Eastern Bloc", title it "Expanse of the Eastern Bloc". Then include an informative map later in the article, such as in "Formation of the Eastern bloc", etc.
PetersV - That would be it. Generally speaking in these sorts of conflicts, if at first no one likes what I propose, that's usually a good sign I'm making progress. :-) If there are genuine strong feelings about non-alignment and the "implications" of "red", we can pick some unassociated color like navy blue for the lead map.

I used the opportunity to teach myself how to better address this whole adjustable svg file issue (this is not a mod of the Warsaw Pact map above, as that was a rasterized bitmap). As mentioned, this is just an expanse of the Eastern Bloc map for the Lede (no additional info, etc.) I just noticed that you can see very faint remnants of country lines still. This is probably because I ran the final version through Inkscape.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Mosedschurte (talkcontribs) 2009-05-28 23:58

EasternBlov expanseea.svg
Yeah, except Yugoslavia and Albania look like they're Soviet satellites... That's what I'm talking about, please don't forget to distinguish Warsaw pact from the neutral countries. (Preferrably by a different color entirely) --DIREKTOR (TALK) 00:20, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Eastn-bloc4.svg

Hmmm...not really convinced by the arguments for an expansive global or hemispheric map for the lede (for those wondering about the term lede, it has been in use in publishing for long before the invention of wiki). Firstly, Eastern Bloc was generally used to indicate the Eastern and Central European state socialist countries...I think the terms Communist bloc and Soviet bloc are a little more vague geographically. I also think it is very important to have a clear indication of the political differences within the Eastern bloc (viz. Yugoslavia and Albania as independent non-/un-/formerly-aligned countries). If we are making a map which requires a high school level understanding, then the map which shows Eastern and Central Europe with immediate surrounding countries is fine IMO (and which was the consensus view reached well over a month ago). I think these more expansive global/hemispheric maps should be used later in the article and associated with sections on COMECON and Warsaw Pact (which the article needs to address much better). If there is a real concern about high school students not being able to identify where Eastern Europe is, then we could always include a smaller global map offset with an identifier of the location (eg like the map for Germany at right here).--Goldsztajn (talk) 02:07, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

My proposal, reworked following comments on colours and global positioning.--Goldsztajn (talk) 02:58, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Edits made to earlier comment to avoid clutter.--Goldsztajn (talk) 02:58, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Agree with Goldsztajn. The last map meets all formal and informal criteria: it tells what the Eastern bloc was, shows its location on the world map and gives a reader and impression about its political inhomogeneity, in other words, the map, in combination with the lede may serve an excellent introduction into the article.
I propose to introduce this map into the article immediately, because it is much better than the present one, and then to continue a discussion (if that is needed). Taking into account Goldsztajn's willingness to cooperate and his excellent computer graphics skills, I believe everyone will be able to discuss additional changes of his map with him afterward.--Paul Siebert (talk) 03:51, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Completely and totally disagree. The map to the right is not only inferior to the current map, but grossly so:
(1) It fails to include the SSRs of the USSR, as are discussed in the article and as as Altenman and myself indicated
(2) Excludes SRs of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, as the comments reflected above.
(3) Excludes SRs of the former Yugoslavia, as the comments reflected above.
(4) Contains zero legend, though it oddly contains 4 map colors, whie a legend like the top Wikipedia example history map example on the template page.
(5) While this is EB-centric, it extends outside the Bloc (e.g., west of West Germany or south of Greece).
(6) Does not utiizes the black Arial font, as is included in the Wikipedia template page.
However, if we went with the suggestion of PeterV to do an expanse-style map with no borders for the intro, then a more informative map below, I could see going in that direction as well.Mosedschurte (talk) 04:18, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I do not see the font as a major issue and this can be changed quickly (although as I have mentioned to Mosedschurte before, Arial is a proprietary font and technically if not converted cannot be used in SVGs due to copyright). As for the internal borders, as has been repeated ad nauseum, they are not necessary in the lede map. It makes no sense and is confusing and adds to making the maps cluttered and ugly. Maps with internal borders should appear in the parts of the article where those issues are discussed. The lede map should give a quick clear view of the countries which make up the main portion of the article and their immediate geographic context. Explanation of colours can easily be rectified in a caption or minor adjustments in the lede (although personally I don't see this as necessary). I'm in agreement if Paul wishes to place the map in the article and more than happy to continue editing this per collaborative comments from editors. --Goldsztajn (talk) 04:49, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Personally I don't like the legend because it adds further visual interference to the map, but I've added a legend in a show of good faith. I'm going to be bold and add it to the page, remove the dispute map tag and hope we can get on to improving the article.--Goldsztajn (talk) 08:27, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Very minor changes to lede to account for new propsed map without legend

Here's a very basic minor change to the lede text which could accommodate Mosedschurte's concern about the lack of a legend and also incorporate DIREKTOR's concerns about status of Yugoslavia and Albania (NB: references removed only for drafting purposes). Present lede:

The terms Eastern Bloc, Communist Bloc or Soviet Bloc were used to refer to the former Communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, the countries of the Warsaw Pact and both Yugoslavia and Albania. Members of the Eastern Bloc, besides the Soviet Union are often referred to as "satellite states" of the Soviet Union. Sometimes, the terms "Eastern Bloc" or "Communist Bloc" may also refer to a wider range of countries aligned with the Soviet Union outside of Europe.

Proposed change:

The terms Eastern Bloc, Communist Bloc or Soviet Bloc were used primarily to refer to the former Communist states of Eastern and Central Europe. Countries of the Eastern Bloc were referred to as "satellite states" of the Soviet Union. The term may include Yugoslavia and Albania, although for most of the Cold War, neither were aligned to the Soviet Union and were not considered satellite states. Sometimes, the terms "Soviet Bloc" or "Communist Bloc" may also refer to a wider range of countries aligned with the Soviet Union outside of Europe.

--Goldsztajn (talk) 05:35, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Changing the actual text in the Lede of an article for a proposed map is a thoroughly bad idea, to put it mildly. Or, you could just include a legend to address one problem. In addition, among the proposed text's many problems, it also doesn't comport with the sources and injects the Cold War(???) into the WP:Lede, though it is not discussed in the article in any substantial degree.
Also, the new proposed map has so many problems, including substantive ones:
(1) It fails to include the SSRs of the USSR, as are discussed in the article and as as User:Altenmann and myself indicated should be in (and are in the current map)
(2) Excludes SRs of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, as the comments reflected above.
(3) Excludes SRs of the former Yugoslavia, as the comments reflected above.
(4) Contains zero legend, though it oddly contains 4 map colors, while the Wikiproject history examples inlcude a legend where the colors aren't explained in the map like the top Wikipedia example history map example on the template page.
(5) While this is EB-centric, it extends outside the Bloc (e.g., west of West Germany or south of Greece).
(6) Does not utiizes the black Arial font, as is included in the Wikipedia template page.
PeterV's idea for a hemispheric borderless expanse map (with a detailed map put in the article below) to demonstrate global expanse, was at least interesting.Mosedschurte (talk) 06:23, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
As Eastern Bloc was defined as USSR with "satellite states" the Mongolian territory needs to be painted with Eastern Block color. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 06:29, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Mosedschurte only seems to be repeating earlier comments (these points now appear almost word-for-word on the talk page three times), it looks to be simple cut and pastes with no evidence of collaboration or compromise. In regard to inclusion of Mongolia, let me quote Mosedschurte, where I agree, wholeheartedly:

"The Eastern Bloc simply consists of the communist countries of Eastern Europe."

--Goldsztajn (talk) 07:16, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

If Eastern Bloc was limited to the Warsaw Pact - you are right, if to the USSR with its satellites - no. Only maps depicting globe extentions of the Eastern Bloc are surprising: Mongolia, the most directly ruled from Moscow is out of the bloc, it looks not to be a Soviet satellite.Bogomolov.PL (talk) 07:33, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I wasn't sure which map you were referring to, in regard to the map titled "Expanse of Eastern Bloc", then I agree with you (although I would be happier there with Soviet bloc), but there is no reason to use that map in the lede (what the present discussion concerns). The present map under debate is the map containing Yugoslavia coloured green and showing Eastern and Central Europe.--Goldsztajn (talk) 07:59, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

[To avoid any confusion, am reposting comment from above here] Personally I don't like the legend because it adds further visual interference to the map, but I've added a legend in a show of good faith. I'm going to be bold and add it to the page, remove the dispute map tag and hope we can get on to improving the article.--Goldsztajn (talk) 08:42, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

As for Mongolia: the article in its current form does not include her. Maybe it should, but that's another topic. Let's stick to the current one. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 08:44, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
As for Mosedschurte's points:
1-3) The purpose of a lead map is to show the location of the countries stated in the lead, being the constituent republics of the Eastern Bloc. The SRs are not discussed in the lead neither were they the constituent republics. A fortiori, there's a map in the main body already depicting the Soviet SRs. The Czechoslovak and Yugoslavian SRs are not discussed in the text, therefore there's no urgent need to depict them. If there were, they could be included not in the lead map but the one below.
4) Agree.
5) Not a problem, shows the spatial context.
6) Why is it a problem? --Jaan Pärn (talk) 08:53, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
As a very small aside Mongolia is linked in the other countries section.--Goldsztajn (talk) 08:56, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

The map now has a legend, so have stricken the part about legend from section title. I still think the proposed lede changes would be useful.--Goldsztajn (talk) 09:30, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

The term is not 'alligned' but 'allied'. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 13:27, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
To my understanding, "allied" implies some formal alliance, so this term seems to be more appropriate to the Warsaw pact article. "Aligned" is more informal, so it would be more correct to use it here. If I am wrong, please, correct me.--Paul Siebert (talk) 14:29, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
My dictionaries just gave 'alligned' and 'aligned' as "form into a line or array" and it felt inappropriate. If you say, it's the term, then it's fine by me. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 14:46, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Both you and I are not native English speakers, so to be 100% sure it would be better to ask someone else. Maybe Mosedschurte can explain us?--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:14, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
In addition, if you mean a legend, the term "non-aligned" seems to refer to the Non-aligned movement, the organisation, SFRY was a member of.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:19, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Nice unilateral map change attempt, even with the problems.Mosedschurte (talk) 18:36, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Let's vote?

  • As someone uninvolved here, I support using map with Soviet Republics per Altenmann and Mosedschurte. It is simply more informative and includes other disputed territories like the Baltic States.Biophys (talk) 13:08, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

WP is not a democracy, so I oppose to the vote idea. However, the result of this prospective poll is rather predictable. At least four currently involved editors support the Goldsztajn's map: DIREKTOR, Goldsztajn, I, and Jaan Pärn. The latter's opinion is especially important, because he is Estonian and his personal attitude towards the USSR and Russia may be, although not necessarily is, rather negative (sorry, Jaan if I am wrong). However, Jaan (as well as many other editors from Baltic countries) is extremely intellectually honest WP editor . That is why I invited him to interfere into this discussion and to present his opinion here. Thank you, Jaan, for that.
I believe, only two editors will support the old map unequivocally: Mosedschurte and Biophys. I am not sure about other editors's opinion, but, definitely, the balance will not be tipped to the old map's side.
Nevertheless, I oppose to the idea to vote because WP is not a democracy.
However, WP is not a place for reasonable people to waste their time in fruitless discussions. The fact that the same arguments appear again and again during this discussion and clear and concrete answers are being constantly ignored tells me that we probably deal with a problem editor or even with a disruptive editor here. Therefore, I propose to halt the discussion and to follow the standard procedure of WP:dispute resolution. I believe now we came to the step 2.9.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:09, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Ditto. I also vote against the vote. ;) --DIREKTOR (TALK) 16:13, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Re: "As someone uninvolved here, I support using map with Soviet Republics per Altenmann and Mosedschurte." (Biophys)
That and the USSR SSRs are actually explicitly discussed in the article, and a part of one Bloc member. It's really that simple. There has been a drive, primarily by User:Paul Siebert and User:Goldsztajn, to delete any WP:Lede map that simply depicts any of the SSRs or SRs in a map. I had a prior map that I made extensive changes to borders, etc. at their direction in that depiction (see Talk Page archives). They appear to never even discuss a compromise on any map depicting this entirely non-controversial and discussed information in a map. Their depiction appears simply to be some sort of no go, no matter what, regardless of the merits. Taking a step back, it's rather odd to demand something so large, noncontroversial as SSRs and mentioned in the article and inside the Bloc NOT be depicted.Mosedschurte (talk) 18:45, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
It's a mistake to take the non-controversy of the SSRs for granted. A map with the SSRs could easily give an idea of the 'republics' being some sort of players in the game of the Eastern Bloc, while they were in fact just propaganda tools in the hands of the Politburo. The idea of the SSRs was to showcase the in fact nonexistent freedom of nations within the Soviet Union. The SSRs depicted in the lead map of the Eastern Bloc could serve the same purpose. The SSRs acquired independent foreign policies in 1991. Before that, they are irrelevant on a political map. So much about non-controversy. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 19:09, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
There is simply zero in the map that indicates that the SRs were "some sort of players." They are included in numerous maps.The mere depiction of the SSRS is in absolutely no way "contoversial", and they are discussed in the article.Mosedschurte (talk) 19:18, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
They are discussed in the main body of the article and depicted in EasternBloc.png. the map featured in the main body. No need for a double emphasize on the SSRs. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 19:21, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
There is no "double emphasis". That map depicts border changes from 1938 to the 1940s. Both maps simply depict the various countries of the EB, including the SSRs of one country that are discussed in the article. It is literally that simple, and their is nothing "controversial" about it.Mosedschurte (talk) 19:26, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
The SRs weren't players? Well, the Head-of-State of Yugoslavia (wielding the highest powers) was actually a council of the heads of state of all the SRs. The influence of individual SRs was arguably more significant than that of the SSR. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 19:24, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
EasternBloc-legend.svg
Interesting. Well, the actual map (not the one being inserted today via WP:Edit War) depicts the Yugoslavian SRs anyway, see right, though that's not why they were included. But you'd have to break with the usual pack on the Talk page to acknowledge that that, which I doubt will happen. Mosedschurte (talk) 19:29, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I was talking about the SSRs, which did not influence the foreign policy of the USSR. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 19:28, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Here, the Occam's razor comes along, saying that objects should not be multiplied without a certain need for it. What's the need of depicting the SSRs on a lead map, when they are already depicted below? --Jaan Pärn (talk) 19:34, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

(od)That's a pretty humorous application of Occam's razor. They are two different maps, one depicting border changes. For example, Hungary is also depicted on both maps. I don't suggest we delete Hungary on either, but depict it on both.Mosedschurte (talk) 19:37, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I have seen your map, along with all its inaccuracies. SR Bosnia and Herzegovina had (and still has) access to the Adriatic, SR Serbia is too small with inaccurate borders and its internal border with SR Macedonia is off. My point was that the SRs are politically no less significant than the SSRs, and even as such do not warrant inclusion in a map of actual countries. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 19:38, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Hungary is needed on the lead map illustrating the lead listing her as a constituent member of EB. SSRs are not. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 20:00, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with most of the editors here – there is no need to include the SRs or the SSRs on the Eastern Bloc map, as these were given neither independent foreign policies or actual sovereignty. Also, I find it curious that User:Mosedschurte keeps inserting pre-1945 defectors from the Soviet Union to the List of Eastern Bloc defectors page, where it's already been pointed out to him, clearly and on many occasions, by numerous editors, that there was no Eastern Bloc itself before 1945. (One might, nonetheless, be humored by the current list, with interesting figures from the 1930s.)
There's certainly some indication – an intriguing hint? – of a disruptive editor on Soviet topics. PasswordUsername (talk) 21:11, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
First, such charges are amusing having merely one look at the Talk Page at Occupation of the Baltic States. Second, "disruptive editor" on the defector list article? Check the history. I created that article.Mosedschurte (talk) 21:22, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
A creator of the article can be a disruptive editor. Putting an emphasis on the fact that you are a creator of the article is a sign of WP:OWN. Your numerous claims like "Well, the actual map (not the one being inserted today via WP:Edit War) depicts the Yugoslavian SRs anyway...", "Nice unilateral map change attempt, even with the problems...", etc. etc. may serve a proof that you behave as an owner of almost every article you created or edited extensively.--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:32, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Firstly, without being petty or unreasonable, please earnestly let me know how I have been disruptive at Talk:Occupation of the Baltic states, where I duly lay out my points. Secondly, your creation of the defectors list doesn't justify what you have been doing to it – please try consulting WP:OWNERSHIP. This might help alleviate your issues. PasswordUsername (talk) 21:33, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Re: "you behave as an owner of almost every article you created or edited extensively." (Paul Siebert)
Wow, not only ridiculous and highly WP:Uncivil, but baseless accusations of WP:Ownership are not accurate or helpful, and I merely mentioned its creation. Such charges are especially revealing given the following:

  • Let's simply follow WP:Consensus. This article had an older map that I reinserted. As clear from this discussion, there is no consensus to replace the map by anything. So, let's keep older map. I am really surprised why such minor question causes such long discussion. People, do not you have anything better to do? Biophys (talk) 22:07, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
--I agree with that and I'd like to note that I months ago made EXTENSIVE changes (I'm guessing over 50, but I can't remember) to the old map to get this map to where it was based on the suggestions of many of these same editors toward the end of this section here, including changes to the SSR borders and text, map colors, scope, etc. Many of those changes were made at the direct request of users such as Paul Siebert. Mosedschurte (talk) 22:14, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

To Paul's point:

"At least four currently involved editors support the Goldsztajn's map: DIREKTOR, Goldsztajn, I, and Jaan Pärn"

I'd note editor Yaan, who has not contributed to this particular map lede debate, supported a previous proposed lede map which did not have internal borders. To Mosedschurte's point:

"I had a prior map that I made extensive changes to borders, etc. at their direction in that depiction (see Talk Page archives). They appear to never even discuss a compromise on any map depicting this entirely non-controversial and discussed information in a map."

This occurred only after two weeks and a half weeks of intransigent uncivil opposition. Removing inaccuracies from the earlier map (eg no mention of USSR, depiction of Albania, see the map's file history) cannot be considered a sign of a willingness to "compromise". Only as a result of an alternative lede map being proposed (deja vu) did some substantial improvements actually begin. On 4 April (two months ago) I withdrew my proposed map in good faith given Mosedschurte had begun proper edits, and continuing to assume good faith, I thought the map would reach consensus. At the time I had offered to convert the final product to SVG. This was ignored. Subsequently Mosedschurte ignored the issue now under debate (again), ie need only for international borders in lede map (the reasons for which are plain and clear). The second lede map I created is an accurate reflection of discussions on this talk page since at least the middle of March. It contains elements I do not agree with (eg I don't agree this format needs a legend) and is missing others (eg I think it should include Western Europe, should show both Western and Eastern political alignments), but which I have made considering all views (including those of Mosedschurte, eg need for legend, geographic focus on Eastern and Central Europe, inclusion of global position). However, given the conflict in views, all cannot be reflected. Despite this, IMO it is the best map representing a compromise of views. Finally, the lede map is now a correctly formatted SVG with no compression legacies (unlike either of the maps by Mosedschurte). Again and again, good faith efforts to collaborate, to provide a map which is technically appropriate and covers the necessary representational issues are being ignored, met with false accusations or denigrated in uncivil terms. There seems to be a serious problem of ownership, inter alia. I'm all for mediation if it will solve this problem.--Goldsztajn (talk) 22:35, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Re: "Removing inaccuracies from the earlier map (eg no mention of USSR, depiction of Albania, see the map's file history) cannot be considered a sign of a willingness to "compromise". "
That's an interesting view of reality. In actual fact, I probably made no less than 50+ edits to the map based on comments from you and other editors, many of which are in this Talk page archive section. These included requested SSR border color and depiction changes, country colors, map area, etc.
Re: "Mosedschurte ignored the issue now under debate (again), ie need only for international borders in lede map (the reasons for which are plain and clear). The second lede map I created is an accurate reflection of discussions on this talk page since at least the middle of March."
Another interesting view of reality. I opposed the deletion of all SSR depictions, which are discussed in the article and within the EB, since going back to the previously mentioned section, and zero WP:Consensus was reached on the issue of deleting all depiction of the SSRs. User:Biophys and User:Altenmann also do not want to delete all depiction of the SSRs.
Re: "Despite this, IMO it is the best map representing a compromise of views."
How is simply taking your own side of the issue -- deleting all depiction of SRs and SSRs from the map -- a "compromise"?Mosedschurte (talk) 22:56, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I myself was involved in discussion with several editors who shared the same point of view, and I perfectly know how difficult it is to be alone against the group of people. I disagree to vote for the Goldsztajn's map, because I know that majority editors will vote for this map. I respect Mosedschurte in his readiness to fight for his ideas, and I don't want the concept I support to prevail due to simple vote.
However, the problem is that during last week Mosedschurte put forward no new arguments. It is impossible to reach a consensus if one side repeats the same arguments again and again.
The "discussion" on that talk page is just a visibility of discussion. What is happening last week is an attempt to "exhaust the patience of productive editors who may quit the project in frustration when a disruptive editor continues with impunity.". And this repeats again and again, and not only on that WP page. These tricks are dishonest, and I cannot respect Mosedschurte for that.
The problem is broader. The map is not a sole article's issue. The second map is terrible and needs in a lot of work, the text also has to be modified (although not dramatically). Other Eastern bloc related articles also need serious verification, and, probably, modification. And I cannot understand why do I have to write 10,000 words on the article's talk page to change 10 words in the article, especially taking into account that 90% of these 10,000 are just the same arguments literally repeated by one side and unanswered questions asked by the other side.
I have no experience of reporting to ANI and, frankly, I hate things like that, however, we have to find some solution other than futile discussions.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:21, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Alright, this is getting silly, I'm willing to give in even though I think it will clearly make a worse map

This battling over a map has reached unbearable levels of silliness. I realized when I was thinking about discussions in Paul's suggestion for mediation, and immediately pictured how much we would probably be laughed at fighting over the inclusion of small number of borders on a map. Honestly, how embarrassing that would be for all of us (me included).

I still think the drive to delete all depictions of the SRs (USSR, CSR, SFY or any combination thereof) is ill-founded, cuts against the fact that these are directly addressed in this very article such that their inclusion is helfpul and they quite clearly existed (with zero controversy over that). I agree with the observations of User:Biophys and User:Altenmann regarding the helpful nature of such inclusions and am truly baffled by the drive by a group of editors to delete them. There is zero harm including them with the proper borders and designations showing that they are SRs.

HOWEVER, it's just too wasteful to spend time regarding this issue.

Thus, I propose to give in entirely and:
(1) Have a map in the WP:Lede like User:Goldsztajn's -- i.e., all depiction of SRs are deleted for every country.
(2) Create a label on that map: "Members of the Eastern Bloc", to make clear that it is depicting members only.
(3) I will create a new version of the map (don't worry Goldsztajn, I'll create it from scratch from AI now, no JPEG artifacts) with a more visible legend text, a better font and zeros in more on the Bloc area and with the more detailed Wikiproject Blank Europe map (and 1986 version for East Germany) borders.
(4) I will first place the map on the Talk page for approval before inserting it. Believe me, I'm not going to monkey around with it -- there will be no SR borders of any kind or other added anything. It will be just as I stated above. If you don't like it (and I think you will, since I'm not going to try anything cute with it), comment accordingly, etc., and I won't put it in the article.
(5) At that point, put the more detailed map (with all of the SR borders) in the "Formation of the Eastern Bloc" section. Actually, I'm also going to redo that to be fully SVG path compliant as well, but it might take a while and it won't require changing anything (I'll just change the map file).

Please hold off on reverting to the map until I put a version on the Talk Page. It will be sometime tonight.Mosedschurte (talk) 23:58, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I just saw Paul's sweeping combative comments above added concurrently to this section. I won't comment except that I disagree wholeheartedly and think they indicate a continuing problem with that editor which I will not go into at this time.
Suffice to say that it does not change my above submission giving in on the issue of the WP:Lede map. Thanks to User:Biophys and User:Altenmann for their resistance to the deletion of all SR depictions. If they'd like to continue to push to oppose the deletions, that's obviously up to them.Mosedschurte (talk) 00:01, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
Let's go with the best map available and reflective of consensus now which is just international borders (and which I will have to revert to, given Biophys just reverted). My personal view is that it is not necessary to create another map in the lede and efforts should now be focussed on the other maps. --Goldsztajn (talk) 00:09, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
Dear Mosedschurte, it is little bit unclear for me why do you characterise my comments as "combative". This is a rare situation when the concept supported by me can prevail just by simple vote, however I let you know clearly that I am still ready to accept and discuss new arguments from you. The only thing I request from you is to stop repeating the same arguments and thereby artificially prolong the discussion that came to its logical end. As soon as you agreed with that the issue is resolved.
Cheers,
--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:36, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
PS. Once again, I respect your will to fight for your ideas and I promise to support your map if it will be better than the current one (btw, similarly to what I've done in the Cold War articles).--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:40, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

PetersV has an interesting idea with potentially no map in the WP:Lede that I'd never thought of (don't know why it had never even crossed my mind). In the meantime, re (1)-(5) above, here is the basics members only map, rendered at both 300px and 350px. I used the more detailed underlying Wikproject map to get the better borders, which are now all svg path compliant:

Members of the Eastern Bloc rendered at 300px)
Members of the Eastern Bloc rendered at 350px)

Mosedschurte (talk) 10:53, 30 May 2009 (UTC)


































I have several questions:

  • As I see, your map reflects 1963-1965 period as name of Yugoslavia is Socialist but Romania is People (more correct is Romanian People's Republic), so East Germany has to be German Democratic Republic (since 1949).
  • East Berlin - it was in fact a part of GDR, but is shown as different entity. Why?
  • Number of islands (Yugoslavian) were lost.

Bogomolov.PL (talk) 12:06, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

I think the status of East Berlin was a bit ambigous. IIRC, according to the western allies it should have been under Soviet, not East German, administration. Similar to West Berlin which was not really part of West Germany either.
For example I think the situation with the tanks at Checkpoint Charlie in 1961 was related to an argument over the status of East Berlin. Yaan (talk) 13:02, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
I know that of course, but East Berlin looks as one more member of the East Bloc what is not correct, isn't it? It was not legally a part of GDR from werstern POV, but it was a GDR part, as Lithuania was not legally (from US POV) a legal part of the USSR, but in fact - yes, it was.Bogomolov.PL (talk) 13:57, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Yaan (talk) 15:30, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, let's compare again

Members of the Eastern Bloc rendered at 300px
Members of the Eastern Bloc rendered at 300px

The Mosedschurte's map is on the left and the User:Goldsztajn's one on the right. To my opinion, advandages of the left map is only large fonts
The advantages of the map on the right are:(i) it embraces a larger part of Europe, that seems to be more informative for the reader: after looking at the map on the left someone can experience difficulties to understand where on the Earth the Eastern bloc was. Remember, Peters pointed out correctly that WP audience includes school students. (ii) Contains the world map that serves to the same purpose.
With regards to West Berlin, on both maps it looks confusing. Although it is grey on the right map, that is hardly visible, so it looks like another EB's member. On the left map, it is unclear for me why do we need to show Eastern Berlin separately (in contrast to other capitals). One way or the another, this must be clarified.
Aesthetically, both maps are almost identical.
Frankly, I am a little bit disappointed. I expected Mosedschurte to create something principally new that would resolve all alleged drawbacks Goldsztajn's map is plagued with. Instead of that, he produced a little bit modified clone of the Goldsztaj's map.
Please, correct me if I am wrong, but I got a feeling that there are two possible solutions Mosedschurte will be satisfied with:
(i) the lede map created by him, or
(ii) no map at all.
--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:21, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
PS. I personally wouldn't mind if Mosedschurte took the Goldsztajn's map as the base, increased the font size, changed the legend and introduce it into the article. To my opinion, the legend should be like that on the Mosedschurte's map, however, the first line is redundant: the Soviet Union's name is already on the map, so there is no need to duplicate it in the legend.
It is not a good style to show the countries' name truncated like that Czechoslovak Socialist Rep., you either use CzSSR, or Czechoslovakia. The latter seems more informative.
Once again, we are reasonable men, so neither I nor Goldsztajn (I believe) will object if you take his map as the starting point, do some improvements and put into the article.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:20, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
PPS. Taking into account that some Mosedschurte's ideas have been already implemented in the Goldsztajn's map, I don't think this my proposal is insulting or humilating.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:46, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

In the legend, I would use "USSR-aligned until 1960" and so on. Otherwise, support the map on the right with its calmer colours, regular fonts and proper country names. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 17:07, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

New map per the changes above

Recap: I stated above, though despite I vehemently stress that this will make it a worse, less-informative map -- not addressing the items addressed in the article -- that in order to attempt to reach some kind of consensu, I would agree to the deletion of all SR borders from the WP:Lede-only map and go to a basics "Eastern Bloc Members" only map with the following steps:
(1) Have a map in the WP:Lede like User:Goldsztajn's -- i.e., all depiction of SRs are deleted for every country.
(2) Create a label on that map: "Members of the Eastern Bloc", to make clear that it is depicting members only.
(3) I will create a new version of the map (don't worry Goldsztajn, I'll create it from scratch from AI now, no JPEG artifacts) with a more visible legend text, a better font and zeros in more on the Bloc area and with the more detailed Wikiproject Blank Europe map (and 1986 version for East Germany) borders.
(4) I will first place the map on the Talk page for approval before inserting it. Believe me, I'm not going to monkey around with it -- there will be no SR borders of any kind or other added anything. It will be just as I stated above. If you don't like it (and I think you will, since I'm not going to try anything cute with it), comment accordingly, etc., and I won't put it in the article.
(5) At that point, put the more detailed map (with all of the SR borders) in the "Formation of the Eastern Bloc" section. Actually, I'm also going to redo that to be fully SVG path compliant as well, but it might take a while and it won't require changing anything (I'll just change the map file).

NOTE HOWEVER: That PetersV has an interesting idea below -- no map in the WP:Lede and other information instead. I put together a montage like that in the World War II article WP:Lede with some photos of major events/people.

Back to the Members-only style map: a number of improvements and changes were made in the map:
(1) Uses the 1986 Wikproject blank Europe map 1986 for the borders, which are more detailed/accurate than the 1959 world map borders.
(2) Uses a black Arial font, as is included in the Wikipedia template page and top Wikipedia example history map example on the template page.
(3) Introduces readable legend text when scaled
(4) Uses a legend style like the top Wikipedia example history map example on the template page
(5) Introduces, as stated above, the title "Eastern Bloc Members"
(6) Depicts the Bloc in much more detail by not including extraneous space to the west of the GDR or to the south of Albania.

Additional suggestions from others:


  • "As I see, your map reflects 1963-1965 period as name of Yugoslavia is Socialist but Romania is People (more correct is Romanian People's Republic), so East Germany has to be German Democratic Republic (since 1949)." (Bogomolov.PL)
  • "It is not a good style to show the countries' name truncated like that Czechoslovak Socialist Rep., you either use CzSSR, or Czechoslovakia. The latter seems more informative."
Fixed: Rather than continue to address this issue, I went with the shorter (but less accurate) pre-Bloc country names.
  • "East Berlin - it was in fact a part of GDR, but is shown as different entity. Why?" Bogomolov.PL
Fixed - the 1986 Wikiproject Europe map included vector paths for West and East Berlin. I merged East Berlin with East Germany.
These are rendered too large on the 1959 world map, which does not include much detail, but includes large looping paths for the islands. They are not lost, but are very small and rendered in scale. I could add those paths to the detailed 1986 map to make the small coastal islands visually pop out, but honestly, it would make it less accurate.
  • "the legend should be like that on the Mosedschurte's map, however, the first line is redundant: the Soviet Union's name is already on the map, so there is no need to duplicate it in the legend."(Paul Siebert)
Fixed. USSR gone.

In addition to this, I like the "Expanse" of the EB concept of PetersV above, and the tiny world map contextual iso that User:Goldsztajn included in his map, so I included it, but colored each country in in accordance with the top map.

The new map:

rendered @ 350 px
rendered @ 300 px

































Mosedschurte (talk) 21:44, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Back to basics on lede map

I know I've only been contributing the discussion here for a short while, I was rather hoping to assist, but I can't hear any cogent, concise preferences being stated because they are all getting drowned out in gnashing of teeth. I appreciate this has been going on for quite some time and progress has been torturous.
   Perhaps we need to take some even bigger steps backward to go forward, starting with basics. So, first, the choices:

  1. no map in the lede
  2. summary map in the lede, perhaps something info-boxish?
  3. detailed map in the lede (some form of current)

What is it that we are attempting to accomplish with the combination of lede text and lede map? It's not enough to argue the lede map must match the lede text. What does that accomplish versus the other options? If we can have the proponents of each summarize in several sentences, that might help clear the air. And no counterpoint by anyone to anyone else's. If you wish, you can state the advantages (or not) of all three and your choice and why, again, succinctly. I'm open to any persuasive argument that focuses on what a particular solution does, or doesn't, accomplish.

  • Option 2—I believe the article should include pre-war and post-war, even to the EU, showing border changes, the annexation of the Baltic states, etc. This requires likely several maps in sequence rather than one (given the numerous changes). The lede, to my mind, should (a) use words to describe the geopolitical unit and (b) show its territory in summary only. My reasoning is as follows. To understand the place of the Eastern Bloc, now defunct, in history, requires: before, during, after. That should be a natural progression in the body of the article. Having a detailed map in the lede works against that by placing a large cumbersome (to my mind) image in the lede which competes with maps in the article body. That then causes one or more later maps to attempt too much detail or somehow otherwise attempt to differentiate themselves from the lede map, getting in the way of telling a story in a progressive logical manner. In summary: (1) not an option (2) it's a summary for a summary (lede) which doesn't compete with anything in the article (3) too big, too many countries, too many alignments, all which compete with and appear duplicative of the body of the article. PetersV       TALK 01:21, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
Dear Peters, please, correct me if I am wrong but the present lede and map satisfy your "(a)" and "(b)": the description of the geopolitical unit is given and the territory is described. The current map (i) shows the location of the Eastern bloc on the world map (ii) outlines its borders (iii) explains its inhomogeneity (the senior member, satellites, non-aligned countries). With regards to the map in the body of the article, on 04:22, 28 May 2009 (UTC) I already proposed to replace the existing "map with two political maps that show state borders in Central and Eastern Europe before WWII (Aug 1939) and after EB dissolution (e.g. Jan 1992). If someone is able to fit all these border changes into a single map, it would be great, but I see in no way how to do it without creating absolutely messy map." That coincides with your current proposal ("To understand the place of the Eastern Bloc, now defunct, in history, requires: before, during, after."), and, had it been implemented, the lede artilce would not "compete with and appear duplicative of the body of the article" any more.
In addition, taking into account that both technically and aesthetically the lede map is much better than the map in the article's body, it is the latter that should be changed.
Therefore, the problem seems completely artificial.
Regards,
--Paul Siebert (talk) 06:25, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
PetersV: Interesting idea with no map in the WP:Lede because of the historical issues. Several articles stretching over a period of years, such as World War II, use a montage in the WP:Lede instead. How about this? It starts with Stalin (obvious choice), then the Stalin statue from '56, Rakosi, a famous image from '68, Walesa and the '89 famous shot of East Berliners on the Wall against the Brandenburg gate:
File:EasternBlocImg.png

Mosedschurte (talk) 10:48, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

It is impossible to create a single map for the World War II, however, some people have pointed out that the absence of maps is the article's drawback (see the WWIItalk page) In addition, a collage is emotionally coloured and carries no information, whereas the map is emotionally neutral and provides valuable information (the main WP's purpose).--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:34, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
I think I will ruminate on this a day or so. Having a large detailed map in the lede to me is still cumbersome and makes the article top-heavy—there are other aesthetics to an article beyond those driven by the desire to put illustrations as close as possible to the corresponding words. To WWII, the only map which would work there would be a global projection showing the block, no borders, in color of all parties participating at its peak, not that different from my preference here. As I said, I think I need to sleep on this one because something as large and detailed as currently in the lede impacts on later article content. I would disagree on a collage not being informative, it would contain some of the key individuals and defining events of the 20th century, each segment of the collage could link to the appropriate article, and it would leave us completely free to develop the article narrative and maps with no fear of duplication regarding the lede. PetersV       TALK 18:37, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
I meant more emotional than informative, whereas the map with neutral colours, the world map insert and countries' names is purely informative and bears no emotional load.--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:43, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
Re: "Having a large detailed map in the lede to me is still cumbersome and makes the article top-heavy—there are other aesthetics to an article beyond those driven by the desire to put illustrations as close as possible to the corresponding words." (PetersV)
  • I generally agree and wanted one before in the WP:Lede that contained the pertinent info so it wouldn't have to be repeated, but that's been dumped (see above) for the more basic concept.
Re: "a collage is emotionally coloured and carries no information" (Paul Siebert)
  • I don't see anything "emotionally coloring" about a collage. They exist in a number of articles. Photos carry quite a bit of information (I know, I know, insert picture's worth a thousand words cliches here) and they represent the people and a few occurences and the dissolution described in the article. By the way, the photos are entirely changeable. I just selected those because they were the events that obviously stood out and, frankly, they were the first things to come to mind. Any combo could be used.
Re: "I would disagree on a collage not being informative, it would contain some of the key individuals and defining events of the 20th century, each segment of the collage could link to the appropriate article, and it would leave us completely free to develop the article narrative and maps with no fear of duplication regarding the lede."(PetersV)
  • Agree on the collage, and I like the concept more as I think about it.
  • Any suggestions for photo changes in the collage? Changing out Rakosi or Walesa for Ceauşescu or Gorbachev? Replacing the '56 or '68 revolution shots with the Berlin Wall, Berlin airlift? I could even go for a Trabant shot (interesting and oddly fun little car used throughout the Bloc) in the mix, but I doubt that would fly.Mosedschurte (talk) 21:43, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Inserted redrawn map reflective of consensus

I've pasted in the latest version of the map which Mosedschurte completed (ie with international borders only)--we've spent so much time on this I see no reason to keep going back to maps which have no consensus whatsoever. Personally I'm not so interested in the idea of PetersV above as I think at present it will just be too contentious and still feel a map in the lede is by far and away the most useful image--and the most NPOV. I would prefer we focus on things which will produce collaboration. With regard to the new map it can still be cleaned up as it contains excessive information (NB differences in file size, due to improper editing on the source maps). However, I can fix this very simply and it won't change appearance (these are rendering issues and relate to how SVGs are processed for viewing). In terms of appearance: (1) Yugoslavia should be green, I think that is a fair point raised by DIREKTOR. (2) Font sizes are much too heavy, especially in the legend.--Goldsztajn (talk) 01:23, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

I also support the last Mosedschurte's map. I believe we should respect the DIREKTOR's opinion, so the SFRY's colour should be changed accordingly. I like the idea to colour the EB countries on the world map. With regards to the fonts, the countries' names on the Goldsztajn's map were hardly visible on my monitor, so I think the present font size is optimal, although the legend's font size should be reduced. Of course, all these issues are minor ones. Excellent job, Mosedschurte. Thank you.
--Paul Siebert (talk) 05:46, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Re: "With regard to the new map it can still be cleaned up as it contains excessive information (NB differences in file size, due to improper editing on the source maps). However, I can fix this very simply and it won't change appearance (these are rendering issues and relate to how SVGs are processed for viewing). "(Goldsztajn)
  • Most of the added weight came with the world map. It was around 300KB until I inserted the 1959 World map in the corner below. That made it around 700KB. I tried running it through Inkscape as a "plain svg", but that made it balloon to nearly a meg. It might decrease in size by re-saving the small scale 1959 colored world map again as another svg with decimal level detail of only 1. Then re-copying it in.
Re: "In terms of appearance: (1) Yugoslavia should be green, I think that is a fair point raised by DIREKTOR. (2) Font sizes are much too heavy, especially in the legend."(Goldsztajn)
  • I kind of thought that the colors and legend font are better in it.
  • The legend size makes it readable at 300px and is like that in Wikiproject historical maps.
  • Direktor's comment about Yugoslavia's old color was with regard to the map with NO LEGEND, that Yugoslavia looked like a Soviet satellite. Now that the map has a legend denoting satellites, that's not a problem. Also, that green really pops out as a non-muted color on the map. That's my 2 cents.Mosedschurte (talk) 23:21, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Re: "I would prefer we focus on things which will produce collaboration." (Goldsztajn)
  • Honestly, I don't think it would be that hard to produce collaboration on a six-photo montage.
  • Stalin is a pretty easy and non-controversial start for the upper left corner and some kind of dissolution image for the bottom right (I picked the '89 Wall photo in front of the Brandenburg gate for the example)
  • Some combo of famous EB-leaders out of Rákosi, Ceauşescu, Gorbachev, Walesa, etc., famous EB-events out of the '56 Revolution, '68 Revolution, Solidarity, Berlin airlife, etc. or famous objects from the Berlin Wall, a Trabant, a Comecon logo, etc.Mosedschurte (talk) 23:33, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
The idea to create a collage is good as soon is it will go along with the map, not instead of it. With regards to Trabant, it was not the most famous Eastern bloc's car, and it was almost unknown in the USSR, for instance.
--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:16, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Agree that the collage could go along with the map. Both being tall and thin, they could pretty easily fit to the right of the TOC.
  • The Trabbie is easily the most famous car in the Eastern Bloc . . . in the west, that is (not that that matters). That or the black Volga's that would transport dignitaries. That's most of what it made it onto TV or into movies in the west. It's an interesting question. I'm not sure how much Ladas were used in the western part of the Bloc.Mosedschurte (talk) 04:44, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

File:EasternBloc-legend.svg

  • Moldavian SSR needs socialist republics boundary color
  • GDR islands of Rügen and Wolin need the same coast line as the rest of the islands
  • All counries have own names but GDR has abbreviation only
  • West Berlin is too large, it looks like West and East Berlin combination
  • Typo in the Bosnia & Herzegovina name
  • All Eastern Bloc members have official names, Yugoslavia has not - why?
  • In map description is not precize a historical period. From countries naming (Czechoslovakia "socialist", Romania "people's", Karelo-Finnish SSR not present) we can conclude 1960-1965.
  • Correct name of Romania: Romanian People's Republic
  • Kaliningrad region looks like a socialist republic, but it is Russian SFSR part
  • Yugoslavian SRs have names with "of": SR of Serbia etc.

Bogomolov.PL (talk) 06:42, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Re: "Moldavian SSR needs socialist republics boundary color" (Bogomolov.PL)
Fixed- That must have blown when I cropped the map.
Re: "GDR islands of Rügen and Wolin need the same coast line as the rest of the islands" (Bogomolov.PL)
Fixed
Re: "All counries have own names but GDR has abbreviation only" (Bogomolov.PL)
Fixed
Re: "West Berlin is too large, it looks like West and East Berlin combination" (Bogomolov.PL)
Fixed
Re: "Typo in the Bosnia & Herzegovina name" (Bogomolov.PL)
Fixed
Re: "All Eastern Bloc members have official names, Yugoslavia has not - why?" (Bogomolov.PL)
Fixed
Re: "In map description is not precize a historical period. From countries naming (Czechoslovakia "socialist", Romania "people's", Karelo-Finnish SSR not present) we can conclude 1960-1965." (Bogomolov.PL)
There really isn't a precise period.
Re: "Correct name of Romania: Romanian People's Republic" (Bogomolov.PL)
Fixed
Re: "Kaliningrad region looks like a socialist republic, but it is Russian SFSR part" (Bogomolov.PL)
Fixed (RSFSR label)
Re: "Yugoslavian SRs have names with "of": SR of Serbia etc." (Bogomolov.PL)
I had it the way you stated. User:DIREKTOR complained (see above) that "Also, the correct abbreviation of 'Socialist Republic of Serbia', for example, is not 'SR of Serbia', but 'SR Serbia' ". So I changed the name formats to "SR Serbia", etc.Mosedschurte (talk) 08:24, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
There really isn't a precise period. - said Mosedschurte, but to my opinion more reasonable would be to use more recent name of Romania, as it was with Czechoslovakia, as these names were used over 2 decades before Eastern Bloc collapse. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 09:45, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I see the disputable map to reappear again in the article. To my opinion, it is absolutely irrelevant and redundant here: no SSRs' are being discussed in the "Formation of Eastrn bloc" section. However, this image seems to be appropriate to the "Dissolution" section, because the dissolution of the EB was followed by dissolytion of SFRY, the USSR and CzSSR. I propose to:
(i) Remove the administrative borders from the legend; (ii) explain what they are in the caption; (iii) move the map to the "Dissolution" section; (iv) add some text into the section explaining that the dissolution of the EB was followed by dissolution of SFRY, the USSR and CzSSR.
I temporarily removed the map from the article, but I don't mind to re-insert it into the "Dissolution" section.--Paul Siebert (talk) 12:27, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Of course it's clear SSRs were not any subjects of the East Bloc.Bogomolov.PL (talk) 12:46, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Step (5) to reach consenus: "(5) At that point, put the more detailed map (with all of the SR borders) in the "Formation of the Eastern Bloc" section. Actually, I'm also going to redo that to be fully SVG path compliant as well, but it might take a while and it won't require changing anything (I'll just change the map file)."
I'm happy to discuss new proposed changes to the map, but please don't blow this very straight forward deal. We can always go back to the article before we reached consensus if you'd like to (please don't) renege on the entire thing.
Re: "no SSRs' are being discussed in the "Formation of Eastrn bloc" section."
(1) Text piece#1: "An agreement was reached at the Yalta Conference permitting the annexation of most of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact portion of Eastern Poland, while granting Poland part of Eastern Germany in return.[36][66] Thereafter, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic were expanded to include eastern Poland."
(2) Text piece#2: "Thereafter, the Soviets' 1940 annexation of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic,[114][115] which was an important agricultural region, became a point of tension between Romania and the Soviet Union, especially after 1965.[116] The Yalta Conference also had granted the Soviet Union a predominant interest in what remained of Romania, which coincided with the Soviet occupation of Romania."
(3) More are also discussed in the text of the section directly above.
Re: "I propose to:"
That's fine and I am happy to discuss map changes. Don't unilaterally delete the map during discussion blowing the consensus deal in the mean time. I can't believe that I actually have to type this.
Re: "I propose to:
(i) Remove the administrative borders from the legend; (ii) explain what they are in the caption;
"
While I'm happy to discuss this, the initial thought is that this makes, to be blunt, zero sense. Differing border designations are exactly the sort of thing to be included in the legend, as are described in the Wikiproject map template. It's a one line legend description that can use the exact border color, font color and text to indicate that these were only "Socialist Republics". Frankly, one reason I added it was because you and others had earlier stated that the SRs weren't clearly marked as SRs. So I had room in the legend and added this, and it actually makes sense. I have no idea why you would want to delete it and take up more space with more difficult to describe caption text.
Re: "(iii) move the map to the "Dissolution" section; (iv) add some text into the section explaining that the dissolution of the EB was followed by dissolution of SFRY, the USSR and CzSSR."
This is a different map. I could easily put together an After-The-Dissolution map with the modern countries, modern country names and year designations under each name for the year in which they broke from the Bloc, with color codes for former status.Mosedschurte (talk) 16:40, 1 June 2009 (UTC)


Re: "There really isn't a precise period. - said Mosedschurte, but to my opinion more reasonable would be to use more recent name of Romania, as it was with Czechoslovakia, as these names were used over 2 decades before Eastern Bloc collapse." (Bogomolov.PL)
That's probably a good idea. I'll change it when I can get to the file later.Mosedschurte (talk) 16:46, 1 June 2009 (UTC)


Re: "Re: "no SSRs' are being discussed in the "Formation of Eastrn bloc" section." " Two brief mentioning of SSRs are not sufficient to insert an additional map. One of these two maps should be removed (especially, taking into account that we agreed to introduce one more map into the "Dissolution" section).

1938 map with original borders (in green). Adjusted borders are in black. Russian SFSR territories after 1945 are dark red. The territories for other Soviet Socialist Republics are red, Soviet Satellite states are pink and the Yugoslavia is gray.

--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:55, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

EasternBloc-legend.svg

Re:" Don't unilaterally delete the map during discussion blowing the consensus deal in the mean time." there were neither consensus nor even discussion of the map on the right in the "Formation of Eastern bloc" section.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:58, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

























  • One is a border change map with several small and large border changes on it. Another is a detailed Bloc map. Another will be a dissolution map with post-Bloc countries and years of leaving the Bloc. Multiple maps are extremely common in Wikipedia articles.Mosedschurte (talk) 18:15, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Including this map was specifically stated in step (5) of reaching consensus on the matter of the basic WP:Lede map with no detail at all.Mosedschurte (talk) 18:15, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Re: "There really isn't a precise period. - said Mosedschurte, but to my opinion more reasonable would be to use more recent name of Romania, as it was with Czechoslovakia, as these names were used over 2 decades before Eastern Bloc collapse." (Bogomolov.PL)
Re:"One is a border change map with several small and large border changes on it." Frankly, they are almost identical. In my opinion, the "(5)" meant to introduce a good map instead of the left one, that is absolutely confusing and provides almost no information (because it is very hard to understand). I propose to take the map on the right, remove non-needed names from there (e.g. Serbia) and to mark the territories annexed by the USSR (e.g. to make their colours deeper). It would be a good illustration to the whole section.
The map on the right is appropriate to the "Dissolution" , because it is sufficient to add a note there that all SSr's , CzSSR's and SFRYu's republics got independence almost immediatelly after EB dissolution.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:35, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
  • The map on the right contains absolutely no border change information at all, so I'm not sure what you're talking about. Re the border change map (left), I am improving it (using differential of Wikiproject maps, svg, naming conventions, legend, etc)
  • The map on the right also contains absolutely zero post-dissolution information. I actually now have a map with post-dissolution borders, country names and years they came out from under communist rule.Mosedschurte (talk) 20:45, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
The only thing the map on the right is missing is the pre-1939 border of the USSR and Poland. If you add it, this would be absolutely sufficient. No matter which map you take as a starting point, either of these map after improvement would be sufficient for the whole section. The map on the right carries all needed information for the dissolution sections, because the borders didn't changed, just the countries' names.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:57, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
PS. Try to think about animated GIF. This would be a solution allowing to reflect all numerous border changes in Europe. I was thinking about doing that by myself, however, since the main problem is not to make the map but to convince you to accept it, I wouldn't mind if you do it by yourself--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:05, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Not even close re just one change. See the black lines on the border change map. Germany's Poland border changes, the Poland-Ukraine SSR border changes, the Poland-Germany-USSRR border changes in East Prussia, Carpathian changes along the Czech border, the Moldavian border switches a bit along its northern edge, the Finland border changes, etc. No border change info is on the conventional EB map.
  • I thought about an animated gif.Mosedschurte (talk) 21:07, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Sometimes satellites

I have to say I wonder why the sentence on the Eastern Bloc states being "sometimes referred to as Soviet satellites" has to be right up there in the lead. The lead has too much "sometimes" anyway. It should be a "concise overview of the article", not a list of labels authors may or may not use for the states within the Bloc. In my opinion, only the most relevant basic information warrants inclusion in the lead. It seems a little too much like someone's POV-pushing in the "anti-Soviet" direction (I'm not "pro-Soviet", but I am pro-NPOV). --DIREKTOR (TALK) 19:36, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Support removal of satellite states mentioning. If we define Eastern bloc as "communist states of Eastern Europe" all problems will be resolved.--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:39, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
After thinking about this, I agree with the notion of the satellite state definition not being in the WP:Lede as we already established the EB definition and clarified the later differing alignments of Yugoslavia and Albania (which was probably the initial reason that the satellite state def was there). I moved this down into the formation section.Mosedschurte (talk) 22:33, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Yugoslavia (more)

The Yugoslavia section of the article has serious neutrality issues I'd like addressed. Above all, one must remember that Yugoslavia is a complex and unique case. Forgive the rather long post, but I feel it is necessary to try and get our facts straight before we go on. It puts my concerns into perspective, and it is necessary to go into some detail if we're going to address them. Welcome to the Balkans all... :)

Unlike the other Eastern Bloc states, Yugoslavia liberated its territory with its own Allied-recognized forces. The communist-led [5] Yugoslav Partisans were the internationally recognized military force representing the Allied state of Yugoslavia. In part by propaganda and in part by actual successes in the Yugoslav front, Josip Broz Tito was generally hailed as the war leader and liberator of Yugoslavia. He, the chairman of the communist party, was already recognized as Prime Minister of Yugoslavia by all Allied powers when the war ended. The government he headed was a mixture of royalist ministers from the government-in-exile and AVNOJ wartime council members. After the war, a referendum was held, not a full election. The left-wing republican coalition, the People's Front, rode the wave of Tito's and the Partisans' popularity and overwhelmingly won the support of the populace.

By 1945, Draža Mihailović and his royalist Chetniks were long denounced as collaborators by all Allied powers, even by the King and his government-in-exile. Their leader, Draža Mihailović, was ordered to join Tito in the fight against the occupation. He refused, viewing the Partisans as the greatest threat to Yugoslavia, so much so that he had no qualms in receiving supplies and collaborating with the Axis in their offensives against them (at the time when the Partisans were universally recognized as Allied forces). Near the end of the war, they were openly collaborating with the occupation forces and a remnant retreated alongside Axis forces into Austria. Indeed, this was the main reason the support was shifted from them to the Partisans.

Now, my concerns are as follows:

  • "Communism was initially considered a somewhat popular alternative to the west, in part, because of communists' opposition to former Royalist Yugoslav Army leader Draža Mihailović and King Peter."
    • The whole sentence makes no sense. a) "Initially"? "somewhat"? Tito and his government were immensely popular for a long, long period after the war. Indeed, the man was virtually worshiped by the general public all the way to his death in 1980. There was no supposed rise of anti-communist sentiments anywhere near the end of WWII.
    • b) The communists were primarily considered a more popular alternative because they and their leader were essentially the Allied liberators of Yugoslavia, far less because they supported republicanism.
  • "Censorship, denial of publication allocations and open intimidation of opposition groups followed."
    • This sentence is vague and biased. I propose "Laws were passed which instituted a one party state and limited political freedoms". "Intimidation of opposition groups"? Well, if they were already illegal why does that sound like they were bullied off the political stage?
  • "The Communists continued a campaign against enemies, including arresting Mihailović, conducting a show trial used to publicly attack western powers and then executing him, followed by several other opposition arrests and trials."
    • The "campaign against enemies" and "opposition arrests and trials" were the legal persecution of the very numerous collaborationist organizations that existed virtually everywhere in WWII Yugoslavia (see list here). There were no political parties or organizations in an opposition to the government, it was already a single-party state. Mihailović's trial is highly controversial, he was actually acquitted of most charges and it would probably be best not to go there.

All in all, the section has some catastrophically biased assessments that need to be reworded in a neutral way. It may be best to stay away from getting entangled into Yugoslav controversies and debates. Let's try to put together a neutral section that abstains from controversial entanglements that would need whole articles to address in a neutral way. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 15:14, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Agreed, except "Unlike the other Eastern Bloc states, Yugoslavia was liberated by its own forces." The latter statement is not completely correct. Taking into account that the Axis withdrawal from Balkans was a consequence of Yassy-Kishinev offensive, as well as the fact that Yugoslav partisan army and Red Army liberated Belgrad jointly, I would say, the contribution of Red Army into liberation of Yugoslavia was very considerable.
However, the major DIREKTOR's point is quite correct: Yugoslavian Communists were the leaders of resistance, their role in partisan movement was decisive, and the contribution of Yugoslavian partisan movement into the Allied war efforts was comparable with that of France. Therefore, the Communists' rise to power in Yugoslavia was quite natural and inevitable provided that external anti-Communist forces' interference is neutralised. I would say the only Stalin's role was neutralisation of external support to anti-Commutist foces from abroad.
I would even extend the some DIREKTOR's conclusions. To my opinion, the article tends to oversimplify the process of the "communisation" of central and eastern Europe. Not only in Yugoslavia, but almost everywhere in the world Communism became a very attractive doctrine after WWII. (Under "almost" I mean becides some western countries and the territories of Eastern Europe that were under Soviet control during 1939-41). For instance, let's look at the events in Greece. Like in Yugoslavia, Communists were very popular there, however, Stalin agreed to consider Greece a British "sphere of influence". As a result, he refrained form any serious support of Greek Communists during a civil war, whereas pro-western local government got a considerable help from the UK. I am not sure about the results of this civil war in the absence of the western help.
I believe, the attempt to present the Soviet brutality as the only reason of the Communists' rise to power in eastern Europe is a dramatic oversimplification.
--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:23, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Re: "The latter statement is not completely correct."
Yes, you're right of course, I should have added more detail to that statement. Without the major Allied powers, the USSR in particular, Yugoslavia had no hope of liberating itself. My sentence primarily refers to the fact that the majority of Yugoslav territory was liberated by its own military forces (arguably also Belgrade itself), and that these forces, constituting a comparatively massive army with over half a million troops, were a significant factor in preserving Yugoslav independence. The USSR secured special permission from Tito to enter Yugoslav territory (a diplomatically significant formality). Of course, I did not mean to imply that the Partisans defeated the Axis forces in the area on their own, nor that they were hypothetically capable of doing so. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 17:08, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

As an initial matter, re WWII, no one disputes that Tito's Communists led the Yugoslav Partisans. In fact, even though this is not a WWII article, this is stated in the article, as well as that Yugoslavia was considered a victor power and had neither an occupation force. It's one of the more well-known facts about the extreme resistance the Wehrmacht faced in the Balkans. The Communists may have been even more popular (for a variety of reasons) in Czechoslovakia.
Re: Communism was initially considered a somewhat popular alternative to the west, in part, because of communists' opposition to former Royalist Yugoslav Army leader Draža Mihailovic and King Peter. The whole sentence makes no sense. a) "Initially"? "somewhat"? Tito and his government were immensely popular for a long, long period after the war. Indeed, the man was virtually worshiped by the general public all the way to his death in 1980. There was no supposed rise of anti-communist sentiments anywhere near the end of WWII. b) The communists were primarily considered a more popular alternative because they and their leader were essentially the Allied liberators of Yugoslavia, far less because they supported republicanism." (DIREKTOR)
  • "Initially", doesn't refer to just the first few years. I wouldn't have a problem striking that word because it does appear rather vague and is not helpful. Also no problem striking the word "somewhat."
  • From the source:

    "For many Yugoslavs the western powers were compromised by their association with Mihajlovic, whose name the communists had systematically blackened, and with King Peter, whose conduct in exile had angered a large number of Yugoslavs."


  • With regard to the sentence that "There was no supposed rise of anti-communist sentiments anywhere near the end of WWII" -- who said there were, or even could be after the 1/31/46 Constitution banning such parties?
Re: "Censorship, denial of publication allocations and open intimidation of opposition groups followed." This sentence is vague and biased. I propose "Laws were passed which instituted a one party state and limited political freedoms. "Intimidation of opposition groups"? Well, if they were already illegal why does that sound like they were bullied off the political stage?" (DIREKTOR)
  • That proposed sentence would be not be accurate as this sentence explicitly refers to the period before, and what led to, the 1/31/46 Constitution banning non-YCL front parties.
  • From the source:

    "Attempts to publish opposition newspapers were frustrated by strikes held by communist-organized workers, by the denial of paper allocations, by censorship, and by open intimidation. What was left of the demoralized opposition boycotted the elections."


Re: "The Communists continued a campaign against enemies, including arresting Mihailovic, conducting a show trial used to publicly attack western powers and then executing him, followed by several other opposition arrests and trials. The "campaign against enemies" and "opposition arrests and trials" were the legal persecution of the very numerous collaborationist organizations that existed virtually everywhere in WWII Yugoslavia (see list here). There were no political parties or organizations in an opposition to the government, it was already a single-party state. Mihailovic's trial is highly controversial, he was actually acquitted of most charges and it would probably be best not to go there." (DIREKTOR)
  • I would have no problem replacing the term "show trial" with "controversial trial."
  • Also, that's an interesting accusation that all of these enemies were actually Nazi "collaborationists". Second, no one said that Mihailovic was also innocent of Axis collaboration, and only that his trial was used by the ruling power to attack the west (it was also the subject of international protest, though the article doesn't discuss any details).
  • From the cited source:

    "After the takeover the communists continued their campaign against their enemies, past and present, real and imagined. Mihajlovic was captured in March 1946 and, after his trial had been used to attack the western powers, he was executed on 17 July. In September in Zagreb leading members of the Ustaša were placed in the dock in a trial which also led to the imprisonment, albeit in relative comfort, of archbishop Stepinac; it was a double blow against Croat nationalism and the Roman Catholic church. In 1947 the leader of the radical wing of the agrarians, professor Dragoljub Jovanovic, was arrested together with a number of other non-communist party leaders."


Mosedschurte (talk) 00:16, 5 June 2009 (UTC)


What we have here is a mixture of a slightly anti-communist source, viewed through anti-communist lenses. The end-result is bias below Wikipedia standards. The whole section needs rewording, with a lot less emphasis on the eeeeevil communists, and with a lot more emphasis on actual events. For example: the 1/31/46 Constitution is not even mentioned, nor is it determined what happened before and what after. What must be remembered is that the pre-war Kingdom of Yugoslavia was one of the most repressive authoritarian dictatorships among the lesser powers in Europe. Again, this is one of the reasons the communists enjoyed so much support: their Yugoslav state was arguably and paradoxically less oppressive than the capitalist one.

  • All right, I suppose I should have been clearer there as well: there were never any large-scale expressions of anti-communist sentiments in Yugoslavia up to its very end (the Croatian Spring was led by Croatian communists opposed to Serbian nationalism in Yugoslavia, not opposed to communism/socialism). This is simply because the country was very liberal, independent, and relatively prosperous in comparison to other EB states, and because Tito managed to hold it together so well around his personality. That whole sentence is a misleading mess and has to go. It gives a completely wrong impression to the reader.
    • As for the source quote, its highly speculative and I don't see its logic. The western powers denounced Mihailović as early as 1943, and then proceeded to extend extensive aid to the Partisans. Its quite a stretch. I know its the source, but the speculation on the part of the author makes little sense.
  • If the sentence refers to that period, it does not make that clear. Even so, is this article a collection of anecdotes on the evil of communism? Tito was in no position to lose the election, regardless of any minor events listed to make the whole transition seem "illegal". Its all way beyond neutrality. I propose we simply list the events as plainly as we can, avoiding any details that may lead the reader in one way or the other. Details that sway the balance one way need to be counterbalanced. Should we list the atrocities of the royalists in occupied Yugoslavia, or should we describe the repression their regime presented?
  • The last sentence is a coup de grace to all semblance of objectivity. The text, and quite likely the source, are trying to depict the Yugoslav communists in as negative a light as possible. It is absolutely necessary that this section, and quite possibly the article, be stripped to the core facts. The alternative is going into such detail as would be inappropriate. This is the first time I've ever heard of Mihailović's trial being used to attack western powers? What relevance does that have on the large scale anyway, are we to list all cold war propaganda schemes the two sides used?
    • Re: "Also, that's an interesting accusation that all of these enemies were actually Nazi collaborationists." You're thinking I'm making a biased statement myself? I assure you, you're mistaken. Yugoslavia has no one national identity. The nationalist anti-communist elements of society were all harnessed by the Axis under the promise of independence from the Serbs. Collaboration was arguably nowhere so widespread as in Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav authorities, in spite of a general amnesty, did hunt down the main leaders of the collaboration. The source weaselishly presents this as "hunting down enemies real or imagined"? Well enemies they certainly were, but is the impression same if we mention they were Nazi collaborators working with what was arguably the most brutal occupation regime outside the USSR? Mihailović was an open collaborator. The Stepinac affair is more complex, and I'd rather not go into it. Suffices to say that the man helped organize the military vicariate of the Independent State of Croatia, which is responsible for horrors one can scarce imagine. His case is very controversial indeed.

Again, my 2 cents: 1) crucial facts only, 2) no selective representation of details, 3) a quantum leap in objectivity when referring to communists and communism. I'm not saying "praise their totalitarian asses", if you'll forgive the phrase, I'm saying less depiction as "common thugs" and general demonization. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 01:52, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

That was an interesting recitation of events. However, nowhere are "eeeeevil communists" depicted.
In fact, in order to keep the article short and not inject too much material that would draw objections, when I edited this section I specifically LEFT OUT many of the thousands of atrocities occurring during the formation, and the oppressive nature of the 1/31/46 Constitution, etc. There are whole chapters of books written on the activities in that election, and mentions of it elsewhere on Wikipedia, and I didn't add any of the details regarding all of those events. Rather, it was just a brief summary regarding the institution of the ruling powers. I don't really suggest we go down that alley in this particular article.
But I have no problem deleting the portion of the sentence such that "conducting a show trial used to publicly attack western powers" is changed to "conducting a controversial trial", per the above comments (and ones above that), even though these events were in the source because they are not particularly central to the changeover and formation.Mosedschurte (talk) 02:05, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm glad I was interesting, but I don't see how my post can be summed-up as a "recitation of events". Yes, I know you left out many atrocities, and had you mentioned them we'd need to mention royalist ethnic cleansing and Nazi atrocities which by the way outclass the communists in a very big way. That's my point: citing details that tip the balance one way or the other is pointless and unnecessary. We should simply list the events in post war-Yugoslavia. Selective representation of events is clearly not the way to go. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 02:57, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

  • The article obviously doesn't address Nazi activity during World War II in any detail.
  • As earlier discussed, I eliminated both the "initially" and "somewhat" terms in the first sentence.
  • As earlier discussed, I deleted the portion of a sentence stating "conducting a show trial used to publicly attack western powers" and changed it to "conducting a controversial trial".
  • I added the Communist partisan activity in WWII as a reason for Communists popularity.Mosedschurte (talk) 10:26, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
  • ^ a b Pearson 1998, p. 31
  • ^ Beevor, Antony, Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-670-88695-5. Specific reports also include Report of the Swiss legation in Budapest of 1945 and Hubertus Knabe: Tag der Befreiung? Das Kriegsende in Ostdeutschland (A day of liberation? The end of war in Eastern Germany), Propyläen 2005, ISBN 3549072457 German).
  • ^ a b c Pearson 1998, p. 29-30
  • ^ Beevor, Antony, Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-670-88695-5. Specific reports also include Report of the Swiss legation in Budapest of 1945 and Hubertus Knabe: Tag der Befreiung? Das Kriegsende in Ostdeutschland (A day of liberation? The end of war in Eastern Germany), Propyläen 2005, ISBN 3549072457 German).
  • ^ a b Bideleux & Jeffries 2007, p. 461
  • ^ Muller, James W., Churchill's "Iron Curtain" Speech Fifty Years Later, University of Missouri Press, 1999, ISBN 0826212476, pages 1-8
  • ^ Gaddis, John Lewis, We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History, Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 1998, ISBN 0198780710