This is a course on the postwar history of Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, and Poland. Historically and culturally, these four countries all belong to "Central Europe," but from the late 1940s to the early 1990s they were politically part of "the East." What distinguishes this region, in other words, are its historical ties to the West on one hand, and its experience of Communism on the other. Since 1989 a generation has passed and the region has been fully re-integrated into the West. However, many of the region's citizens claim that, in some ways at least, life was better under the old regime than it is today. This course is therefore structured around the central question of whether and to what extent such claims are valid. To answer this question, we will examine in depth both the Communist experience and the revolutionary transformation that followed it.