Warsaw, Poland (JFK+50) Sixty years ago today, May 14, 1955, a mutual defense treaty was signed here in Warsaw, Poland by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Albania, Poland, Romania, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria.
The USSR had previously signed bilateral treaties with each of these nations except East Germany.
The Warsaw Pact came in the aftermath of the decision of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to accept West Germany as a member nation with the permission to rearm militarily.
The Soviets saw the Pact as a counterbalance to NATO but also hoped to tie Eastern European nations closer to Moscow. Following the lead of NATO, the Warsaw Pact nations agreed to defend each other if any one came under attack.
The Warsaw Pact dissolved in 1991 after the breakup of the USSR.
"The Warsaw Treaty Organization, 1955," www.history.state.gov/