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S . ) George Schöpflin, op. cit. 30 Society, Schools and Progress in Eastern Europe have to cope with economic backwardness on the scale of India or China, with the added complications of an alarming explosion of population ; nor have they had to perform the leap of centuries in the space of decades, as m a n y Africans, Asians and Latin Americans are having to do. Climate ranges from the benign to the unfriendly, but avoids the worst excesses at both ends of the scale that can so disrupt social living elsewhere.

T h e Hungarians, descended from nomads who swept in from Asia during the Middle Ages, speak a language unrelated to anything except Finnish and Estonian, and that remotely. Finally there are the Albanians, the Gheg a n d Tosk tribes of the Epirotic mountain country, whose language forms a division all by itself of the IndoEuropean family, heavily impregnated with Turkish loan material. But even this is an over-simplification. For one thing, there are m a n y more Slav peoples than there are states.

T h e "turbulent priests" of Eastern Europe, men such as Mindszenty, Stepinac, Wyszynski, are Catholics. T h u s we have the paradoxical situation of comparatively docile co-operation from the national Orthodox Churches, while the international R o m a n Catholic Church frequently acts as a focus for national self-assertion, and provides a major obstacle to plans to secularize national life—including education—in accordance with the precepts of Marxism. This has proved to be something of a mixed blessing.

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