2 Some better formatting
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  1. As answered in comments, the authorities were afraid of their populations defecting en masse (as indeed happened when the borders were thrown open in the GDR and Hungary in the early 1990s, so their fears weren't unfounded)
  2. Yes, to a degree. Travel wasn't as easy by far as it was in the west, but it was possible.
  3. Yes, some. But those were mostly related to people who were deemed to be at risk from being targeted for abduction by the communist authorities and capable of revealing secrets. Think high rank military people and some people from the intelligence communities. For the most part, people in the west were free to travel to the eastern block (if those eastern block countries would grant them a visa of course). I've myself during the 1970s and 1980s visited Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Romania, the GDR, and the USSR, some of them several times.

1) as answered in comments, the authorities were afraid of their populations defecting en masse (as indeed happened when the borders were thrown open in the GDR and Hungary in the early 1990s, so their fears weren't unfounded)
2) yes, to a degree. Travel wasn't as easy by far as it was in the west, but it was possible.
3) yes, some. But those were mostly related to people who were deemed to be at risk from being targeted for abduction by the communist authorities and capable of revealing secrets. Think high rank military people and some people from the intelligence communities. For the most part, people in the west were free to travel to the eastern block (if those eastern block countries would grant them a visa of course). I've myself during the 1970s and 1980s visited Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Romania, the GDR, and the USSR, some of them several times.

ad.1 : theyThey were so paranoid that those who were allowed to travel usually had to be married, preferably with children, and those would have to be left behind as hostages to guarantee their return under the implied threat of repercussions against them if the traveler decided to defect. ad.2 : you

You still had to apply for an exit visa from the USSR (for example) as well as an entry visa to the other COMECON country which would generally only be granted if you had valid business there (iow, were traveling on government business).

1) as answered in comments, the authorities were afraid of their populations defecting en masse (as indeed happened when the borders were thrown open in the GDR and Hungary in the early 1990s, so their fears weren't unfounded)
2) yes, to a degree. Travel wasn't as easy by far as it was in the west, but it was possible.
3) yes, some. But those were mostly related to people who were deemed to be at risk from being targeted for abduction by the communist authorities and capable of revealing secrets. Think high rank military people and some people from the intelligence communities. For the most part, people in the west were free to travel to the eastern block (if those eastern block countries would grant them a visa of course). I've myself during the 1970s and 1980s visited Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Romania, the GDR, and the USSR, some of them several times.

ad.1 : they were so paranoid that those who were allowed to travel usually had to be married, preferably with children, and those would have to be left behind as hostages to guarantee their return under the implied threat of repercussions against them if the traveler decided to defect. ad.2 : you still had to apply for an exit visa from the USSR (for example) as well as an entry visa to the other COMECON country which would generally only be granted if you had valid business there (iow, were traveling on government business).

  1. As answered in comments, the authorities were afraid of their populations defecting en masse (as indeed happened when the borders were thrown open in the GDR and Hungary in the early 1990s, so their fears weren't unfounded)
  2. Yes, to a degree. Travel wasn't as easy by far as it was in the west, but it was possible.
  3. Yes, some. But those were mostly related to people who were deemed to be at risk from being targeted for abduction by the communist authorities and capable of revealing secrets. Think high rank military people and some people from the intelligence communities. For the most part, people in the west were free to travel to the eastern block (if those eastern block countries would grant them a visa of course). I've myself during the 1970s and 1980s visited Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Romania, the GDR, and the USSR, some of them several times.

They were so paranoid that those who were allowed to travel usually had to be married, preferably with children, and those would have to be left behind as hostages to guarantee their return under the implied threat of repercussions against them if the traveler decided to defect.

You still had to apply for an exit visa from the USSR (for example) as well as an entry visa to the other COMECON country which would generally only be granted if you had valid business there (iow, were traveling on government business).

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1) as answered in comments, the authorities were afraid of their populations defecting en masse (as indeed happened when the borders were thrown open in the GDR and Hungary in the early 1990s, so their fears weren't unfounded)
2) yes, to a degree. Travel wasn't as easy by far as it was in the west, but it was possible.
3) yes, some. But those were mostly related to people who were deemed to be at risk from being targeted for abduction by the communist authorities and capable of revealing secrets. Think high rank military people and some people from the intelligence communities. For the most part, people in the west were free to travel to the eastern block (if those eastern block countries would grant them a visa of course). I've myself during the 1970s and 1980s visited Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Romania, the GDR, and the USSR, some of them several times.

ad.1 : they were so paranoid that those who were allowed to travel usually had to be married, preferably with children, and those would have to be left behind as hostages to guarantee their return under the implied threat of repercussions against them if the traveler decided to defect. ad.2 : you still had to apply for an exit visa from the USSR (for example) as well as an entry visa to the other COMECON country which would generally only be granted if you had valid business there (iow, were traveling on government business).