Berend is an interesting guy with a lot of knowledge. His lecturing style is kinda boring, but if you're interested in Eastern Europe you shouldn't have a problem staying awake and learning a lot. He likes dates, so keep those in mind when you're writing your essays for his tests. Slip in as many as you can. The questions aren't really that bad. He gives you them before hand and then picks some of the ones he gave to actually test you on. It was a good experience.
One of the best professors at UCLA, period. His lectures are very informative, and he keeps you entertained by telling some of his own personal stories from the time period. Attendance is not mandatory, but you do need to attend class and take lecture notes to be successful. Tests are straightforward and simple. He really teaches you alot and cares about the subject, and is one teacher that will make you appreciate your UCLA experience.
Professor Berend is truly a UCLA treasure. He knows his history, because he freaking lived it (ref the comment below). He is such a generous, sweet-hearted, intelligent, and knowledgeable guy and he is so warm towards his students. He has been around forever, so his teaching-style sometimes feels a bit archaic. I think he has very high expectations of UCLA students even though most other professors don't. This course was well-organized and structured. It was obvious that the entire class was planned out, lecture for lecture, and it all flowed together super well. Same thing with the readings. I really appreciate that the class was so well-organized and well-thought out. I didn't think I'd enjoy this class at all and I walked away super interested in the topic and feeling like I actually learned a lot, which is rare at UCLA i think. Class is a mid term and final, actual tests...not papers which is nice. I also had Professor Berend for Euro ST 191, in conjunction with HIST 134B and it was great. He really was able to go much more in depth and have us think critically about the subject matter of the history class. Again, I really felt like I learned a ton, and information that was useful for other areas in my life as well. Since we were taking this in tandem with HIST 134B, we didn't have to take the mid-term and final, but instead we wrote a 20 page paper on a topic of our choosing and the grade for that paper plus our participation in both classes determined our grade for both classes.