Did Stalin really care about anyone

"June 22, 1941" - The "Nekritsch Affair" in the context of Soviet war historiography

Table of Contents

introduction

1. The Great Patriotic War and de-Stalinization
1.1. The War in Stalinism: Praise to the Generalissimo
1.2. The Secret Speech: A New Version
1.3. Soviet historiography after the secret speech

2. The reinterpretation under Brežnev
2.1. Brežnev: the victory of communism also thanks to Stalin
2.2. The new line

3. Excursus: Taboo topics
3.1. The Hitler-Stalin Pact
3.2. Soviet aggression against Finland
3.3. The human losses of war

4. "22nd June 1941 "
4.1. Reception: an overview
4.1.1. USSR
4.1.2. world
4.2. Go to content
4.3. Focus: The counter arguments
4.3.1. Discussion in the Institute for Marxism-Leninism
4.3.2. The article by Deborin and Tel'pukhovsky

Enough

bibliography

introduction

In 1967 the 'Spiegel' reported on a "stormy meeting"[1], which had already taken place in February 1966 at the Institute for Marxism-Leninism in Moscow, a discussion on the book '22. June 1941 ’[2] the Soviet historian Aleksandr Nekrič,[3] "Who blames Stalin for the initial defeats of the Soviet Army".[4] A dispute thus also reached the West, culminating in the historian's exclusion from the party in June 1967, which for him practically meant a ban on professional contacts and the end of research.[5] The 'affair' of Nekrič, which Hildermeier describes as the “best known case” of a critical historian, for whom his “counter-arguments” against the official view of history after Chruščëv's fall “resulted in immediate reprimand”,[6] received a considerable response in the USSR in the second half of the 1960s[7] and international[8] evoked. Nevertheless, to date there has been no more in-depth research activity that has dealt with these events. The most extensive and detailed representation still comes from Nekrič himself.[9]

If the case is mentioned in the research, then the ostracism of the historian i. d. R. as seen by Hildermeier as a sign of the change of power and a related reassessment of Stalin and the war. Tumarkin, for example, sees the ban on the book as a result of the war cult that was established under Brežnev,

who could no longer tolerate any deviations from the “master narrative” - and this included the suddenness of the unexpected German attack, a positive portrayal of Stalin and a skipping of the initial defeats.[10]

Even Nekrič attributes the fate of his book to the disempowerment of Chruščëv.[11] Zaslavsky also lists Nekrič's later fate as “one of the most telling examples” in a strategy of the Brežnev era of systematically driving “active intellectual critics who were catalysts in the democratization movement and the anti-Stalinist struggle” into exile.[12] Heer presents an interesting alternative, which, taking into account the arguments of the criticism of Nekrič, comes to the result: "Nekrich is simply not working within Marxist-Leninist historical categories".[13] It seems reasonable to follow this reference to the book's conflict with the established categories of Soviet history.[14]

It was Stalin himself who, in his first address after the German attack, conjured up the idea of ​​the 'Patriotic War' and laid the foundation for the later Soviet claim to give the war between 1941 and 1945 a special place in world history.[15] Until the end of the USSR and beyond, the topic was taken up again and again and v. a. instrumentalized, with the war cult of the Brežnev era the climax of hero worship on the one hand and the celebration of the victory of the party and the Soviet system on the other. In this connection there was a rehabilitation of Stalin as a military leader, the criticism of the XX. and XXII. But the party congress was not struck from the history books from one day to the next. In the Soviet Union, however, the struggle for sovereignty over the history of the 'Great Patriotic War' was decided in favor of those who did not want any further criticism of Stalin.[16]

So is it really the impending change of perspective under the new leadership, of which Nekrič's book was first affected, or, on the contrary, did Nekrič fail because it went too far beyond the limits of criticism that Chruščëv put forward in his 'secret speech' the XX. Had practiced at the party congress? How could a book that had passed no less than five levels of censorship[17] before it appeared in October 1965 with an already reduced edition of 50,000 copies,[18] become a political issue?[19] In order to answer these questions, it should first be clarified how the beginning of the war was portrayed in Soviet historiography and how the role of Stalin was weighted. Since it can be taken for granted that Soviet historical science (like all other areas of society) had to orient itself to political guidelines,[20] the respective position of the Soviet leadership will also have to be taken into account.[21] One of the problems of the topic is that the delimitation of source and secondary literature is sometimes problematic. The most dramatic example of this is likely to be the 'History of the Soviet Union', which Nekrič himself wrote together with Heller in exile.[22] It is therefore important to point out that for this work the primary question is not what "really" happened around June 22, 1941,[23] but that the instrumentalization of the events v. a. is central to politics.

The first thing we will do is take a quick look at the official account of Stalin's lifetime.[24] An examination of Chruščëv's statements in his famous secret speech will then show his reinterpretation of the official reading.[25] Of great importance are the effects of the speech, insofar as they were reflected in the Soviet histories of the time, which are intended to serve as a contrast to Nekrič. In this context, the main focus is on the expert Deborin,[26] but other Soviet contributions of the time are also taken into account[27] and in addition some articles by Soviet and Eastern European scientists in anthologies on the twentieth anniversary of the German attack[28] or as materials at a conference of the Commission of Historians of the GDR and the USSR on the subject of "German Imperialism and the Second World War" between 1960 and 1962 in Berlin.[29] In a second step, Brežnev's positions are outlined on the basis of a series of speeches on the topic.[30] Then some taboo topics of Soviet historiography will be addressed, the treatment of which by Nekrič is of interest, in order to finally review the discussion about Nekrič's book on the knowledge gained and taking into account the contemporary reactions. A more detailed analysis of the reasoning in '22. June 1941 ’because, even if it may sound paradoxical, what is really in the book is secondary to the affair. The main point is the argumentation of the criticism! In the end, in this way, it should be possible to classify the work in the developments of the time.[31]

1. The Great Patriotic War and de-Stalinization

1.1. The War in Stalinism: Praise to the Generalissimo

In the official presentation of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, the reader encounters Stalin twice as soon as he is opened: firstly, in the form of an imprint of a painting that shows the "Generalissimo of the Soviet Union" standing alone as a planner at a table,[32] second, in the form of a quote from his own account of the war.[33] The tone given by it is characteristic. The idea of ​​an imperialist world conspiracy is conjured up which has been driving the preparations for the war against the Soviet Union for more than 20 years. The essential foundations of the German attack were therefore the policies of Great Britain and France and the armament by the USA.[34] The "Stalinian foreign policy", however, had "prevented a united front of the capitalist states against the USSR", "postponed the war by a year and a half and gained time to prepare the defense against the aggressor".[35] Ultimately, thanks to the wise Soviet policy, the alliance of 'capitalists' and 'imperialists' was broken, which first triggered the war in the West and bought the USSR time to create an “anti-fascist coalition of peoples”, with the Soviet Union “at the fore” Job".[36]

After the victory in the West, Germany began preparations for the attack on the USSR on a large scale,[37] whereas the USSR "[under] the leadership of the party of Lenin and Stalin"[38] but have prepared: in the economy through the "Stalin five-year plans",[39] socially through "[t] he successful realization of the Lenin-Stalin plan for the establishment of socialism",[40] militarily by Stalin, the "initiator and guide of the technical progress of the Soviet aircraft, tank and gun industry"[41] and personally initiated the armament of the army, fleet and air force.[42] Not to forget the elimination of internal enemies "under the leadership of Stalin".[43]

The concept of "active defense" is particularly characteristic of this history,[44] to which the party the Soviet Union "[g] em according to the instructions of Lenin and Stalin"[45] and which then successfully determined the course of the war from the beginning.[46] It is noteworthy that the huge deployment of German and allied troops is described in detail,[47] at the same time, however, the surprise of the attack is highlighted,[48] whereby the corresponding quotes from Stalin are taken over without reflection.[49] Without going into any further detail, it should be noted that Stalin appears in the overall picture of the war as a larger than life and flawless leader who mobilized the resistance from the beginning,[50] practically led the war on his own and who always did everything right.[51]

1.2. The Secret Speech: A New Version

In his speech "about the personality cult and its harmful consequences"[52] Chruščëv turns on the XX. Party congress on behalf of the Central Committee and with reference to the teachings of Marx ’, Engels and v. a. Lenin to the delegates.[53] Although, according to the will of the party congress resolution, the speech was only to be circulated to a limited extent in the USSR and abroad, it "quickly developed" such an effect as if Chruščev had read it out on the street ".[54] It is necessary, despite Stalin's undisputed “merits” about which there is “a completely sufficient number of books, brochures, studies”, to speak about the “enormous damage” caused by the Stalinist personality cult.[55] In addition to a large number of other points, Chruščëv also deals with Stalin's role in the war, giving particular space to the initial phase and the prehistory of the conflict. Chruščëv calls for nothing less than a revision of history, which is contained in "numerous historical novels [s], films [s] and historical 'scientific' studies"[56] wrongly - namely in the sense of the personality cult - is presented, especially what the glorification of the "tactics of active defense"[57] concerns, which in truth failed completely.

It was also clear from the fascists' statements and political maneuvers that an attack on the USSR was planned, as was the concentration of military units on the Soviet border.[58] Newly published documents show that Churchill personally warned Stalin of a German attack through the British Ambassador Cripps on April 3, 1941, and underlined the warning in telegrams on April 18 and the following days.[59] But "Stalin instructed that such information should not be believed in order to allegedly not provoke military action."[60] Numerous warnings from Soviet representations abroad were also ignored by Stalin.[61] Even a German defector was ignored.[62] In addition to these immediate misjudgments, Chruščëv also denounced structural failures: the failure to mobilize industry and the inadequate equipment of the army.[63] The terrorist measures against the military leadership since 1937 had also had "very serious consequences".[64] Chruščëv thus blames his predecessor for the initial military disasters.[65] Worse still: Stalin resigned himself after the disaster, did not bother about military affairs at all “for a long time” and only became active again under pressure from the Politburo.[66] But even in the further course of the war, "the nervousness and hysteria that Stalin showed (...) caused serious damage to our army".[67] Therefore, the glorification of Stalin after the victory, which he himself pursued, is not understood by Chruščëv and should be corrected.[68] He's about to announce the new version of the story, in which it was not the individual but the collective that made the difference, with the party first.[69]

The consequence of what has been said is that the USSR won the victory less thanks to Stalin and more in spite of Stalin.[70] Even if Chruščëv qualifies at the end of his speech that Stalin always acted in the belief that he was doing his best in the service of the cause,[71] the demand for an elimination of the 'cult of the person' in all areas is logical, for which a. new books are to be written, "which concern the history of the Civil War and the Great Patriotic War".[72] It is noteworthy that Chruščëv does not fundamentally break with all patterns of representation, but instead turns the victory of Stalin and the party into a victory of the party.[73] On the XXII. At the party congress, some of the topics were to play a role again later.[74]

1.3. Soviet historiography after the secret speech

In the wake of the de-Stalinization initiated by Chruščëv, there were upheavals in Soviet historiography, the most important milestone of which was probably the All Union Congress of Historians in December 1962, which the CPSU Central Committee and the Council of Ministers in response to the XXII. Had convened a party congress.[75] However, the changes had already started immediately after the death of Stalin, during whose lifetime science had been exposed to great influence from the state,[76] and were not directly determined by Chruščëv's policy of de-Stalinization.[77] The demand made by the party in the Chruščëv period for historians to concentrate more on Soviet history and the history of the party, which was also expressed in the secret speech, actually met with a great response.[78] The opening of sources for science and the relieving of the pressure on research resulted in some 'more realistic' representations, among other things. the wartime. Chruščëv's desired correction of Stalin's role, the condemnation of the 'traitor' Beria and the emphasis on Chruščëv himself also led to new guidelines for the presentation of history that had to be fulfilled.[79] One of the milestones in dealing with the war is this. A monumental work on the official history of the Great Patriotic War published by Deborin,[80] which has received very ambivalent assessments, in which professional recognition and criticism of the implementation are mixed.[81] This six-volume account was undoubtedly a culmination of criticism of the inadequate preparations for war, which not only punished Stalin's failure.[82] During this time, the increasing publication of memoirs by the Soviet military also fell, and they were relentlessly judging the situation on the first day of the war.[83] Grigorij Abramovič Deborin,[84] who was personally acquainted with Nekrič[85] and later actively participated in the discussion about it,[86] deals with the Second World War in a book published in the GDR in 1960.[87] About the prehistory of the war and the beginning of the war itself, he lets the reader know that until the German attack on the Soviet Union it was a "war between two capitalist coalitions"[88] acted, although the coalition of the Western powers actually tried to urge Germany to attack the USSR.[89] Nazi Germany, armored by the USA, had become "the militarily strongest country in the capitalist world" through the victories of the first wartime[90] and began preparations for war after the French surrender.[91] Deborin admits that since the end of 1940 the German Air Force has "increasingly carried out aerial photo reconnaissance over Soviet territory", "which two weeks before the attack was also extended to the inner parts of the USSR".[92] But he also emphasizes the German efforts to keep the attack secret for as long as possible, while anti-Soviet propaganda increased at the same time.[93] He attaches great importance to the mission of Rudolf Hess - only the will of the British people has repulsed a German-British alliance here.[94]

[...]



[1] "You don't scare us with camps!" Soviet historians and officers discuss Stalin's crimes. In: Der Spiegel 13/1967. P. 132-138, here P. 132. http://wissen.spiegel.de/wissen/image/ show.html? Did = 46437702 & aref = image036 / 2006/03/27 / PPM-SP196701301320138.pdf & thumb = false (16 October 2010).

[2] Quoted here from [Aleksandr Nekrič]: [22. June 1941]. In: Alexander Nekritsch / Pyotr Grigorenko. Shot in the neck. The Red Army on June 22, 1941. Edited and introduced by Georges Haupt. Vienna / Frankfurt / Zurich 1969. pp. 29-177.

[3] The spelling of the names in this work is based on the scientific transcription. In literal citations and references, the spelling used in each case is retained.

[4] "You don't scare us with camps!" P. 132.

[5] Cf. Alexander Nekritsch: Renunciation of fear. Memories of a Historian. Translated from the Russian by A. von Meyerberg. Frankfurt am Main / Berlin / Vienna 1983 (= Ullstein book no.38041). Pp. 7f., Pp. 179 and pp. 250-315. Cf. also Joachim Hösler: The Soviet history from 1953 to 1991. Studies on methodology and organizational history. Munich 1995 (= Eastern European Studies of the University of the State of Hesse. Series II. Marburg Treaties on the History and Culture of Eastern Europe. Volume 34). P. 88, note 95.

[6] Manfred Hildermeier: History of the Soviet Union 1917-1991. The rise and fall of the first socialist state. Munich 1998. p. 605. The official view of history means that "[from] Soviet history [...] essentially apologetic references to the perfidy of the aggressor and the superiority of the German war machine [were] heard" (ibid.).

[7] Compare the minutes of the discussion on the book by A. M. Nekritsch in the Institute for Marxism-Leninism at the Central Committee of the CPSU on February 16, 1966. In: Alexander Nekritsch / Pyotr Grigorenko. Shot in the neck. Pp. 189-201; G. A. Deborin / B. S. Telpuchowski: Under the ideological spell of history falsifiers. In: ibid. Pp. 203-232; Pyotr Grigorenko: Concealing the historical truth is a crime against the people. In: ibid. Pp. 233-296; Lev Kopelev: Is Stalin's Rehabilitation Possible? In: ibid. Pp. 297-304; Letter to a comrade. In: ibid. Pp. 305-311; G. Fedorov: A Measure of Responsibility. In: “June 22, 1941”. Soviet Historians and the German Invasion. By Vladimir Petrov. Columbia 1968. pp. 262-270.

[8] Cf. Georges Haupt: Introduction. In: Alexander Nekritsch / Pyotr Grigorenko. Shot in the neck. Pp. 9-28; Nancy Whittier Heer: Politics and History in the Soviet Union. Cambridge / Massachusetts / London 1971. pp. 175-178 and 253-256; Vladimir Petrov: Prologue. In: “June 22, 1941”. Pp. 1-23; Vladimir Petrov: The Book. In: ibid. Pp. 24-30.

[9] Cf. Alexander Nekritsch: Renunciation of fear. Pp. 184-257.

[10] See Nina Tumarkin: The Living & the Dead. The Rise and Fall of the Cult of World War II in Russia. New York 1994. p. 135. See also Erich Ferdinand Pruck: Wehrpolitische Bilanz. In: Eastern Europe 9/10 (1981). Pp. 888-895, here p. 894.

[11] Alexander Nekritsch: Renunciation of Fear. P. 185. So also Alexander I. Boroznjak: A Russian historians' dispute? On the Soviet and Russian historiography of the German attack on the Soviet Union. In: The German attack on the Soviet Union in 1941. The controversy surrounding the preventive war thesis. Edited by Gerd R. Ueberschär / Lev A. Bzymenskij. Darmstadt 1998. pp. 116-128, here p. 117. Bonwetsch also sees an example (cf. Bernd Bonwetsch: “I took part in a completely different war”. The memory of the “Great Patriotic War” in the Soviet Union. In : War and memory. Case studies on the 19th and 20th centuries. Ed. By Helmut Berding, Klaus Heller and Winfried Speitkamp. Göttingen 2000 (= Forms of Memory Volume 4). Pp. 145-168, here p. 153).

[12] Victor Zaslavsky: The Neo-Stalinist State. Class, Ethnicity, and Consensus in Soviet Society. With a new introduction. Armonk, New York 1994. p. 19. Similar to Joachim Hösler: Die Soviet Geschichtswwissenschaft 1953 to 1991. p. 87ff .. Cf. also Elke Fein: Geschichtsppolitik in Russland. Chances and difficulties of a democratic reappraisal of the Soviet past using the example of the activities of the company MEMORIAL. Hamburg 2000 (= Eastern Europe Volume 23). P. 77f. As Kulavig shows, party exclusions were not uncommon in the Chruščëv period, but i. d. Usually caused by the wrongdoing of the person concerned (especially alcoholism) (cf. Erik Kulavig: Dissident in the Years of Khrushchev. Nine Stories about Disobedient Russians. Houndmills / New York 2002. pp. 84-98).

[13] Nancy Whittier Heer: Politics and History in the Soviet Union. P. 254.

[14] See also Roger D. Markwick: Thaws and freezes in Soviet historiography, 1953-64. In: The Dilemmas of De-Stalinization. Negotiating cultural and social change in the Khrushchev era. Edited by Polly Jones. Pp. 173-192, here p. 181: Nekrič "’ for the first time in Soviet literature ’argued that the non-aggression pact had advantaged Nazi Germany rather than the Soviet Union".

[15] Cf. Andreas Langenohl: Remembrance and Modernization. The public reconstruction of political collectivity using the example of the New Russia. Göttingen 2000 (= Forms of Memory Volume 7). P. 153f. Langenohl sees this as the justification of "a tradition of remembrance that can in a certain way be described as a 'civil religion'" (ibid. P. 153). It should be noted, however, that already on June 22nd, Molotov recalled the war against Napoleon (cf. Alexander Werth: Russia in War. 1941-1945. With 21 cards. 1.-30. Thousand. Munich / Zurich 1965. p. 132-137); See also Bernd Bonwetsch: The "Great Patriotic War": From public silence under Stalin to hero cult under Brezhnev. In: "We are the masters of this country". Causes, course and consequences of the German attack on the Soviet Union. Edited by Babette Quinkert. Hamburg 2002. pp. 166-187, here pp. 166f.

[16] Basically: Bernd Bonwetsch: The "Great Patriotic War" and its history. In: The Revaluation of Soviet History. Edited by Dietrich Geyer. Göttingen 1991 (= history and society. Special issue 14). Pp. 167-187; Martin Hoffmann: The Second World War in the official Soviet culture of remembrance. In: War and Memory. Pp. 129-143; Bernd Bonwetsch: “I took part in a completely different war”. Pp. 145-168; Bernd Bonwetsch: From the public silence under Stalin to the hero cult under Brezhnev. Pp. 166-187; Peter Jahn: Support of memory - burden of memory. In: Triumph and Trauma. Soviet and Post-Soviet Memories of the 1941-1945 War. Exhibition May 5 - August 28, 2005. Edited by Peter Jahn, Museum Berlin-Karlshorst. Berlin 2005. pp. 9-19.

[17] Cf. Alexander Nekritsch: Renage of fear. Pp. 187-199. So was z. B. the clear questioning of the "unexpected" attack already deleted on the first page (cf. ibid. P. 187 and [Aleksandr Nekrič]: [June 22, 1941]. P. 31).

[18] Cf. Alexander Nekritsch: Renage of fear. P. 199. Originally, the circulation was to be 80,000 (cf. ibid.).

[19] The publication also took place in a number of the Academy of Sciences and was intended for the "broad, educated public" (Georges Haupt: Introduction. P. 9).

[20] Of course, this is a complex process that has taken various forms over the decades. Basically, see Joachim Hösler: Die sovietische Geschichts -wissenschaft 1953 to 1991. esp. Pp. 295-302; for the period that is important here cf. Kurt Marko: Soviet historian between ideology and science. Aspects of Soviet Science Policy since Stalin's Death, 1953-1963. Cologne 1964 (= treatises of the Federal Institute for the Study of Marxism-Leninism (Institute for Sovietology) Volume VII). passim; Roger D. Markwick: Thaws and freezes. Pp. 173-192. De-Stalinization "did not mean (...) at all that someone could afford to leave the framework of the demands of the current political situation, let alone the ideology of Marxism - Stalinism was superseded by Soviet conformism" (Alexander Nekritsch: Renage of fear. P. 145; see also ibid. Pp. 295-300). See also Fein's considerations on the definition of “historical politics” (Elke Fein: Geschichtsppolitik in Russland. Pp. 9-12) and the conclusion (ibid. Pp. 241ff. And p. 258).

[21] According to what Fein calls " more official Standpunkt "(ibid. P. 6 [emphasis in original]) defines: the standpoint" of the relevant state, but in particular the party leadership in the person of its 'first' or general secretary and his immediate environment "(ibid.).

[22] Michail Heller / Nekrich, Alexander: History of the Soviet Union. Second volume: 1940-1980 by Alexander Nekrich. Part V in collaboration with Michail Heller. Koenigstein / Ts. 1982.

[23] For a more up-to-date state of research see Gabriel Gorodetsky: The great deception. Hitler, Stalin and the "Barbarossa" company. Translated from the English by Helmut Ellinger. Berlin 2001. Gorodetsky, whose monograph aims to be a contribution to the preventive war discussion (cf. ibid. Pp. 9-16), confirms the numerous warnings against the German attack (cf. e.g. ibid. Pp. 170f. And p. 177 -185). Gorodetsky presented Stalin's interference in a differentiated way: secret service reports and embassy communications were deliberately formulated ambiguously, since no one wanted to contradict Stalin's opinion (cf. ibid. Pp. 182-184, pp. 293-297, pp. 318f.). Unfortunately, the fact that Gorodetsky takes a position similar to that of Nekrič critic Deborin (see below) cannot be discussed further. See also ibid. Pp. 262-292 (on Ambassador Schulenburg), pp. 320-353 (on Hess and the Soviet assessment of his flight to England), pp. 369-376 (on the TASS report of June 14, 1941), Pp. 403-412 (closing thoughts).

[24] As sources for this: Great Soviet Encyclopedia. Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Volume I. Edited by S. I. Wawilow et al. Responsible for the German edition Jürgen Kuczynski / Wolfgang Steinitz. 2nd Edition. 41st to 80th thousand. Berlin 1952; The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union 1941-1945. Editing of the German edition: R. Sommer. Berlin 1953 (= Great Soviet Encyclopedia. History and Philosophy Series 15) [based on Great Soviet Encyclopedia. 2nd Edition. Moscow 1951. Volume 7. pp. 157-208]. Basically, it should be pointed out that during Stalin's lifetime there were hardly any representations of the war; Stalin claimed the monopoly of interpretation personally (cf. Bernd Bonwetsch: “I took part in a completely different war”, pp. 149ff.).

[25] [Nikita Chruščëv]: About the personality cult and its consequences. Speech of the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Gen. N. S. Khrushchev, on the XX. Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, February 25, 1956. In: Khrushchev's secret speech. About the personality cult and its consequences. Berlin 1990. pp. 7-85. In addition, the resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU on overcoming the personality cult and its consequences, June 30, 1956. In: ibid. Pp. 86-113.

[26] G. A. Deborin: The Second World War. Military-political demolition. Berlin 1960; G. A. Deborin: The international political crisis on the eve of the second world war. In: German Imperialism and the Second World War. Materials of the scientific conference of the Commission of Historians of the GDR and the USSR on the subject of "German Imperialism and the Second World War" from December 14th to 19th, 1959 in Berlin. Volume 2. Contributions to the topic: "The preparation of the second world war by German imperialism". Edited by the Commission of Historians of the GDR and the USSR. Berlin 1961. pp. 545-561; G. A. Deborin et al .: The Soviet Union on the eve of the Great Patriotic War. In: June 1941. Contributions to the history of the Hitler fascist attack on the Soviet Union. Editing by Alfred Anderle and Werner Basler. Berlin 1961 (= publications of the Institute for the History of the Peoples of the USSR at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. Series B. Treatises, Volume 2). Pp. 102-156.

[27] History of the Second World War. 1939-1945. Military historical summary. Part I. Edited by Lieutenant General S. Platonov, Major General N. G. Pavlenko, Colonel I. W. Parotkin. Berlin 1961; History of the Second World War. 1939-1945. Military historical summary. Part II. Edited by Lieutenant General S. Platonov, Major General N. G. Pavlenko, Colonel I. W. Parotkin. Berlin 1961.

[28] Alfred Anderle: The way to June 22, 1941. In: June 1941. S. 9-43; Ilse Heller: The reports of Soviet war participants - an important part of the literature on the Great Patriotic War. In: ibid. Pp. 326-342.

[29] Leo Stern: The regularity and the historical condition of the defeats of German imperialism in the two world wars. In: German Imperialism and the Second World War. Materials of the scientific conference of the Commission of Historians of the GDR and the USSR on the subject of "German Imperialism and the Second World War" from December 14th to 19th, 1959 in Berlin. Volume 1. Main presentations and documents of the conference. Edited by the Commission of Historians of the GDR and the USSR. Berlin 1960. pp. 68-110; N. G. Pavlenko: The decisive role of the Soviet Union and its armed forces in smashing German imperialism. In: ibid. Pp. 111-144; Peter Schäfer: The USA's economic support for Hitler Germany before the Second World War. In: German Imperialism and the Second World War. Volume 2. pp. 153-159; Helmuth Stoecker: On the policy of the Western powers at the beginning of the second world war. In: German Imperialism and the Second World War. Materials from the scientific conference of the Commission of Historians of the GDR and the USSR on the subject of "German Imperialism and the Second World War" from December 14th to 19th, 1959 in Berlin. Volume 3. Contributions on the topic: "German imperialism during the Second World War and its military, economic and moral-political defeat". Edited by the Commission of Historians of the GDR and the USSR. Berlin 1962. pp. 7-15; Antonín Šnejdárek: The Bonn government - the front of the monopoly rulers, militarists and revanchists. In: German Imperialism and the Second World War. Materials of the scientific conference of the Commission of Historians of the GDR and the USSR on the subject of "German Imperialism and the Second World War" from December 14th to 19th, 1959 in Berlin. Volume 5. Contributions to the topic: "The results and consequences of the Second World War and the smashing of German imperialism". Edited by the Commission of Historians of the GDR and the USSR. Berlin 1962. pp. 505-514; Rudi Goguel: The demand of the West German imperialists and revanchists for the borders of 1937. In: ibid. P. 521-528.

[30] [Leonid Brežnev]: The great victory of the Soviet people. Speech at the festive event in the Congress Palace of the Kremlin on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War, May 8, 1965. In: L. I. Breshnew. On the way of Lenin. Speeches and essays. Volume October 1, 1964-April 1967. Berlin 1971. pp. 125-163; [Leonid Brežnev]: Address at a reception in the Kremlin in honor of the graduates of the military academies, July 3, 1965. In: ibid. Pp. 164-174; [Leonid Brežnev]: Speech at the festive meeting on the occasion of the award of the “Golden Star” medal to the hero city of Kiev in the October Palace of Culture in Kiev, October 23, 1965. In: ibid. Pp. 245-263; [Leonid Brežnev]: Speech at the ceremony on the occasion of the award of the Lenin Order to Georgia in the Sports Palace in Tbilisi, November 1, 1966. In: ibid. Pp. 478-496; [Leonid Brežnev]: Speech on the inauguration of the hero monument in Volgograd, October 15, 1967. In: L. I. Breshnew. On the way of Lenin. Speeches and essays. Volume April 2, 1967-April 1970. Berlin 1971. pp. 71-77; [Leonid Brežnev]: 50 years of great victories of socialism. Speech and closing words at the joint festive meeting of the Central Committee of the CPSU, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR in the Congress Palace of the Kremlin, April 3-4. November 1967. In: ibid. Pp. 81-154; [Leonid Brežnev]: Speech at the anniversary meeting of the Sejm on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the People's Republic of Poland, July 21, 1969. In: ibid. Pp. 437-445.

[31] Basically, the “three phases” of war memory, which Bonwetsch distinguishes: “The first lasted from the end of the war until the death of Stalin in 1953; the second ranged from the 'thaw' after Stalin's death to Khrushchev's deposition in 1964 (...); the third covered the years from Leonid Brezhnev's accession to power until the beginning of 'Perestroika' in 1987 ”(Bernd Bonwetsch:“ I took part in a completely different war ”, p. 145).

[32] “Generalissimo of the Soviet Union J. W. Stalin (after a painting by F. P. Reshetnikov). State Tretyakov Gallery Moscow “(The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union 1941-1945. Between p. 2 and 3).

[33] "J. W. Stalin: About the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union ”(cf. ibid. P. 3; was not used for this work). The uncritical use of Stalin quotes characterizes the entire text, so no individual references are made. The list of literature used is also very informative (cf. ibid. Pp. 203-206), which is more or less limited to official statements and publications by the Soviet leadership. Chruščëv sharply criticized the extent to which Stalin himself worked on his own military nimbus (cf. [Nikita Chruščëv]: On the cult of personality and its consequences. Pp. 69f.).

[34] See the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union 1941-1945. P. 5ff. See also Great Soviet Encyclopedia. Sp. 734f.

[35] The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union 1941-1945. S. 8. See also Great Soviet Encyclopedia. Sp. 735f.

[36] The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union 1941-1945. S. 8. “That was a great, historically significant victory of Stalin's foreign policy” (ibid.). In contrast, the West allegedly only pursued treasonous intentions (cf. ibid. P. 42ff.).

[37] See ibid. Pp. 10-13.

[38] Ibid. P. 14.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Ibid. P. 16.

[41] Ibid. “[E] r personally checked the designs of planes, tanks and cannons. He brought up excellent cadres of designers who worked under his direct guidance and according to his instructions ”(ibid.).

[42] See ibid. P. 18f.

[43] Ibid. P. 20.

[44] Ibid. P. 14.

[45] Ibid.

[46] See ibid. Pp. 14-22 ("The preparation of the Soviet Union for active defense"), pp. 22-73 ("Active defense from June 1941 to autumn 1942"). On Stalin as a 'brilliant' strategist, see also ibid. P. 155f.

[47] See ibid. 11ff.

[48] “When the Soviet government concluded the Soviet-German non-aggression pact, it had no doubt that fascist Germany would sooner or later invade the USSR” (ibid. P. 21). Allegedly, the "campaign of liberation in western Ukraine and western Belarus" was also driven by the idea of ​​preparing for the defense; "The Soviet government [had] built defenses on the new western border" (ibid.). But later it says: “On the first day of the war, the numerically small Soviet border guard troops [!] Were exposed to the (…) onslaught of the German-fascist Wehrmacht” (ibid. P. 24). The Western Allies must serve as the scapegoat for the failures of the beginning of the war (ibid. P. 55: "Stalin pointed out the causes for the temporary failures of the Soviet Army, the main ones being the lack of a second front in Europe and the lack of tanks and airplanes"; see also ibid. pp. 63f., p. 99, p. 104f., p. 119). Most astonishing is probably the claim that the "Soviet Army (...) saved many peoples of Europe from fascist slavery and Anlo-American imperialist servitude" (ibid. P. 137), which practically assumes that the USSR has the United States against Nazi Germany and Britain fought alike! See also Great Soviet Encyclopedia. Sp. 735f. and col. 738-743.

[49] This also includes Stalin's assertion of a temporarily existing inevitable German superiority (cf. The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union 1941-1945. Pp. 13-26). This is then compensated for in the long term by the “constantly acting factors” (ibid. P. 155).

[50] See ibid. P. 26 ("In this extremely difficult and tense situation (...) Stalin led the struggle of the Soviet people and their armed forces (...). The entire military and economic leadership of the country was united in the hands of the State Defense Committee") and pp. 26-34 (“Stalin's historic speech of July 3, 1941”); Why Stalin didn’t get in touch with his people earlier, of course, remains open.

[51] “As Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars and the State Defense Committee, as People's Commissar for Defense and Supreme Commander, Stalin united in his person the top of the country's political, economic and military leadership, concentrating all efforts of the people, the state and the army on them Achievement of victory over fascist Germany ”(ibid. P. 34). See also ibid. P. 154 ("The heroism of the Soviet soldiers and partisans (...) was not a heroism of individuals - it was a heroism of the masses. (...) The peoples of the USSR owe their world-historical victories to the great leader and general (...) ) JW Stalin. "). The admiration goes so far that the “Chronology of the most important events of the Great Patriotic War” (ibid. P. 163-201) not only lists various speeches by Stalin in addition to the military developments, but also the congratulations from Stalin to the workforce and collectives of Power plants, building organizations, assembly collectives, etc. (cf. e.g. ibid. P. 196). On the other hand, the American atomic bombs on Japan are not mentioned (cf. ibid. P. 200)! However, even in the Chruščëv period, the victory over Japan was portrayed as a Soviet merit (cf. History of the Second World War. 1939-1945. Part I. pp. 12f.). It should also be noted that Stalin (regardless of all exaggerations) actually enjoyed an honest popularity with the people and soldiers (this is how Werth and Kopelev report from their own experience: cf. Alexander Werth: Russia in War. Pp. 15f .; Lew Kopelew: Is one Rehabilitation of Stalin possible? P. 300).

[52] [Nikita Chruščëv]: About the personality cult and its consequences. P. 8.

[53] See ibid. Pp. 8-14, pp. 17-24, pp. 30f., P. 75 etc. It remains to be seen how much he himself practiced a personality cult around the icons of communism.

[54] Elke Fein: History Politics in Russia. P. 44. On the speech and the accompanying context see Vladimir Naumov: On the history of the secret speech of N. S. Chruščev on the XX. Party congress of the CPSU. In: Forum 1 (1997). Pp. 137-177; Anne Sunder-Plaßmann: Rescue or Mass Murder? The repression of the Stalin era in public discussion since the beginning of perestroika. Hamburg 2000 (= Eastern Europe Volume 25). Pp. 19-29; Elke Fein: History Politics in Russia. Pp. 40-53; see also the conclusion ibid. p. 70ff .; Stephan Merl: De-Stalinization, reforms and the race of the systems 1953-1964. In: Handbook of the History of Russia. Volume 5.1. 1945-1991. From the end of the Second World War to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Edited by Stefan Plaggenborg. Stuttgart 2002. pp. 175-318, especially pp. 175-181, pp. 191-199 and pp. 314-318; Thomas Schütze: “Stalin Policy” in the Soviet Union. A political science case study on Stalin as the legitimizing figure of Soviet politics under Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev. Hamburg 2002. pp. 79-99.

[55] [Nikita Chruščëv]: About the personality cult and its consequences. P. 8f. To go into detail on the separation into a 'good' and a 'bad' Stalin should be omitted at this point. Chruščëv rejects the idea that the successes could outweigh the crimes (cf. ibid. P. 76f.). See also the literature in the previous footnote.

[56] Ibid. here p. 44.

[57] Ibid.

[58] See ibid. P. 45. See also Khrushchev remembers. Edited by Strobe Talbott. Introduced and commented by Edward Crankshaw. 1-50 Thousand. Hamburg 1971. p. 149.

[59] Cf. [Nikita Chruščëv]: On the personality cult and its consequences. P. 45. However, Chruščëv emphasizes that Churchill had “his imperialist goals” in mind, to plunge Germany and the Soviet Union into war. (ibid.)

[60] Ibid. P. 45f.

[61] See ibid. P. 46.

[62] See ibid. P. 49. Here he is speaking from his own experience, see Khrushchev remembers. P. 178. However, in his memoirs - unlike in the secret speech - he mentions that there was definitely a warning from Moscow (cf. ibid. P. 177 and the footnotes ibid. And p. 180).

[63] [Nikita Chruščëv]: About the personality cult and its consequences. P. 47f. Apparently, here too, he partly refers to his own observations, cf.Khrushchev remembers. P. 179.

[64] [Nikita Chruščëv]: About the personality cult and its consequences. P. 49f. As he explains, the lists "which concerned many thousands of party, Soviet, Komsomol, military and economic functionaries" were personally approved by Stalin (ibid. P. 40). Chruščëv is no less dismayed by the persecution of high-ranking military officers after the war, who stood in the way of Stalin's myth as the architect of victory (cf. ibid. P. 54)

[65] As he explicitly emphasizes ibid. Pp. 49 and 51.

[66] Ibid. P. 50. See also ibid. P. 24.

[67] Ibid. P. 51. Since this work concentrates on the beginning of the war, Chruščëv's further remarks will not be discussed further. However, it is worth recalling the anecdotes about Stalin's planning on the globe, etc., which make Stalin appear incompetent and ridiculous (cf. ibid. Pp. 51-54). Even after his fall, Chruščëv wrote: "Stalin lost his nerve when he learned of France's defeat" (Khrushchev recalls. P. 146; cf. also ibid. Pp. 175-188). Compare with Thomas Schütze: “Stalinpolitik” in the Soviet Union. P. 95f.

[68] He criticizes films and books “that induce nausea” ([Nikita Chruščëv]: On the cult of personality and its consequences. P. 54). See also ibid. P. 68ff. (on Stalin's 'Brief Biography') and Thomas Schütze: “Stalinpolitik” in the Soviet Union. P. 97.

[69] "Not Stalin, but the party as a whole, the Soviet government, our heroic army, its talented commanders and brave soldiers, the entire Soviet people - that is what ensured victory in the Great Patriotic War" ([Nikita Chruščëv]: About the cult of personality and its consequences. p. 55). "The main role and the main merit in the victorious end of the war go to our Communist Party, the armed forces of the Soviet Union and tens of millions of Soviet people who were educated by the party" (ibid. P. 56).

[70] See also the resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU on overcoming the personality cult and its consequences. P. 100.

[71] Cf. [Nikita Chruščëv]: About the personality cult and its consequences. P. 82.

[72] Ibid. P. 84. See also the resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU on overcoming the personality cult and its consequences. Pp. 86-113. However, the Central Committee insisted on a softening of Stalin's condemnation of the war (cf. Vladimir Naumov: On the history of the secret speech. P. 173). Chruščev also holds on to the accusations against Stalin in his memoirs, but also emphasizes Vorošilov's failure as People's Commissar for Defense and the influence of Stalin by various employees (including Molotov); The extent to which he carries out personal conflicts remains open, of course (cf. Khrushchev remembers. pp. 167-188).

[73] Cf. Andreas Langenohl: Remembrance and Modernization. P. 158.

[74] Here, in particular, the destruction of the military leadership in 1937 was revealed (cf. Thomas Schütze: “Stalinpolitik” in the Soviet Union. P. 118). Schütze also points out that in mid-1961 an article by a marshal "in which he blamed Stalin for the setbacks suffered at the beginning of the German attack on the USSR" was a harbinger for the XXII. Party congress and the “second de-Stalinization campaign” (ibid. 116f.).

[75] It was only the second all-union conference after 1928/9 and offered space for discussions about the damage that the personality cult had caused in historical studies. However, no resolutions were passed, the materials appear only in abridged form in a small edition of 5000 copies (cf. Kurt Marko: Soviet Historian Between Ideology and Science, esp. Pp. 41-71; Alexander Nekritsch: Abandonment of Fear. Pp. 109-165 , esp. pp. 156-159; Joachim Hösler: Die sovietische Geschichts -wissenschaft 1953 to 1991. pp. 72-82).

[76] Cf. Nikolai Korenjuk: The Academy of Sciences of the USSR as an elite corporation. In: In the jungle of power. Intellectual professions under Stalin and Hitler. Edited by Dietrich Beyrau. Göttingen 2000. pp. 65-83; Bernd Faulenbach: Deformations of historical science under Hitler and Stalin. The USSR Academy of Sciences as an elite corporation. In: ibid. Pp. 260-274.

[77] So Hösler (cf. Joachim Hösler: Die Soviet Geschichtswwissenschaft 1953 to 1991. pp. 295ff.); see also Roger D. Markwick: Thaws and freezes. Pp. 173-192.

[78] Cf. Joachim Hösler: The Soviet History from 1953 to 1991. pp. 95-102.

[79] Cf. Alexander Werth: Russia at War. Pp. 18-21. The relationship between politics and historiography was also subject to fluctuations resulting from the respective political situation; Thus the uprisings in Poland and Hungary in 1956 and the events surrounding the anti-party group resulted in hardening again (cf. Roger D. Markwick: Thaws and freezes. pp. 178f.). Cf. also Gerd R. Ueberschär: The military warfare. In: Hitler's War in the East 1941-1945. A research report. Extended and completely revised new edition of the version published in English in 1997. Darmstadt 2000. pp. 73-224, here pp.78-81 and pp.85-88; Bernd Bonwetsch: “I took part in a completely different war”. Pp. 151-154 ..

[80] According to Bonwetsch, the work was started on a resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU on September 17, 1957 (cf. Bernd Bonwetsch: The “Great Patriotic War” and its history. P. 168).

[81] Cf. Alexander Werth: Russia at War. P. 14 and p. 704; Alexander Nekritsch: Renunciation of Fear. P. 138. It was "to this day still the most demanding Soviet portrayal", judged Bonewtsch shortly before the end of the USSR (Bernd Bonwetsch: The "Great Patriotic War" and its history. P. 168). An official war history that was more extensive with twelve volumes but much weaker in terms of content did not follow until 1973-1982 (cf. ibid. P. 169) - but the order for this was given by the Politburo as early as 1965 (cf. Bernd Bonwetsch: “I was involved in a completely different war participated ”. p. 154).

[82] See the summary by Alexander Werth: Russia at War. Pp. 113-122 and p. 130. “The history of war became an integral part of de-Stalinization. It was one of the few areas in which the Stalin criticism was taken up ”(Bernd Bonwetsch: The“ Great Patriotic War ”and its history. P. 168). This work was not used for this work. However, G. A. Deborin is among others: The Soviet Union on the eve of the Great Patriotic War. Pp. 102-156 for an excerpt from Volume I (corresponds to Chapter IX, pp. 395-435 of the Soviet edition, Moscow 1960).

[83] Cf. Alexander Werth: Russia at War. Pp. 122-129. See also Ilse Heller: The reports of Soviet war participants. Pp. 326-342: Heller deals with the war memories of the 1950s, which were obviously shaped by “belief in the Communist Party” (ibid. P. 327) and also referred to Stalin as their inspiration in the struggle (cf. 337 and p. 339). Heller's contribution is also an informative source in itself, as it celebrates the “true” and “objective” portrayal of the war in Soviet memories and contrasts it with the “false” memories of Wehrmacht generals (cf. ibid. P. 341). Cf. also Gerd R. Ueberschär: The military warfare. P. 73-83 and, Gerd R. Ueberschär: Repression and coming to terms with the past. In: Hitler's War in the East. P. 410-434, here p. 410-417.

[84] According to the publisher Haupt, Deborin was also "a long-time professor at the Supreme Party School of the Central Committee under Stalin, [...] deputy director of the Institute for History at the Academy of Sciences of the USSR" (GA Deborin / BS Telpuchowski: Under the ideological spell of history falsifiers. P 203).

[85] Nekrič remembers the “Doctor of Economics Professor and Colonel a. D. Grigoij Abramowitsch Deborin (…), de [n] eldest son of the famous philosopher and so-called Menshevik idealist Abram Moissejewitsch Deborin ”(Alexander Nekritsch: Abandonment of fear. P. 121). He also mentions that a separate department was created in the Institute for Marxism-Leninism for the creation of the six-volume war history (cf. ibid. P. 138). It should be noted that the relationship between the two may have been shaped by personal differences, since Deborin appeared as the main witness against a friend of Nekrič in a late show trial (cf. ibid. P. 121ff.). Curiously, Nekrič had a lifelong friendship with his father, the philosopher Deborin (cf., among others, ibid. 14-19 and p. 160ff.). Incidentally, like Nekrič himself, the Deborins were Jews (cf. ibid. P. 11f. And p. 14); therefore an anti-Semitic background can be ruled out.

[86] Cf. G. A. Deborin / B. S. Telpuchowski: Under the ideological spell of history falsifiers. Pp. 203-232; Minutes of the discussion on the book by A. M. Nekritsch. Pp. 189-201.

[87] G. A. Deborin: The Second World War.

[88] Ibid. P. 64.

[89] See ibid. Pp. 57-65.

[90] Ibid. P. 128.

[91] See ibid. Pp. 128-139.

[92] Ibid. P. 129f.

[93] See ibid.P. 131ff.

[94] See ibid. P. 137ff.

End of excerpt from 47 pages