Cover Osteuropa 1/2009

In Osteuropa 1/2009

The Stalinist Dictatorship
Politics, Institutions, and Methods

Oleg Chlevnjuk

Deutsche Fassung


New sources have enriched our knowledge about Stalinism. This dictatorship established itself in the course of the party’s struggle against a large part of the population. This was the continuation of the Civil War with other means. Repression and terror formed a pillar of centralised rule. They began and ended on Moscow’s orders. Campaigns were the basis of political and administrative praxis. These compensated for the weakness of traditional development stimuli, healed an apparatus under strain, and guaranteed strong centralisation. Today’s attempts to smooth over the criminal character of the Stalinist dictatorship by reducing it to the modernisation of the country and victory in the war are unacceptable.

(Osteuropa 1/2009, pp. 45–50)