Cover Osteuropa 2-3/2009

In Osteuropa 2-3/2009

The Devil and Holy Water
John Paul II and the Erosion of Communism

Stefan Samerski

Deutsche Fassung


John Paul II contributed to the erosion of Communist rule in Eastern Europe. Already as the Archbishop of Cracow, he had championed freedom of religion and human rights. After his election to the Papacy in 1978, he continued this strategy. Through his travels and addresses, he called for dialogue with the regime, defended the independence of Solidarność, and so advanced the break with Communism. He avoided being instrumentalised for political ends. From the Christian message he derived an equidistance vis-à-vis all political and economic system the moment he saw the dignity of man violated.

(Osteuropa 2-3/2009, pp. 183–194)