Cover Osteuropa 7-8/2009

In Osteuropa 7-8/2009

Taking Leave of a Myth
The Soviet Union, the Comintern, and Antifascism

Bernhard H. Bayerlein

Deutsche Fassung


The Soviet Union’s antifascism is one bastion of leftwing thinking that is hardly ever contested. Even Stalin’s pact with Hitler could not destroy it, for the Treaty of Non-aggression was considered but a short-term tactical manoeuvre. In fact, however, Stalin had an alliance with National Socialist Germany in mind throughout the entire 1930s. Instead of denouncing the Nazis’ campaign of terror against German Communists, Soviet policy continued to be directed against Social Democracy – defamed as “social fascism” – until 1934. Moscow also brought the Comintern into line. Despite an alliance with the Western powers and the People’s Front policy in the mid-1930s, Stalin kept all of his options open. After the pact, the Communist parties that had been forced into line had to call the Soviet Union and the German Reich the camp of world peace.

(Osteuropa 7-8/2009, pp. 125–148)