Cover Osteuropa 4/2011

In Osteuropa 4/2011

Memory and Freedom
The Stalinism Discussion in the Soviet Union and Russia

Arsenij Roginskij

Deutsche Fassung


Ever since the “thaw”, the treatment of Stalin and Stalinism has been an indi-cator of contemporary politics. “Anti-Stalinists” call for freedom and reforms, “Stalinists” for order and a strong state. The Putin regime’s history policy fits this model. Falling back on Stalin and the Soviet Union’s victory in the Sec-ond World War is supposed to legitimise Putin’s authoritarian rule. Anti-democratic politics are accompanied by a mythical idealisation of the totalita-rian past. But this national-Stalinist spirit is threatening to turn on its creators. To ward off this threat, President Dmitrii Medvedev and Prime Minister Vla-dimir Putin, for reasons concerning domestic and foreign policy, are now positioning themselves as “anti-Stalinists.” Soviet history is once again the setting in the battle over the country’s future.

(Osteuropa 4/2011, pp. 55–70)