Cover Osteuropa 11-12/2017

In Osteuropa 11-12/2017

Between empathy and indifference
The rehabilitation of the victims of Soviet repression

Arsenij Roginskij, Elena Žemkova

Deutsche Fassung


In the Soviet Union, many millions of people were subject to repression for political reasons. Over five million were arrested under false accusations and sentenced to many years of imprisonment or to death. A further six million people were dispossessed and deported solely due to their belonging to a specific social group. This repression began directly following the takeover of power by the Bolsheviks in 1917; in 1987, people were still being arrested for political reasons. The rehabilitation of the victims of the great waves of repression during the 1930s began after the death of Stalin in 1953, and increased again during the Perestroika period. However, many of the victims of the state have still not been rehabilitated even today, and the few who are still alive receive little social support. The state regards history as a tool to use for its own purposes. The general public may occasionally show sympathy, but overall, they are indifferent.

(Osteuropa 11-12/2017, pp. 97–123)