Cover Osteuropa 6-8/2017

In Osteuropa 6-8/2017

Legacies of communist rule
An approach to the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution

Jan C. Behrends

Deutsche Fassung


Today, large parts of Europe and Asia are marked by the consequences of the Octo-ber Revolution. The Revolution led to the creation of the Leninist party state, the pillars of which – the secret police and propaganda – still dominate the mentality of the population and the political culture in the post-communist societies. However, the political practices of the late socialist regimes, which after Stalin’s death largely abandoned the use of terror and mass violence, continue to play an important role in the states and societies in this region to this day. In Central and Eastern Europe, where communism prevailed for a shorter period than in the Soviet Union, and where it was brought to an end by the societies of those countries, this legacy was easier to overcome than in places where the civil war and Stalinist mass violence had already left deep wounds during the 1920s and 1930s. The future of communism in China, where the Bolshevist party state has been incorporated into the global capitalist economy, remains entirely uncertain.

(Osteuropa 6-8/2017, pp. 113–132)