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21. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 1
Dr. Brendan Purcell Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Overcoming Personal, Political and Historical Amnesia through Literary-Aesthetic Anamnesis
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Very few writers have had such an impact on their culture as Alexander Solzhenitsyn on Soviet society in the ‘60s and ‘70s Recently published documents from the KGB archives show the problem he posed to the Soviet leadership—not because he was the only one to point out the massive falsehood and injustice of Soviet society but primarily due to the scathing power of his artistic diagnosis. Many of Solzhenitsyn’s writings in fictional, autobiographical, and publicistic genres can helpfully be understood in terms of Plato’s struggle in the Athens of his day for a “remembering” or anamnesis of what it is to be a human being, a human society, and the cosmos as transparent for divinity. That struggle, even though Plato doesn’t use the word “amnesia”, was against the refusal to remember. The Austrian writer Heimito von Doderer called that refusal the Apperzeptionsverweigerung or refusal to perceive (in his case, regarding National Socialism). Here we’ll explore Solzhenitsyn’s work in terms of his struggle to remember over against the ideological “refusal to perceive” in the three fundamental dimensions of personal, social and historical existence. Solzhenitsyn expands Mikhail Bakhtin’s understanding of “polyphonic” characterization as a key technique for articulating his diagnosis of Soviet totalitarianism. The discussion will instantiate what can be seen as his understanding of personal amnesia and anamnesis in Cancer Ward, his exploration of social amnesia and anamnesis in In the First Circle, and his treatment of historical amnesia and anamnesis in The Red Wheel and The Gulag Archipelago.
22. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 1
Andrei Muraru Maria Bucur, Heroes and Victims: Remembering War in Twentieth-Century Romania
23. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 1
Meike Wulf Politics of History in Estonia: Changing Memory Regimes 1987-2009
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In this article I examine three separate landmarks of Estonia’s contemporary “historical culture” that are all examples of the continuous reinterpretation of historical facts that has taken place since the society underwent political reframing; 2 namely 1) the work of the “Estonian Occupation Museum”; 2) the “Estonian International Commission for the Investigation of Crimes against Humanity”; and 3) the conflict over memorial monuments to different veteran groups in Estonia. All these cases concern public ways of dealing with the enduring ambiguities of Estonia’s recent past; particularly with the controversial issues of indigenous collaboration and complicity with the Soviet regime and the Nazi occupiers, as well as with traumatic memories of the war and post-war years. Within the realm of “memory politics” they represent attempts at agreeing on a codification of how to officially remember Estonia’s past. In the background of my discussion stands the question of what makes them instances of “historical revisionism”. To scrutinize this question, I consider “historical revisionism” in relation to five different “public uses” of history, namely the moral, ideological, political, existential, and emblematic dimension of history.
24. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 1
Sergiu Gherghina Attitudes towards the Communist Past in Five Central and Eastern European Countries
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Almost fifteen years after the breakdown of the Iron Curtain, citizens in five of the best performing post-communist countries display willingness to return to the previous regime, share values convergent with communism, and high levels of dissatisfaction with democracy. Using a two-step statistical analysis, this article investigates at individual level whether citizens attach attitudinal and behavioral consistency to their opinions towards the past. The results indicate that people supporting communist policies are more likely to pursue the return to such a regime compared to their fellow nationals; citizens’ regret for the previous regime is not based on the ideological or policy features; and dissatisfaction with democracy has little to do if anything with the nostalgia for the communist past.
25. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Andreea Zamfira The Enthusiasm of Intellectuals for Communism at the End of First World War in France
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This paper is both a description and an analysis of some of the most interesting cases of French intellectuals seduced by the communist project at the end of the First World War. While the major objective of this paper was to present the manner in which the communist ideology and the regimes inspired by this one afterwards were imagined and conceived by widely known intellectuals at that time, its secondary objective was to bring into debate a salient and, at the same time, somehow neglected issue in the academic literature – the intellectual attachment to the totalitarian ideas in Western Europe. The First World War made it possible that the utopian philosophies meet the political will of recreating a new social order and, also, it gave birth to a mass intellectual movement that, for the first time in the European history, has burst in the East side of the continent and influenced famous western intellectuals’ outlooks on culture, society and politics.Among the French intellectuals fascinated by Communism at the end of the First World War, we distinguished several types, any of them finding its sap indifferent sources of attraction. The first profile belongs to the «nostalgic intellectual», who has a particular admiration for the great events from the historicalpast, especially for the French Revolution of 1789. Alphonse Aulard is one French intellectual we considered as being attached to Communism due toits nostalgy. The «idealists», most of them Slavophile, form the second group of intellectuals. Pierre Pascal, as well as the other French Slavophiles, developeda sincere admiration, sometimes even naive, for the old Russian society, perceived as the cradle of the orhodox religion and of the traditional communitylife. Thirdly, it is the «nonconformist» intellectual’s portrait that draws our attention. Both nonconformist and idealist intellectuals are conservative,rejecting certain modern phenomena. Nevertheless, unlike the idealist, the nonconformist intellectual does not oppose modernity per se; he only wantsto recreate it as peaceful and tolerant. An outstanding nonconformist intellectual to be mentioned here is Romain Rolland. Finally, the fourth profileidentified in this paper is the «modernist» or the «surrealist» Michel Winock wrote about. André Breton is one of the most renowned surrealist intellectualswho were fascinated by Communism in France. The surrealist intellectuals defended the idea of a new régime de l’esprit, proposing new aesthetic categories(the dream, the unconscious, the illogicality) and, thereby, getting closer to an aesthetic defi nition of the revolution and of a modern political project.Being based on a theoretical assertion resulting from François Furet’s writings, according to whom intellectuals’ enthusiasm for Communism had a doublenature (ideological/ rational and aesthetic/ emotional), our analysis has taken into consideration both objective and subjective variables, such as: the profession,the way of perceiving modernity, the attachment to the communist cause, the political interests, the communist affi liation, etc.
26. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Ştefan Bosomitu Notes and Remarks on the (Re) Institutionalization of Sociology in Communist Romania in the 1960s
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This paper aims to evaluate the place of Romanian sociology during the communist regime by trying to reconstruct the regional and internal political context which led to the (re) institutionalization of that discipline. After experiencing a fertile period between the wars, Romanian sociology was “banned” at the end of WWII and the establishment of the communist regime. After two decades of “misery”, sociology was once again institutionalized in the mid 1960s in the context of an intellectual and political “liberalization”. The paper tries to explain the institutional development of Romanian sociology within Michael Voříšek’s methodological framework, discussing a series of indicators of a discipline’s institutionalization: research, teaching, professional organization, discourse, and label. The paper also analyzes the role of diverse factors (prewar tradition, political regime) in the development of sociology after WWII. It concludes by explaining that the tortuous process of institutionalization was due to the necessity to find the right timing when sociology was to be accepted as a legitimate and useful discipline, but also to the fact that sociology was only then able to individualize itself within the theoretical and ideological complex of Marxism-Leninism.
27. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Nevena Dimova Macedonian and Albanian Intellectuals and the National Idea(s) in Socialist Macedonia
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This article looks at the relations between Macedonian and Albanian intellectuals and the communist party in the Republic of Macedonia. More specifically, it focuses on the creation and development of national program by Macedonian intellectuals within state structure. The article argues that during the socialist period the party policies and the socialist Macedonian intellectuals were supporting each other in the realization of their common goals: the establishmentand consolidation of the Macedonian national program. It looks at intellectual production created by members of the Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences (MANU) to show how historiography and linguistics became the battlefields for the development of national ideology in Macedonia. Based on the establishment of these “invented” traditions, Macedonian scholars and socialist politicians made claims within Yugoslavia, but also internationally that Macedonians are a separate nation and that they have the right to an independent state after socialism. I show that Albanian intellectuals also developed an Albanian national program, only quietly and in the background. Simultaneously, the article argues that the Yugoslav policies of national determination, decentralization and self-expression reinforced ethnic differences in the country and assisted in the development of Albanian and Macedonian parallel national projects. The processes of inclusion and national consolidation, while excluding ‘the others’ from the national project, were legitimized and institutionalized by the creation of a national culture and politics by the intellectuals within the socialist state structures.
28. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Notes on contributors
29. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Call For Papers For 2012
30. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Iulia Vladimirov Monica Lovinescu: The Voice of Unbound Freedom
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Starting with 1962, Monica Lovinescu became, for hundreds of thousands of Romanians, the voice of unbound freedom as editor with Radio Free Europe. Her well-known broadcasts, Theses and Antitheses in Paris and The Romanian Cultural Bulletin, revealed the true face of communist Romania while openly discussing the fate of literature, art, music or politics under dictatorship. Monica Lovinescu’s well-grounded opinions and her determination never to compromise made her a living example of moral integrity, which exiled and non-exiled Romanians constantly referred to.The impact of Monica Lovinescu’s live transmissions forced the Romanian Securitate to initiate and develop deftly devised plans to marginalize, belittle or even “neutralise” the rebellious “element”. Lovinescu’s refusal to collaborate with the communist authorities was followed by hostile press campaigns, closesurveillance by the Securitate officers and informants and, last but not least, an act of violent physical aggression against her in November 1977.Monica Lovinescu’s opposition to the communist regime continued, irrespective of the Securitate’s opening or closing her file. The Romanian Revolution of 1989marked the beginning of a new stage in Lovinescu’s career. She spoke as openly about the need for lustration and in favour of democratic values. Her unparalleled contribution to the cause of freedom needs to be properly assessed.
31. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Bogdan C. Iacob Co-option and Control: The Changing Profile of the Historical Front in Communist Romania at the End of the Fifties
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Th e 1948 transformation of the Academy, combined with extensive purges of the higher education system qualifies as a Great Break, Romanian style, within the scientific field. In 1955, at the 2nd RWP Congress, the communist regime adopted, within the academic realm, an approach of simultaneouslyfulfilling the goals of the cultural revolution and promoting the reformed old intelligentsia, compliant bourgeois specialists. As the RWP was searching for an identity in the context of de-Stalinization, the role of science changed, bringing along with it significant transformations both at a personnel and thematic level. The RWP targeted both co-option and control. It is the thesis of the present article that from 1955 to 1963 the historical front gained a polycentric profile. Various groups converged towards the same point: the creation of both the ideological and infrastructural basis for the master narrative about Romania’s evolution into socialism. Once the axiomatic but creative role of the present in making sense of the national past was commonly accepted, a new productive equilibrium was reached on the historical front.
32. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Cristian Vasile Argument
33. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Dumitru Lăcătuşu Mircea Stănescu, Reeducarea în România comunistă (1948-1955). Târgșor și Gherla
34. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Fjoralba Satka Mata Albanian alternative artists vs. official art under communism
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Behind the European Iron Curtain another “iron curtain” was drawn, between Albania and the rest of the socialist countries in Europe. Its architect was the dictator Enver Hoxha, who constructed Albanian national identity as a gated community based upon the dialectics of inclusion and exclusion. As a result, “socialist realism” Albanian art under communism can be differentiated clearly from art in other socialist countries. Political power and ideas on culture and particularly on painting meant birth of an official kind of art, parallel with an alternative art which I named painting in the shadow. The idea of painting in the shadow gives creators the possibility to operate on two levels. The first is the internal, psychologically sequential level of the creative process itself. This refers to selective activities and elaborate ideas using pictorial means from forbidden modern art – impressionism, expressionism, abstractionism. On the second level, artists operate beyond individual intentions just to indicate political position and rhetorical application of specific ideological regulations.Both levels are of interest to art practices in that they serve to reinforce artists’ position in official art in general, and to develop the artistic avatar on the private scene of painting in the shadow in particular. I am interested here in the first level, where avatars of Albanian artists under communism can be differentiated due to aspects of their styles and courage to react beyond the official rules. The basic problem with the contemporary interpretation of that unknown painting in the shadow is that it does not seem to take account of the fact that viewers nowadays are free to interpret, while painters were brought to heel in the face of the “method of socialist realism”.
35. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Florea Ionicioaia Grégoire Gafenco/ Grigore Gafencu, Préliminaires de la guerre a l’est, De l’accord de Moscou (21 aout 1939) aux hostilités en Russie (22 juin 1941)/ Preliminariile războiului din răsărit, De la Acordul de la Moscova (23 august 1939) până la ostilităţile din Rusia (22 iunie 1941)
36. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Shawn Clybor Socialist (Sur)Realism: Karel Teige, Ladislav Štoll and the Politics of Communist Culture in Czechoslovakia
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This article focuses on the relationship between two Czech communist intellectuals whose ideas it attempts to situate in the broader history of twentieth-century Czechoslovakia: Karel Teige (1900-1951), a leading member of the European avant-garde; and Ladislav Štoll (1902-1981), a prominent journalist in the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. Standard historical accounts have used morally simplistic categories to create a stark opposition between Teige and Štoll: After the communist seizure of power in 1948, the former suffered intense repression for his heretical support of the avant-garde, whereas the latter became a leading architect of Zhdanovite socialist realism. The goal of this article, however, is to problematize such oppositions by focusing instead on the many intellectual and political commonalties both men shared. In doing so it undermines the Cold War myth of a communist monolith imposed from above that separated the ideologically loyal from those who refused to tow the official line. Drawing upon a range of archival and secondary sources, the article demonstrates that until 1950, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia never had a monolithic “line” on art and culture, making it anachronistic to impose concrete boundaries between “true believers” and intellectual “heretics.” To the contrary, Teige insisted throughout his life that his avant-garde aesthetics (which he based on French Surrealism and Russian Constructivism) were consistent with the Soviet doctrine of socialist realism. At the same time, Party functionaries such as Štoll largely tolerated, if not agreed with such opinions—despite how greatly such opinions deviated from the Soviet norm after 1937.
37. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Márta B. Erdős, Gábor Kelemen The Finite Universe: Discursive Double Bind and Parrhesia in State Socialism
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Readers are invited into a universe established by the discursive practices of “soft dictatorship” in Hungary between 1957 and 1989. The two major categories of our epistemic discourse analysis, representing the internal struggles of the intellectuals in the era, are manipulation and parrhesia. Manipulation is understood as an abuse of power; it impairs human collaboration and social development by delimiting social participation. Parrhesia is an act in which the speaker expresses his personal relationship to truth, taking the risks and responsibilities of veridiction in crisis situations.
38. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Alice Mocănescu Artists and Political Power: The Functioning of the Romanian Artists’ Union during the Ceauşescu Era, 1965-1975
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This article explores the relationship between artists and the communist political power through a case study of the way in which Uniunea Artiştilor Plastici (Romanian Artists’ Union) functioned from 1965 to 1975. Based on the research at the Romanian Artists’ Union’s archive (Central Historical National Archives, Bucharest), this article seeks to map out the twisted and ambiguous relationship that developed between artists and the Ceauşescu regime, during a period of increased ideological pollution and scarcity of resources.Several issues will be addressed in this article. Firstly, it will look at artists’ reaction to the regime’s early attempts to win them over and to consolidate its power by using a mixture of captatio benevolentiae, persuasion and coercion techniques. More precisely, the article will look at how artists received and responded to the overt use of nationalist discourse in the field of fine arts, the augmentation of acquisition funds and the diversification of institutions involved in this process immediately after 1965. Secondly, this essay will explore the actual tools and mechanisms used by the Ceauşescu leadership to mold art production in line with the State’s cultural policy. More precisely, starting in the 1970s, the stricter ideological control and the cuts in funding led to deep transformations inside the Union. This line of investigation will analyze the new policy for exhibition, the requirements and making of thematic exhibitions, distribution of funds or of other advantages (loans, personal exhibitions, trips abroad, etc), which contributed to a polarization of the Union’s members and to an increased competition for limited resources. Thirdly, the article will look into the transformation of the Union’s leadership into an elitist body that started to monopolize resources and distribution of “privileges”, a practice that ultimately led to vocal protests from rank and file members of the Union.
39. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Ana-Maria Cătănuş Breaking the barriers of Romanian conformism. Dissent and scientific critique of Communism in mathematician Mihai Botez’s thinking. A case study
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This study discusses the case of mathematician and futurologist Mihai Botez, one of the most important Romanian dissident thinkers in the 1980s. Using unedited documents from personal archives, documents from the archives of the former Securitate, Radio Free Europe, as well as oral history sources, this study emphasizes how Mihai Botez’s dissidence emerged, the main directions of his dissident project, similarities in terms of ideas withother dissidents in Eastern Europe/Soviet Union, the relevance of his dissent in relation to Communist power and Romanian society.The study consists of two parts, each divided in several sub-themes. The first part of this study deals with investigating the intellectual roots of Botez’s dissidentthinking, discussing also the influence that his professional education had on the rise of his political consciousness. It also discusses the main directionsof Mihai Botez’s dissidence: the conceptualization of solitary dissidence as a first step towards individualizing a group of independent critical intellectuals,dissident strategies, and expected results.The second part deals with Mihai Botez’s works and research aimed at developing the cybernetics of Communist regimes. His dissident project aimedat bringing to light the parallel society that existed but which kept silent, encouraging diversity of views and creating pressure from society, one capable ofinfluencing government strategies.
40. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Corina Doboș Vladimir Tismăneanu (ed.), Promises of 1968. Crisis, Illusion, and Utopia