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analysis, which does not coincide with the real asymmetry in the preconditions
found in the two countries and societies.

stalinism and nazism in a european context
Of course, National Socialism is a German phenomenon and Stalinism is a Rus-
sian/Soviet phenomenon, and each is subject to its own national historiography.
Yet, at the same time, they are an integral part of the crisis of European civiliza-
tion and cross the boundaries of national historiography. The point is not to
escape “national responsibility” for terror and violence, but to understand and
explain it. Nazism and Stalinism may have been the most radical movements,
but they articulated general European trends. One cannot talk about Soviet
Russia and Nazi Germany, for example, without talking about fascist Italy.12
The Paris World™s Fair of 1937 encompassed not only the aesthetic encounter
of Vera Mukhina™s sculpture and Albert Speer™s German pavilion, but also
of Italy™s pavilion.13 It could be useful, in a certain way, to denationalize the
framework of historiography and to Europeanize the site of events, to escape
the bilateralism that is implicit in the German-Russian comparison. When we
compare Germany and Russia, we are dealing not with static, independent enti-
ties, but with enemy and ally states in a life-and-death struggle, the most intense
relationship imaginable. One can call it a “special relationship,” as many histo-
rians and writers have done in the past: “a community of fate”; “incompatible
allies”; “the Devil™s alliance” (Das Teufelsbundnis); “the crusade for Europe
against Bolshevism” (Europaischer Kreuzzug gegen den Bolschewismus); “an
ideological war” (Weltanschauungskrieg); “a war of annihilation” (Vernich-
¨ ¨
tungskrieg); or “the European civil war” (der europaische Burgerkrieg). All of
these notions re¬‚ect the fact that National Socialism and Stalinism were actors
on the same stage.14

Gerd Koenen, Der Russland-Komplex: Die Deutschen und der Osten 1900“1945 (Munich:

Beck Verlag, 2005); Cf. also Dawn Ades et al., eds., Kunst und Macht im Europa der Dikta-
toren 1930 bis 1945: XXIII. Kunstausstellung des Europarates, with an introduction by Eric
Hobsbawm and an epilogue by Neal Ascherson, trans. Bram Opstelten and Magda Moses
(London: Hayward Gallery, 1996).
The sculpture of Giorgio Gori in front of the Italian pavilion was directly facing Albert Speer™s

German house and Vera Mukhina™s sculpture. See Kunst und Macht im Europa der Diktatoren
1930 bis 1945. Very important for the European reception of German and Russian aesthetics
in the 1930s are the reviews from the Paris Fair of 1937; see Zopf, 427“9; Bartetzko, 337“43.
Some of these titles are taken from the main publications on the subject: Edward H. Carr,

German-Soviet Relations between the Two World Wars, 1919“1939 (Baltimore: John Hop-
kins University Press, 1951); Gerald Freund, Unholy Alliance: Russian-German Relations from
the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk to the Treaty of Berlin (London: Harcourt, Brace, 1957); Sebas-
tian Haffner, Der Teufelspakt: Die deutsch-russischen Beziehungen vom Ersten zum Zweiten
Weltkrieg (Zurich: Manesse, 1988); Dietrich Goldschmidt, ed., Frieden mit der Sowjetunion “
eine unerledigte Aufgabe (Gutersloh: Gutersloher Verlags-Haus Mohn, 1989); F. A. Krum-
¨ ¨
macher and Helmut Lange, Krieg und Frieden: Geschichte der deutsch-sowjetischen Beziehun-
gen: Von Brest-Litowsk zum Unternehmen Barbarossa (Munich-Esslingen: Bechtle, 1970);
Mutual Perceptions and Projections 403

We need to redesign the matrix of analysis: to go (1) from “rule and system”
to civilizational spaces; (2) from national or individual states to a European
frame of reference; (3) from static to dynamic relationships between European
states and societies. The title for that enterprise could be “Russia and Germany
in the Age of War and Revolution.” Viewed from this broader perspective
(the proper term would be history of civilization), the so-called Historikerstreit
in 1980s Germany had relatively little to do with the empirical and material
rewriting of German and Russian history or their mutual relationship. The
Historikerstreit was more a symptom of the changes in the intellectual land-
scape in late postwar Germany than an elaboration of a new framework for
understanding European history, especially the relationship between the two
leading totalitarian powers. It tells us much more about the spiritual and intel-
lectual climate in West Germany in the second half of the 1980s than about
Stalin™s Russia and Hitler™s Germany.15 Thus, the task of reintegrating the Ger-
man and the Russian experience into a European history of war and revolution
remains unful¬lled.

german perceptions and german images of soviet russia
in the 1930s
There was no single, coherent German perception or image of Soviet Russia in
the 1930s. Rather, there were countless individual experiences and biograph-
ical peculiarities “ after all, even in a police state like Nazi Germany, society
has many layers and social strata. As any history of the Weimar Republic will
show, the Russian revolution was part of inner-German discourse since 1917:
a political and highly partisan struggle operating both at the level of seman-
tics (for example, Kulturbolschewismus) and at the level of outright physical
violence (for example, street warfare; civil war). Thus any reliable analysis or
research on this topic has to examine different spheres and different epochs
in which the “Russian question” evolved. The ¬rst striking observation to be
made is that since Walter Laqueur™s seminal book on German-Russian rela-
tions in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, much research has been done,
but only very little on images of Russia in Germany during the 1930s.
Nonetheless, an important gap has been ¬lled by studies dealing with the
images of Soviet Russia in National Socialist propaganda, in the German
Wehrmacht, among diplomats and members of the foreign of¬ce, inside the

¨ ¨
Ernst Nolte, Der europaische Burgerkrieg, 1917“1945: Nationalsozialismus und Bolschewis-
mus (Frankfurt am Main and Berlin: Propylaen, 1987).
Rudolf Augstein, ed., Der Historikerstreit: Die Dokumentation der Kontroverse um die Ein-

zigartigkeit der nationalsozialistischen Judenvernichtung (Munich and Zurich: Piper, 1987);
Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Entsorgung der deutschen Vergangenheit: Ein polemischer Essay zum
“Historikerstreit” (Munich: Beck, 1988); Helmut Fleischer, “Zu einer Historik fur die ¨
Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts: Praliminarien, Perspektiven, Paradigmen” in Das 20. Jahrhun-
dert: Zeitalter der tragischen Verkehrungen: Forum zum 80. Geburtstag von Ernst Nolte, eds
Helmut Fleischer and Pierluca Azzaro (Munich: Herbig, 2003), 506“58.
Katerina Clark and Karl Schlogel

leadership of the army as well as among the SS, among experts on Eastern
Europe and Russia in scholarly institutions, among Protestants and Catholics,
and even among schoolteachers, writers, and German physicians. These stud-
ies reconstruct a ¬eld that has been neglected for years, showing that even in
“open societies,” with open access to archives, it takes time to face the past.16
This ¬eld of historiography is also interesting because there have been two
German historiographies, parallel and competing with each other “ one in East
Germany and the other in West Germany. Especially in East Germany, the
German-Russian, German-Soviet relationship had a privileged position. But
even there, research focused primarily on the Weimar period, especially the
Brest-Litovsk and Rapallo period,17 meaning that the bulk of historiography
deals with the pre-Nazi period.
A new wave of research on German perceptions of Stalinist Russia deals with
World War II and German rule in the East. This research concerns the editing of
correspondence and letters from the front, including a mass of photographs.18
This means that research is quite uneven, fragmented, and dispersed.19 There
is no systematic analysis of the coverage of news from the USSR in German
newspapers and journals.20 Very important sources “ not only for reconstruct-
ing the German view, but for getting insider materials for the study of Stalinist

The main publication dealing with Nazi-period perceptions of Russia is, in my view, Hans-Erich

Volkmann, ed., Das Rußlandbild im Dritten Reich (Cologne; Weimar; and Vienna: Bohlau, ¨
Gunter Rosenfeld, Sowjetrußland und Deutschland 1917“1922 (Berlin: Akademie Verlag,

1960); Gunter Rosenfeld, Sowjetunion und Deutschland, 1922“1933 (Berlin: Akademie Verlag,
1984); Gerd Voigt, Rußland in der deutschen Geschichtsschreibung (Berlin: Akademie
Verlag, 1994); Bibliographies in Karin Borck, ed., Sowjetische Forschungen (1917 bis 1991):
Zur Geschichte der deutsch-russischen Beziehungen von den Anfangen bis 1949 (Berlin:
Akademie, 1993). The most extensive and annotated bibliography can be found in West-ostliche
Spiegelungen. See also Gerd Koenen and Lew Kopelew, eds., Deutschland und die Russische
Revolution, 1917“1924 (Munich: W. Fink Verlag, 1998), bibliography, 827“934. More gener-
ally, see Deutsch-Russisches Museum Berlin-Karlshorst, ed. Unsere Russen “ Unsere Deutschen:
Bilder vom Anderen 1800 bis 2000 (Berlin: Christoph Links Verlag, 2007); Stiftung Preußis-
che Schlosser und Garten Berlin-Brandenburg, ed. Macht und Freundschaft 1800“1860 (Berlin:
¨ ¨
Koehler & Amelang, 2007).
Manfred Zeidler, “Das Bild der Wehrmacht von Rußland und der Roten Armee zwischen 1933

und 1939,” in Das Russlandbild im Dritten Reich, ed. Hans-Erich Volkmann (Cologne: Bohlau,
1994), 105“24; Ortwin Buchbender and Reinhold Sterz, Das andere Gesicht des Krieges:
Deutsche Feldpostbriefe 1939“1945 (Munich: Beck, 1982); Wolf Dieter Mohrmann, ed., Der
¨ ¨
Krieg hier ist hart und grausam!: Feldpostbriefe an den Osnabrucker Regierungsprasidenten,
1941“1944 (Osnabruck: H. Th. Wenner, 1984); Anatoly Golovchansky et al., eds., “Ich will
raus aus diesem Wahnsinn”: Deutsche Briefe von der Ostfront, 1941“1945: Aus sowjetischen
Archiven, with a preface by Willy Brandt (Wuppertal: P. Hammer, 1991).
The main project is Gerd Koenen and Lew Kopelew, eds., West-ostliche Spiegelungen: Russen

und Rußland aus deutscher Sicht und Deutsche und Deutschland aus russischer Sicht von
den Anfangen bis zum 20. Jahrhundert: Wuppertaler Projekt zur Erforschung der Geschichte
deutsch-russischer Fremdenbilder. Series A: Russen und Rußland aus deutscher Sicht, 4 vols.,
Series B: Deutsche und Deutschland aus russischer Sicht, 2 vols. (Munich: Fink, 1985).
Exceptions are Wolfram Wette, “Das Rußlandbild in der NS-Propaganda: Ein Problemaufriss,”

in Das Russlandbild im Dritten Reich, ed. Hans-Erich Volkmann (Cologne: Bohlau, 1994),
Mutual Perceptions and Projections 405

society “ are still undiscovered or insuf¬ciently used, such as reports by journal-
ists, diplomats, and representatives of trade and commercial ¬rms. GDR histo-
riography has published materials, documents, and correspondence from Ger-
man emigr´ s (rank-and-¬le-workers as well as engineers and technical experts)
working in the USSR in the 1930s, which had some in¬‚uence on the formation
of the more positive image of a minority.21
The state of research is much better for the pre-Nazi period. In many ways,
the perception of Russia in the 1930s was formed long before 1933 “ espe-
cially during World War I and the Weimar Republic. Characteristic elements
of the image of post-1917 Russia had been articulated by the 1920s. We have
analyses of the images of Russia in the German conservative and right-wing
press in the 1920s22 and in the Social Democratic newspapers,23 but not for
the main National Socialist newspapers, journals, and other media, such as
exhibitions, and atlases. There are studies about the perception of political
parties and activists (SPD, Zentrum) and of intellectuals and fellow travelers.24
We do have a series of studies on Russian emigr´ s in Germany25 and German
emigr´ s in Russia, on political parties like the Mensheviks in Germany, and on
´ 26

55“780; Bianka Pietrow-Ennker, “Das Feindbild im Wandel: Die Sowjetunion in den natio-
nalsozialistischen Wochenschauen, 1935“1941,” Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht
41 (1990): 337“51.
About German engineers and architects in the USSR, see Christian Borngraber, “Auslandische
¨ ¨

Architekten in der UdSSR: Bruno Taut, die Brigaden Ernst May, Hannes Meyer und Hans
Schmidt,” in Wem gehort die Welt: Kunst und Gesellschaft in der Weimarer Republik (Berlin:
Neue Gesellschaft fur Bildende Kunst, 1977), 109“42.
Kai-Uwe Merz, Das Schreckbild: Deutschland und die Idee des Bolschewismus, 1917 bis 1921

(Berlin and Frankfurt am Main: Propylaen, 1995); Ute Doser, “Das bolschewistische Rußland
¨ ¨
in der deutschen Rechtspresse, 1918“1925” (diss., Free University Berlin, 1961).
Jurgen Zarusky, Die deutschen Sozialdemokraten und das sowjetische Modell: Ideologische

Auseinandersetzung und außenpolitische Konzeptionen, 1917“1933 (Munich: R. Oldenbourg,
On fellow travelers, see David Caute, The Fellow-Travellers: Intellectual Friends of Com-

munism (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988); Bernhard Furler, Augen-Schein:
Deutschsprachige Reisereportagen uber Sowjetrußland, 1917“1939 (Frankfurt am Main:
Athenaum, 1987); Michael Rohrwasser, Der Stalinismus und die Renegaten: Die Literatur
der Exkommunisten (Stuttgart: J. B, Metzler, 1991).
Hans-Erich Volkmann, Die russische Emigration in Deutschland 1919“1929 (Wurzburg: ¨
Holzer, 1966); Robert Chadwell Williams, Culture in Exile: Russian Emigr´ s in Germany,
1881“1941 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1972); Lazar™ Fleishman, Robert P. Hughes,
and O. Raevskaia-Kh™iuz, eds., Russkii Berlin, 1921“1923: Po materialam arkhiva B. I. Niko-
laevskogo v Guverovskom Institute (Paris: YMCA-Press, 1983); Fritz Mierau, ed., Russen
in Berlin, 1918“1933: Eine kulturelle Begegnung (Weinheim-Berlin: Quadriga, 1988); Karl
Schlogel, ed., Russische Emigration in Deutschland, 1918“194: Leben im europaischen
Burgerkrieg (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1995); Karl Schlogel et al., eds., Chronik russischen
Lebens in Deutschland, 1918“1941 (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1999); Bettina Dodenhoeft,
“Laßt mich nach Rußland heim”: Russische Emigranten in Deutschland von 1918 bis 1945
(Frankfurt am Main: P. Lang, 1993).


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