Cover

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Frontmatter

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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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p. vii

I would like to thank Tom Hilde,Peter Rogers,and Lucy Golsan for agreeing to undertake the difficult task of translating this important work. I would also like to thank my colleague Ralph Schoolcraft for carefully reading through the edited translation. All errors, of course, remain my own. Alexis Stewart, an undergraduate student at Texas A&M, was of great help to me in editing ...

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Introduction to the English-Language Edition: The Politics of History and Memory in France in the 1990s

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pp. ix-xxvi

Henry Rousso’s Stalinism and Nazism: History and Memory Compared situates itself at the center of a number of important debates that have not only shaped the field of “contemporary history” in France in the last decade but also generated considerable and persistent controversy in the public forum as well. As its title suggests, this book engages in the first instance with the heated ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-22

Since the collapse of the Soviet system and the subsequent opening of important archives, the renewal of studies of the USSR and of Communism itself has given a new immediacy to the debate over comparing Nazism and Stalinism, most notably in Germany and in central and eastern Europe. In France the discussion was relaunched by the 1995 publication of François Furet’s ...

Part 1. A Historical Comparison

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Presentation

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pp. 25-28

In the landscape of contemporary history, Nazism and Stalinism are two massifs that continue to grow.Their respective sizes are not equal; the former is larger for multiple reasons, of course, the first of which is a somewhat greater linguistic and cultural proximity and an incomparably easier access to sources. The historiography of Nazism has flourished for decades thanks ...

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Stalin’s System during the 1930s

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pp. 29-55

Like Adolf Hitler, Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin has been the subject of numerous impressive biographies. From Boris Suvarin to Dimitri Volkogonov, via Adam Ulam, Roy Medvedev, Robert Conquest, and Robert Tucker, a great number of sovietologists have written on “their” Stalin. The psychohistorical “Stalin-centered” approach that underlies these biographies is founded ...

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Charisma and Radicalism in the Nazi Regime

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pp. 56-72

The Nazi regime, from its inception, has evoked lively debate about its structure and nature. Although most contemporary observers have held it to be the dictatorship of one man, others, especially on the Left, have judged as fallacious the image that the Third Reich projected, above all through the annual congress of the Nazi Party in Nuremberg, that is, the image of a ...

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Strategies of Violence in the Stalinist USSR

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pp. 73-95

In the Stalinist USSR the massive violence exacted by the regime was directed at the interior of Soviet society itself. This violence was directed in the first place—the crucial episode being collectivization/dekulakization— against the vast majority of the nation: the peasantry, which was regarded by the regime as a hostile,“dismal,” and reactionary mass. It was carried out in ...

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The Congenital Violence of Nazism

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pp. 96-110

The extreme manifestations of Nazi violence, particularly the extermination of European Jews, has today received sustained attention among researchers as with the general public. Their monstrosity justifies this attention, but it should not have us separate them from the global criminality of the Nazi regime.1 Violence is at the heart of Nazism. This marks a difference from ...

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Forms of Autonomy in “Socialist Society”

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pp. 111-141

This moralizing and “fundamentalist” reflection by Alexander Solzhenitsyn on the absence of resistance to the Stalinist regime echoes the long-dominant position of a Sovietology for which the matter of resistance has had little relevance. In a state that controlled all aspects of social life and an atomized society that had become docile following a massive indoctrination set up by the ...

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Nazi Regime and German Society: The Prisms of Acceptance

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pp. 142-154

Since 1945 the word “totalitarianism” has evoked in many minds the image of a society engulfed by an absolute power, as though George Orwell’s 1984 had become a reality.With the development of social history, particularly the history of everyday life, the perspective on Nazism has changed. Historians have been led to emphasize the niches, the private spaces, and the strategies ...

Part 2. The Wages of Memory in Formerly Communist Eastern Europe

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Fascism and Communism in Romania: The Comparative Stakes and Uses

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pp. 157-193

The opening of the East’s archives has raised the delicate question of an internal comparison of Nazism and Stalinism,which in the West has returned to the forefront of historiographical debates. The purpose here will be to question, from one parallelism to another, the rationale and the logic at work in the success encountered since 1989 by this comparative approach in the ...

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Historians and the Political Stakes of the Past in Hungary

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pp. 194-217

It is not an easy task to write the history of fascism, of the Shoah, and of Communism in the only Central European country where there is a strong Jewish community and in which the 1970s seemed to be a bright moment. There have already been global approaches attempted by historians on each of these themes and on their relationships or the parallels and similarities ...

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Managing the Past in Bulgaria

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pp. 218-241

The destruction of the Iron Curtain in Bulgaria, as elsewhere, opened the way to creating an important enterprise of exploration that should, first of all, allow the discovery of a “West” whose reality had for a long time remained shadowy but that incarnated the democracy that this “Median Europe” aspired to, to use the apt expression of Fernand Braudel.1 This discovery had ...

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Nazism and Communism in Polish Experience and Memory

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pp. 242-261

Poland is one of those nations that has behind it the experience of both Nazism and Communism. But these are not equal experiences, and society’s memory of them is very different. If we could carry out experiments on the living body of history, in changing at will the course of events, perhaps we could obtain an equal effect for a short fragment of the most recent history, ...

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An Archive’s Revolution and the Rewriting of History

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pp. 262-280

The emblematic moments of present-day European history, the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and then German reunification the following year, extending the West German model to a crumbling GDR, escape ordinary classifications. These uncertainties and hesitations were each qualified as a “revolution,”which was in current usage at the time,but this rapidly gave ...

Part 3. Commentaries

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Beyond History and Memory

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pp. 283-295

Has the study of Communism and fascism (or more precisely—a distinction we will return to—of Stalinism and Nazism, therefore of totalitarianism) arrived at a positive stage? After the theological stage, represented by the confrontation of secular religions, and the metaphysical stage, whose theme seemed to be the essence of Communism (criminal, according to some, and ...

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Postscript on the Ideas of Totalitarianism and of the “Communist Regime”

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pp. 296-306

The typology of political regimes set out in antiquity seemed definitive for a long time. It is true that the ideas introduced changed in content several times. The Roman Republic was different from that of Athens;a republic of nobility that existed in Poland from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century was very different from the Roman Republic, which nevertheless was considered as ...

Index

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pp. 307-324