In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2012. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, pp. 1-10.
Communists have been accused of wanting to fundamentally change mankind and of creating the ‘New Man’. This article questions whether there ever existed a conception of the ‘New Man’. To this end the positions of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Antonio Gramsci are described. The educational debates in the German Communist Party will be assessed to establish whether there ever was an idea of a ‘New Man’. Besides the political and educational debates in the communist workers’ movement, the article discusses the positions taken by Communists in the question of a eugenic form of ‘the socialist man’. In this way the differences between communist parties in non-socialist countries and the power interests of the communist parties in countries with state-controlled socialism is evident.