Peter Huber: Chances of survival at the executive suites of the Comintern

Abstract

In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2010. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, pp. 163–178

Research on political repression against communist cadres in the Stalin era has been centered on individual cases. This paper provides an overview and calculates the chances of survival for the 375 leading cadres of the Communist International. Based on an extensive analysis of the personal files held by the cadre department and the NKVD organs, this paper provides statistical evidence on the nationalities which suffered most from Stalin’s terror regime. Thus it can be shown that as a result of Stalin’s particular hate and thirst for revenge since the very beginning of 1920s, cadres from Yugoslavia and Poland had the highest death rate: from 26 Polish cadres residing in the Soviet Union 25 perished. By comparison, while 60 percent of the Soviet cadres working in the Comintern ended up in the Gulag, the average death rate of all nationalities is "only" about 40 percent with communists from democratic countries courted by Stalin to join his Popular Front strategy (France, England and Scandinavia) showing the lowest rates.

Über den Autor

Peter Huber, PD Dr. phil., geb. 1954 in Zürich, 1975–1984 Studium der Geschichte, Romanistik und Philosophie, 1986 Promotion. Ab 1989 Mitarbeiter bei mehreren Forschungsprojekten, insbesondere zum Schicksal der Schweizer in der Sowjetunion (1991–1993), zum Apparat der Komintern (1994–1996) und zum Spanischen Bürgerkrieg (1997–1999). Seit 1998 Privatdozent für Zeitgeschichte an der Universität Basel; von 1999–2003 Forschungsleiter eines an der Universität Hannover angesiedelten Projekts: »Biografisches Handbuch der Komintern«. Veröffentlichungen u. a.: Stalins Schatten in die Schweiz. Schweizer Kommunisten in Moskau: Gefangene und Verteidiger der Komintern, Zürich 1994; Mithg.: La Suisse et l’Espagne. De la Republique a Franco (1936–1946), Lausanne 2001; Mithg.: La Internacional comunista y America Latina: Diccionario biografico, Genf, Moskau 2004; Die Schweizer Spanienfreiwilligen. Biografisches Handbuch, Zürich 2009.