In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2018. Berlin: Metropol Verlag, pp. 111–126.
This article deals with one of the most important Marxist critics of Stalinism, the German social philosopher and theoretician Leo Kofler (1907–1995). At the beginning of the 1950s, his travels between different worlds (between countries and regions, branches of science and between political currents) enunciated, for the German-speaking part of the world, the first systematic critique of Stalinism from an explicitly Marxist point of view.
The article emphasizes not only the content and significance of this critique of Stalinism; it also reveals how this criticism gained impetus from the Stalinization of the East German SED and Kofler’s experience in the GDR. It thus offers insights into the mechanisms, the meanings and the consequences of the Stalinization of communist parties, filtered through one of its leftwing adversaries.