Jochen Krüger: The Party Control Committee and De-Stalinization. On the normalization of the Communist Party’s political culture after 1953

Abstract

In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2018. Berlin: Metropol Verlag, pp. 93–109.

This article focuses on the development of the Party Control Committee (KPK) between (late) Stalinism and the post-Stalinist ‘thaw’. Based on the committee’s archival files, the author argues that the KPK can be seen as an institutional mirror for the change of political culture which started in 1952 with Khrushchev’s reform of party revivalism. By highlighting three themes taken from the KPK’s investigative fields (hooliganism, abuse of party position and rehabilitation) the article shows how the system of internal party discipline within the Communist Party changed after Stalin’s death. The KPK reverted to its original purpose of controlling party members’ behaviour, sanctioning line-crossing and misbehaviour, and making decisions on the expulsion and rehabilitation of party members. In doing so, the article seeks to figure out how the Soviet dictatorship could change so massively while still being a dictatorship, but a dictatorship of a complete different kind.

Über den Autor

Jochen Krüger, geb. 1987 in Schwerin. 2007 bis 2011 Studium der Geschichte und Ostslawistik in Leipzig, 2011 bis 2014 Geschichtswissenschaften in Berlin. 2013 bis 2017 freier Mitarbeiter bei Götz Aly. 2014 bis 2017 Promotion als Stipendiat der Humboldt Graduate School im Graduiertenkolleg »Diktaturen als alternative Ordnungen«. Seit Frühjahr 2017 wissenschaftlicher Volontär in der Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen.