Marcus Schönewald: Democratic beginnings? The early KPD and the false premise of the Stalinization thesis

Abstract

In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2018. Berlin: Metropol Verlag, pp. 163–180.

With reference to the continuing controversy over the ‘democratic character’ of the early German Communist Party (KPD), which Hermann Weber made the starting point of his Stalinization thesis, Marcus Schönewald re-examines the question of the democratic beginnings of the KPD.

For this purpose, he moves the focus of investigation from the surface level of the inner-party disputes to the political interpretations and patterns of action of leading actors, thereby revising the traditional narratives of the history of the KPD. The author argues that the history of the KPD can no longer be plausibly described as a departure from the democratic origins.

Über den Autor

Marcus Schönewald, Doktorand am Institut für Geschichtswissenschaft der Universität Bremen mit einer Arbeit zur Biografie Wilhelm Piecks. In diesem Zusammenhang zuletzt erschienen: »Wilhelm Pieck im Krieg. Der Erste Weltkrieg als biografische Zäsur und das rote Erbe der Front«, in: Emmanuel Droit/Nicolas Offenstadt (Hg.): Das rote Erbe der Front. Der Erste Weltkrieg in der DDR, Berlin 2018.