The Impact of the Comintern on the Western European Party System

Research question/goal: 

The projects aims at publishing and presenting through a comprehensive and systematically orientated critical edition of documents, mostly from Russian archives, new evidences regarding the German-Russian relations and the history of German Communism during the Comintern period from 1918 to 1943. The conclusive work on the general documentary edition "Germany and the Comintern / The Comintern and Germany" has been mostly accomplished. Meanwhile, an important part of recently released documents from different Comintern secretariats have been translated from Russian and integrated in the manuscript. It has been consented by the Russian partners, that the last remaining documentary sources from the Historical Archives of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow will be received shortly. The editorial and supervising of the manuscript will be concluded until the end of the year. This includes the partly reworking and the standardization of the three introductions submitted and the harmonization of the footnotes. The manuscript contains 2000 pages and 4000 footnotes. Empirical evidence may be gathered concerning mutual perceptions, interactions and caesura throughout the most different periods under the omen of European revolution and instrumentalization by Soviet and Stalinist politics. The documents confirm the German-Russian relations as central European axis of XX century Communist history. The mecanisms used by Russian and Comintern leaderships changed from friendly support and imposition to decomposition and existential liquidation. Finally German Communism – until 1941 – has been reduced to a handful of political cadres before a new mobilisation period characterized by various "Antifa" and resistance activities.

Fact sheet

Funding: 
BMI
Duration: 
1999 to 2010
Status: 
completed
Data Sources: 
Archival ressources, primarily in the Archives of Comintern,
Geographic Space: 
Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands

Publications

Books

Weber, Hermann, Bernhard H. Bayerlein, Jakov Drabkin and Aleksandr Galkin (Eds.) (2014): Deutschland, Russland, Komintern: I. Überblicke, Analysen, Diskussionen: Neue Perspektiven auf die Geschichte der KPD und die deutsch-russischen Beziehungen (1918–1943). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. [Archive des Kommunismus - Pfade des XX. Jahrhunderts; 5] more
Bayerlein, Bernhard H. (2008): "Stalin, der Verräter bist Du!" Vom Ende der linken Solidarität. Sowjetunion, Komintern und kommunistische Parteien im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1941. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag. more
Weber, Hermann, and Andreas Herbst (2008): Deutsche Kommunisten. Biographisches Handbuch 1918 bis 1945. 2nd ed., Berlin: Karl Dietz Verlag. more
Weber, Hermann (2008): Lenin. 19th ed., Reinbek: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag. [rowohlt monographien; 50168] more
Bayerlein, Bernhard H., and Gleb Albert (Eds.) (2007): The International Newsletter of Communist Studies / Der Internationale Newsletter der Kommunismusforschung / La newsletter internationale des recherches sur le communisme/ Mezdunarodnye issledovanija po kommunizmu. Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag. more
Weber, Hermann, and Ulrich Mählert (Eds.) (2007): Verbrechen im Namen der Idee. Terror im Kommunismus 1936-1938. Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag. more
Bayerlein, Bernhard H., Leonid Babicenko, Aleksandr Vatlin and Fridrich Firsov (Eds.) (2003): Deutscher Oktober 2003. Ein Revolutionsplan und sein Scheitern. Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag. more
Weber, Hermann, and Bernhard H. Bayerlein (Eds.) (2003): Der Thälmann-Skandal. Geheime Korrespondenzen mit Stalin. Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag. more
Bayerlein, Bernhard H., Michail Narinski, Brigitte Studer and Serge Wolikow (2003): Moscou-Paris-Berlin. 1939-1941. Télégrammes chiffrés du Komintern. Paris: Tallandier. more
Bayerlein, Bernhard H., Jürgen Mothes and Olaf Kirchner (Eds.) (2001): Das Kominform und Stalins Neuordnung Europas. Frankfurt/ Paris/ New York: Peter Lang Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften. more
Bayerlein, Bernhard H. (Ed.) (1999): Entwaffnete Utopien. Utopies désarmées. Disarmed Utopia. Utopias desarmadas. Razoruzennye utopii. Wandlungsprozesse und Akteure im Spektrum der Komintern. Lateinamerika, das romanische Europa und die Sowjetunion. In Memoriam Jürgen Mothes. Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag. more