Does 1945 reall y begin in 1917? – Historikerstreit Cover Image
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Počinje li 1945. zapravo 1917.? – Historikerstreit
Does 1945 reall y begin in 1917? – Historikerstreit

Author(s): Tihomir Cipek
Subject(s): History, Recent History (1900 till today), Special Historiographies:, Pre-WW I & WW I (1900 -1919), Interwar Period (1920 - 1939), WW II and following years (1940 - 1949), History of Communism, Between Berlin Congress and WW I, Historical revisionism, Fascism, Nazism and WW II
Published by: Hrvatski institut za povijest
Summary/Abstract: In recognition of the 1986 debate termed the ≪Historikerstreit,≫ an attempt will be made to analyze and discuss the thesis of the German historian Ernst Nolte, wherein the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 is seen as directly responsible for the emergence of Nazism and the Second World War, and its consequences in 1945. The article will show all the relevant points in the debate with emphasis paid to the conclusions of Ernst Nolte, Andreas Hillgruber, Jurgen Habermas, Ernst Jackel and Stefan Merl. The debate was conducted around three questions: first, did Nazi concentration camps represent a unique crime which cannot be compared to any other mass crime in history, or, should they be compared to the Bolshevik Gulags. Second, should Hitler≪s invasion of the USSR be interpreted as preventative defense or as a racially motivated war. Third, can the fierce defense the Germans put up against the Red Army in 1945 be interpreted as a defense of the concentration camps or as a patriotic act, that is to say, can we describe the Soviet invasion of Germany in 1945 as a liberation? This review and analysis of the 1986 debate among German historians is seen as an interpretation of the ties between communist and Nazi totalitarianism, the notion of ≪revisionism≫ in historical sciences, and the influence of historiography on the formation of democratic political culture. The debate demonstrated the unavoidable political function of historical scholarship which creates differing interpretations of the same events from the past and sheds light on important methodological terms of reference in historiography. The author concluded that 1945 did not begin in 1917; while Bolshevik terror may precede Nazi terror chronologically, it does not do so causally.

  • Page Range: 45-57
  • Page Count: 13
  • Publication Year: 2005
  • Language: Croatian