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Pour une histoire connectée et transnationale des épurations en Europe après 1945

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Edited By Marc Bergère, Jonas Campion, Emmanuel Droit, Dominik Rigoll and Marie-Bénédicte Vincent

Au sortir de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, l’Europe libérée est traversée par une même soif de justice à l’égard des anciens ennemis et de leurs collaborateurs. Ce livre interroge ce « moment 1945 » comme une expérience, sinon totalement commune, du moins largement partagée par delà la coupure Est-Ouest du continent qui s’installe rapidement. Dans une perspective d’histoire comparée, son objectif premier est de faire dialoguer des historiographies nationales des « épurations » déjà riches mais qui s’ignorent le plus souvent. Au-delà, le pari de cet ouvrage collectif réside dans sa capacité à proposer de manière originale les bases d’une histoire connectée et transnationale des épurations européennes. Pour ce faire, les auteurs portent une attention particulière aux phénomènes de circulation et de transferts en matière de normes, de pratiques, voire d’acteurs des épurations, puis des « dés-épurations ». De même, ils accordent une place privilégiée aux populations « déplacées » dans ce contexte, en considérant les expulsés, exilés et réfugiés comme un autre phénomène marquant de l’histoire chaotique de l’Europe post-1945 qu’il convient de relier à l’histoire des épurations.

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Chapitre 12 — Defending Stalin’s Socialism : Prosecuting German War Crimes and Purging the Victims ? (Andreas Hilger)

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CHAPITRE 12

Defending Stalin’s Socialism: Prosecuting German War Crimes and Purging the Victims?

Andreas HILGER

German Historical Institute, Moscow

Post-war purges in the USSR as well as in Soviet dominated Eastern Europe represented unique examples of ideologically distorted and politically exploited processes. They were part of Stalin’s general undertaking of re-stabilizing and re-launching the redefined Bolshevist project by Stalinist methods. This fundamental objective provides the explanation for the synchrony of Soviet prosecution of German war criminals on the one hand and the course of action against victims of these crimes on the other hand. Indeed, under Stalin’s rule in war and postwar times and during the immediate transition period from Stalin’s death to the dawn of Destalinization in 1955-1956, Soviet judges and security functionaries who were endowed with extraordinary authority convicted both German aggressors as well as Soviet attacked. From 1941 until 1955, these Soviet authorities sentenced about 21 000 German Prisoners of war who had been captured by the Red Army during World War II as well as 5 450 German civilians in Soviet occupied East Germany for war and Nazi crimes. Around the same period, from 1943 until 1953, about 320 000 Soviet citizens were arrested for – alleged – collaboration1. Among them, until 1952 57 000 Soviet citizens were indicted for “treason” and war crimes. Finally, among the approximately 5,5 million former Soviet soldiers and forced laborers who after the war returned from German captivity to...

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