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1. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 14
Corneliu Pintilescu, Cosmin Cercel

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This argument aims to provide an overview of the historical context and main factors shaping the relation between left-wing radical politics and emergency powers in interwar Europe. It also brings to the fore how left-wing radical movements fuelled, reacted to and were connected with the multiple crises of the time span between the two world wars. The main argument is that emergency powers had the potential and were turned into a vehicle for an authoritarian drive, as several cases of that time illustrate. The abuse of emergency powers led to a normalisation of political violence and worked as a corrosive force against the liberal order in several European countries during the interwar period.

i. within or outside the law: containing the communist parties in interwar europe and its postwar aftermath

2. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 14
Kristina Krake

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This article examines the Scandinavian political responses to radical left-wing activism in the interwar period. This is done by combining an anal­ysis of legalistic aspects with rhetoric. Although the Scandinavian countries— Denmark, Sweden and Norway—did not embark on a path of emergency powers to fight a communist enemy, attempts to tame and ban communist parties certainly took place. The article argues that all three countries imposed restrictive legislation to inhibit any kinds of movements, hostile to the demo­cratic system, but also that there were limits to the restrictions. Thus, the parliamentarians decided to criminalize tendencies to political violence, but to tolerate anti-democratic sentiments to be voiced. By addressing the response to subversive movements, the article offers insights into Scandinavian efforts to safeguard democracy in a time of political and social crisis.
3. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 14
Rastko Lompar

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The aim of this paper is to outline the history of anticommunist legislation in interwar Yugoslavia and to bring to the fore its key phases. This approach is employed to re-examine the effectiveness of the introduced laws, to pinpoint their shortcomings, but also their strong points. Virtually from its creation, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia) was hostile to communism. Anticommunist convictions of the ruling elites influ­enced many aspects of governance, not only internal affairs, as the outlawing of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia in December 1920, but also foreign policy, as postponing the recognition of the Soviet Union to 1940. There are three distinct phases of anticommunist legislation, each clearly marked by a key anticommunist law. During the first phase (1918-1921), there were few legal instruments for combating left-wing radicalism. The second phase (1921-1929) was marked by the introduction of a highly controversial Law on the Protection of Public Security and State Order, which gave previous unprecedented powers to the prosecutors and police to crush the emerging communist movement. This legal framework was further expanded after the proclamation of the King`s dictatorship in 1929, and the overhaul of the Law, as well as the introduction of a special tribunal – The State Court for the Protection of the State.
4. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 14
Pascal Girard

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After a brief interlude of legality ending in 1947, France and Italy faced violence fuelled by Communist organisations; the most important took place from the autumn of 1947 to the autumn of 1948 and greatly impressed governments and public opinion, sustaining fear of a Communist uprising. Facing this challenge to public order were resolute Ministers of the Interior Mario Scelba and Jules Moch. Their policy gained them the reputation of reso­lute anti-Communists going beyond the limits of democratic legality. This paper questions this simple picture. In fact, for centre-right and centre-left govern­ments ruling these two countries, emergency powers were linked to the state of (civil) war and both ministries’ policies relied mainly on the application of the existing penal code and the mobilisation of existing forces. Moves to strengthen repressive laws depended on a long and uncertain parliamentary process and, without wide political consensus and solid parliamentary majorities, they often proved to be too little or too late. Judiciary repression was sometimes inefficient, leaving the Ministries infuriated by impunity. With the fear of world war peaking in 1950, there were legal efforts to thwart possible Communist support for a Soviet invasion; but those did not appear any more fruitful than prior attempts, and faded when internal matters seemed more urgent than the declining “Red Threat” in the 1950s. This study also highlights the fact that the repression by the Italian state, relying on former Fascist laws and sometimes infringing on civil liberties, was more violent than in France. Casualties caused by law enforcement persisted even after the decrease of Communist activism, underlying the histor­ically higher level of social and political confrontation in Italy.

ii. revolutionary left and emergency powers in interwar romania

5. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 14
Corneliu Pintilescu

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Similarly to other European countries, Romania faced multiple and intertwined crises during the interwar period, including successive moments of social turmoil, the activity of its hostile neighbours, the emergence of various far-right groups contesting the liberal order, and the looming spectre of the revolution. Among these threats, the fears of revolution and the intense activity of the Comintern worked both as main causes and discursive tools when the state resorted to emergency powers, which took the form of the state of siege in interwar Romania. By drawing on the files created by the Romanian secret police of that time, I argue that the state-of-siege mechanisms targeted not only those “threats” the state institutions invoked as reasons to justify the resort to emergency powers, but much broader categories of citizens. Several leaders of the political opposition, such as Pantelimon Halippa, or intellectuals involved in defending the civil rights engaged in vivid debates on the risks lurking behind the abuse of emergency powers. Finally, the abusive use of the state of siege worked as a corrosive force against the liberal order of the 1923 Constitution and heavily contributed to the establishment of King Carol II’s dictatorship in 1938.
6. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 14
Cosmin Sebastian Cercel

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This article examines a series of events that are generally known in historiography as the “Tatarbunar Uprising” – an armed rebellion that took place over ten days in September 1924 in south-eastern Bessarabia. I am also interested in the aftermath of those events as well as in their legal and memorial afterlife. My attempt is to reason through and to clarify the legal and historio­graphical construction of narratives of sovereign power as they emerge from the archives of the trial as well as that of the preceding and subsequent military and police operations. The reflection I will conduct here is indeed grounded in the historical context of 1923-1925, but the jurisprudential and comparative legal and political analysis I will deploy here has more general reach insofar as it aims to grasp some more general points about the status of legality under the conditions of emergency.
7. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 14
Cristina Diac

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Romanian Prime Minister Al. Vaida-Voevod aired the “communist danger” that “threatens the constitutional order and aims to dismantle the Greater Romania” when he asked for parliamentary support for the Law on state of siege (martial law) in February 1933. This article will investigate the role of the transnational communist networks in Romania in the Grivița strikes to verify the truthfulness of the Prime Minister’s discourse. The communists’ role in the Grivița strikes is part of the general performance of these transnational networks during the Great Depression. The political strength of the Romanian extreme-left will be assessed by taking into consideration the main goals of the Comintern towards the transport sector during the Great Depression, the institutions that were supposed to achieve the goals, and their effectiveness from mid-January until mid-February 1933.
8. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 14
Iuliana Cindrea-Nagy

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After the consultative synod at Constantinople in 1923, the Romanian Orthodox Church agreed to adopt a revised version of the Julian calendar. This meant a break with tradition that brought about a series of crises on a spiritual and political level. Dissent movements, known as Old Calendarist, started to emerge in the villages of Moldavia and Bessarabia; led by defrocked monks, these groups posed a threat for the Romanian Orthodox Church and for the newly formed state and its modernising goals. Accused of sympathising with the communist ideas, as well as of propagating them, the Old Calendarist leaders were labelled as dangerous Bolsheviks and aggressive measures were adopted by both state and church authorities in order to destroy the movements and disperse their members. Based on press articles of the time and archival documents, the present study analyses the development that the Old Calendarist movement underwent in Bessarabia, a region with a strong monastic tradition, as well as the discourse and politics of state authorities against this specific community.

iii. book review

9. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 14
Louis Marius Bremond

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10. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 12/13

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labour and global solidarity during the long 20th century

11. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 12/13
Dalia Báthory

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The current section of issues 12/2021-13/2022 of History of Communism in Europe deals with East-East and East-South relations among socialist countries and countries of the Global South. Exploring local specificities and global ambitions, the papers bring to light the beginnings of the socialist developmental projects, and bilateral relations that overcome the strict framework of the monolithic socialist bloc.
12. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 12/13
Božica Slavković Mirić

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After the end of World War II, Yugoslavia and Albania continued the cooperation that had been established during the war. The economic cooperation between the two countries began after the signing of the Friendship and Assistance Agreement in mid-1946. Part of the cooperation were joint ventures between the two countries and one of them was a railway company. The first Albanian railway, Drač-Elbasan, represented the result of Yugoslav-Albanian reconciliation. Its construction began in early 1947 and completed in November the same year. A plan for the Drač-Tirana railway also existed and was to be implemented as a joint project, but due to the crisis of the relations between the two countries, it never materialised. Yugoslavia and Albania discontinued their cooperation after Albania’s acceptance of the Informbureau Resolution in mid-1948.
13. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 12/13
Daniel Filip-Afloarei

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In this paper, I will explore the relationship between the Romanian Socialist leadership and the Polish minority in Suceava after the outbreak of the “Solidarity” crisis, in August 1980. Although the Polish community in Suceava was small, it had close connections with the Polish tourists who visited Romania, whose number reached almost one million every year in the early ‘80s. These connections aroused many suspicions among the authorities in Bucharest. Particularly, this paper has three major objectives: it investigates the extensive surveillance campaign targeting the Polish minority in Suceava after the emergence of the “Solidarity” Trade Union in Poland, it analyses the methods used by the Communist authorities to counteract the alleged effects of this crisis and it depicts the Romanian leadership’s perception of the Polish crisis of the ‘80s, beyond the official statements. Ultimately, as a general framework of this paper, I will study the bilateral relations between Romania and Poland. To these ends, I will use the archives of the National Council for the Study of Securitate Archives, corroborated with sources from the National Archives and the consular reports of the Romanian Embassy in Warsaw. For a more informed perspective I will also employ information from the Archives of Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The interviews featuring the persons with Polish contacts or monitored by the Securitate will complete the documentary sources.
14. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 12/13
Dalia Báthory

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This paper deals with the Romanian experience as a developer of projects and investor of resources in the countries of the Global South during the 1970s. It follows the country’s grand narrative in its Communist Party’s documents, as compared to that of the statements of the international meetings of the commu­nist parties in the 1960s and 1970s and to that present in the party’s newspaper Scinteia, and in contrast to documents of the political executive committee of the Romanian Communist Party collected from the Romanian National Archives and the Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives. The purpose of this research is to analyse the Romanian solidarity messages in the party discourse, their degree of compliance with the solidarity messages of the rest of the countries in the socialist camp, actual actions of humanitarian assistance in the countries of the Global South, and how those actions and messages were filtered and transmitted to the Romanian readers of print press. The results indicate a discrepancy between public discourse and archival discourse on the one hand, and the nature of information disclosed to the public, on the other.

"conquer your future now!” youth and the continuous construction of communism

15. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 12/13
Daniel Filip-Afloarei

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All research agrees that youth was an important social category for the communist regimes. At the beginning of the Cold War, youth was perceived in literature as a subject under the regimes’ total control. Later on, scholars understood that gaining the support of young people was a political priority for the Communists. To follow this complicated relationship between youth and the communist regime, I first looked at the complexity of the concept. Second, I have moved beyond the Manichean perspective of the Cold War and sought to study it in its complexity and continuity within generations. Ultimately, this contextualisation helps readers better understand the works in the current issue, which examines the problem of youth from several perspectives.
16. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 12/13
Adrian Popan

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The literature on rock music in socialism oscillates between presenting it in opposition to the socialist society and being part of it. This article tackles the same question by looking at the moments where rock musicians found themselves at odds with mainstream morality: the scandals. Three cases have been selected for analysis: the media campaign against the band Chromatic in 1970, the publication of Ceauşescu’s Theses of July in 1971, and the continuing stream of defectors, including from the rock music scene. The analysis concludes that both sides tended to avoid open confrontations. Rock musicians were no dissidents; they preferred to make music using the available institutional means. Authorities would rather close an eye to problematic events to keep up appearances. Mid-level authorities served as mediators while working for their own benefit.
17. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 12/13
Sofia Lopatina

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This article takes a closer look at two seemingly contradictory developments of the early 1960s – the broadening of socialist participation and proliferation of social control – and their impact on young people. It also aims to go beyond the state-society dichotomy by introducing the concepts of youth collective practices and control culture. The analysis will show that multiple state and non-state agents controlled courtyard groups. They developed different, contesting interpretations and practices. While the courtyard groups were diverse and many of them did not break any laws, the agents of control culture viewed them as deviant. However, it was not only the apparent or supposed “deviance” of some courtyard groups that put them in the spotlight but also their uncontrollability and estrangement from Soviet leisure venues and practices.
18. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 12/13
Cristian Vasile

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This paper examines the profile of the Albatros Publishing House in Bucharest (specialising in youth literature) and the activity of its director, writer Mircea Sântimbreanu. He held this position for almost two decades and recounted his experience in a volume of memoirs. I tried to explore these memoirs mainly in parallel with accounts from archival documents and secondary literature. The Albatros Publishing House was a micro-universe for assessing the impact of successive ideological offensives by the Romanian Communist Party on book production and on the youth in general (mainly the July 1971 Theses and the other party directives of the 1970s, as well as the Mangalia Theses of 1983). By the 1980s, the regime’s propaganda had acquired ultra-nationalistic nuances. This paper will also exemplify such developments by discussing the scandal generated by the 1983 publication of Saturnalii by Corneliu Vadim Tudor, a volume of poems with strong antisemitic tenor. Using mainly diaries, journals, secondary literature and archival documents, this article also analyses the strategies deployed by the communist regime in order to coerce the young generation – through the agency of publishing houses – to assume the new literary-political ideology of revolutionary humanism (the Socialist Realism of the Ceaușescu era).
19. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 12/13
Lucica Nicoleta Păcurar

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The young generation of the ’80s was born and entirely educated under communist ideology. And yet indoctrination failed for some of these young people, who saw the West as a symbol of a better society to aspire to. In order to escape from S.R. Romania, some of them risked their lives in the “adventure” of crossing the border illegally. The main opponents of the fugitives, the border guards, were part of the same age group. In many cases, they behaved brutally toward the fugitives. Did they come to see them as traitors, or was it just the context in which this adversity manifested itself mixed with the soldiers’ fear of their superiors’ punishments? The study is part of a more extensive research regarding the phenomenon of illegal border crossing during Ceaușescu`s dictatorship. Through this study, I aim to analyse the two situations in which some of the young people of the ’80s could find themselves: opponents of the regime (when fleeing to the West was a form of protest) and involuntary “servants” of the system, such as border soldiers, respectively. Also, I focused on identifying the reasons for the conflict between the two categories of young people belonging to the same generation.
20. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 12/13
Iulia Cindrea Nagy

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The 1924 Church reform, through which the Romanian Orthodox Church decided to adopt the Revised Julian Calendar, led to dissent movements, mostly comprised of peasants, especially in the villages of Moldavia and Bessarabia. Considering the calendar change a heresy, these groups soon developed into religious communities that came to be known as Old Calendarists, or “stylists,” followers of “the old-style calendar.” Led by defrocked priests and monks who rejected the reform, the groups very quickly became the target of the secret police and the Gendarmerie. What also drew the attention of the authorities and the Orthodox Church was that women, especially the younger ones, seemed to play important roles within the communities, not only in terms of membership, but also in preserving and spreading the Old Calendarists’ beliefs and religious ideas. As many members of the communities were being arrested, and their churches were destroyed, these women also suffered imprisonment, monastic incarceration, or were forced to hide from the authorities in caves or huts that they built in the woods. Though subjected to various forms of persecution, which continued through the communist period, the majority of them held strong to their beliefs and contributed to the forging of a religious identity. Using archival documents, in the forms of letters, postcards, photos, and declarations as primary sources, and drawing on interviews conducted with contemporary nuns and members of the Old Calendarist communities, the present article explores the personal stories of young Old Calendarist women. Building upon the work of Anca Șincan, this article challenges the notion that transmission of religion was the exclusive prerogative of older women.