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A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central EuropeVolume II: Negotiating Modernity in the 'Short Twentieth Century' and Beyond, Part I: 1918-1968$
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Balázs Trencsényi, Michal Kopeček, Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič, Maria Falina, Mónika Baár, and Maciej Janowski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737155

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198737155.001.0001

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The Postwar “Transition Years”

The Postwar “Transition Years”

Chapter:
(p.285) 8 The Postwar “Transition Years”
Source:
A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central Europe
Author(s):

Balázs Trencsényi

Michal Kopeček

Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič

Maria Falina

Mónika Baár

Maciej Janowski

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198737155.003.0008

Debates on the postwar “transition” are symbolically linked to the year 1945, but in many cases they had already started in 1943–4 and lasted until 1948. A general feeling of rupture with the past dominated throughout East Central Europe. Symbolic geographical references underwent important change, stressing some sort of synthesis between East and West. The experience of the Holocaust resulted in reflections on the responsibility of the region’s societies for the genocide. The debates of the immediate postwar period were also concerned with the relationship of democracy and socialism, the nationalization of communism, the conflict of neo-Romantic, neoclassicist, and modernist aesthetic sensitivities, and the clash between a strict adherence to Moscow and dissenting options. The noncommunist thought of the period ranged from social democratic and Christian democratic streams to various versions of nationalism. In turn, the armed anti-communist resistance rarely went beyond devising a mobilizing rhetoric, the most important exception being the Ukrainian underground, which produced relatively developed theoretical reflection.

Keywords:   transition, communism, Stalinism, aesthetics, anticommunism, symbolic geography

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