Innocent Victims of Red KZs? West German Representations of Soviet Internment 1945-55
Title: Innocent Victims of Red KZs? West German Representations of Soviet Internment 1945-55
Author: BEATTIE, Andrew
Publisher: European University Institute
Series/Report no.: EUI MWP; 2007/39
The paper seeks to contribute to the growing literature on Soviet internment camps established in eastern Germany in the wake of the Second World War. Since 1990 there has been heated debate about who was in the camps and why, but questions around the contemporary reception of the camps have been rather neglected until recently. This paper examines a section of the literature produced about the camps during their existence and in the years immediately following their final closure in 1950. I hope to provide a fuller and more analytical account of the representations and interpretations of the “special camps” than has been offered to date, and to correct some assumptions, assertions, and misapprehensions in current literature. In particular, the paper questions the frequent assumption of the absolute polarisation of contemporary attitudes between the eastern communist defence of the camps and simplistic western anticommunist condemnation.
Subject: Soviet occupation; East Germany; internment camps; concentration camps; reception; anticommunism; denazification
Type of Access: openAccess