Zwischen Vertrauen und Verrat
Deutschsprachige kommunistische Intellektuelle und ihre sozialen Beziehungen (1918–1960)
1. Edition 2012
Freunde – Gönner – Getreue -
Is it possible for Communists to be friends? It is difficult to imagine, since the suppositions underlying friendship and Communist Party discipline would appear to be irreconcilable. Since the beginning of the modern era, friendship in Europe has been understood to be a relationship that is voluntarily initiated and that is shaped by the personalities of the individuals involved. In contrast, the Communist Party demands absolute loyalty from its members. A glance at Party history, however, reveals that friendship, together with brotherhood and solidarity, were ideals that the Communists inscribed on their banners.
The author resolves this paradox by analyzing the social relationships of communist intellectuals between 1918 and 1960. The leading characters are Willi Bredel, Wieland Herzfelde, Anna Seghers and other intellectuals of the 1900's. She not only traces the paths of their friendships, but also tries to explain the lifelong commitment of these intellectuals to Communism – a question still being discussed in historical research.