Perpetrator Studies Network


Violence After Stalin: Institutions, Practices, and Everyday Life in the Soviet Bloc 1953–1989

Edited by Jan Claas Behrends, Thomas Lindenberger, and Pavel Kolář.

This volume by an international group of historians presents case studies on the use and types of physical violence in the USSR and Moscow’s European satellite states after the death of Joseph Stalin. While communist rule until 1953 was characterized by repression and mass-terror, violence came to play a lesser role under Stalin’s successors. Within the methodological approach of Neue Gewaltforschung (“New Research on Violence”), the papers gathered in this collection present novel insights into the motives and nature of physical violence—both in the public and private realms—during the last decades of state socialism in the USSR and Eastern Europe. The studies cover such crucial subjects as the GULag, war and the military, as well as childhood and sexual violence.


Dr. Jan Claas Behrends studied history, literature, and philosophy at the Free and Humboldt Universities of Berlin, at the University of Wisconsin, as well as Moscow State University. He was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Chicago in 2007. Currently, he is Senior Research Fellow at the Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History (ZZF) in Potsdam and teaches East European history at the European Viadrina University in Frankfurt/Oder. Among other books, he has authored Die erfundene Freundschaft (Böhlau 2006) and edited The Return to War and Violence (Routledge 2018).

Prof. Pavel Kolář studied European history at Charles University in Prague where he received his PhD in 2003. In 2010–2018, he was Professor of Comparative European History at the European University Institute in Florence. Since 2018, he is Professor of East European History at the University of Constance in Germany. He is the author of, among other books, Geschichtswissenschaft in Zentraleuropa (Akademische Verlagsanstalt 2008) and Der Poststalinismus (Böhlau 2016) as well as co-editor of Historische Nationsforschung im geteilten Europa 1945–1989 (SH-Verlag 2012).

Prof. Thomas Lindenberger studied history, philosophy, and economics in Berlin, where he received his PhD at the Technical University in 1992. He completed his Habilitation at the University of Potsdam in 2002. Since 2017, he is Director of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarianism Studies and Professor of History at the Technical University of Dresden. Among other books, he has authored Straßenpolitik (Dietz 1995) and Volkspolizei (Böhlau 2003) as well as edited Herrschaft und Eigen-Sinn in der Diktatur (Böhlau 1999) and Massenmedien im Kalten Krieg (Böhlau 2006).

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