"Rome or Moscow"

Germany, the West, and Bolshevist Russia

(Last modified 1998)

A number of case studies are used to investigate how the political and intellectual development of the Weimar Republic was significantly influenced by contemporary perceptions of Bolshevist Russia in Germany society. A biographical study of the Frankfurt poet Alfons Paquet is a primary source for this analysis. In the summer of 1918 Paquet underwent a transformation from a romantic imperialist to become an equally romantic advocate of a German-Russian world revolution. Other fields of investigation include: the relationship between organized anti-Bolshevism and conservative "eastern ideology" in Germany, the topos "Jewish Bolshevism", the projected perceptions of travelers to the "New Russia", and the peculiar phenomenon of a German Dostoevsky cult with a following throughout the political spectrum. Analysis is based on the evaluation of specific archive material as well as a complete bibliography and evaluation of all German literature on Russia published during the Russian revolution and the post-war period (1917-1924).

This project is the continuation of work begun by the author as a research associate in the so-called Wuppertal Project headed by Lew Kopelew. The Hamburg Institute for Social Research provided funding for the completion of the manuscript.

(completed in March 1998)