Analysis of theoretical and legal presuppositions of decommunisation
in post-communist societies, particularly in the former DDR
The experience of the last decade clearly shows that building a
structure of a new state considerably depends on the way of dealing
with the totalitarian past. The negligence we have witnessed in Poland,
is not only the reason for the serious crisis of our state (for example,
"the night of the files" (communist secret police files) and the subsequent
overthrow of Jan Olszewski's government, "the Olin affair" - accusation
of post-communist Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy of collaboration with
Russian secret service) and many pathologies in economy, but they
also cause ideological confusion and discourage citizens from getting
involved in public affairs.
Decommunisation is a term, commonly used to define all activity
that tends towards breaking with the communist past, which stirs up
emotions. The opponents of decommunisation accuse its supporters of
being driven by hatred and the wish to take revenge, and argue that
by "digging in the past" they try to compensate for their political
inefficiency. They present decommunisation as a manipulation that
leads to collective responsibility and violation of human rights;
in other words, decommunisation is clearly in conflict with the spirit
of European civilisation. Meanwhile, it seems that in fact it is exactly
the opposite: not dealing with the past is a silent acceptance of
the fact that justice and truth - foundations of this civilisation
- become empty slogans. That is why the example of denazification
of Nazi Germany can be a model of European way of solving problems
while abolishing the totalitarian system.
At the same time, we need to realise that decommunisation is in fact
a difficult problem to solve as there is a permanent contradiction
in it. On the one hand, decommunisation cannot be carried out against
the law, which in its nature should be stabile and maximally unchangeable.
On the other hand, decommunisation procedure is something extraordinary,
demanding extra solutions and extraordinary means. A consent to the
procedure can cause a temptation to manipulate the law and there is
a danger that under the pretext of decommunisation short term interests
will be realised.
These two aspects: the confidence that decommunisation is necessary
and, at the same time, the awareness of how hard it is to carry it
out properly, are a reason to raise the problem that is still unsolved
after nearly 10 years since the process of transformation has begun.
The goals of the project