chapter  VI
46 Pages

The Dialogue on Historical Roles: A Forum for Claims, Grievances, and Demands

ByRoman Kolkowicz

The historical dialogue deals with a general range of issues that nominally pertain to World War II and to the roles that the Party and the various military groups and personalities played in it. Between the death of Stalin in 1953 and the ouster of G. M. Malenkov in 1955, the military made only a few tentative efforts to open a debate on historical issues. This circumspection may have been due to its realization that such a discussion was a Pandora's box, which would force the Party to make some admission of its role in the military purges of 1937, in the subsequent oppressive treatment of the military, both during and after the war. With the ouster of Malenkov, Nikita Khrushchev moved one step closer to dominating the Party. However, he achieved this gain at the price of making concessions to Marshalm Zhukov and his supporters in the military.