Kommunistische Intellektuelle im westlichen Deutschland (1945–1956)
The communist commitment of intellectuals in West Germany during the period from the end of the Second World War until the Hungarian crisis in 1956 was based on a secular form of political faith. This paper will first discuss the term “intellectual” and develop – using Paul Tillich’s and Max Weber’s thoughts on religious theory – a particular concept of “political faith”. On this basis, the causes and motives for the conversions of the intellectuals of the West German KPD will be investigated. These conversions had mostly already occurred during the Weimar Republic or during the Nazi period. Further, the change in the intellectuals’ political faith in the epoch from 1945 to 1956 will be traced. In this context it will become apparent that the intellectuals’ understanding of their role and the forms of their political commitment were closely connected to the specific nature of their faith in communism.
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