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Tomas Sniegon

Senior Lecturer

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Research

The title of my main current project is “Making Sense of the ”Good” Soviet Communist Dictatorship Through Stalin´s Terror, Khrushchev´s Reforms and Brezhnev´s Period of Stagnation. A historical narrative by the former KGB chairman Vladimir Semichastny.” It is based on my interviews with Vladimir Semichastny (1924-2001), the chairman of the KGB 1961-1967 whom I met in Moscow between the years 1993 and 1999.
The aim is to analyze Semichastny´s attempt to make sense of his own political career that started at the Komsomol, continued in the Soviet Communist party structures in Moscow and in Central Asia and culminated in the KGB headquarter Lubyanka. Semichastny created a historical narrative about his political life within the Soviet Communism through Stalin´s terror, Khrushchev´s de-Stalinisation and reforms and Brezhnev´s period of stagnation. Thus, the project also deals with questions concerning the individual and social memory of the Soviet terror, with the problem of how strategies that legitimized the Soviet communist dictatorship coexisted with critical stances within the system itself and with the question of how it is possible to give a positive meaning to the Soviet communist dictatorship and at the same time not deny the worst crimes of Stalinism.

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