Fascism and Communism

By François Furet; Ernst Nolte et al. | Go to book overview

8
Situations

M Y D EAR C OLLEAGUE,

Thank you very much for your answer to my last letter, which was much too long. You reply once again with what we in Germany customarily call a “Latin” or “French” clarity. The differences that remain between us seem to me to be only differences of accentuation. I ascribe without reserve to your assertion concerning the distinctiveness of Auschwitz compared to the gulag. For my part, I sought to distinguish between the two in opposing the notions of “social extermination” and “biological extermination, ” and I would like simply to add that the dividing lines are not so pronounced in reality as in the world of concepts.

I also agree with your explanation of the privilege communism enjoys in public opinion by comparison with its most vehement adversary, but in this regard I would like to raise a question: Shouldn't a movement whose intentions might be qualified as “gentle” but which nevertheless imposed itself everywhere by violence and with an enormous number of victims be judged more harshly than a party whose overall intentions can be qualified as bad?

-69-

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Fascism and Communism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Preface to the English Edition vii
  • Foreword xv
  • 1 - On Ernst Nolte's Interpretation of Fascism 1
  • 2 - Beyond Ideological Impasses 7
  • 3 - A Taboo Subject 15
  • 4 - From the Gulag to Auschwitz 23
  • 5 - The Dialectical Relationship of Fascism and Communism 31
  • 6 - On Revisionism 41
  • 7 - François Furet 59
  • 8 - Situations 69
  • 9 - Such is the Melancholy Backdrop of This Century's End 81
  • Notes 93
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