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The Speech by Hans Kruus at the EC(B)P CC Plenum on 2 December 1944

On 30 October 1944, the C(B)PSU CC Organisational Bureau (Orgburo) in Moscow adopted the decision ‘Concerning shortcomings in and the tasks of the political work of the Estonian SSR Party Organisation’, which set the main objectives of the sovietisation process and established institutional support for implementing control over the leadership of the union republic.

As the first task, Moscow placed on the agenda the so-called struggle against bourgeois nationalism in order to establish a suitable ideo logical framework for the sovietisation process. Similar decisions were adopted in the Kremlin at the same time concerning Latvia and Lithuania. These were part of a broader process, the aim of which was to restore the Party authority’s control over society, which had slackened somewhat during the war, especially in those territories that had been annexed by the Soviet Union in 1930–1940.

The implementation of the Orgburo’s decision of 30 October was discussed separately at the EC(B)P CC Plenum, which was held on 1–2 December 1944 in Tallinn. One of the tasks of this plenum was to mobilise the Soviet and Party apparat to carry out Moscow’s instructions and to start fighting ‘bourgeois nationalism’ in order to assure the regime of suitable ideological support and cadres.

History was seen as one means in the struggle against so-called bourgeois nationalism and in shaping the new countenance of intellectuals in general. H. Kruus gave a programmatic speech on this theme at the plenum. In the speech he tried to make sense of the nature and role of what we nowadays refer to as the humanities in building a ‘new society’.

The published text of the speech given by H. Kruus at the EC(B)P CC Plenum on 2 December 1944 is a genuine document of its era that quite concretely formulates the tasks of historical science under the conditions of the new regime.