You'll never guess who's back. The communists.

In Berlin, the old East German communist party, trading under the name Party of Democratic Socialism, won nearly 14 percent of the vote in recent municipal elections.Tellingly, the PDS won one-third of the vote in old East Berlin. That turnout, however, seems less nostalgia for the good old days of a police state than a protest by East Germans who feel forgotten and spurned by reunification.

In Poland, the Democratic Left Alliance, the old Communist party, may succeed in taking power next month from Lech Walesa and Solidarity. The issues in that election, however, have less to do with Marxism than jobs and pensions.

And, while it may be too early to be paranoid, among the political organizations that just qualified for Russia's parliamentary elections in December: the Communist Party.