History of World War II 1939–1945 The origin of war. The struggle of progressive forces for the preservation of peace

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  History of World War II 1939–1945 The origin of war. The struggle of progressive forces for the preservation of peace 
Selected Articles from the History of World War II 1939–1945 in 12 volumes.
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3. The turn of the communist parties to new forms of struggle

By the mid-1930s, the growing danger of a second world war demanded a new strategic orientation from the communists. An objective need arose to launch further struggle for a united anti-fascist front in order to preserve peace.

From the first days of the establishment of the fascist dictatorship, the Central Committee of the KKE gave a correct assessment of its class character and the aggressive essence of its foreign and domestic policy. The slogan of overthrowing the fascist dictatorship by a united front of the working class and its allies was put forward as the immediate goal.

At the end of January and in February 1933, workers' demonstrations took place throughout Germany, in which communists, social democrats, and members of trade unions who opposed the Nazi regime took part. The struggle for the creation of an anti-fascist front was complicated by the fact that after the provocative arson of the Reichstag, widespread repressions began against the communists and all opponents of the Nazi regime. The preservation of the KKE in those conditions was the most important prerequisite for the development of the movement of the progressive forces of the German nation against the transformation of the fascist state into the main center of the Second World War.

In an atmosphere of deep illegality and constant attacks on the cadres of the party, on its leading and grassroots organizations, the KKE launched a heroic struggle for its existence, adapted the organizational structure and forms of leadership to the changed conditions.

In mid-May 1933, the Politburo decided to organize a foreign bureau in Paris consisting of F. Dahlem, V. Florin and V. Pick {1055} . His tasks included publishing the central organ of the party, the Rote Fahne newspaper, ensuring border crossings and organizing the work of German communists who had emigrated, maintaining contact with the ECCI and promoting, together with fraternal parties, the development of a movement of solidarity with German anti-fascists.

The leadership that remained inside the country included D. Sher, G. Schubert, F. Schulze and W. Ulbricht. They directed the work of party organizations and the anti-fascist resistance movement. Members of the Politburo, who were in Paris and Berlin, maintained close contact with them. The party managed to establish contact with Telman, who, being in the dungeons of the Moabit prison in Berlin, provided all possible assistance with advice and recommendations.

In the autumn of 1933, the leadership of the KKE decided, for security reasons, to transfer to Paris some of the members of the party apparatus who had remained in the country. Of the leaders of the party in Germany, there was only D. Scher, whose task was to form the underground leadership of the party. The organ of the Politburo, located in Paris, directed the work of party organizations in Germany from October 1933 to March 1935 {1056} . In the autumn of 1933 there were 48 local party districts {1057} in the country .

The VKP(b) and other fraternal parties provided great assistance to the KKE during its transition to an illegal position. They gave her rich experience of underground work. The cadres of the KKE for work inside the country were trained in the international Leninist school of the Comintern. The communist parties of Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland and Denmark assisted in establishing KKE bases on the German borders. and in organizing border crossings. [322]

After the Reichstag fire, representatives of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the KKE again tried to establish contact with the leadership of the SPD and the Association of Trade Unions. The attempts came to nothing. In the Central Council of Trade Unions, they were not accepted at all, and the SPD board declared that joint actions with the KPD were inappropriate, since they jeopardized the legality of the party {1058} . Such a line of government in the conditions of fascist terror led to the fact that many grassroots social democratic organizations began to disintegrate. A significant part of the SPD members, disillusioned with their leaders, stopped all political activity.

Fighting for the implementation of the strategy and tactics that were carried out on the scale of the international communist movement, the responsible officials of the Comintern supported the Marxist-Leninist forces in the leadership of the KKE in every possible way. Thus, the ECCI, its presidium, the secretariat, and the political commissions discussed questions of the anti-fascist struggle in Germany many times and gave valuable advice. In the speeches of G. Dimitrov from the end of September to the end of December 1933 in the fascist imperial court, where he was falsely accused of setting fire to the Reichstag, the political situation in Germany was analyzed, the reasons for the establishment of the fascist dictatorship in the country were indicated, and the Nazi slander on the communist movement was exposed. "Mass work, mass struggle, mass resistance, a united front and no adventurism - this is the alpha and omega of communist tactics"{1059} , he said in one of his speeches.

In the autumn of 1934, G. Dimitrov spoke about his attitude to the slanderous accusation of the Communists of setting fire to the Reichstag. “During the police proceedings, as well as during the judicial investigation, my position was as follows: first of all, I sought to politically refute the accusation in connection with the burning of the Reichstag and explain that such an act could not be committed by the Communists, that this could be the work of provocateurs or political madmen. The burning of the Reichstag is an attack on the German working class and is directed against the Communist Party. From this it follows, both factually and politically, that I personally, as a communist, and especially as a leading Bulgarian communist, could have nothing in common with this matter and in fact had nothing in common” {1060} .

The campaign connected with the Leipzig Trial, the defense of the communists accused there, was an important moment in the struggle of the KKE against fascism.

The Leipzig trial was the trial of German fascism. This was the merit of G. Dimitrov. Handcuffed, deprived of information about events in the world, he managed to turn the dock into a tribune of the anti-fascist struggle, showed himself as a revolutionary of boundless courage, a brilliant polemicist and orator. In those days, the name of Dimitrov for millions of people became a symbol of the steadfastness and fearlessness of the communists, a symbol of the struggle against fascism.

The Leipzig trial received wide repercussions throughout the world and contributed to the activation of anti-fascist forces in Germany and many other countries. Communists, social democrats, members of trade unions, as well as progressive representatives of the intelligentsia actively came out in defense of G. Dimitrov and demanded his release. The World Congress for the Defense of the Victims of Fascism published in 1933 the Brown Book on the Reichstag Fire and the Hitler Terror, and in the following year, the Brown Book Dimitrov vs. Goering. Exposing the true arsonists." They were translated into various languages ​​and distributed in many countries, including illegally in Germany.

At the end of July 1934, the plenum of the Central Committee of the KKE worked out a resolution that aimed the party at creating a united anti-fascist front of the working people. As concrete measures, it was recommended to negotiate with social democratic organizations on a joint struggle, to take the initiative in launching a campaign for the restoration of free trade unions, to work among members of mass fascist organizations, and to establish contacts with the middle strata of the population {1061} .

In carrying out these decisions, the KKE encountered serious recurrences of sectarianism and "leftist" doctrinairism, which hindered the cause of creating a popular front against Hitler. In January 1935, the political secretariat of the ECCI encouraged members of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the KKE, representatives of the leadership within the country, members of the Berlin party organization and the Communist Youth League of Germany to discuss the behavior of sectarian elements and thereby helped the KKE to restore the collectivity of the party leadership. It was proposed to develop and implement measures for cooperation with social democratic groups and organizations, as well as once again try to reach an agreement with the SPD émigré board in Prague on joint actions against the fascist dictatorship {1062} .

In 1935 the KKE again suffered heavy losses. Communication with local organizations was interrupted, turnouts and illegal apartments failed. According to the data of the KKE, out of 422 functionaries, members of the central and district committees, leaders of mass organizations of the party, 219 were arrested and 24 people were killed {1063} . It turned out to be impossible to create a new party leadership inside the country, since there were not enough trained personnel, and the Gestapo intensified surveillance of all those suspected of belonging to the KKE. In accordance with the new distribution of duties within the Politburo, the leadership of party organizations in Germany was entrusted to F. Dahlem and W. Ulbricht, who were in Prague. The remaining members of the Politburo moved to Moscow, which became the seat of the party leadership.

The anti-fascists captured by the Gestapo were replaced by new fighters. The class consciousness and high morale of the communists, based on Marxist-Leninist hardening and party education, manifested itself in unceasing resistance to Hitlerism even when a few people remained in the organization who had no connection with other groups and party leadership.

The famous German poet Johannes Becher wrote the poem "Where was Germany ...". Answering this question, he emphasized that the best people in Germany were then in prisons and concentration camps. And then he continued:

But in the prison cells, in the casemates,

Where the corpses of the mutilated, crucified

The executioners silently curse

And where pity calls for vengeance,

There a new Germany was born,

There the heart of my homeland beat! {1064} [324]

Despite heavy losses, the German Communist Party continued to operate. Party organizations completed the transition to an illegal position, reorganized their forces and waged an anti-fascist struggle using the most diverse methods and forms. In contact with the Social Democrats, non-Party workers, peasants and other working people, they often created common cells and resistance groups.

The selfless struggle of the communists against the fascist regime contributed to the formation of the underground Popular Front, which corresponded to the guidelines of the Comintern. A part of the Social Democrats, who did not agree with the capitulation of their leadership to fascism, also joined this front. On behalf of the supporters of the Popular Front, which advocated peace, freedom and bread, in December 1936 an "Appeal to the German people" was secretly published. Under it were the signatures of the Communists - W. Pick, W. Florin, W. Ulbricht, F. Dahlem, W. Münzberger, the Social Democrats - W. Brandt, R. Breitsheid and outstanding representatives of the progressive intelligentsia - L. Feuchtwanger, A. Zweig , G. Manna {1065}

In February 1934, an attempted fascist coup took place in France, which was thwarted by the decisive actions of the working class, which rallied around itself the vast majority of the people. The Communists saw in this fact favorable opportunities for new efforts to unite the opponents of fascism and the war on a general democratic platform.

Thanks to the French Communist Party and its skillful approach to the socialist workers, who showed an increasing desire for joint anti-fascist actions, in July 1934 a pact was concluded on the unity of action of the communist and socialist (SFIO) parties. The PCF went along with many wishes of the SFIO, but achieved the main thing: both parties pledged to take effective measures against fascism and reaction. For the first time after a long and sharp struggle, the communists and socialists came to an agreement that formalized a united workers' front against fascism.

The events of 1934 in Austria served as a serious lesson for progressive forces, for the international working-class movement. Its Communist Party warned that the fascist danger was growing in the country and that joint action by all workers was needed against it. But the forces of the Communist Party were weak, since the Social Democrats led the majority of the working class and for a long time insisted that it was only necessary to act when the time came, they kept the proletariat from mass demonstrations against impudent fascism.

In February 1934, when events reached the point of an acute armed clash between the working people and fascism, the centrist Social Democracy proved unable to organize a rebuff. The barricade battles of the Austrian proletariat ended in its defeat. If the example of France made the workers of the whole world convinced of the possibility of a successful rebuff to fascism, the events in Austria showed how pernicious the reformist policy of avoiding a decisive struggle. At the same time, as a result of these events, the rank and file of social democracy began to realize the need for unity of action and cooperation with the communists, up to the armed struggle against fascism.

The general strike in October 1934 in Spain, especially the uprising of the workers in Asturias, confirmed the vitality of the solidarity of the workers in the fight against fascism, the need to overcome sectarianism, guildism, claims to monopoly leadership of the movement, characteristic [325] of anarchists and social democrats. Practice proved the possibility of a united front of communists, socialists and anarcho-syndicalists.

A turn towards the policy of a united workers' front based on an anti-fascist platform was also made by the Communist Party of Italy, which in August 1934 achieved an agreement on unity of action with the socialists. The struggle for a united front became a characteristic feature of the strategy and tactics of the communist parties in other capitalist countries of Europe.

During the preparations for the 7th Congress of the Comintern, the communists creatively revised outdated views and looked for new solutions. G. Dimitrov, D. Manuilsky, O. Kuusinen and other comrades in the Executive Committee of the Comintern played an important role in working out the new orientation. They raised questions of programmatic importance: the strategic goal of the communist and workers' movement in the most difficult conditions; the foundations of the unity of the workers' front; a change in attitude towards social democracy, in the ranks of which, under the conditions of the onset of fascism, differentiation intensified; the need to expand the united workers' front through alliance with the non-proletarian strata; launching a struggle against leftist-sectarian mistakes in the communist parties, etc. {1066} .

The Popular Front slogan, put forward by the French Communists and supported by other Communist Parties, was an important contribution to the development of a new orientation, to the development of the Leninist idea of ​​an alliance between the working class and other sections of the working people. The Popular Front, the PCF pointed out, is a militant alliance of all the proletarian and democratic forces of the country for the purpose of curbing, disarming and dissolving the fascist leagues, defending the democratic rights and freedoms of the working people, and satisfying the vital economic interests of all who were oppressed by the "two hundred families" {1067} . For the first time in the history of the revolutionary struggle, the unification of broad democratic forces was planned. The main goals of the Popular Front corresponded to the passionate aspirations of various sections of the population: to repulse the worst capitalist reaction - fascism and militarism, to protect the rights of the masses.

The initiative measures taken by the communist parties and their development of a new orientation were based on a deep understanding of the essence and prospects of the anti-war struggle. The communists approached it as a general democratic movement that could play a huge role in international events to create an anti-war front, as the broadest coalition of democratic forces in which other sections of the population rally around the proletariat. G. Dimitrov, evaluating the experience of the anti-war struggle, pointed out that in preparing and carrying out anti-war measures, the Communists acted correctly, addressing directly the working masses, the Social Democrats. But it was wrong that they immediately concentrated "all efforts against the Social Democracy as such, and especially against the Left Social Democracy, without concretizing and without differentiating the pitiful "left" demagogues from the sincere left elements that stirred up as early as 1931-32-33. It is clear, comrades, that we here did one thing with our right hand: we had very good intentions to stir up our parties, to organize millions for the struggle, but, on the other hand, with our left hand we destroyed what we wanted, interfered with it.{1068} . Now the communist parties sought to remove all obstacles to the expansion of the anti-war movement, to find contact with the Social Democrats, among whom the number of left elements was growing.

Thanks to the actions of the communists, the desire for unity became a characteristic feature of anti-war activities. The call for the rallying of all proletarian and democratic forces was made in London in February 1934 at a congress against hunger, fascism and war, which brought together representatives of about 800 organizations {1069} . This idea was also permeated with the first US conference of the Society of Friends of the USSR, held in March. The Society of Friends of the USSR in the USA by this time had 10,000 members. The 980 conference delegates represented the most diverse sections of the working people and the intelligentsia. Having paid great attention to the issues of military danger, explaining the peace-loving policy of the Soviet Union, the conference called for the unification of all opponents of the war {1070} .

Unions and societies of friends of the USSR in other countries actively joined the anti-war struggle. In France, by the autumn of 1934, such a society already had 310 local organizations with 12,000 members and published its own illustrated magazine {1071} .

In connection with the approach of the 20th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, the World Committee against War and Fascism launched a great agitation and propaganda work, explaining to the masses the causes of the last war and the threat of a new one. The committee's organ, published in French ("Front Mondial") and German ("Die Weltfront"), skillfully exposed the perpetrators of the First World War and the main instigators of the Second World War. The Committee held anti-war conferences in France, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland and an anti-war congress in Mexico {1072} . In a number of countries, the creation of anti-war committees and the strengthening of the previously existing ones were successfully going on.

The creation of a united workers' front gave a strong impetus to the development of the anti-war movement and anti-war committees in France. In the spring of 1934, there were 1,000 such committees in the country, which included not only communists and non-party people, but also socialists (including 150 sections of the SFIO). By November, the number of anti-war committees had risen to 1,600 {1073}.

In many countries, the creation of new committees ran into serious difficulties, in particular, opposition from the right-wing Social Democracy, which continued to characterize these committees as the work of communists alone.

The manifesto, adopted at a meeting of the Bureau of the World Committee against War and Fascism and the Youth Committee against War and Fascism in July 1934, spoke of the general democratic nature of the struggle, the task of gathering “all the forces of the working people for the struggle, regardless of their party affiliation ... movements are wide open to all organizations and currents that reject war and fascism” {1074} .

The Comintern and the Communist Parties were the most active participants in the anti-war campaign associated with the 20th anniversary of the start of the First World War. The communist press showed the prehistory of the war and the extent of the damage caused by it, exposed the intrigues of imperialist diplomacy after the war, revealed the economic, political, ideological and military-technical aspects of the imperialists' preparations for a new war, focusing special attention on Japan and Germany. At the same time, it promoted the consistently peaceful policy of the Soviet Union, showed that it corresponded to the vital interests of all peace-loving [327]forces on earth. When the USSR joined the League of Nations in September 1934, the Communists explained that this step was a victory for the peace-loving policy of the Soviet state, which was striving to use the turn in the policy of a number of capitalist countries towards rapprochement with it in order to increase resistance to the outbreak of war, to isolate its main instigators.

The Communist Parties supported the campaign for investigating the activities of "arms manufacturers", which has reached significant proportions in the USA, Britain and some other countries. Articles, pamphlets and books by prominent figures of science and culture contained demands to curb arms manufacturers and dealers. Such works have become widespread. A vivid example of the participation of the Communists in the campaign was the testimony in May 1935 of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain G. Pollit in the commission on the private production of weapons and trade in them. Based on facts not known to the public, they became a real indictment against monopolies {1075} .

The campaign for the convening of the World Congress of Women Against the War was also timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. In the course of its preparation, an attempt was made to unite the anti-war efforts of women's organizations and unions of various political directions. The initiative committee for convening the congress invited the leadership of the Socialist Workers' International to take part in the movement and in the work of the congress itself. After the leaders of the Social Democracy rejected this proposal under the previous pretext that it was a "communist maneuver", on June 15, 1934, the initiative committee addressed an open letter to E. Vandervelde and F. Adler. He again invited the Socialist Workers' International to participate in the congress, in the national women's anti-war committees and assured that socialist women would be met in a comradely manner.{1076} . But the right-wing leaders of the Social Democracy once again renounced united action in the anti-war struggle.

The World Women's Congress against War and Fascism, held on August 4-7, 1934 in Paris, testified to the expansion of the circle of organizations, movements, groups that participated in the anti-war movement. Many pacifist and charitable organizations were represented (341 delegates), cultural and educational organizations (132 delegates), the movement of committees against war and fascism, that is, the Amsterdam-Pleyel movement (102 delegates), the revolutionary trade union opposition (more than 100 delegates), reformist trade unions (80 delegates), Mezhrabpom (34 delegates), communist parties and Komsomol (94 delegates), socialist parties and their youth organizations (20 delegates), English cooperatives (27 delegates), Christian social parties (16 delegates), etc. {1077}. The manifesto adopted at the congress contained an impassioned call for the creation of a united front of all those who oppose fascism and war.

Thus, the Comintern and the Communist Parties, relying on the accumulated experience of the anti-fascist and anti-war movement, came to the realization of the need to develop an integral program for the preservation of peace. They were guided by the fact that such a program should constitute the most important element of the popular front movement and take into account the expansion of its social basis.

The historical merit in developing a program for the struggle of the working people against war and fascism belongs to the 7th Congress of the Comintern, which worked from July 25 to August 20, 1935 in Moscow. The participants of the congress [328] listened to a report on the activities of the Executive Committee of the Communist International (V. Pik) and reports: “The offensive of fascism and the tasks of the Communist International in the struggle for the unity of the working class against fascism” (G. Dimitrov), “Preparation for an imperialist war and tasks Communist International” (P. Tolyatti), “Results of the construction of socialism in the USSR” (D. Manuilsky). The Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks and representatives of other sections of the Comintern took an active part in the development of the main theoretical provisions of the reports.

Analyzing the position and alignment of class forces in the world, the congress noted the historical significance of the victory of socialism in the USSR. The CPSU(b), presenting a report on the results of socialist construction in the USSR, reported to the international proletariat on what had been done in the country to turn it into a mighty industrial power, an invincible stronghold of socialism and peace on earth. The congress resolution stated: the victory of socialism in the USSR means "a new major shift in the balance of class forces on a world scale in favor of socialism, to the detriment of capitalism. .. » {1078}.

The 7th Congress of the Comintern devoted much attention to characterizing the fascist dictatorship and the fascist danger. It drew a fundamentally important conclusion: the coming of fascism to power was not the usual replacement of one bourgeois government by another, but the replacement of one state form of class rule by the bourgeoisie with another—an open terrorist dictatorship. This put an end to the harmful equating of various bourgeois parliamentary regimes with fascism and provided a scientific orientation for understanding the contradictions between fascism and bourgeois democracy.

The congress emphasized the dangerous role of German fascism, which embodied the most reactionary and most misanthropic features of the fascist movement in general. German fascism, acting as the shock fist of the international counter-revolution, G. Dimitrov said in his report, is the main force of world fascist reaction, the main instigator of a new imperialist war {1079}. Describing fascism as a huge step back in comparison with bourgeois democracy, as a monstrous offspring of decaying capitalism, he noted: “... the fascist counter-revolution attacks bourgeois democracy, seeking to establish a regime of the most barbaric exploitation and suppression of the working people. Today, the working masses in a number of capitalist countries have to choose specifically for today not between proletarian dictatorship and bourgeois democracy, but between bourgeois democracy and fascism .

The 7th Congress considered the creation of a united workers' front and a broad popular front against fascism and war to be the most important task of the communist parties. The content of the reports of G. Dimitrov, P. Togliatti, V. Pik, the speeches of M. Thorez, G. Podlit, Y. Lensky and many other delegates was subordinated to one thing - to find out ways to successfully create a united workers' and people's front, which, by definition of the congress, the main weapon of the working people in the fight against fascism and war.

After evaluating the experience of the struggle of the Communist Parties of France, Spain and some others for the creation of a united front, the congress in its resolution proclaimed: “The defense of the immediate economic and political interests of the working class, its defense against fascism must be the starting point [329] and constitute the main content of the united front of the workers in all capitalist countries" {1081} .

The success of creating a united workers' front, both on an international scale and within individual countries, depended primarily on relations between the communist and social democratic parties. Pointing to the fatal consequences of the Social-Democratic policy of class cooperation with the bourgeoisie, the delegates noted that under the new conditions the positions of the Social-Democrats began to change, and they began to move to the left.

Developing Lenin's teaching on the alliance of the working class with other sections of the working people, on the connection between the struggle for democracy and the struggle for socialism, the congress comprehensively substantiated the policy of the people's anti-fascist front. He showed that such a front, by uniting the proletariat, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, and the working intelligentsia, could defeat fascism, limit the power of capital and create favorable initial conditions for the struggle for socialism.

The congress put forward the slogan of creating governments of the popular front, while relying on the conclusions of the Comintern, made with the participation of V.I. Lenin, in particular, on the slogan of a "workers' and peasants' government."

The Congress believed that the government of the Popular Front was called upon to undertake decisive measures against fascism and reaction. It must become a force that cuts the roots of the power of monopoly capital. Depending on the specific correlation of class forces in one country or another, the role of the Popular Front government was outlined. In some countries it organizes a rebuff to fascism and reaction without touching the foundations of bourgeois regimes. In countries where a bourgeois-democratic revolution is unfolding, it can become the government of the democratic dictatorship of the working class and peasantry, that is, the government of an entire transitional stage in the development of the revolution, which creates the prerequisites for its development into a socialist one. The government of the popular front could also become a kind of transitional form in the imperialist countries, where the oppression of the monopolies has again made the struggle for democratic demands urgent. “Perhaps the government of the united front,” said G. Dimitrov, “in a number of countries will turn out to be one of the most important transitional forms.”{1082} and pave the way for the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The Congress obliged the Communists to support all Popular Front governments fighting against reaction and fascism.

The policy of a united workers' and anti-fascist popular front developed by the 7th Congress of the Comintern, which brought general democratic tasks to the fore, did not mean a rejection of socialist goals. On the contrary, it was precisely through the united workers' and people's front that the path lay at that time for uniting all the working people around the communists, the path for preparing and enlisting the broadest masses in the struggle for socialism.

The conclusions of the congress on questions of the national liberation movement were also of great importance. It was pointed out that in colonial and semi-colonial countries the first step of a truly people's revolution would inevitably be the stage of a national liberation struggle directed primarily against imperialism, "against the growing imperialist exploitation, against cruel enslavement, for the expulsion of the imperialists, for the independence of the country" {1083} . This determined the main goals of the struggle of the Communist Parties in the oppressed countries. For successful [330]the implementation of the anti-imperialist revolution, the communists must strive to create a united anti-imperialist front. The communist parties were guided by the implementation of a bold policy of rallying into such a front all those who are capable of fighting imperialism, including the national bourgeoisie, whose contradictions with imperialism not only persisted, but in a number of countries became sharply aggravated. Of particular importance for the creation of the anti-imperialist front were the unity of action of the proletariat, in particular the unity of the trade unions, and the alliance of the proletariat with the peasantry, which constituted the majority of the population of the enslaved countries.

The common interest in defeating fascism and imperialism and in preventing a world war created the ground for an alliance between the national liberation movements of the enslaved peoples and the international working-class movement. The Congress obliged all Communist parties to "actively support the national liberation struggle of the oppressed colonial and semi-colonial peoples..." {1084} . For this it is necessary to educate the broad working masses of the mother countries and colonies in the spirit of internationalism, intransigence towards nationalism and chauvinism.

The decisions of the congress meant not only a change in tactics and methods of struggle. It was a new political strategy that proved to the working class the ways of approaching the socialist revolution through the anti-fascist struggle, the successful solution of other general democratic tasks.

At the 7th Congress of the Comintern, the policy of the Communists in the struggle for peace was comprehensively considered. P. Tolyatti's report was devoted to a detailed analysis of the problem, in which it was noted that the general line of the communists' struggle against the war had withstood the "test by fire" and remained their main line. But there have been profound changes in the international balance of power that should be taken into account.

In the reports of G. Dimitrov, P. Tolyatti, V. Pieck, a very definite conclusion was drawn: the aggressive forces of international imperialism, primarily the fascist states, had begun direct preparations for a new world war. The Congress showed how great and real the danger of fascist aggression is. Acting as the worst enemy of the working class and all democratic forces within “their own” country, fascism also acted in the foreign policy arena as an instrument of imperialist reaction, threatening the national existence of the peoples of other countries, primarily the USSR. The fascist dictatorship, it was pointed out at the congress, is one of the forms of organizing the rear of the imperialist bourgeoisie for a new war. “Concentrate the fire of our struggle against German fascism, as the main warmonger, the mortal enemy of the Soviet Union and the proletarian revolution,” said P. Tolyatti,{1085}.

Emphasizing the anti-Soviet orientation of the military plans of fascism and imperialist reaction, the congress made an important conclusion that in conditions when fascist aggression threatens not only the Soviet Union, but also a number of other countries - Germany's neighbors, when the question of enslaving their peoples is on the agenda, in Europe national liberation wars against the aggressor are possible. The representative of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, J. Schwerma, said: “It is already clear that the attack of Nazi imperialism on Czechoslovakia in the present situation can only be an imperialist offensive war - a war for the redivision of the world, a war for the destruction of the independence of the Czech people, [331]a war for the subjugation of all the peoples of Czechoslovakia to Hitler's fascist dictatorship. The defense of Czechoslovakia against Hitlerite imperialism would, under these conditions, be a just war, for it would be a defensive war waged on the side of the Soviet Union, against the chief representative of the fascist counter- revolution . Delegate of the Communist Party of the Netherlands A. de Leeuv, recalling the words of V. I. Lenin about the possibility of national liberation wars in Europe, which he said back in the years of the First World War, stressed that in a situation where the Nazis seek to enslave many European countries, the Leninist position acquires twice the value of {1087} .

The Congress resolution noted that if any small state is attacked by one or more imperialist states seeking to destroy its national independence, “the war of the national bourgeoisie of such a country, in order to repel this attack, may take on the character of a war of liberation, in which the working class and the Communists of this country cannot but intervene" {1088}. Such a position did not signify unconditional support by the communists for the bourgeois government of a small country subjected to aggression. The proletariat, P. Togliatti pointed out in his concluding speech, skillfully and flexibly combine the defense of the fatherland in the national liberation struggle with the defense of the class interests of the broad masses of the working people, strive for the democratization of the regime, and especially the army, and stop the capitulatory encroachments of the bourgeoisie.

A flexible policy was recommended in relation to the defensive measures of the bourgeois governments. The Communist parties, it was emphasized in the decisions of the congress, should become "in the front ranks of the fighters for national independence and wage the war of liberation to the end, preventing "their" bourgeoisie from making a deal with the attacking powers at the expense of the interests of their country" {1089} .

The congress pointed to the vital interest of the peoples of the countries threatened by fascist aggression in close cooperation and alliance with the USSR, and especially emphasized the idea of ​​the objective coincidence of the foreign policy interests of the first country of socialism with the hopes of the working people of the whole world, with the aspirations of all peace-loving forces.

The Supreme Forum of Communists believed that sharp inter-imperialist contradictions and the increased aggressiveness of fascist states created a situation in which cooperation between the USSR and capitalist powers that were currently interested in maintaining peace, or even with those who did not set themselves immediate goals of conquest, was possible. Considering the disengagement in the policy of the capitalist powers, the congress did not take the standpoint of their equal responsibility for unleashing the war and specifically named the instigators of the aggression. Theoretically substantiating such a strategy, P. Togliatti recalled the statement of V. I. Lenin about the need for flexible tactics of compromise and the use of contradictions in the camp of the class enemy.

The Congress highly appraised the USSR treaties on mutual assistance with France and Czechoslovakia, as aimed "to rally all the forces that can be involved at this moment in the active defense of peace" {1090} , as the most important step towards creating the foundations of collective security in Europe. [332]

The Comintern identified and named the main factors that made it possible to unite all the forces advocating peace. He raised the question of the need to create a broad front of peace, embracing the working class, the working people and the democratic strata. In the ranks of the fighters, the communists called on all pacifists who were ready in practice to resist the war. The Congress noted that the anti-war movement is growing, capturing the masses, and more and more comes out not just with good wishes, but for an effective rebuff to warmongers and aggressors. The scope of this movement was evidenced by the fact that in England in the peace plebiscite organized in 1935 by the Society of Friends of the League of Nations, 11.5 million people participated. Communists must be with the masses in order to help them move to positions of active struggle against the war.

The 7th Congress of the Comintern also gave a completely clear answer to the question of the relationship between the struggle for peace and the struggle for the socialist revolution. “We are defending the world,” said P. Togliatti, “not because we belong to the number of soft-bodied Tolstoyans, but because we strive to ensure the conditions for the victory of the revolution” {1091} . Thus, the Communists, being the most consistent humanists, considered the struggle for peace, for the prevention of war, as a condition for strengthening the forces of the revolution.

The Congress spoke out against the underestimation of the struggle for peace by the "left" opportunists and Trotskyists, who viewed the war as a means supposedly clearing the way for the revolution.

It was pointed out at the congress that the preservation of peace, even the temporary postponement of war, ensures the further successes of socialism in the USSR, the growth of its economic and political might, and helps to strengthen the positions of the revolutionary proletariat and all anti-war forces. The struggle for peace opens before the communist parties the broadest possibilities for rallying anti-fascists in the popular front, for uniting its allies and all those interested in preventing war around the proletariat.

Rejecting fatalistic notions of the inevitability of war, the 7th Congress of the Comintern pointed to the increased possibilities of fighting for peace. The representative of the CPSU (b) V. Knorin said: “The victory of the October Revolution and the transformation of the USSR into a powerful socialist state, pursuing an active peace policy and attracting to its path entire peoples and states that now do not want war, gave the proletariat new opportunities to influence the organizers of the war. The combination of this strength with the strength of the enormous mass movement of the working people must give the struggle for peace an incomparably greater strength than it has ever been before .. The reports and speeches at the congress emphasized that the growth of the might of the USSR and the strengthening of other detachments of the world revolutionary process increase the chances of success in the struggle against the threat of imperialist war.

The new strategic orientation of the Comintern - the policy of a united workers and a broad popular front for the solution of general democratic, anti-fascist tasks - made it possible to achieve the greatest fusion of the struggle against fascism with the struggle against war and corresponded to the growing role of the proletariat in solving general democratic, national and international problems.

The Congress recognized the defense of socialism as the great task of the international communist movement. To defend and strengthen the Soviet Union - the main conquest of the international working class, the bastion of peace, the independence [333] of small nations, the bulwark of culture - against the military invasion of the imperialists - is the great mission of the workers of all countries {1093} .

The complexity of the situation demanded that the Communist Parties be ready in war conditions to retain the possibility of leading the masses. They must fight to turn the imperialist war into a civil war in order to overthrow the exploiting regimes and open the way to peace and the liberation of the peoples. In the event of a war against the Land of Soviets, the Communist Parties were asked to call on the working people by all means to contribute to the victory of the Soviet Army over the imperialist aggressors.

Raising the question of the forms of anti-war struggle in peacetime, the congress recommended rejecting such measures as the boycott of mobilization, the boycott of the army, sabotage at enterprises, refusal to perform military service, refusal to work in youth organizations in which the bourgeoisie is engaged in militaristic education, etc. e. Such tactics could only tear the communists away from the masses and help the bourgeoisie to attack the communists even more ferociously.

The peace program worked out at the congress became the basis for the subsequent anti-war activities of the Comintern and found the most favorable response in various sections of the population, awakened new energy in the ranks of the peace fighters, kindled new hopes. The Communist parties, armed with the decisions of the congress, have noticeably increased their activity, winning more and more broad support among the masses. The Comintern's call for a joint struggle between communists and social democrats and all anti-fascists against the brown plague met with warm sympathy in most workers' organizations, especially among the left social democrats, who demanded that their parties launch a militant struggle against fascism and war.

Many difficulties, both objective and subjective, stood in the way of implementing the strategy and tactics developed by the 7th Congress. But the Comintern boldly set about implementing them. He was deeply convinced that this was the key to success in the fight against fascism and war.

The peace program developed by the 7th Congress of the Comintern mobilized considerable forces against fascism and the threat of war. In a number of countries, under the slogan of a united popular front, a broad anti-fascist, anti-war movement developed. But, as subsequent events showed, these forces, unfortunately, were still not powerful enough organized to prevent a war.

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In the face of the impending war, the Comintern and the communist parties acted as a political force, resolutely fighting against the instigators of the imperialist war, for rallying all working people in defense of the USSR, the great bulwark of peace among peoples, democracy and socialism. In the tense situation of the mid-1930s, when fascism and imperialist reaction went on the offensive, the only true general democratic program for the struggle against fascism and war was worked out, aimed at creating a broad peace front uniting all opponents of war and fascism. It met the interests not only of the working class and other sections of the working people, but also the aspirations of all honest people to preserve peace.

1. The international working class is the leading anti-war force

2. The struggle for the creation of an anti-war front during the outbreak of hotbeds of war