Newly released documents from Romania’s national archives have shed new light on the Comintern, the Soviet-led international organization that, between 1919-1943, spearheaded Moscow’s efforts to establish hegemony over the communist party in Romania. Europe and the whole world, the National Security Archive shows in a material called “The Romanian Section of the Comintern”, published on Friday and cited by News.ro.
The National Security Archives is a non-profit, non-governmental research and archival institution located on the campus of George Washington University in Washington, DC. The National Security Archive is a center for investigative journalism, an advocate for open government, a research institute on international affairs, and the biggest repository of declassified U.S. documents outside the federal government.
The National Security Archive has promoted the declassification of more than 15 million pages of government documents, which is the primary nonprofit user of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). It has submitted a total of more than 70,000 FOIA and declassification requests in its more than 35 years of existence.
The material published Friday on the Romanian section of the Comintern was compiled and edited by Dr. Corina Snitar from the University of Glasgow. The article includes new details about the Comintern’s (Communist International) mission to members of the “revolutionary” state, highlighting their increasingly antagonistic relationship with Western imperial powers – what historian Robert Hager has called “the pre-Cold War “. Cold War”.
The Romanian Communist Party, in particular, was built and reassembled several times according to Moscow’s plans. Under constant pressure from the Romanian secret police, the Romanian section of the Comintern became more concerned with promoting Soviet propaganda and guaranteeing its own security than with the emancipation of the Romanian working class. Although the Third International ended 80 years ago, understanding the role and internal dynamics of the Comintern remains an important goal, given its importance to the communist movement and world affairs in the critical years that preceded and continued during World War II – are stated in the preamble of the article.
Although the Comintern ceased to exist in 1943, its legacy remained visible throughout the period when communist regimes remained in power in Central and Eastern Europe, writes Dr. Corina Snitar.
Newly found out files gathered from the Romanian National and Historical Archives broaden the question of how individual members responded to these directives, revealing how the Romanian Communist Party, in particular, was built and rebuilt to comply with Moscow’s orders. a.
ROMANIAN COMMUNITY, ALMOST NON-EXISTENT IN THE ENTIRETY
The Romanian Communist Party (PCdR), created on May 8, 1921 by the split of the Socialist Party, was almost invisible on the Romanian political scene and would remain so until 1944. Moreover, throughout its existence, the PCdR could not attract new members; in fact, it was quite the opposite. If, in 1919, the newly born PCdR (Communist Party of Romania) inherited from the Socialist Party approximately 200,000 workers registered in various unions, according to local newspapers, it ended up with less than 500 members in 1923 – show the documents cited in the article .
The situation can be explained by several factors. First, even before the creation of the PCdR, the communist group formed within the Socialist Party showed no intention of supporting the working class in its demands for “freedom, bread and work”.
Second, Romanian communists were subjected to permanent surveillance and persecution by the royal secret police – Siguranța – due to their decision to create a party affiliated with the Comintern.
A significant blow would come in February 1924, when Gheorghe Mârzescu, the Minister of Justice, well known for his anti-communist stance, issued a new law regulating “legal bodies and entities”, authorizing, de facto, the dissolution of all people extremist parties and organizations. At the same time, PCdR was to be banned for its aggressive propaganda and for activities considered against the Romanian national interest. The law made the PCdR more invisible, as the party now had to operate underground, using code names for its members and shelters for its meetings.
Thirdly, the frequent disputes between the leaders of the PCdR, not only in the local branches, but also in the center in Bucharest, affect the credibility of the party.
THE ROMANIAN COMMUNISTS ARGUED WITH THEMSELVES AND FIGHTED THEMSELVES IN MOSCOW
The significant loss of membership and the inability of the PCdR to attract new members, as well as frequent disputes within the party forced the Comintern to cut off subsidies in July 1923, despite the efforts of party leaders to persuade the organization to intensify their activities. the prospect of leading the labor movement in Romania.
The Kremlin decided to create a new Communist Party for Romania, under the same name PCdR, which would operate in parallel with the Romanian Communist Party in Romania, but with headquarters in Kharkiv and Moscow. Members of the new Communist Party for Romania were Romanian emigrants from the USSR who established communist organizations in Kharkiv and Moscow.
In 1928, the Romanian Communist Party practically ceased to exist in the database of the Comintern. The Communist Party for Romania silently replaced it under the same name PCdR.
The fourth congress of the PCdR was held not in Bucharest, but in Kharkiv, between June 28 and July 7, 1928, and Vitali Holostenko, a member of the Central Committee of the Ukrainian Communist Party, was appointed the new general secretary of the PCdR. .
The leadership change caused discontent among party members. The fight between members of the Communist Party of Romania, led by Marcel Pauker, and those of the Communist Party of Romania, led by Vitali Holostenko, was significant enough to cause the Comintern to intervene.
In August 1930, the CEIC issued a “special decision” entitled “Concerning unprincipled factional struggle and the restoration of unity in the Romanian Communist Party”, emphasizing the “factional struggle, bureaucratic management methods and petty-bourgeois adventurism characteristic of in”. both opposing groups” , which “weakened the party’s influence among the masses at a time when unity is needed to fight fascism”.
Holostenko would be replaced by Alexander Stefanski, a member of the Polish Communist Party, during the Fifth Congress of the CPDR, held in Moscow in December 1931. Stefanski would be replaced in 1935 by Boris Stefanov, an ethnic Bulgarian who remained in Moscow. Stefanov will lead the PCdR until 1938.
HOW PCR WAS DONE AND WHAT IS ITS MISSION
Realizing that the Romanian communist movement could not evolve without a strong party based in Romania and tired of endless disputes in the PCdR, Stalin decided to recreate the party under the name of the Romanian Communist Party (PCR). The party was filled only by young people of “healthy origin”, that is, workers. The future general secretary, Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej, then a worker in the Romanian Railways, will be among the members of the new party.
Despite its worker character and leadership, the PCR will not attract many members of the working class either. People quickly identified in the PCR program the same Comintern slogan that called for “world revolution”. Nor was the fact that the PCR was successively led by two ethnic Hungarians, Bela Brainer and Stefan Foris, helpful to the party. The poor results recorded by the PCR in attracting workers and in the fight against “opportunism” and “deviance” in its ranks were raised from the CEIC in several meetings.
Therefore, the Romanian section of the Comintern was not particularly involved in tasks such as the creation of “united labor fronts” or cells in trade unions, but mainly in propaganda activities that promoted Soviet interests, especially in relation to the re-annexation of former territories of the Tsarist Empire, such as Bessarabia.
The communist newspaper Scânteia published articles calling for the revocation of the 1918 act of unification in which Romania was united with Bessarabia, Northern Bucovina, Transylvania and Banat. He solemnly promised to support the “masses of ethnic minorities in their desire for self-determination”. After the signing of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact in 1939 and after the Soviet Union quickly moved towards the annexation of Bessarabia, Northern Bucovina and the Herţa region, the PCR immediately issued a Manifesto that called “the joy of Bessarabia” for its success in ending ” till heavy in”. Romanian imperialism and the support of the Red Army”.
Other missions in which the PCdR has been diligently engaged have been chosen among those aimed at preserving the party’s position in relations with Moscow and, if possible, increasing the visibility of its leaders. The PCdR actively participated, for example, in the Comintern campaign to recruit volunteers to support the Spanish government against the Franco rebels in 1936. Participation in the Spanish Civil War allowed some communists to reach top positions in the PCdR hierarchy after 1944, such as Petre Borilă. (future deputy prime minister between 1954-1965), Gheorghe Vasilichi (minister of education in 1948-1949 and member of the Romanian Grand Assembly until 1975), Walter Roman (general and chief of staff in the Romanian Army, 1947-1951, and editor-in-chief Political Edition until 1985) or George Stoica (member of the Central Committee, 1948-1974).
Sursa: News.ro, Photo 108343724 © Christian Ouellet | Dreamstime.com
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