Anarchists fighting in the imperialist Second World War

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maxcrosby
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Aug 11 2007 16:58

I don't want to carry the discussion too far away from where it is, but I think the crucial point in this is to connect the experiences of people in the past to the possibilities for resistance to capitalism today, and ultimately to the revolutionary destruction of capitalism.

How does an internationalist perspective on World War Two relate to communist action against the military today? I have some very clear ideas on this myself, I want to hear what others think.

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Devrim
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Aug 11 2007 17:42
cantdocartwheels wrote:
Devrim wrote:
cantdocartwheels wrote:
What are you talking about? Who hasn't ''opposed'' the second world war on this thread?

Oh, I am sorry. I just presumed that those who were supporting the partisans were taking up a position on the side of the allied powers. After all, virtually all of the partisans, including the CP ones, cooperated with them, and were formally under their command. You must be talking about a different Second World War, my mistake.

Devrim

Are you saying that because the ghetto and labour camp uprisings were, in theory, ''formally under allied command'' therefore they should be opposed?

No, I am talking about partisans, not the ghetto, and labour camp uprisings.

Devrim

rata
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Aug 11 2007 18:03
revol68 wrote:
And yes your correct I should have made clear that the armed resistance wasn't a mass class movement but rather it was made up of many of the finest militants of the working class who were forced into it by the circumstances.

I don' know which partisan movement you two are talking about, but Yugoslav partisan movement was a massive armed resistance, a popular revolt as Alf would put it, which involved hundreds of thousands of people (in one point the number was over 400 000). They, independently of any Allays (West or East), liberated the biggest percentage of the territory (that was one of the reasons why Tito was confident enough to be able to split with Stalin in 1948). Finest militants of the working class of Yugoslavia - (very few) anarchists and at least one IWW member also took part in it. Same goes for a large number of Yugoslav fighters who participated the Spanish civil war of whom big part were, by their own admission, fascinated by the anarchist collectives they saw there - that later reflected in the "self-management" politics of Yugoslav Union of Communists. And majority of those partisans (and Yugoslav partisans being largest bulk of partisans in the WWII, you could say that largest number of partisans generally) weren't fighting for the interests of any of the allied powers, but for the right not to be killed or taken to a slave position because they are of Slav origin.

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Devrim
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Aug 11 2007 18:49
rata wrote:
They, independently of any Allays (West or East), liberated the biggest percentage of the territory
Wiki wrote:
From 28 November to 1 December 1943, during the Teheran Conference [b]the Partisans received official recognition as the legitimate national liberation force by the Allies. Subsequently the Allies set up the RAF Balkan Air Force under the influence and suggestion of Brigadier-General Fitzroy MacLean. The aim of this air force was to provide increased supplies and tactical air support for Tito's forces.

With Allied air support and assistance from the Red Army, in the second half of 1944 Partisans turned their attention to Serbia, which had seen relatively little fighting since the fall of the Republic of Užice in 1941...

Devrim

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cantdocartwheels
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Aug 11 2007 18:49
Devrim wrote:
cantdocartwheels wrote:
Devrim wrote:
cantdocartwheels wrote:
What are you talking about? Who hasn't ''opposed'' the second world war on this thread?

Oh, I am sorry. I just presumed that those who were supporting the partisans were taking up a position on the side of the allied powers. After all, virtually all of the partisans, including the CP ones, cooperated with them, and were formally under their command. You must be talking about a different Second World War, my mistake.

Devrim

Are you saying that because the ghetto and labour camp uprisings were, in theory, ''formally under allied command'' therefore they should be opposed?

No, I am talking about partisans, not the ghetto, and labour camp uprisings.

Devrim

But this thread is about anarchists and communists who formed resistance groups or joined them during WW2, for the majority of anarchist militants the choice was either take up arms or sit their and wait for the fascists to deport you to a labour camp or shoot you. Its not a general thread discussing the wider politics of all resistance movements in europe. Not that that wouldn't be an interesting debate, but its a different and much longer thread innit.

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Devrim
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Aug 11 2007 19:08
cantdocartwheels wrote:
But this thread is about anarchists and communists who formed resistance groups or joined them during WW2, ... Its not a general thread discussing the wider politics of all resistance movements in europe.

I don't think that it is really possible to discuss this without discussing the nature of the resistance movements.

Devrim

rata
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Aug 11 2007 19:47
Devrim wrote:
rata wrote:
They, independently of any Allays (West or East), liberated the biggest percentage of the territory
Wiki wrote:
From 28 November to 1 December 1943, during the Teheran Conference [b]the Partisans received official recognition as the legitimate national liberation force by the Allies. Subsequently the Allies set up the RAF Balkan Air Force under the influence and suggestion of Brigadier-General Fitzroy MacLean. The aim of this air force was to provide increased supplies and tactical air support for Tito's forces.

With Allied air support and assistance from the Red Army, in the second half of 1944 Partisans turned their attention to Serbia, which had seen relatively little fighting since the fall of the Republic of Užice in 1941...

Devrim

Until 1943, when Allies recognized the Yugoslav partisans, apart from the first liberated territory in Europe, Soviet republic of Uzice or Sovjetija how it was called by serbian nazis, a council communist republic, they liberated the biggest segment of the territory comparing to any other non-aligned anti-fascist movement. I can make scans of the graphs that would give clearer picture of this, if it is needed, but that is the fact that can not be denied.

alibadani
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Aug 12 2007 00:59
rata wrote:
a council communist republic
Wiki wrote:

Government Socialist republic

President Dragojlo Dudić (President of the Main People’s Council)

Josip Broz Tito (Chief Commander and the General Secretary)

Council communist Tito?

maxcrosby
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Aug 12 2007 01:27

A "council communist republic" in the Balkans in the 1940's? You've got to be kidding.

bastarx
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Aug 12 2007 01:56

About 30 000 German soldiers died in Yugoslavia during WW2. About half were killed by the Soviet Army when they entered northern Serbia in late 1944. This was what really 'liberated' Yugoslavia much more than the fairly insignificant actions of Tito's army.

rata
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Aug 12 2007 08:59

It's real fun watching left commies defending chetnik positions on libcom. But after all liberalism is liberalism, whatever form it takes.

Peter wrote:
This was what really 'liberated' Yugoslavia much more than the fairly insignificant actions of Tito's army.

Which part of what I wrote you didn't understand:

rata wrote:
they liberated the biggest segment of the territory comparing to any other non-aligned anti-fascist movement

I never said they liberated whole territory of Yugoslavia themselves.

rata
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Aug 12 2007 09:03
alibadani wrote:
Council communist Tito?
maxcrosby wrote:
A "council communist republic" in the Balkans in the 1940's? You've got to be kidding.
wiki wrote:
The Republic of Užice (Serbo-Croatian: Ужичка република, Užička Republika) was a short-lived military mini-state that existed in Autumn 1941 in the western part of Nazi-occupied Serbia. The Republic was established by the fighters of the Partisan resistance movement and its capital was in the town of Užice.
wiki wrote:
The government was made of "people's councils" (odbors)
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Devrim
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Aug 12 2007 10:23
rata wrote:
alibadani wrote:
Council communist Tito?
maxcrosby wrote:
A "council communist republic" in the Balkans in the 1940's? You've got to be kidding.
wiki wrote:
The Republic of Užice (Serbo-Croatian: Ужичка република, Užička Republika) was a short-lived military mini-state that existed in Autumn 1941 in the western part of Nazi-occupied Serbia. The Republic was established by the fighters of the Partisan resistance movement and its capital was in the town of Užice.
wiki wrote:
The government was made of "people's councils" (odbors)

'People's councils' equals 'a council communist republic'? I suppose that means that their is a 'a council communist republic' in Venezuelan today. Communism comes from the movement of the working class, not a movement of Stalinist guerrillas, nor ex-generals.

Rata said that:

Rata wrote:
It's real fun watching left commies defending chetnik positions on libcom.

While actually, Rata, none of them have.

Revol, on the other hand at least has the awareness that the working class had been defeated:

Revol68 wrote:
By the time the second world war had started the working class was fucked, there was no real options anywhere, the only thing left was survival or bravery. The whole realm of working class politics was crushed,

Rata, however, talks of 'council communist republic', 'Finest militants of the working class of Yugoslavia', 'massive armed resistance', 'a popular revolt'

To me it seems sad to watch the anarcho-syndicalists defend the same positions as the Stalinists, because that is what Rata is doing here.

Devrim

bastarx
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Aug 12 2007 10:29
Some spoilt rich kid whose daddy bought him an anarcho-syndicalist sect wrote:
It's real fun watching left commies defending chetnik positions on libcom. But after all liberalism is liberalism, whatever form it takes.

FWIW Chetniks killed my grandad but that doesn't mean I have to think Tito's gang were wonderful as you seem to. So what if they were fairly popular (the war was also pretty popular in the US, UK, Australia...) or that they 'liberated' some parts of Yugoslavia?

Mark.
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Aug 12 2007 10:45
Stinas wrote:
What happened in Greece at that time didn’t happen in any other occupied country, at least not on such a scale, with such a long duration and above all with such savagery and fanaticism.

In the mountains ELAS engaged in furious fighting with other groups of partisans in defence of its monopoly of the partisan movement. The occupation authorities replied to the partisan’s attacks against the occupation army’s men, government agents or military installations, as they did to various forms of sabotage, by massive executions of hostages, burning and razing whole villages and massacring their inhabitants. (…)

In the latter years of the war, a territory where EAM was the state, in every sense of the word used by Engels, existed in occupied Greece: government, ministries, secretaries, bureaucratic hierarchy, tax collectors, police, courts, prisons, concentration camps and even special investigation police under the command of Zoulas and Makriyannis. But above all, there was an army: battalions, regiments, divisions, corps, command posts, headquarters, general staff, kapetanios and political commissars. A regular army with a very strictly military structure, of fifty thousand men. This is without counting the ELAS reserve, with at least fifty thousand other men under arms. It also had cavalry and a navy.

But the popular force organised from EAM in the towns and villages was far superior in number, and its influence extended even further. All that military and political force was under the absolute control of the CPG. (…)

Here are a few facts which illustrate the nature of its military activity.

On 27 April 1944, at Molaï, they killed a German general and three members of his escort. The Germans executed two hundred hostages in reprisals, and a military detachment received the order to kill everyone that they met on the road from Molaï to Sparta. (…)

The next day, they killed two German soldiers in Kyriaki. The Germans executed a hundred and ten hostages and burned the village.

Those who ordered the killing of the general and the two soldiers knew perfectly well that executions of hostages and massacres of innocent people would follow. They knew it because it had already happened hundreds of times.

In response to the killing of men from the army of occupation or agents of the government, the occupiers executed ten, twenty, fifty, a hundred, a hundred and fifty, two hundred hostages. In response to the destruction of sections of the German or Italian army by the partisans, they massacred the villagers of the region, burning and razing the villages.

In no history of the resistance, in no Memoir of its leaders, can you find an explanation or any kind of justification from a military point of view of this tactic. For sure sacrifices are inevitable in a struggle. And in some cases, they shouldn’t even be prevented, however heavy they are, but only when they are indispensable to the final success. How and in what way did the murder of a few men from the army of occupation contribute to the “liberation of the country and democracy”, when it was certain that thousands of innocents would pay for them, that thousands of villagers would be homeless?

There must surely have been a reason, but it had nothing to do either with the liberation of the country or with democracy. Thousands of innocent poor people lost their lives without anybody knowing why, neither they nor those who killed them.

They killed women because, pushed by hunger or the need to save their children, they gave themselves to the German or Italian soldiers for a tin of food or a crust of bread. One of the highest authorities of “progressive thought” suggested the type of punishment to inflict in such cases. “Mark, he wrote, on their forehead with a hot iron a ‘P’ for perjurer and prostitute”. (…)

They killed women because they had washed the clothes of German and Italian soldiers, they killed workers because they worked in German companies.

This was the situation in the areas of Greece controlled by the resistance. I don't know enough about the Yugoslav partisans to say how their liberated areas compared.

rata
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Aug 12 2007 10:57
Devrim wrote:
'People's councils' equals 'a council communist republic'?

No. Government made of councils equals council communist republic.

Devrim wrote:
I suppose that means that their is a 'a council communist republic' in Venezuelan today.

No. Because in Venezuela today Government is not made of councils. In Uzicka republika there was no greater authority than the councils. There was no State which could over-run the decisions of councils. Councils were the supreme authority. This is what makes Uzicka republika council communist republic.

Devrim wrote:
Communism comes from the movement of the working class, not a movement of Stalinist guerrillas, nor ex-generals.

This is just insulting bollocks, which are showing amazing lack of knowledge of the WWII situation. Yugoslav partisans were not Stalinist guerrillas any more than CNT/FAI anti-fascist fighters in Spain were.

Rata wrote:
It's real fun watching left commies defending chetnik positions on libcom.
Devrim wrote:
While actually, Rata, none of them have.

In fact, all of them did. The positions presented here by the left commies are equal to the present official interpretation of the WWII by the Serbian state.

Devrim wrote:
Rata, however, talks of 'council communist republic'

See above.

Devrim wrote:
'Finest militants of the working class of Yugoslavia'

You might think differently, but I do believe that anarchist, revolutionary syndicalists, and small number of libertarian Marxists that participated in partisan movement were the "finest militants of the working class of Yugoslavia" (formulation borrowed from revols explanation of who western partisans were).

Devrim wrote:
'massive armed resistance', 'a popular revolt'

I'm not sure how would you call 400 000 armed people gathered around the idea of anti-fascism? Oh, yes, I know. Stalinist guerrillas. Right.

Devrim wrote:
To me it seems sad to watch the anarcho-syndicalists defend the same positions as the Stalinists, because that is what Rata is doing here.

I would always take "Stalinist" position over quisling chetnik one, be sure about that.

rata
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Aug 12 2007 11:16
Peter wrote:
FWIW Chetniks killed my grandad but that doesn't mean I have to think Tito's gang were wonderful as you seem to. So what if they were fairly popular (the war was also pretty popular in the US, UK, Australia...) or that they 'liberated' some parts of Yugoslavia?

This is exactly why your position is liberal one. Apart from being able to call people who were defending their lives, without any hesitation, "Tito's gang", you don't see any relevance in the fact that those people created territories in which people weren't killed and enslaved because they are of Slav origin. This is the liberalism I was talking about earlier, of people who don't see any difference between fascism and other capitalist systems. That points out to a week analytical apparatus a very shallow understanding of the reality.

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Devrim
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Aug 12 2007 11:25
rata wrote:
Devrim wrote:
rata wrote:
Devrim wrote:
'People's councils' equals 'a council communist republic'?

No. Government made of councils equals council communist republic.

I suppose that means that their is a 'a council communist republic' in Venezuelan today.

No. Because in Venezuela today Government is not made of councils. In Uzicka republika there was no greater authority than the councils. There was no State which could over-run the decisions of councils. Councils were the supreme authority. This is what makes Uzicka republika council communist republic.

You really don't have a clue, do you? The idea that the Republic of Užice had anything to do with communism whatsoever is truly bizarre. The idea that the working class in Yugoslavia could establish a worker's republic in the middle of an imperialist war, after twenty years of working class defeat is utter nonsense. Tell me , was this 'worker's republic' set up by the working class itself, or by the militants of a Stalinised Communist Party? Actually, I doubt that the councils were 'the supreme authority', but even if people's councils had been, it wouldn't have made it a workers republic.

Rata wrote:
Devrim wrote:
Rata wrote:
It's real fun watching left commies defending chetnik positions on libcom.

While actually, Rata, none of them have.

In fact, all of them did. The positions presented here by the left commies are equal to the present official interpretation of the WWII by the Serbian state.

So the official interpretation of the Serbian state says that the war was an imperialist war, advocated fraternisation between opposing military forces, and the overthrow of all states by armed workers, interesting. Unfortunately, I don't believe that.

Rata wrote:
Devrim wrote:
'Finest militants of the working class of Yugoslavia'

You might think differently, but I do believe that anarchist, revolutionary syndicalists, and small number of libertarian Marxists that participated in partisan movement were the "finest militants of the working class of Yugoslavia" (formulation borrowed from revols explanation of who western partisans were).

Yes, I am sure that people who had been good militants were involved in it, so what? The working class movement had suffered terrible defeats over the previous two decades. The the residue of the best class militants were dragged into an imperialist war is a tragedy, not something to celebrate.

Rata wrote:
Devrim wrote:
'massive armed resistance', 'a popular revolt'

I'm not sure how would you call 400 000 armed people gathered around the idea of anti-fascism? Oh, yes, I know. Stalinist guerrillas. Right.

I am not denying that there may have been a 'popular revolt'. I am saying that it is not something to eulogise. The bourgeoisie can mobilize people, including workers around 'popular' slogans, witness the four million mobilised in pro-secular (read nationalist) demonstrations in Turkey earlier this year. The PKK organised tens of thousands of armed militants behind its nationalism. That doesn't mean that the communist should support them.

Also, do you deny that the movement was organised, and led by a Stalinised CP?

Rata wrote:
Devrim wrote:
To me it seems sad to watch the anarcho-syndicalists defend the same positions as the Stalinists, because that is what Rata is doing here.

I would always take "Stalinist" position over quisling chetnik one, be sure about that.

It is deeply sad when anarchist are slandering those defending class positions as Chetniks, and saying they would prefer the Stalinists.

You wrote the other day, Rata, that people couldn't be members of the IWA, and support Irish Republicanism. I think after reading your comments here, people may be surprised by how you came to that conclusion.

Devrim

bastarx
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Aug 12 2007 12:45
rata wrote:
Peter wrote:
FWIW Chetniks killed my grandad but that doesn't mean I have to think Tito's gang were wonderful as you seem to. So what if they were fairly popular (the war was also pretty popular in the US, UK, Australia...) or that they 'liberated' some parts of Yugoslavia?

This is exactly why your position is liberal one. Apart from being able to call people who were defending their lives, without any hesitation, "Tito's gang", you don't see any relevance in the fact that those people created territories in which people weren't killed and enslaved because they are of Slav origin. This is the liberalism I was talking about earlier, of people who don't see any difference between fascism and other capitalist systems. That points out to a week analytical apparatus a very shallow understanding of the reality.

I could say similar things about German fighter pilots and anti-aircraft gunners who were fighting to prevent people being killed by Allied bombs. The fact that people on all sides of WW2 really did fight to defend their lives doesn't mean we should support the states they fought for.

You really don't have much of an idea what liberals think if you think they equate fascism and other capitalist systems. Generally liberals try and deny the capitalist nature of fascism and sometimes blame Marxism or Communism for it.

rata
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Aug 12 2007 12:46
Devrim wrote:
You really don't have a clue, do you? The idea that the Republic of Užice had anything to do with communism whatsoever is truly bizarre.

No. In fact it's you who don't have a clue. The idea that territory controlled by workers and peasants through the councils, cleared by the "left linings" of majority of capitalists, doesn't have anything to do with communism is truly bizarre.

Devrim wrote:
The idea that the working class in Yugoslavia could establish a worker's republic in the middle of an imperialist war, after twenty years of working class defeat is utter nonsense.

And why is that? Because it doesn't fit your distorted analyzes?

Devrim wrote:
Tell me , was this 'worker's republic' set up by the working class itself, or by the militants of a Stalinised Communist Party? Actually, I doubt that the councils were 'the supreme authority', but even if people's councils had been, it wouldn't have made it a workers republic.

Aha, yes, of course. Now I remember, you are one of those who don't think peasants can make communism. I never said it was workers republic, I said it was a council communist republic. Republic controlled by the council organized communes of peasants and workers.

Devrim wrote:
So the official interpretation of the Serbian state says that the war was an imperialist war, advocated fraternisation between opposing military forces, and the overthrow of all states by armed workers, interesting. Unfortunately, I don't believe that.

It is, as much as I believe you saying that:

Devrim wrote:
In Turkey most workers that you discuss this issue with are very clear. It was an inter-imperialist war.

The Serbian state interpretation is that it was an inter-imperialist war, that we should have stayed out of. They, as you and your friends, just don't try to explain modus operandi of that "staying out".

Devrim wrote:
Also, do you deny that the movement was organised, and led by a Stalinised CP?
Alf wrote:
The Warsaw ghetto uprising - depite the fact that it was led mainly by Jewish nationalist groups - was essentially a popular revolt, albeit a desperate one with little perspective other than 'to die with honour'. The attitude of the internationalists towards such an event could only be one of solidarity while showing that it was a product of a profound defeat for the working class.

I never denied that, and I don't see why would YCP, which was very much in odds with Stalinism in those days, be worse than "Jewish nationalist groups", and thus wouldn't deserve solidarity of the "internationalists" (I don't have a problem with you keeping the attitude of "showing that it was a product of a profound defeat for the working class" part either). Obviously, since that is the only difference I see, Yugoslav partisans fault was that they were victorious, and thus their attempt wasn't "desperate one with little perspective other than 'to die with honour'".

Devrim wrote:
It is deeply sad when anarchist are slandering those defending class positions as Chetniks, and saying they would prefer the Stalinists.

Sorry I have to break it to you like this Devrim, but "class positions" which only exist in somebody's head, and don't have any practical M.O. are not really "class positions", they are just nice ideas... like heretical Christianity or similar.

Devrim wrote:
You wrote the other day, Rata, that people couldn't be members of the IWA, and support Irish Republicanism. I think after reading your comments here, people may be surprised by how you came to that conclusion.

I would really like somebody to try explaining that alleged contradiction in my positions. I don't think anybody, except for very few left communists would try doing that.

rata
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Aug 12 2007 13:22
Peter wrote:
I could say similar things about German fighter pilots and anti-aircraft gunners who were fighting to prevent people being killed by Allied bombs.

Silke Maier-Witt

Peter wrote:
The fact that people on all sides of WW2 really did fight to defend their lives doesn't mean we should support the states they fought for.

???? And which state did Yugoslav partisans fought for exactly?? For those of you with poor knowledge of history, Chetniks were the force that was fighting for Yugoslav state. Partisans were an anti-fascist movement gathered around the idea of getting the fascists out. It didn't put forward any specific vision of how post-fascist society would look like.

Anyhow, whole this discussion stared with max attacking anarchist for participating in anti-fascist fronts. I showed why that position is a liberal one, and why it was natural for libcoms to participate in those. I have my fare share of critiques of the Yugoslav partisan movement, especially its leadership, and even more the period that came afterwards. But that doesn't mean that I would condemn anybody for joining them. And I am definitely not going to put my critiques forward together with a right-wing liberal critiques of the partisan movement.

Peter wrote:
You really don't have much of an idea what liberals think if you think they equate fascism and other capitalist systems.

There are different type of liberals.

Mark.
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Aug 12 2007 18:32
The Independent wrote:
Sep 1, 1996 by Andrew Gumbel

History teaches that the perpetrators of war crimes all too often elude capture and get forgotten. But at least the war crimes themselves, especially when they involve the massacre of innocent civilians, are remembered and committed to collective memory. Or are they?

In the past few days, Italy has been making a painful discovery: for the past 50 years it has turned a blind eye to a horrific slaughter of its own citizens at the end of the Second World War.

The victims were Italians living in an area near Trieste, on either side of the much-contested border between Italy and Slovenia. Between 1943 and 1948, several thousand were rounded up - first by Tito's partisans and then, after the war, by the Yugoslav secret police. They were tortured and mutilated in prisons and concentration camps, then thrown into deep limestone pits while they were still alive to suffer a horrifically slow death. It seems extraordinary that the massacre of the Foibe (the local dialect word for the pits) should simply disappear from the national consciousness. The main reason was the titanic struggle between Fascists and Communists at the end of the war, and the deep polarisations in Italian society this caused. The Foibe were forgotten because the Italians living in the Trieste area and the Istra peninsula were associated with Mussolini's expansionist ambitions, and thus deemed to be Fascists unworthy of any compassion. Moreover, the Italian partisan movement was dominated by the Communist Party, which at the end of the war was so keen to build bridges with Yugoslavia that it preferred not to ask awkward questions about Tito's own territorial ambitions around Trieste - the driving force behind the massacres in the first place. Soon, a deliberate policy of collective blindness was in place. In 1946 the Italian Communist leader, Palmiro Togliatti, visited a notorious prison- house in the Slovene capital, Ljubljana, that was stuffed with Italian civilians. Togliatti saw none of them, because they had been herded into a cellar, allowing him to return to Italy saying, "there are no Italian prisoners in Yugoslavia". Later, a repatriation scheme allowed left-wing Italians to go home from Yugoslavia through the good offices of the Communist Party, on the tacit understanding that they would keep their mouths shut. Soon the only Italians making a fuss about the Foibe were the neo-Fascists, whose credibility was so tattered nobody took them seriously. Postwar Italy became so divided that its memories of the war split along ideological lines. There were "left-wing" massacres perpetrated by the Nazis and the Fascists - which became part of the mythology of the new Italian democratic state - and there were "right-wing" massacres such as the Foibe, which sank into popular obloquy. So things might have remained had it not been for the recent, farcical trial of Erich Priebke, a former SS captain responsible for the most notorious of the "left-wing" massacres, the killing of 335 Jews, resistance fighters and their families in 1944 in the Ardeatine Caves near Rome. Soon the usual left-right game began. The left wanted to focus on the Ardeatine Caves, while the neo-Fascist right wanted to include the Foibe as well. Then there was a breakthrough. In Trieste, the local secretary of the PDS, successor to the Italian Communist Party, came out with a statement describing the Foibe as one of the great tragedies of the century and urging the left to look critically at its record on the issue. The PDS has now promised to open its archives on the subject, and a Roman magistrate has begun looking for war criminals who can still be prosecuted. What is striking is how little is known about the Foibe - even a reliable death toll. Roberto Spazzali, an academic specialist on the subject, says only 600 corpses have been exhumed. Considering the number of people who went missing, the true figure is likely to be in the thousands. The truth now emerging is that most of the victims of the Foibe were not Fascists at all - they included a number of pro-left resistance leaders opposed to Tito's expansionism. The bitter irony after all these years is that the Foibe was a tragedy for the Italian left, too.

rata wrote:
I have my fare share of critiques of the Yugoslav partisan movement, especially its leadership, and even more the period that came afterwards.

Indeed. Going off this story the Yugoslav partisans don't sound very different to the Greek partisans.

petey
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Aug 12 2007 19:06
Quote:
The fact that people on all sides of WW2 really did fight to defend their lives doesn't mean we should support the states they fought for.

true, but it also doesn't mean we should slag them for fighting to save their own lives when the situation was pressed on them

rata
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Aug 12 2007 19:17
JH wrote:
Indeed. Going off this story the Yugoslav partisans don't sound very different to the Greek partisans.

I'm not sure that is where I would start my critique. The whole topic is still not investigated enough, no reliable data is accessible, and it is all very much overexagerated by the Nazis, same as in cases of Kocevski rog and Bleiburg "massacres". Them in fact being actions of clearing the territory of tens of thousands chetniks (Serbian chauvinist monarchist quislings), ustasas (Croatian quislings), balias (Bosnian ones), Slovenian quislings and Nazi-fascist soldiers who were all running together (despite one being Serbian nationalists, others being Croatian nationalists etc) to Austria from the partisans. My personal position is that not enough of those bastards were killed there, and many escaped to become one of the most vicious fascist diaspora, that continued it's activities until the beginning of Yugoslav civil war, financing and giving backings to nationalist scumbags on all sides. After the "transition" started, they got back to their countries, giving still more pressure on developing of nationalism and hatred among the people on ethnic lines. Many of them, or their real or intellectual sons, hold positions in the governments of new independent states, Serbia, Croatia etc.

I would more concentrate on the hierarchical structure which dominated partisan movement, development of Tito's personality cult and role of the CP in the whole thing.

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Devrim
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Aug 12 2007 19:59
Rata wrote:
No. In fact it's you who don't have a clue. The idea that territory controlled by workers and peasants through the councils, cleared by the "left linings" of majority of capitalists, doesn't have anything to do with communism is truly bizarre.

Ok, so the international secretary of the IWA believes that the Republic of Užice was building socialism. I will let that stand by itself.

Rata wrote:
And why is that? Because it doesn't fit your distorted analyzes?

As I said Rata, you see socialism where you like. It is your choice.

Next time I will remember Russa 1917, Spain 1936, Užice autumn of 1941.

Devrim wrote:
Rata wrote:
Devrim wrote:
Rata wrote:
It's real fun watching left commies defending chetnik positions on libcom.

While actually, Rata, none of them have.

In fact, all of them did. The positions presented here by the left commies are equal to the present official interpretation of the WWII by the Serbian state.

So the official interpretation of the Serbian state says that the war was an imperialist war, advocated fraternisation between opposing military forces, and the overthrow of all states by armed workers, interesting. Unfortunately, I don't believe that.

Rata wrote:
Devrim wrote:
So the official interpretation of the Serbian state says that the war was an imperialist war, advocated fraternisation between opposing military forces, and the overthrow of all states by armed workers, interesting. Unfortunately, I don't believe that.

It is, as much as I believe you saying that:

Devrim wrote:
In Turkey most workers that you discuss this issue with are very clear. It was an inter-imperialist war.

The Serbian state interpretation is that it was an inter-imperialist war, that we should have stayed out of. They, as you and your friends, just don't try to explain modus operandi of that "staying out".

So let's just be absolutely clear on this, Rata. Are the Serbian state advocating the 'overthrow of all states by armed workers', or are you just trying to slander people by associating their ideas with ideas they clearly have nothing in common with? It seems quite clear to me.

Rata wrote:
Devrim wrote:
You wrote the other day, Rata, that people couldn't be members of the IWA, and support Irish Republicanism. I think after reading your comments here, people may be surprised by how you came to that conclusion.

I would really like somebody to try explaining that alleged contradiction in my positions. I don't think anybody, except for very few left communists would try doing that.

It is quite simple really, in Yugoslavia in the Second World War you defend nationalists with leftist language. In more recent Irish history you object to those holding similar ideas. The question is why.

Devrim

rata
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Aug 12 2007 21:09
Devrim wrote:
Ok, so the international secretary of the IWA believes that the Republic of Užice was building socialism. I will let that stand by itself.

Devrim, fuck off. I was participating in this forums before I took over responsibilities in IWA secretariat, and I do now, speaking only on my personal behalf. Bringing my responsibilities is coming because you are lacking any sound arguments to defend your liberal position. I was thinking that some wise ass could pull this on me, so I'm generally staying out of discussions which are directly linked to the present politics, except in cases when I see slandering of IWA or IWA sections which are not answered (such as in case of alleged refusal of SF branch to carry DA with Organise! interview), and restrict myself to historical or leisure topics.

bastarx
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Aug 13 2007 00:19

JH yes the Yugoslav partisans were pretty similar to the Greek ones, they'd kill a handful of Germans knowing full well that it would lead to reprisal massacres. I think they hoped to conscript those fleeing the reprisals.

rata wrote:
JH wrote:
Indeed. Going off this story the Yugoslav partisans don't sound very different to the Greek partisans.

I'm not sure that is where I would start my critique. The whole topic is still not investigated enough, no reliable data is accessible, and it is all very much overexagerated by the Nazis, same as in cases of Kocevski rog and Bleiburg "massacres". Them in fact being actions of clearing the territory of tens of thousands chetniks (Serbian chauvinist monarchist quislings), ustasas (Croatian quislings), balias (Bosnian ones), Slovenian quislings and Nazi-fascist soldiers who were all running together (despite one being Serbian nationalists, others being Croatian nationalists etc) to Austria from the partisans. My personal position is that not enough of those bastards were killed there, and many escaped to become one of the most vicious fascist diaspora, that continued it's activities until the beginning of Yugoslav civil war, financing and giving backings to nationalist scumbags on all sides. After the "transition" started, they got back to their countries, giving still more pressure on developing of nationalism and hatred among the people on ethnic lines. Many of them, or their real or intellectual sons, hold positions in the governments of new independent states, Serbia, Croatia etc.

I would more concentrate on the hierarchical structure which dominated partisan movement, development of Tito's personality cult and role of the CP in the whole thing.

Interesting choice of words there Rata, Chetnik and Ustasa are terms for specific Serbian and Croatian nationalist movements respectively however 'balija' is a racist term for Bosnian Muslims. I've never heard of any WW2 Bosnian quisling groups who called themselves balije. I could care less about dead fascists but you don't think that maybe there were some women, children and conscripts slaughtered at Bleiburg? I suppose fleeing proved their guilt.

So the whole partisan movement just happened to be a loose coalition of anti-fascists which purely by chance ended up installing a Stalinist dictatorship post-war?

Those ex-Yugoslav army generals you hang out with have taught you well.

Feighnt
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Aug 13 2007 04:12

i'm sure i'm saying the obvious, but sometimes it diserves to be reminded... the partisan movements were not necessarily all this way or that way - that is, there were undoubtedly a number of partisans who were separate from the major groupings (which may have supported one ideology or authority or another, or have done certain reprehensible actions).

a simple example would be to look at the partisans of Greece. people say that the Greek partisans went about needlessly killing small numbers of German soldiers, knowing full well the repurcussions this would have, and seemingly caring very little. but i've read that (in Beevor's history of the battle for Crete), in contradiction to this, the partisans in the Greek island of Crete, although occasionally killing a soldier here or there, largely restrained themselves, if i recall correctly (except for the initial invasion, and when the Germans were leaving, which was deemed open season again). a good bit of the reason for this might've been due to a lack of Communist Party presence on the island, and perhaps also due to the ties that the Cretan partisans had to the small numbers of Brit partisans who stuck around when the commonwealth soldiers lost the battle.

again, the point being: it's not monolithic. different partisans within the same country acting differently. may've been some partisans who did not only take a more honestly socialist position in one country or another, but also had no ties to the great statist powers either (what of the alleged Ukrainian partisans, part of which may have been Makhnovist?). just wanted to remind people of this, as some people in this discussion sound as if they're perceiving the partisan movements in one country or another as being necessarily united, one great force (and, for that matter, even with particular partisan groupings which were genuinely tied together organizationally, it's not to say there wouldnt've been dissent, sometimes drastic).

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Devrim
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Aug 13 2007 06:34
rata wrote:
Devrim, fuck off. I was participating in this forums before I took over responsibilities in IWA secretariat, and I do now, speaking only on my personal behalf. Bringing my responsibilities is coming because you are lacking any sound arguments to defend your liberal position. I was thinking that some wise ass could pull this on me, so I'm generally staying out of discussions which are directly linked to the present politics, except in cases when I see slandering of IWA or IWA sections which are not answered (such as in case of alleged refusal of SF branch to carry DA with Organise! interview), and restrict myself to historical or leisure topics.

I love the way that you manage to get the personal capacity nonsense in there just before an accusation of liberalism. That really is superb. Why are you going to restict yourself to 'historical or leisure topics'. Are you worried that the nonsense you are spouting will embarrasses your organisation?

As for my 'lack of sound arguments', I haven't even started to argue yet. I merely asked a question, which is still unanswered;

Devrim wrote:
For those who think that communists, and anarchists were right to oppose the first war, they question of what differentiates the Second war really has to be asked.

To Rata, I asked another question, which is also still unanswered;

Devrim wrote:
It is quite simple really, in Yugoslavia in the Second World War you defend nationalists with leftist language. In more recent Irish history you object to those holding similar ideas. The question is why.

I will understand though if fear of embarrassing your organisation prevents you from answering.

Devrim

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Devrim
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Aug 13 2007 06:37
newyawka wrote:
Quote:
The fact that people on all sides of WW2 really did fight to defend their lives doesn't mean we should support the states they fought for.

true, but it also doesn't mean we should slag them for fighting to save their own lives when the situation was pressed on them

No, it doesn't. We don't condemn what individuals did merely to survive on a personal level. It doesn't mean eulogising them, or turning it into political myth either though.

Devrim