Anarchists fighting in the imperialist Second World War

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Devrim
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Aug 13 2007 06:59
guydebordisdead wrote:
rata wrote:
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...

Back of the net!

I am sure you will be happy to see that it is within 'Platformism' that you find agreement with this one, Rata. Unlike the platformists, who as far as I can see have jettisoned the whole idea of principles in favour of tactics, the communist left along with some anarchists believes that the political positions of the worker's movement developed over years of struggle are important. The fact that there may be times when they are only preserved by tiny minorities does not change that.

In 1914, tiny minorities of socialists, and anarchists across Europe defended internationalism. In 1917, the working class tried to storm the gates of heaven. The military, but above all the political defeats suffered by the working class following the revolutionary wave ensured that by the outbreak of the Second War, the communist minorities were even tinier. They still existed in the majority of countries though (See http://libcom.org/library/apcf-class-war-home-front-pdfs for one example from the UK). This tradition of standing by class positions even through the worst times of war, and defeat is what the communist left represents.

If we look just over these boards at what 'Platformism' seems to stand for it is very clear, a complete abandonment of principle. To only look at things that have come from WSM, or NEFAC members or supporters on Libcom, we have seen; Support for nationalisation, support for national liberation movements, support for candidates for trade union general secretary, support for the Bolivarian revolution, and even (admittedly very critical) support for Maoist rebels in Nepal, support for reevaluating abstentionism...

The last twenty years were bad, but really, not that bad. What on Earth would these people have done when faced with a time as dark as the 1940s.

GBID, you may think that ' "class positions"...only exist in somebody's head'. We believe that there are times when they are only held by tiny minorities, but also that there are times when they find resonance with millions of workers.

We will hold to them, and leave you to defend the sort of leftist nonsense detailed above.

Devrim

rata
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Aug 13 2007 08:22
Peter wrote:
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.

That is a chetnik interpretation. It is going hand in hand with the idea that people should have not done anything, because that is the only way there would be no reprisals. Any kind of resistance was followed with it, so what you are saying, together with chetniks and other left commies, is that people shouldn't have done anything, and just allow themselves to be turned into slaves.

Peter wrote:
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.

You are right. It was lapsus calami. I was, of course, thinking of Bosnian Handzar SS division.

Peter wrote:
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.

And later what I'm saying is interpretated as moralizing. Women, yes, so what? Women can not be Nazis?

Peter wrote:
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?

??? When did I say anything similar to that?

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

Just stupid. No, I was taught well by Bulgarian anarcho-communist, still one of the main activists (in his mid 90s) of Bulgarian anarchist federation, who was participating in Yugoslav partisan movement.

rata
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Aug 13 2007 08:35
Devrim wrote:
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?

No, but I'm not going to go around without a mandate talking about current issues.

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

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

And I'm not going to answer them, as long as you don't answer loads of my other positions which you very easily skipped over, to invent some position I never had and fight with it (same as Peter). It's a dismissive type of discussing which is coming from the fact that you don't have any argument to put forward except for your wishful thinking. And no, we are not afraid of our organizations like your are. Your insinuations are really offensive, and again it's clear that this hostility is coming from the fact that your week analyzes is falling apart in front of everybody here...

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Devrim
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Aug 13 2007 09:46
Rata wrote:
And I'm not going to answer them, as long as you don't answer loads of my other positions which you very easily skipped over, to invent some position I never had and fight with it (same as Peter).

Ok, that is your privallage. I didn't invent any positions that you never had. You clearly stated that:

Quote:
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.

I didn't skip over anything either.

Rata wrote:
It's a dismissive type of discussing which is coming from the fact that you don't have any argument to put forward except for your wishful thinking.

Well actually I haven't put forward any argument yet. what I did was suggest that the discussion started somewhere else:

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.

I think that that is the place where a discussion can start. Otherwise, we will continue to see the same sort of moralism as we have already seen on this thread.

Apart from that I merely pointed out a few facts, and challenged your absolutely ridiculous statement that there was a council communist republic in Yugoslavia in the Second World War.

Rata wrote:
And no, we are not afraid of our organizations like your are.

What?

Rata wrote:
Your insinuations are really offensive,

Which insinuations?

Rata wrote:
and again it's clear that this hostility

What hostility?

Rata wrote:
is coming from the fact that your week analyzes is falling apart in front of everybody here...

Rata, you are ranting. I would stop it before you make yourself look more foolish than you already have done with your claim about a 'council communist republic'.

The question, which I think is a prerequisite for this discussion remains:

Quote:
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.

Devrim

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Aug 13 2007 09:49

rata: I didn't notice Devrim's positions falling apart in front of everyone. We've had a football fan style oneliner from Guydebordetc in support of your positions, and one or two people being a bit wishy washy about the partisans. On the other hand, apart from the left communists posting on this thread, we've also had some rather devastating information supplied by JH about the real practises of the partisans. You on the other hand have told us that a 'council communist republic' was established by the partisans without a proletarian revolution. By the same token, the USSR under Stalin was also a council communist republic: after all formally speaking it was still run by soviets and had 'communists' at the helm. You have also made the fantastic assertion that the internationalist position on the second world war was the same as the Serbian state's position. I suppose you could have extended this comparison to the position of the USSR and the CPs during the Nazi-Soviet pact, before the latter switched back to anti-fascism. It's about as accurate as the charge that the left communists were holocaust deniers.

I think it makes very little difference that there were anarchists in the partisans or even specifically anarchist partisan groups in this war. Either way they were completely subordinated to the overall command and orientation of the 'national resistance', which came from the 'democratic' allies via the local Stalinists.
You have also tried to compare the guerilla war in Yugoslavia with the episodes of revolt which took place in the Warsaw ghetto or the death camps. But a popular revolt is by definition a brief moment of defiance. It is not the same as a sustained guerilla war backed up by imperialist armies. It is also worth noting that while the allies saw the partisan movements as a force they could use, their normal policy towards episodes of revolt was to abandon them to their fate: the allies did nothing whatever to aid the ghetto uprising, and a year later Stalin's Red Army stood by outside the gates of Warsaw while the Nazis responded to the 1944 uprising by razing the entire city to the ground.

Mark.
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Aug 13 2007 10:02
Feighnt wrote:
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.

Point taken. I've probably been careless in saying 'Greek partisans' when I was referring to ELAS, the largest Greek partisan group which was controlled by the Communists.

I haven't read much about the resistance on Crete but I did once talk to an old man in a village near Haniá who had been with the resistance in the White Mountains. He pointed out something obvious that hadn't occurred to me before. If they captured German soldiers, for whatever reason, they simply didn't have the option or the resources to keep them prisoner. All they could do was kill them. Of course the soldiers were much more likely to be 18 year old conscripts than SS members. He was still haunted by the killings nearly 50 years later. I couldn't think of much to say when he told me this and I'm still not sure how to judge it. Often people were in the resistance because they had no other choice - they simply got caught up in terrible events.

rata
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Aug 13 2007 10:32
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.

You are insulting, and you know it. I will not go arguing with you about it. It's there for everybody to see it.

The quoted question, as well as all other points you raised were answered before:

Who said anything about anarchists not opposing WWII?
That is one of the non-existing positions that you are fighting against. All of that is in service of not coming back to the main point - and that is that your abstract position doesn't have any M.O. for countries occupied by Nazis, in which occupied population was not treated just like hostile Aryans, but a lower species which should be turned into slaves or killed. Printing leaflets? Yes, partisans did many of those too, calling for an antifascist fight - I agree, they didn't call for fraternization with the German soldiers which were committing the slaughters, but anyhow that was advantage reserved for the places where daily routine of killing thousands wasn't present. In Yugoslavia, calling for fraternization with German or Italian soldiers, or quislings, who were directly conducting killings of millions, would be, rightfully, seen as idiocy. Same would happen if the imaginary left commies in the Spanish civil war were calling for fraternization with Franco's soldiers.

Alf wrote:
rata: I didn't notice Devrim's positions falling apart in front of everyone

I didn't expect you to be the one to see it anyhow.

Alf wrote:
You have also tried to compare the guerilla war in Yugoslavia with the episodes of revolt which took place in the Warsaw ghetto or the death camps. But a popular revolt is by definition a brief moment of defiance. It is not the same as a sustained guerilla war backed up by imperialist armies.

Aha, so that is the difference. And would you be kind enough to give us the time limit in which a revolt stops being it. Is it two days? A month? 3 Years? You are just being ridiculous, especially with your repeated claims about partisans being supported by the allies, when, as I said earlier, it was known that they have received allies "recognition" only in 1943, and only because they were a dominant formation which managed to win dominance on the terrain, years after they started resisting.

All this is coming with a very big deal of total ignorance of the topic being discussed. Exegesis of liberal history interpretations (The Independent as a source for "devastating information" on "the real practices of the partisans") based on abstract categories is usual left commie past time, which is a substitute for any meaningful proposition of action that libcoms should have done in countries occupied by fascist. And that is why their position is essentially liberal, and their ideas on this topic don't have any more practical value than beauty contests participants who wish peace on earth.

rata
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Aug 13 2007 11:20

PS. Alf, I made comparison between Warsaw ghetto uprising and Yugoslav partisan movement based on your explanation to why "internationalists" would support the first one - the only reason that you gave was that it was a unsuccessful popular revolt. When I pointed out that Yugoslav peoples liberation struggle was also a popular revolt, but victorious one, you came here with an imaginary definition what revolt is based on some left commie time scale.

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Devrim
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Aug 13 2007 12:12
Rata wrote:
You are insulting, and you know it.

I don't know it. I said that your ideas about a council communist republic were absurd. They are. I certainly didn't swear at you as you did me.

Rata wrote:
Who said anything about anarchists not opposing WWII?

You are supporting the partisans, Rata. They were on the allied side. What is your position, support for the allies, but against the war?

Rata wrote:
Aha, so that is the difference. And would you be kind enough to give us the time limit in which a revolt stops being it. Is it two days? A month? 3 Years?

You used this debating tactic with me before. You bring everything done to numbers. I suggest you go back, and read his post again. He is talking about a qualitative difference not a quantitative one. I am not sure if you fail to understand people's points, or you think ignoring their points, and asking questions about numbers is an argument.

Rata wrote:
and that is that your abstract position doesn't have any M.O. for countries occupied by Nazis,

What does M.O. mean?
Devrim

bastarx
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Aug 13 2007 12:32

modus operandi = way of operating

rata
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Aug 13 2007 12:42
Devrim wrote:
I don't know it. I said that your ideas about a council communist republic were absurd. They are. I certainly didn't swear at you as you did me.

You were insinuating that I am ashamed of presenting my positions because of duties I have in IWA secretariat. That is offensive and insulting. I don't have a problem with somebody calling my positions this or that, but you were personally offensive in this manner several times in this debate.

Rata wrote:
You are supporting the partisans, Rata. They were on the allied side. What is your position, support for the allies, but against the war?

They were "recognized" by Allays in 1943. Their resistance started years before that. Yugoslav partisans fighting was based around the ideology of anti-fascism, in opposition to various nationalisms (croatian, serbian, slovenian etc) which were supported by the Nazis and Allays (until 1943). They weren't a nationalist force in the war, they weren't fighting on behalf of any state, and their work was overwhelmingly emancipating. I guess this goes down to the fact that, using shallow analyzes which is equalizing liberal capitalism and fascism, you are seeing anti-fascism as a same thing as nationalism. Which is showing amazing lack of basic analyzes, and refusing to see quality difference between the two - one being a thing that can open road to revolution, and another one closing it down by definition. We, anarcho-syndicalists, are not against reforms which can lead to revolution, we are against those reforms which are taking us from that way. Reform or revolution, a false dichotomy which you guys obviously fall for.

Devrim wrote:
You used this debating tactic with me before. You bring everything done to numbers.

Hihihi. No, in fact you used the same debating tactics like Alf with me before. In fact it was you two who are bringing things down to numbers - you were claiming that my organization can not be a union because it had less than 100 members, and he is claiming that something is not revolt because it lasted too long.

Devrim wrote:
What does M.O. mean?

Modus operandi

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Devrim
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Aug 13 2007 12:49

On my way out, but...

rata wrote:
Hihihi. No, in fact you used the same debating tactics like Alf with me before. In fact it was you two who are bringing things down to numbers - you were claiming that my organization can not be a union because it had less than 100 members, and he is claiming that something is not revolt because it lasted too long.

I said that your organisation wasn't a union because it didn't have the functions of a union. You started going on about numbers. Alf is not only talking about the length. Please try and read it again.
Devrim

rata
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Aug 13 2007 12:59
Devrim wrote:
I said that your organisation wasn't a union because it didn't have the functions of a union. You started going on about numbers.
earlier Devrim wrote:
I met Rata, IWA International secretary, a few weeks ago, and he talked about their organisation in Serbia. He insisted upon describing it as a union although it has less than 100 members.

http://libcom.org/forums/thought/asi-mur-anarchosyndicalist-union

Devrim wrote:
Alf is not only talking about the length. Please try and read it again.

Yes he is. It is you who should try and read it again.

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Steven.
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Aug 13 2007 13:02
rata wrote:
Yes, partisans did many of those too, calling for an antifascist fight - I agree, they didn't call for fraternization with the German soldiers which were committing the slaughters, but anyhow that was advantage reserved for the places where daily routine of killing thousands wasn't present. In Yugoslavia, calling for fraternization with German or Italian soldiers, or quislings, who were directly conducting killings of millions, would be, rightfully, seen as idiocy. Same would happen if the imaginary left commies in the Spanish civil war were calling for fraternization with Franco's soldiers.

Are you being serious here?

Most of the Nazi army were conscripts, no? The same as Franco's army. In fact wasn't Franco's army in large part made up of conscripted CNT and UGT members? Fraternising with them would've been an important part of making the revolution/winning the war.

For an example, here's a biography of one anarchist - and IWA member - conscripted into the Wermacht: http://libcom.org/history/schmitz-hans-1914-2007

rata
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Aug 13 2007 13:29
John. wrote:
Are you being serious here?

Absolutely.

John. wrote:
Most of the Nazi army were conscripts, no? The same as Franco's army. In fact wasn't Franco's army in large part made up of conscripted CNT and UGT members? Fraternising with them would've been an important part of making the revolution/winning the war.

I don't remember any CNT/FAI leaflets calling for fraternization with Franco's soldiers. Obviously, they were suppoting nationalists too.

As I said, comparing treatment of people in Netherlands, with what was done by the Nazis in Yugoslavia is totally out of line. As can be seen from Schmitz biography, he was trying to get off the front as much as possible, and didn't go around killing 100 dutch people for every dead Nazi. Well, front was, among other places, in Yugoslavia.

And the fact that he was IWA member is relevant how? I know that in IWA sections we have comrades who share Devrim's positions. We are not a historical book club, to which you can enter only if you have same position on every historical question. What we are interested in is the praxis that organization is heaving, today.

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Joseph Kay
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Aug 13 2007 13:36
revol68 wrote:
nationalist ears

they have a position on nationalist ears? confused

nastyned
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Aug 13 2007 14:03
Joseph K. wrote:
they have a position on nationalist ears? confused

Apparently they became decadent after 1914. Goatee beards on the other hand entered the bourgeois camp in 1940.

MalFunction
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Aug 13 2007 14:16

Re Polish anarchists / anarcho-syndicalists

latest KSL Bulletin has 4 pages of biographies of activists taken from:

"Na Krawedzi Zycia: wspomnienia anarchisty 1943-44" (on the Edge of Life: memories of an anarchist 1943-44) by Pawel Lew Marek

apparently there was a Syndicalist Brigade in the Polish Popular Army (but I have no further information on that.) Others were active in the Council for Aid to Jews. Many took part in the Warsaw Uprising. There were also sabotage Combat Units of the Headquarters of the ZSP.

Be good if anyone could translate the whole book. Some of the people mentioned are still alive it seems so may be contactable.

maxcrosby
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Aug 13 2007 21:24

There is also a book, titled "Operation Sea Lion," by Peter Fleming. Peter Fleming was the older brother of Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, and "Operation Sea Lion" was the German code name for a ground invasion and occupation of Britian during World War Two.

Fleming describes how British Army officers were taught up-to-date anti-tank warfare tactics by Catalan anarchists, and says that for a British officer to be on a first name basis with any of these anarchists carried more social weight than being on a first-name basis with a hot-looking Hollywood movie actress.

redtwister
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Aug 14 2007 04:53

During the Spanish Civil War, some groups distributed leaflets over Franco's army using airplanes, which I seem to remember was quite effective. A large part of the army was also Moroccan and used by Franco on a kind of weird "revenge against the colonial mother country" basis. Even so, the CP and other "democratic" forces stopped the leafleting and fraternizing attempts, with exactly revol's logic, and seriously undermined the political undermining of the morale of Franco's troops. Revolutionary wars are won by politics, not by out-gunning the collective military power of global capital (as Franco was getting backing from Germany, Italy, companies in the U.S. like Ford, and passive approval via non-confrontation from England, France and the U.S.) The Civil War was not going to be won by mere force of arms.

Also, a large number of the arguments here for supporting/joining the partisans are exactly the same ones used by the Trotskyists at the time. However, not all Trotskyists went into the partisans. The "Trotskyist Group" did not join the French resistance, stayed in the factories and cities, and fought the Nazis from there. As a result, in 1947 they played a critical role in the Renault strikes that led to the collapse of the Ramadier government and the expulsion of the CP from the government. They and some anarcho-syndicalists who had followed the same policy were the only non-Stalinists with a presence in the French working class, and played a leading role in the strikes that drove deGaulle from power. Due to their small size, the effort almost completely destroyed the group, but for being much smaller than the official Mandel and Pablo FI, they were a much more important presence in the working class. this is not to defend Trotskyism or anarcho-syndicalism, but to point out that not only was not joining the partisans possible, but it was practical and it allowed for a presence in the working class after WWII that the ones who joined the partisans lost.

Presenting joining the partisans, as a political-military tendency, as something that was not a political choice rather than sheer necessity, is simply wrong. Presenting Tito's partisans as communists, well... i will just refer people to Chalmers Johnson's excellent book on the Chinese Revolution Peasant Nationalism and Communist Power, which has a great section discussing the differences between the Chinese and Yugoslavian situations at the time.

Chris

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Aug 14 2007 08:56
Quote:
There is a really moving story from the Spanish Civil War of anarchists holding a meeting at a port where all the refugee's had come after Barcelona fell, they were encircled by Franco's troops and no more boats were coming to take people out. The meeting was about whether tolet themselves be taken captive and more than likely be executed or to commit suicide, there was much argument but most decided that they would not absolve the fascists of their sins by killing themselves, that if they were going to die they'd make the bastards do it themselves, others decided they would rather end their own lives than put them in the hands of Franco, and some of them shot each other or threw themselves into the sea together.

I'd like to read about that, could you please let me know where you read it (preferably a webpage, as all the libraries I have access to don't have a good anarchist section).

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Aug 14 2007 09:02
revol68 wrote:
I wouldn't class dropping leaflets as fraternisation ffs. I imagine shit like that is really basic, of course the CNT issued such calls for Franco troops to desert etc That in no way meant fraternisation in the sense of not opening fire when they came over the top of a trench.

revol, fraternisation is the former, not the latter.

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Aug 14 2007 09:13

Revol wrote: "I'd also like to know what marks the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising out from the generalised resistance".

You seem to have forgotten the difference between a social movement and the bourgeois forces who very often put themselves at its head. The formal leadership of the ghetto uprising was a coalition of left Ziionist, Bundist, social democratic and Stalinist groups. But it was only able to sustain itself because it was an expression of a more 'generalised' movement among the ghetto population.

Redtwister wrote: "Presenting joining the partisans, as a political-military tendency, as something that was not a political choice rather than sheer necessity, is simply wrong".

I fully agree with this. The partisans were not a conscript army. There were certainly other options for revolutionaries. Mark Chirik's comrades in France could have joined the partisans, but they chose to form an organisation opposed to their programme, strategy and tactics.

Mark.
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Aug 14 2007 09:41

I'm not sure how realistic it was to call for fraternisation with German and Italian soldiers but in Greece some Italians did attempt to go over to the resistance.

Stinas wrote:
In Autumn 1943, we believed that the decisive hour of the war had arrived. In Italy, Mussolini had been overthrown by his own party and the general Badoglio put himself in charge of the government. He first surrendered, and then openly passed over to the Allied side against the Germans. The Italian army was disbanded. Part of it was taken prisoner by the Germans and the majority of them were executed. The others tried to find asylum and refuge where they could. Many houses, in the towns as well as the countryside, opened to them and welcomed them, and so many were saved. EAM didn’t so much as lift a finger: such acts of humanity were unknown and foreign to it. (…)

When Badoglio capitulated, an entire Italian division, the Pinerolo division, passed over to the Greek resistance. A popular movement inspired even in a rudimentary way by the most confused and outdated democratic principles would be able to influence the soldiers and make them come over to its side without difficulty. What did the EAM-ELAS, in the name perhaps of “proletarian internationalism”, do? Solon Grigoriadis teaches us in his History (Volume 2, pp. 69-70):

“On the evening of 4 October 1943, in the common head quarters of the partisans at Pertouli, the Italian general Infante was suddenly surrounded by a group of elasites who ordered him to hand over his personal revolver. From that moment that Pinerolo division changed its role: from ally to prisoner. Thus began the final act of the Italian Second Army on the slopes of Pinde.

At the same time, all the sections who had retained their equipment were disarmed by the forces of the First Division of ELAS, without any resistance (...)

The disarmed Italians then suffered a terrible fate. They were abandoned in miserable camps, in hovels or mud huts. The harsh winter of Pinde fell on them like a calamity. Chased from everywhere in a panic by the incessant cleansing offensives of the Germans, abandoned by everyone – by the British, who took their time in giving out the sum of 10 shillings per month allocated for each of them, because of the difficulties of communication, and by ELAS, because of the continual battles. They were cut down en masse. Dozens of dead were collected every day from their bivouacs which all humanity had abandoned, and thrown into mass graves.”

It is a historian who wrote this, a cadre of ELAS and a supporter of EAM. And that is sufficient to illustrate the real content of this movement and the real objective of its leadership.

The same historian informs us that ELAS had the objective of seizing the Italians’ arms, not to use them against the Germans, but so as to have superiority in armaments after the retreat of the German troops, which everyone thought was close. And they didn’t just take arms but also boots, raincoats and blankets. So as to clothe “their own”.

This ELAS operation counts amongst the most bestial and inhuman crimes of the war. It was above all the surest means of preventing the fraternisation of the partisans with the German and Italian soldiers -the prevention of the thing which, in all reactionary wars, provokes panic and terror in all those responsible for the massacre of peoples: their exploiters and rulers. What Italian or German soldier would dare to pass into the ranks of the partisans, knowing that they would be disarmed and robbed, and left to die of hunger and cold ?

The Greek Trotskyists were divided on the question of supporting the resistance. Stinas' group was opposed while other groups were in favour. OPLA, the secret police of EAM-ELAS targeted both sides without discrimination. Trotskyists who gave critical support to the resistance were as likely to be executed as members of Stinas' group.

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Aug 14 2007 11:32
JH wrote:
This ELAS operation counts amongst the most bestial and inhuman crimes of the war. It was above all the surest means of preventing the fraternisation of the partisans with the German and Italian soldiers -the prevention of the thing which, in all reactionary wars, provokes panic and terror in all those responsible for the massacre of peoples: their exploiters and rulers. What Italian or German soldier would dare to pass into the ranks of the partisans, knowing that they would be disarmed and robbed, and left to die of hunger and cold ?

That's fucking unbelievable. We really need to change that article we have on the greek resistance. What utter scumbags.

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Aug 16 2007 16:28
Alf wrote:
The partisans were not a conscript army. There were certainly other options for revolutionaries. Mark Chirik's comrades in France could have joined the partisans, but they chose to form an organisation opposed to their programme, strategy and tactics.

Didn't the resistance attack internationalists? From what I've read, left communists like Marc Chirik risked being killed by both the occupiers and the patriots alike.

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Alf
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Aug 16 2007 22:37

Alibadani: yes the 'resistance' arrested Marc and Clara at the end of the war and wanted to shoot them as fascist collaborators.

"But it was at the moment of the ‘Liberation’ that Marc and Clara had their closest encounter with death. The Stalinist ‘Resistors’ of the Parti Communiste Francais arrested them in Marseille. They were accused of being traitors and of collaborating with the ‘Boches’, since when they raided their home the Stalinists found notebooks written in German. In fact these notebooks were inscribed during the German lessons that Marc and Clara had been receiving from Voline (a Russian anarchist who had participated in the 1917 revolution). Voline, despite the terrible poverty in which he lived, did not want to receive any material help. So Marc and Clara asked him to give them German lessons, after which he would agree to share a meal with them.

During this raid, the Stalinists also found internationalist leaflets written in French and German and addressed to the soldiers of both camps.

It was thanks to a Gaullist officer who was in charge of the prison (and whose wife knew Clara, having worked with her in the OSE), that Marc and Clara were able to escape the justice of the PCF killers. This officer had initially prevented the Stalinists from shooting Marc and Clara (they had said to Marc, “Stalin hasn’t got you but we will have your skin”). Surprised that Jews were accused of being ‘collaborators’, he wanted to ‘understand’ the political standpoint which had led Marc and Clara to put out propaganda in favour of fraternisation between French and German troops. The officer recognised that their attitude had nothing to do with some kind of ‘treason’ in favour of the Nazi regime. He thus helped them to escape from prison in his own car, advising them to leave Marseille as quickly as possible before the Stalinists could find them.

Marc and Clara went to Paris where they joined up with other comrades and sympathisers of the Italian Fraction and the French Fraction of the Communist Left. Up until 1952, Clara continued to support the work of the Communist Left of France (GCF – the new name taken by the French Fraction)".

http://en.internationalism.org/wr/294_clara

In Italy, members of the Internationalist Communist Party were indeed shot by the Stalinist partisans.

"1943-1952 - Thanks to the repatriation to Italy of a number of comrades, the work to reweave a real and viable organization was begun. At the end of 1943, the first issue of Prometeo appeared clandestinely. Contacts were made with Bordiga; the first political work was undertaken among proletarian elements deluded by the resistance movement. The effort was made to give a class basis to the strike wave in the last years of the war. By working in contact with the proletarians, significant gains were made in the North, and often internationalists were elected shop stewards in the factories. At last, the Internationalist Communist Party was born having as its journal Battaglia Comunista. The clash with the Stalinists emerged into the open. While Togliatti as Minister of Justice decreed a general amnesty of fascist leaders and rank-and-file members amidst paeans to “the new man” and “the reborn democracy,” his party denounced the Internationalists as “fascists,” inciting a policy calling for their physical elimination. The culmination of this defamatory campaign was the assassination of two comrades, Mario Acquaviva and Fausto Atti, and others massacred by Stalinists but whose fate has remained shrouded in anonymity".
http://www.ilprogrammacomunista.com/en-whatis.htm

redtwister
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Aug 17 2007 20:13
revol68 wrote:
I wouldn't class dropping leaflets as fraternisation ffs.
redtwister wrote:
Even so, the CP and other "democratic" forces stopped the leafleting and fraternizing attempts

I also never said it was unjustified to flee or to take up armed resistance. But The Resistance was a political-military force, and taking that road as the general strategy was not completely unavoidable, it was a political choice. It was also distinctly different situation in Nazi-occupied areas if one was a Jew.

How often was it avoidable? For all of the dislocation caused by the Nazis, can you tell me exactly how many workers and workplaces were actually moved? What percentage of the population? More were undoubtedly moved as a result of the war by their own country, except for the Jews and Romani, who amounted to 11million dead, mostly in the camps. However, another 30+ million died in that war, sometimes as soldiers, but also often as a result of the bombings of cities, and many of them in East Asia and North Africa.

Production has to continue, and even where the Nazis occupied, they did not simply shut things down. They often took over control of productive facilities and redirected them to Nazi war needs.

In other words, the working class was still working and it was entirely possible to remain and fight, though less so in Spain, Italy and Germany proper where the working class struggles and organizations had been completely crushed.

As such, while, to paraphrase, calling WWII "Spain in 1939 writ large" has a certain appeal and accuracy, it was not necessarily the case that the working class had been as decimated in the rest of Europe as it was in Germany, Italy and Spain (and let us not forget Russia).

I am also not of the opinion that workers' struggles only really are class struggles if they are in the workplaces. I think that the struggle, including armed struggle, against the U.S. occupation of Iraq is to be defended whole-heartedly. It is not a nationalist struggle (and the struggle against the Islamists and Nationalists is critical), but it becomes their struggle if the end of the occupation is not a priority for Iraqi communists.

However, this was not the truth of The Resistance. Their policy was a European version of Mao and the CCP's flight into the countryside to escape Chiang-Kai Shek's Nationalists after the defeat of the Chinese proletariat in 1925-7. It was essentially a policy of abandonment of the majority of the class to turn around and come back in as the liberating army, and just as Mao told the workers to go back to work in 1949, and disarmed the workers in areas he captured, so The Resistance followed the same policy. That some anarchists and communists who were in The Resistance did not do this does not display their correctness and the treachery of the Stalinists, nationalists, and social-democrats, so much as it is the exception that proves the rule. That many workers were forced to flee or take up arms is not necessarily the same thing as following the lead and the directive of The Resistance. Conflating the immediate choices in particular circumstances with a conscious policy followed systematically over the entire course of the war, which at its mid-point took on direct collusion with the Allied Forces and at the end involved the disarming and pacification of the proletariat is irresponsible.

Examples of the tragic and brutal repression of Spanish anarchists and German and Italian communists and socialists do not amount to an adequate reason to defend a strategic policy of guerrilla warfare and abandonment of the workers in the cities on an explicitly or implicitly nationalist basis.

Chris

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Devrim
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Aug 17 2007 20:57
redtwister wrote:
I am also not of the opinion that workers' struggles only really are class struggles if they are in the workplaces. I think that the struggle, including armed struggle, against the U.S. occupation of Iraq is to be defended whole-heartedly. It is not a nationalist struggle (and the struggle against the Islamists and Nationalists is critical), but it becomes their struggle if the end of the occupation is not a priority for Iraqi communists.

I think that it is a nationalist (and sectarian) struggle with nothing to offer the working class. I think that there are those who want to see class struggle so much that they end up seeing it everywhere. I certainly get that feeling from the GCI's writing on Iraq, not only today, but over the past twenty years.

The final result of this is clear; an abandonment of internationalism. The GCI, in fact, takes that final step when talking about the attacks on the world trade centre:

GCI wrote:
In Communisme no 48, ‘Capitalism=terrorism against humanity; against war and capitalist repression’, we commented on the incidents of September 11. At the same time that we showed that the proletariat has an interest in the destruction of the objectives that represent and realise the terrorism of world capital; instead of crying for the civilian victims, as all the accomplices of democratic dictatorship did, we made it clear that this did not imply saying that the attack was accomplished by the proletariat as a class. Moreover, we clearly explained that, even when these attacks are carried out by proletarians in the sociological sense of the term, although they destroy centres of repression and world commerce and although we ourselves, along with revolutionaries all over the world, feel great sympathy for these acts, we are not in support of the organisations that carried out these actions. And so we do not deny that that such actions are carried out by Islamist organisations, which we define as centrist, ie the extremist organisations of social democracy, which constitutes the last and most implacable rampart against the revolution

Devrim