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World War II

April 1945: Perspectives and Directives of the Internationalist Communist Party

As the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe approaches and the British ruling class is trying to use the occasion to stoke patriotic fervour, when we are once again being told we must suffer in the ‘national interest’ due to the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis, it’s a timely reminder that even in the most extreme of circumstances, the brutal imperialist slaughter of World War II, the Communist Left stood for the principle ‘no war between nations, no peace between classes’.

Workers in Stalin's Russia - Marie Louise Berneri

A short book written in 1944. Berneri outlines how socialism did not exist in the U.S.S.R. and how the lives of workers under state socialism was essentially the same as those who lived under capitalist democracies.

The Second World War: A Marxist History

A summary of an exemplary work of Marxist scholarship. (More such summaries here.)

Migrant Partisans: the Internationalist Resistance Against Italian Fascism

Migrant Partisans: the Internationalist Resistance Against Italian Fascism.

Wu Ming Foundation deconstruct the myth of an Italian resistance to foreign Nazi occupation that was entirely white and nationalist, showing it instead to have involved thousands of migrants from all corners of the globe fighting Italy's homegrown fascism to create a better world for everyone.

Five Years in the Warsaw Ghetto - Bernard Goldstein

Jewish fighters captured in the aftermath of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, 1943.

Memoirs of life in the Warsaw ghetto from Bernard Goldstein, leader of the Jewish Labour Bund, recounting his underground activities in Nazi-occupied Warsaw such as how he (and the rest of his group) smuggled food, clothing and, eventually, arms into the Jewish ghetto in preparation for one of the most significant anti-Nazi uprisings during World War Two.

Vichy france: Old guard and new order, 1940-1944

Robert O. Paxton's classic study of the aftermath of France's sudden collapse under Nazi invasion utilizes captured German archives and other contemporary materials to construct a strong and disturbing account of the Vichy period in France.

Spanish anti-fascist ‘prisoners of war’ in Lancashire, 1944–46

Spanish anti-fascist prisoners in Chorley

Fascinating and detailed paper by Richard Cleminson examining the appalling treatment of Spanish anti-fascist resistance fighters during World War II being detained in internment camps in Britain alongside Nazi and fascist prisoners.

Thoughts on the 70th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust

The Holocaust

Some reflections on the capitalist roots of the Holocaust.

Wartime strikes in Kenya - Makhan Singh

Makhan Singh on wartime strikes in Kenya, including struggles against conscript labour, railway strikes, and a general strike in Uganda in January 1945.

WCH E4: Anti-Nazi youth movements in World War II

A group of Edelweiss Pirates

An interview with historian Nick Heath about anti-Nazi youth cultural movements in fascist Europe before and during World War II. In particular we look at the German Edelweiss Pirates and Swing Kids, the French Zazous and the Austrian Schlurfs.