Interview of Stalin

(June 28, 1935)

Romain Rolland

This interview with Stalin by the well-known French writer, Romain Rowland, is over 80 years old, but this is the first time it has been translated into English. It brings to light a number of important features of life in the Soviet Union. For one, Stalin points out that a large number of counter-revolutionaries had crossed into the Soviet Union illegally to assassinate Soviet leaders. Many of them were captured and the majority of them were shot. These counter-revolutionaries from abroad were joined by internal reactionaries. There were also small groups of young children who were goaded by adults into attacks on shock-workers, and the Soviet Union was forced to lower the age of criminal responsibility to scare these children away from criminal activity.

However, the most interesting part of the interview deals with Stalin's statement that there may at times be different positions between the USSR as a socialist state and that of a communist party in a capitalist country. Stalin takes the example of the mutual assistance pact that the Soviet Union signed with France in 1935, directed against the fascist powers. Stalin points out that this does not mean that the French communist party, which was not in power, should change its position against the French capitalist government, since there was nothing to prevent the French government from using arms against the French workers.

One could also apply this position to the situation of June 1940, when most of France was occupied by Nazi Germany. Although the Soviet Union-German non-aggression pact was still in force, this did not mean that the French CP should not have organized the people of France to fight against the Nazi occupation. Indeed, after the war, the French bourgeoisie under Charles de Gaulle criticized the CP for not fighting against the German occupation until the Soviet Union was attacked in June of 1941.

Finally, Stalin also clarifies the story of “Stalin s dachas.” He pointed out that he and other Soviet leaders did not have their own dachas, only that certain dachas were allocated to their use by the Soviet government.

George Gruenthal

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