On the 120th Birth Anniversary of Georgi Dimitrov
On the Dissolution of the Comintern
From the Diary of Georgi Dimitrov
8 May, 1943.
....During the night at Molotov’s together with Manuilski. Talked about the future of Comintern. Reached the conclusion that in the given circumstances, Comintern as a leading centre for communist parties is a hindrance for the independ[ent] development of communist parties and the fulfillment of their specific tasks. To prepare a document for the closure of this centre...
11 May, 1943.
– Edited with Man[uilski] the draft declaration of the Presidium of the ECCI on the dissolution of the Com[munist] International.
– Sent the draft to Sta[lin] and Molotov.
– Last evening with Man[uilski] met Stalin (Molotov was present). Stal[in] approved our draft. Discussed how the declaration was to be accepted. Focussed on the following procedure: 1) the draft to be examined at the meeting of the Presidium and to be accepted as the proposal of the sections; 2) to announce to the sections and to seek their agreement; 3) after the agreement of the sections – publish it.
Which functions and in what form the work must be continued in future – Malenkov and I were entrusted to examine and to prepare concrete proposals.
On this issue Stal[in] said: experience has shown that there should be no internation[al] leading centre for all countries. That came up before Marx, before Lenin and now. Maybe we must move to regional unions – for exam[ple] South America, United States and Canada, some Europ[ean] countries etc., but even with that we should not hurry…
12 May, 1943.
– Met consecutively with the Presidium of ECCI to inform them of the draft declaration.
Marty, Thorez and Dolores.
Pieck, Ulbricht, Koplenig.
Rakosi and Shverma.
Pauker, Lekhtinin, Vlasov.
All think that the proposal formulated for the sections of the CI for the dissolution of Comintern as … (in the original ‘international’ was crossed out ed. Dimitrov Diary) the leading centre of the international workers’ movement is principled and politically correct.
Fixed for tomorrow a meeting of the Presidium to discuss the draft declaration and to take a decision on the question.
– Prepared the draft declaration to be sent to:
To Pollitt (through Fitin).
Also through our sources to:
1) Mao Zedong; 2) Walter; 3) Finder; 4) Duclos; 5) Browder (for Lat[in] America); 6) Linderost (Sweden)…
13 May, 1943.
Closed door meeting of the Presidium of the ECCI. Participated: Thorez, Marty, Dolores, Pieck, Ulbricht, Koplenig, Rakosi, Shwerma, Wolf (KIM), Kolarov, Pauker, Lekhtinin, Vlasov, Manuilski, Dim[itrov]; as translators – Stepanov and Fürnberg.
After my report explaining and clarifying the draft declaration, all participants in the meeting of the Presidium spoke by turn. The draft proposal was accepted unanimously in the main. We gave all members of the Presidium and representatives of parties present in the meeting up to 17 May for in depth consideration of the contents of the draft and to include in it eventual corrections, opinions and additions.
– Before the meeting of the Presidium received the following message from Stalin:
‘1. Do not hurry with this matter. Present the draft for consideration, give an opportunity to the members of the Presidium of ECCI to think for two-three days and to suggest some corrections. He also had some corrections.
2. For the time being the draft is not to be sent out of the country. Will decide later.
3. Not to give the impression that we are throwing out the foreign leaders and comrades. People would work in the newspapers. They must bring out four newspapers (in German, Rumanian, Italian and Hungarian), and may also be set up separate anti-fascist committees of Germans and others.’…
15 May, 1943.
…Talked with Ercoli by high frequency about the draft declaration. He expressed total agreement. Also suggested to him that he talk about it with Gottwald also...
17 May, 1943.
Second closed door meeting of the Presidium of the ECCI.
Point-wise examined the draft declaration. Immaterial corrections were made. Their editing was entrusted to the Edit[orial] Commission consisting of: Thorez, Pieck, Dolores, Manuilski, Dimitrov. Also discussed two ways for the adoption of the declaration.; 1) To publish it with the signatures of members of the Presidium who are available in the USSR as a proposal to sections for confirmation on their part. (In this case they were to be forewarned that the similar proposal would be published); 2) To send the draft proposal to sections for discussions and after receiving their agreement to publish it as a document of all parties, which are members of the CI.
– The first variant was accepted as being more advisable.
Sent additional material to Umanski for Lat[in] America.
Sent to Malenkov additional material in connection with the pending discussion on the questions relating to the ECCI.
Received the representative of the CC of MOPR (the International Organisation for Help to Proletarian Fighters, ed. R.D.) Sharonov. Informed me of the work of MOPR and gave advice on a number of questions relating to the tasks in hand....
18 May, 1943.
Plishevski informs about the work of Partcom and preparations for the regular meeting of the part[y], at which a new Partcom is to be selected.
Meeting of the Editor[ial] Commission
(Pieck, Thorez, Dolores, Manuilski, Dimitrov)
Corrections in the declaration accepted at [the meeting] of the Presidium were edited. Everything was unanimously confirmed.
– Along with Man[uilski] shortened the protocol of the meeting of the Presidium held yesterday with a short list of the interventions of different comrades.
– Sent to Sta[lin] and Molot[ov]:
(1) Protocol of the meeting of of the Presidium of 17 May 1943,
(2) Protocol of the [meeting] of the Edit[orial] Commission;
(3) Draft declaration, pointing out the places of modification.
– Received the code from Ufa:
‘We are in agreement with the decision of the Presidium. Ercoli, Gottwald.’
19 May, 1943.
Closed door meeting of the ECCI.
Considered organisational questions related to the dissolution of the Comintern:
(1) Nation[al] radio broadcasts,
(2) Foreign bureaus of sepa[rate] parties;
(3) Maintaining contacts with foreign countries;
(4) The tele[graph] agency ‘Supress’;
(5) Archives, library, party school, etc.
All these functions must be preserved in one form or the other. Their place in the new conditions must be in line with the policy of the CC of the VCP(b).
– During the night with Stalin (Molotov, Voroshilov, Beria, Malenkov, Mikoyan were present).
Stal[in] proposed a few clarifications in the draft-declaration: 1) To remove the last paragraph as being redundant.; 2) To point out that at the time of the war the question of dissolution has been raised by a number of sections; 3) Under the point relating to the dissolution of the 1 Int[ernational] to emphasise that Marx had dissolved the 1 Int[ernational] ‘as a result of the not-yet-ripe-necessity for the creation of mass international workers parties.’
We agreed that: 1) To warn the sections that such a declaration was to be published; 2) The declaration to be published after ten days; 3) To be published with the signatures of members of the Presidium (for the VCP(b) – Zhdanov and Manuilski); 4) after the receipt of the decisions of the CC of sections, confirming the declaration, to publish the communiqué of the Presidium for the final dissolution.
20 May, 1943.
Stal[in] called: ‘Can’t the declaration of the Presidium be given for printing today? Publication must be hurried.’
Explained to him that I would send coded radio messages to different parties today during the day, evening and in the night. They will decipher and learn of the contents tomorrow during the day or evening. It won’t be desirable to publish before that. We give it for printing not earlier than tomorrow morning, so that it is published on 22 May. Thus we understood the question.
Called Edit[orial] Commission. Informed them about the new corrections in the declaration, proposed by Stal[in], Molotov and oth[ers]...
21 May, 1943.
Meeting of the Politburo [of CC of the VCP(b) in the room of Stalin]. Apart from members and candidate-members of the Politburo, I and Manuilski were present.
Molotov read out the declaration of the Presidium of the ECCI about the dissolution of the Comintern.
Kalinin observed that the enemy would use this step. It would be better to shift the centre of the CI to another place, for example to London (Laughter).
Stal[in] explained that experience had shown that in the time of Marx, and Lenin, and now it is not possible to lead the working class movement in all countries of the world from one international centre. Particularly now, in the situation of war, when the Communist parties in Germany, Italy and oth[er] countries have the duty to remove their governments and have to follow the tactics of defeat, while for the Communist parties of USSR, England, America etc. the opposite is the case, the task is to totally support their governments for the earliest possible destruction of the enemy.
We overestimated our strength in creating the CI and thinking that we could lead the movement in all countries. That was our mistake. The continued existence of the CI – that would discredit the idea of internationalism, which we do not wish.
There is another motive for the dissolution of the CI, which is not mentioned in the declaration. That the Communist parties are falsely accused of being agents of a foreign country, and that hinders their work among the wide masses. With the dissolution of the CI, the enemy would lose this trump. The step undertaken would undoubtedly strengthen the communist parties as nat[ional] workers’ parties and at the same time would strengthen the masses, the base of which is the Soviet Union.
The declaration was accepted unanimously.
Followed an exchange of views on some questions, relating to the dissolution of the CI.
In the evening called the leaders of the sections and explained to them, that the dissolution would come about in an organised manner, and to explain to their co-workers to continue to work and to await future instructions.
22 May, 1943.
In ‘Pravda’ was published the declaration of the Presidium of the ECCI on the dissolution of Comintern.
As per my instructions of the previous evening, meetings of sections of ECCI were held to explain the question.…
25 May, 1943.
– Mirov and Gero for the magazine. Gave my directions about the contents of the last issue of ‘CI’. Besides the declaration of the Presidium of the Com[munist] International it has to be included the announcement of the Editorial Board, that the further publication of the magazine is discontinued and a short overview of the work of the magazine during its 25-year old existence.
– Pieck sought advise regarding the future organisation of the work of the German Communist Party.
– Kolarov – about the work of the For[eign] Bureau of the Bulgarian Communist Party.
– Vlasov – regarding the invitation of the Yugoslav ambassador Simic for dinner. Advised him to accept the invitation, but to be extremely careful.
– Received a telegram from Pollitt, informing that CC of the English CP approves of the proposal of the Presidium….
28 May, 1943.
... Mitin (Director of the Institute ‘Marx, Engels, Lenin’ examined the transfer of the ideol[ogical] functions of CI (corresponding material – library and archives – besides the quali[fied] workers) of the Institute...
29 May, 1943.
…..Received from London the following open telegram:
To Dimitrov Exe[cutive] Committee Commun[ist] International.
‘We agree with the decision of the Presidium of the Communist International, in response to the duties of national and international unity in the work against fascism, and on our part we promise to do everything in our power to hurry victory over Hitlerite Germany, its allies and vassals.
Harry Pollitt – member of the Presidium of ECCI,
William Gallacher – member ECCI,
J[ohn] R. Campbell, Ben Bradley – candidate-members of ECCI.’
Also from Sydney (Australia).
‘To Dimitrov. Comintern.
The Politbureau of the Australian Communist Party unanimously approves of the proposal for the dissolution of the Comintern. Party organisations were given the directions to examine the proposal and to take decisions on it. We are convinced that the decision will strengthen the antifascist front in Australia. We desire heightened war efforts and increase in the attacks on the enemy, creation of a united front of all workers’ organisations.
Secre[tary] of Australian Communist Party, Miles.’
– From Yugoslavia:
‘After discussing the proposal of the Presidium of ECCI for the dissolution of Comintern, the CC of Yugoslav CP is in total agreement with the proposal, and also with the reasons for this. The CC of the Yugo[slav] CP is deeply convinced that this historical decision would in a short time lead to great results in the fight against the common enemy of mankind – fascism. Thanks to the help of the Comintern, the YCP grew as a strong mass party, which during these difficult days led the national independence struggle and with that won the sympathies of the majority of the national masses in Yugoslavia. Under the flag of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin it will continue to fulfill its duties towards its people, despite all the sacrifices in the fight against fascism for the liberation of the enslaved people of Yugoslavia, the YCP will stand true to the principles of proletarian internationalism.
CC of Yu[goslav] CP – Gen[eral] Secretary – Tito.
Members of the Politburo: Alexander Rankovic, Milovan Djilas, Edvard Kardelj, Ivan Milutinovic, Frantz Leskovshek.’
– Yesterday Stalin gave the following written answer to the question of the correspondent of the Eng[lish] agency ‘Reuters’ – King in connection with the dissolution of the Comintern’
‘I have received your request to answer a question referring to the dissolution of the Communist International. I am sending you my answer.
Question: British comment on the decision to wind up the Comintern has been very favourable. What is the Soviet view of this matter and of its bearing on future international relations?
Answer: The dissolution of the Communist International is proper and timely because it facilitates the organization of the common onslaught of all freedom-loving nations against the common enemy – Hitlerism.
The dissolution of the Communist International is proper because:
a) it exposes the lie of the Hitlerites to the effect that ‘Moscow’ allegedly intends to intervene in the life of other nations and to ‘Bolshevize’ them. Henceforth an end is being put to this lie;
b) it exposes the calumny of the adversaries of communism within the labour movement to the effect that Communist parties in various countries are allegedly acting not in the interest of their people but on orders from outside. An end is now being put to this calumny too;
c) it facilitates the work of patriots (in the original the following is scored out: in all countries by uniting all the freedom-loving peoples as one. ed. Dimitrov Diary) in freedom-loving countries for uniting the progressive forces of their respective countries, regardless of party or religious faith, into a single camp of national liberation – for unfolding the struggle against fascism;
d) it facilitates the work of patriots of all countries for uniting all freedom-loving peoples into a single international camp for the fight against the menace of the world domination by Hitlerism, thus clearing the way to the future organization of a companionship of nations based upon their equality.
I think that all these circumstances taken together will result in a further strengthening of the united front of the Allies and other united nations in their fight for victory over Hitler tyranny.
I hold that the dissolution of the Communist International is perfectly timely because it is exactly now when the fascist beast is exerting its last strength – that it is necessary to organize the common onslaught of the freedom-loving countries to finish off this beast and to deliver the peoples from fascist oppression.
31 May, 1943.
At Malenkov’s CC [of the VCP(b)]) together with Sukharev, Morozov, Fürnberg, Fridrich. Decided organis[ational] questions regarding the dissolution of the CI. We agreed that: 1) To continue with the nat[ional] radio br[oadcasts] as the given nat[ional] radio broadcasts under the directions of the for[eign] bureau of the corres[ponding] communist party; 2) To keep the teleg[raph] agency ‘Supress’ under the control of the CC [of the VCP(b)]; 3) To keep the Services for contacts (radio contacts, passport, technical etc.), keeping open the questions to where and how they are to be carried out; 4) The library to be a branch of the IMEL (Institute of Marx, Engels, Lenin – ed. R.D.); 5) The archives to be given over to the CC [of the VCP)b)]; 6) The Publishing house to continue to work as a separate Publishing house under the CC of VCP(b); 7) The reports of the cadres of the Communist parties to be organised under the CC of the VCP(b); 8) Economic objects to be handed over to the management ‘Delevodstvo’ of the CC[of the VCP(b)].
– In order to finalise the declaration of the Politburo [of the CC of the VCP(b)] on all these questions we shall meet again with Malenkov tomorrow – day after tomorrow.….
…– sent to St[alin] and Molotov the messages received from communist parties, regarding the decision of the Presidium [of the ECCI]...
2 June, 1943.
...Stalin called at night ‘Is it necessary to wait for the messages of all the parties and then to publish the commun[iqué]?’ I replied that since some parties have called their conferences on 7-8 June, we must wait for a few days. We agreed to this.…
4 June, 1943.
...– Sent the following coded message to France, Belgium, Holland, America, Yugoslavia, Poland, Sweden, China:
‘Request the following to be announced:
First. Was there any particular opinion of the CC in the discussions on the proposal of the Presidium of the ECCI regarding the dissolution of Comintern, and if so, what concretely.
Second. How did the local party activists react to the proposal.
Third. What effect did the proposal for dissolution have on the party masses and circles of sympathisers.
Fourth. Did some elements emerge in the party, who are trying to use the dissolution for factional and disorganizational work, if so, who are these people.
Fifth. What measures have been taken for the proposal for dissolution to be correctly understood by the members of the party, and also to paralyze the propaganda of the enemies, which is attempting to present it as a manoeuvre, sham dissolution etc.
Sixth. What is the party doing to explain to the masses the positive role of Comintern during its existence and specially its struggle against fascism and fascist warmongers of the current war and also to rebuff the calumny campaign.’
Umanski called late at night. Informed me that he is going to Mexico by air tomorrow and that I could depend upon his cooperation in our inter[national] work. He was talking in a low tone: ‘I have great sorrow – today I buried my only daughter. You will understand me!’
5 June, 1943.
…. – Sent to Stalin and Molotov additional messages endorsing the proposal of the Presidium [of ECCI] received by us. Informed them that we are calling a meeting of the Presidium on 8th. June and intend to publish the communiqué on the acceptance of the proposal for the dissolution of the Comintern by sections on the 10th. of June, before the inauguration of the Labour Party conference (13 June this year).….
7 June, 1943.
…– sent to Stalin and Molotov the draft decision of the Presidium [of the ECCI] about the acceptance of the proposal for dissolution by the sections and the text of the communiqué to be printed.
During the night Molotov called to say that Stalin and he agree with the draft proposed by me...
8 June, 1943.
Conducted the last meeting of the Presidium of ECCI:
1) We noted, that all sections (which exist and have the possibility to announce their decision), have unanimously approved of the proposal for the dissolution of the Comintern and that not a single section has acted in opposition to the proposal.
2) Announced the disbanding of the Executive Committee of the Commun[ist] Intern[ational], of the Presidium and the Secretariat, and also of the Intern[ational] Control Commission.
3) Appointed a Commission consisting of: Dimitrov (Chairman), Manuilski, Pieck, Ercoli and head of Economic-operations branch Sukharev (Secretary), which would bring about the practical liquidation of the work, organs and property of the CI.
4) A communiqué to this effect to be published.…
9 June, 1943.
– Edited ‘Announcement of the Presidium of the Executive Commi[ttee] of the Communist International’ carrying the decision of the last meeting of the Presidium relating to the dissolution of the Comintern and sent it to the Editorial Board of ‘Pravda’ for publication on 10 June.
– Koplenig and Fürnberg – on the question of sending to Austria two radio-operators (Souchek and Mrats).
Mirov and Gero – regarding the last issue of the journal ‘CI’. Confirmed the contents of the issue and gave the necessary instructions regarding the order of the published material relating to the dissolution of the Comintern...
Sukharev and Kuzmin – regarding matters arising out of the dissolution of the Executive-Committee of the Presidium and Secretariat [of ECCI]...
10 June, 1943.
‘Pravda’ publishes our announcement of the decision of the Presidium of 8th. June 1943.
Nogin, Hodov and ot[hers] (from ‘Delovodstvo’ of the CC of the VCP(b)) came to me in connection with the preparations for the handover of the property and archives of ECCI to the CC of the VCP(b). Gave necessary instructions.
Morozov, Feodorov, Georgiev about the transfer of the Roum[anian] group. Looked through the preparations for the transfer. Confirmed transfer on 11th. June.
– Belov – gave him instructions about the concrete work of the branch ‘Cadres’ during the period of liquidation.
Sent coded messages to our correspondents:
‘Please send future messages in the manner, as in the past.’
Sent to Stalin and Molotov the telegrams from Montevideo received by our telegra[ph] agency regarding events in Argentina.
12 June, 1943.
Meeting of the commission on the liquidation of the activities of Comintern (Dim[itrov], Man[uilski], Ercoli, Pieck, Sukharev). Exchanged views on the work of the commission. Worked on the drafts of some decisions. Will meet on the 14th. to examine the draft. …
– In the evening at Stalin’s (were pres[ent] Molotov, Voroshilov, Beria, Malenkov, Mikoyan, Shcherbakov). Discussed our project for the setting up the German ant[ifascist] committee, ‘Free Germany’. The main points of the project were approved. Stal[in] underlined that it is essential to point out the danger of division and destruction of Germany, and that the danger can be overcome only by means of removing Hitler. Because no one will sign peace with Hitler’s Germany. The struggle to save Germany from destruction, for the restoration of democratic rights and freedom of the German people, creation of parliamentary system etc. – these must be the tasks of the antifasc[ist] committee of the German patriots.
It was decided to create a special division of international information under the CC of the VCP(b) to look after the antifa[scist] committees, illegal national radio broadcasts, foreign relations, teleg[raph] agency ‘Supress’ and publication of literature in For[eign] languages.
So that the enemies may not use the fact that the division is headed by Dimitrov, it was decided that the lead[er] of the division be designated Shcherbakov, and Dimitrov and Manuilski as deputies. This decision is not to be announced and the work of the division is to be organised and exist as an internal arrangement.…
14 June, 1943.
At Malenkov’s. Together with Shcherbakov and Manuilski concretized, the working of the Division of International Information, in order to avoid the danger of the opponents using it to confirm that Comintern continues to exist under a different form and also what functions were to be assigned to it.
Looked through and examined a part of the material for the journal ‘CI’ – the last issue.…
15 June, 1943.
Pieck, Ulbricht, Manuilski – Examined practical measures for the setting up of the antifascist committee ‘Free Germany’. Determined the composition of the initiating group under Er[ich] Weinert. Noted the premier political platform of the committee...
16 June, 1943.
Manuilski came to me. Formulated concretely the functions of the division ‘Interna[tional] Information’ and all measures, related to it.…
17 June, 1943.
Sent to Malenkov and Shcherbakov our proposals regarding the reallocation of those functions of ECCI, which have to be passed on to the foreign bureaus of different parties, and also the retention under a different form of contacts with national and foreign radio broadcasts...
29 June, 1943.
At Shcherbakov’s, along with Manuilski looked at our proposals regarding the work of the division [‘International Information’] etc. with minor changes, they must be carried out.
In the evening – Shcherbakov came to me. Saw the two buildings (radio-receivers, radio editing, library etc.), as that parts of the old building are used for some par[ty] institutions.
– Sukharev, Fridrich, Morozov – on the question of liquidation…
Ist July, 1943.
... – At Malenkov’s with Shcherbakov and Manuilski. Agreed on the work of the division. We shall keep radio broadcasting, For[eign] bureaus, tele[graph] agency, Publications of literature in foreign languages, the radio centre for radio contacts. We also distributed the functions amongst ourselves. The basic functions are with me, questions of prisoners of war – with Manuilski.…
Courtesy: Georgi Dimitrov, ‘Dnevnik (9 mart 1933-6 fevruari 1949)’, Universitetsko Izdatelstvo ‘Cv. Kliment Okhridski,’ Sofia, 1997.
Translated from the Bulgarian by S.K. Vij.
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