Popular Front against Fascism Print

the VII World Congress of the Communist International

The FIR reminds of the VII World Congress of the Communist International, which took place 85 years ago from July 25 to August 20, 1935 in Moscow. We remind not only of it, because the communists from all parts of Europe made a valuable contribution to the anti-fascist fight, in the ranks of the partisans, the resistance movement and in the solidarity with persecuted persons. We reminds on it, because during this conference trend-setting resolutions were made, which had meaning for the anti-fascist forces far beyond the ranks of the communists.

Unforgotten is the speech of Georgi Dimitroff, the Bulgarian communist, who in 1933 turned Hermann Göring from accuser to defendant in the Leipzig Reichstag fire trial. Dimitroff analyzed 1935 the political consequences of the establishment of fascist rule in Italy, Germany and Bulgaria. "The coming to power of fascism is not a simple replacement of one bourgeois government by another, but a replacement of one form of the class rule of the bourgeoisie - bourgeois democracy - by another form - open terrorist dictatorship." To make clear in whose interest this rule exercised, he characterized fascism in power as "the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, chauvinist, imperialist elements of finance capital".

The consequences of this analysis were three reorientations in the antifascist work of communist parties.

Firstly, based on the experiences in France and other countries, the aim was to establish a united front with social democrats and socialists and to overcome the false front of the "social fascism thesis".

Since fascism is a threat also for liberal democrats, the second point was to strive for a popular front together with other antifascist liberal and bourgeois forces in order to counter the fascist danger.

Thirdly, the view on the bourgeois democracy was reformulated. "We are by no means indifferent to the political regime in a given country: a bourgeois dictatorship in the form of bourgeois democracy, albeit with extremely diminished democratic rights and freedoms, or a bourgeois dictatorship in its open fascist form," Dimitroff explained. The communists will therefore "defend every foot of the democratic rights that the working class has conquered in years of tenacious struggle and will fight resolutely for their expansion.

In the antifascist practice, this political reorientation was particularly evident in the defense of the Spanish Republic against the Franco coup and in the formation of a German People's Front Committee in Paris ("Lutetia Circle"). In addition, the foundation of the National Committees "Free Germany" in the Soviet Union, in occupied France (CALPO) and in exile was an example of this popular front policy.

When we commemorate the 85th anniversary of the VII World Congress, we also honor the heroic achievement of many thousands of communist resistance fighters who risked their lives, health and freedom to fight together with anti-fascists of other political and religious convictions for the liberation of their countries and the elimination of fascist barbarism.

FIR (Fédération Internationale des Résistantes - Association des Antifascistes)