The weight of the hammer and sickle: The Communist International and the Communist Party of Spain Versus the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia, 1936-1943

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Abstract

As a result of their relationship with the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSUC), the Communist International (CI) and its Spanish section, the Communist Party of Spain (PCE), were faced with one of the most uncomfortable and exceptional situations to develop within the international communist movement. A reconstruction of the tensions, clashes and anomalies that characterized this relationship during the Spanish Civil War and the early post-war period depends primarily on soviet archive material. Their relationship raised fundamental questions regarding the structural principles on which the organisational and ideological architecture of the CI was based, and therefore became a highly problematic and unprecedented issue whose repercussions resonated throughout Europe. The defining moments of this troubled relationship were variously related to: the independent creation of the PSUC itself and the autonomy it maintained from the CI and PCE until half-way through the Spanish Civil War; its complex, Moscow-dictated, conversion into a communist party during the final stage of the civil war; and its surprising acknowledgment as an official section of the CI, and the associated and continuous confrontation between supporters and detractors of its submission to the PCE in exile.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-476
JournalHispania - Revista Espanola de Historia
Volume69
Issue number232
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009

Keywords

  • CI
  • Communists
  • Paths of conversion
  • PCE
  • PSUC
  • Unifieds

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