Skip to main content

Stalinism in Europe (HI31E)

A small selection of sources on the Soviet Union and Stalinism in Europe are shown below. Click on the thumbnail to read the documents (mostly pdfs), and click on the document references to read the catalogue entries for the sources. Many more documents on this subject are available at the Modern Records Centre (some additional suggestions are given in our guide to sources for history students).

Some of the larger files may take a few moments to open.

More than 600 primary sources on the relationship between Britain and Russia between 1917-1928 have been digitised and are available online. These include reports made by foreign visitors to the USSR (including the reports of the Trades Union Congress delegations of 1920 and 1924).

Interested in using primary sources in your work? - find out more about using archives.

 

Transforming Russia: the ‘Revolution from above’

Collective farming in the USSR

'Collective farming in the USSR', 1 September 1929

Article from 'The Communist International', the Comintern's journal. It outlines the ideology behind the introduction of collective farming, the "productive successes of collective farms", and measures taken against the 'kulaks' and their "stubborn...resistance".

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/54/77]

The policy of the CPSU in the villages

'The policy of the CPSU in the villages', 1 May 1930

Article from 'The Communist International' on the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's work with the peasants. It includes sections on the 'lessons of the first year of the five year plan', 'the plan for the socialist reconstruction of the village in the second year of the five year plan', 'the liquidation of the kulaks as a class', 'the struggle for the organisation of collective production - the Spring sowing campaign', and 'political deviations from the general line and the measures taken against them'.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/54/92]

Answer to the collective farm comrades 

'Answer to the collective farm comrades', 1930

Front cover of a pamphlet (in Russian) by Stalin on the policy of collectivisation. His article had originally been published in Pravda.

[Included in the archives of Harry Wicks, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.102/4/1/5]

One of the 25,000

'One of the 25,000', 1931

The story of Gregory Indjevatkin, one of 13 workers in the Moskvoretskaya factory sent to Kazakstan and Kirghizia in 1930 "to help reconstruct the agricultural system in the USSR on socialist lines" and "murdered by the savage hand of a bai" [kulak], told through letters, resolutions, etc. He is held up as a Bolshevik martyr and example to others. The booklet was published by the Co-operative Publishing Society of Foreign Workers in the USSR, Moscow.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/2/120/1]

Bulletin, no.3 

Opposition to the 'Revolution from above', 1931-1932

Bulletins of the Foreign Delegation of the Zionist-Socialist Party (Z.S.) in the USSR included descriptions of the persecution of its members and opposition to the 'Revolution from above' in the Soviet Union. The MRC holds two issues - no.1, June 1931, and no.3, September 1932. Both include descriptions of arrests and exile in different districts, hunger strikes by prisoners, and agricultural conditions in the Jewish settlements. In addition, no.1 contains descriptions of the implimentation of the five year plan and collectivisation of agriculture ("the inquisition methods of "the mobilization of means""), and no.3 describes famine conditions in the Ukraine.

[Included in a file on 'Russia: General', 1931-1935, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/947/7]

 Bread

'Bread', 1933

Article by Joan Beauchamp, a founder member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, published in the magazine 'Russia To-day', October 1933. She denies all "scare stories" about famine in the Soviet Union, claiming that in the Ukraine the people she had met were "so delighted at the marvellous harvest that was being gathered in". An editorial on the page blames "lies about famine and cannibalism" on British officials who wanted a breach in Anglo-Soviet relations.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/261/1]

Russian News

"Escape from the Soviet hell", July 1938

Bulletin of the International Anti-Communist Entente, based in Geneva. This edition contains an attack on conditions in the Soviet Union by the recently escaped industrial and farm worker Augustin Zyrmitch, including criticism of the collectivisation of land and references to discontent and the purging of Communists.

[Included in a file on 'Russia: General', 1936-1945, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/947/8]

 

Looking East: Perceptions of the Soviet Union in Europe

Various reports made by visitors to Russia and the USSR between 1917-1928 have been digitised as part of our digital collection on The Russian Revolution and Britain, 1917-1928. The digitised sources also include documents on Anglo-Soviet relations during this period - economically, diplomatically and between the countries' labour movements.

A 'ready-made' search of our catalogue highlights many reports on the Soviet Union made by delegations and individuals between 1918-1955 - these are all available to read at the Modern Records Centre.

The Communist International 

The Communist International, 1 May 1919

Extracts from issue no.1 of the journal of the Executive Committee of the Communist International. They include the first manifesto of the Communist International, a May Day greeting "to the working men of the world" from the Executive Committee, and a statement by Lenin on 'The Third International and its place in history'.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/53/1]

Trades Union Congress report

'British labour delegation to Russia', 1920

Acting in response to a resolution passed at a special Trades Union Congress on 10 December 1919 for "an independent and impartial inquiry into the industrial, political and economic conditions in Russia", a delegation of representatives from the TUC and Labour Party visited Russia during May and June 1920. This report describes what they were shown. More documents about the delegation's visit are available online.

[From the archives of the National Union of Railwaymen; document reference: MSS.127/NU/5/5/8/50]

Trades Union Congress report

'Russia: the official report of the British Trade Union Delegation to Russia', 1925

Full report of the Trades Union Congress delegation, which visited the Soviet Union in November and December 1924. The visit was prompted by an invitation from the All Russian Council of Trade Unions for a TUC delegation to "obtain first-hand knowledge of the position in Russia". More documents about the organisation of and response to the delegation are available online.

[From the Trades Union Congress archives; document reference: MSS.292/4/21/36]

'Bolshevik under the bed?', 1925

'Bolshevik under the bed?', July 1925

Cartoon mocking the attitude of the International Federation of Trade Unions (also known as the Amsterdam International) towards the Soviet Union. The IFTU had refused to allow Soviet trade unions to affiliate. The cartoon is included in the journal 'Trade Union Unity', which was produced as part of the British campaign for closer links with unions in the USSR.

[From the Miscellaneous Publications Collection; document reference: 663/122/17/3]

Contrasting views on what delegations to the USSR will see, 1925 and 1926Contrasting views on what delegations to the USSR will see, 1925 and 1926

Contrasting views on what delegations to the USSR will see, 1925 and 1926

The cartoon from 'Trade Union Unity', December 1925, shows trade union delegates seeing the true Russia rather than the lies of the capitalist press. In contrast 'International Anti-Bolshevik Review', March 1926, shows gullible tourists being shown a fictional paradise.

[From the Miscellaneous Publications Collection; document references: 663/122/17/3 and 663/122/17/4]

International Anti-Bolshevik Review

'Organisation and general activity of the Bolshevik International', March 1926

Special issue of the 'International Anti-Bolshevik Review' dedicated to an analysis of the Communist International, including views on the organisation and general activity of the Comintern, the Comintern and different sections of society in the Soviet Union, and its alleged work in various countries (mostly in Europe). The publication expresses support for the anti-Communism of Mussolini in Italy.

The journal was published by the Office of the International Entente against the Third International, based in Geneva.

[From the Miscellaneous Publications Collection; document reference: 663/122/17/4]

What a British T.U. official found in Russia

'What a British T.U. official found in Russia', 1933

Extracts from the notebook of the British trade unionist John Jagger on his visit to the Soviet Union, published in 'Russia To-day', October 1933. He emphasises the social side, including visits to a rest camp, workingmen's club and the theatre.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/261/1]

The Comintern as an instrument of the Soviet Union

'The Comintern as an instrument of the Soviet Union's foreign policy', [1943]

20 page report produced by the International Labour Research Group. It looks at the political aims, origins, structure and methods of the Communist International, including the political goal of the Comintern and how it was altered by "the growing influence of Stalin".

[Included in a file on Communism, 1936-1944, from the Trades Union Congress archive; document reference: MSS.292/770/4]

 

Stalinist Culture

Programme for the Moscow Arts Theatre in London

Programme for the Moscow Arts Theatre in London, [1931?]

During this London tour by the Moscow Arts Theatre, the company performed plays or adaptions of works by pre-Revolution writers (Dostoyevsky, Chekhov and Gogol), as well as performances of works by two contemporary authors - 'The White Guard' by Mikhail Bulgakov, an author whose work was routinely banned under Stalin's regime, and 'Quadrature of the Circle' by Valentin Kataev, an author who prospered under Soviet rule.

[From the archives of Aaron Rapoport Rollin; document reference: MSS.240/R/5/5/3]

Propaganda or art - or both?

Propaganda or art - or both?, 1933

Article on the Soviet theatre by the actor Andre van Gyseghem, published in 'Russia To-day', October 1933. He argues that in the Soviet Union "all falsities have been swept aside" so that "the theatre inevitably becomes an active weapon in the struggle of the workers", rather than "the sentimental hotch-potch that passes for theatre over here".

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/261/1]

Meet the man from the Don

'Meet the man from the Don', February 1935

Interview with Mikhail Sholokhov, Cossack author of the best-selling socialist realist novel 'And Quiet Flows the Don' and winner of the 1965 Nobel Prize in Literature. He denies accusations that Soviet authors do not have freedom to criticise.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/261/2]

Three Songs of Lenin

'Three Songs of Lenin', 1935

Article about the film 'Three Songs About Lenin' by the pioneering Soviet documentary film-maker Dziga Vertov, published in 'Russia To-day' in February 1935.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/261/2]

Moscow News

'How Soviet documentary film developed', 1935

Article from Moscow News, 3 January 1935, looking at the short history of Soviet documentary film and the movement away from the 'Kino-Eye' manifesto idea to "break down the walls of the studio, take the camera out into the streets, into the factories, onto the farms, and there film the real problems of a real world". The newpaper also includes stills from new Soviet films for the festival to mark 15 years of motion picture production in the USSR, and an advert for the Leningrad Festival of Arts.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/261/3]

Russia

'Russia's story', 1941

Extract from a picture book on Soviet life in 1941, published by the Communist Party of Great Britain. This section focuses on the arts.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/2/103/230]

Soviet War News 

'How we produced "The Russians" at the Front', 1943

Article by Nikolai Yanovsky, describing his tour of Konstantin Simonov's play 'The Russians', on the southern and Stalingrad fronts in 1942. It concludes with a story stating that one ambulance nurse was so inspired by seeing the play that "she penetrated behind the German lines, wiped out four Nazis and returned to her unit with valuable information". The article was published in 'Soviet War News', 8 June 1943, a bulletin issued by the Press Department of the Soviet Embassy in London.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/290/2]

 

Communism vs. Fascism

The face of German Social-Fascism

'The face of German social-fascism', 15 September 1929

Article from The Communist International, journal of the Comintern. The author attacks the social democrats as social-fascists, identifying them as fellow-travellers of the National Socialists, and dismisses objections that "in such a broad conception of fascism, fascism loses its specific content".

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/54/78]

The Communist Party of Great Britain and the struggle against social fascism

'The Communist Party of Great Britain and the struggle against social fascism', 15 March 1932

Article from 'The Communist International' on the "class against class" policy, which argued that the Labour Party consisted of social fascists. It criticises "serious mistakes" made by the CPGB leadership and rank and file in not fully following this party line, and sets out to "investigate and explain" the errors. It also criticises the British Party for attempting "the united front tactic" with leading members of the Independent Labour Party.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/54/124]

Communist Review

'Dictatorship, democracy and the united front', April 1933

A year after the "united front tactic" was strongly condemned in 'The Communist International', this editorial in 'Communist Review' attacks the Labour Party and Trades Union Congress for refusing to join an anti-fascist united front with the Communist Party of Great Britain, and accuses them of "social fascism".

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/56/50]

Dictatorship in Russia abolishes class distinctions... 

'Dictatorship in Russia abolishes class distinctions but deepens them in Germany', 1933

Article in 'Russia To-day', October 1933, contrasting the aims of Communism and fascism. It was prompted by criticism of the Soviet and German dictatorships by the British Trades Union Congress.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/261/1]

Let us get together before it is too late

'Let us get together before it is too late', 1934

Broadsheet published by the Communist Party of Great Britain. It appeals to the Labour Party executive and members to "help in building a real United Front against Fascism and War", and includes the manifesto of the Communist parties of France, Britain, Germany and Poland.

[Included in a file on the United Front Movement, 1933-1939, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/770.2/2]

The United Front

'The United Front', 1935

Leaflet issued by the National Joint Council (representing the Labour Party and Trades Union Congress) in response to the 'united front' proposal from the Communist Party of Great Britain. It explains the NJC's reasons for declining the offer and refers to the CPGB's earlier accusations that democratic socialists were 'social fascists'.

[Included in a file on the United Front Movement, 1933-1939, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/770.2/2]

The United Front

The United Front and the Communist International, c.1936

Extracts from Communist International publications and speeches on the united front tactic, collected by the Trades Union Congress.

[Included in a file on the United Front Movement, 1933-1939, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/770.2/2]

The Soviet Union and fascist aggression

'The Soviet Union and fascist aggression', 1937

Article from 'Russia To-day', September 1937, identifying the Spanish Civil War as a "fascist war of intervention" and "fascist offensive against Bolshevism".

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/261/3]

'Communist activity in France: "A Party of Treachery", 1940

'Communist activity in France: "A Party of Treachery"', 1940

Reproduction of a letter from Paul Faure, Secretary of the French Socialist Party, which has been printed as a Labour Party leaflet. It attacks members of the Communist Party of France as "direct agents of a foreign power", who have disrupted French government, formed cells in factories, taken over trade union offices, and produced propaganda with the aid of Moscow and Berlin.

[Included in a file on 'Communism: International', from the archives of the TUC; document reference; MSS.292/771.21/3]

 

The 'Great Terror'

A 'ready-made' search of our catalogue highlights some of the additional sources in our collections on the Stalinist purges.

We have digitised and made available online several thousand documents on the Spanish Civil War, including sources relating to ideological conflicts within the Republican side and the purge of POUM.

The MRC is one of the main places of deposit in the UK for British Trotskyist archives - an subject guide to these collections is available online.

The truth about the anti-Soviet terror plot

'The truth about the anti-Soviet terror plot', February 1935

Article from 'Russia To-day', February 1935. It gives the official Soviet viewpoint of the Kirov assassination as having been performed by "terrorists" "organically connected with the Trotsky opposition". It argues that "successes of Soviet construction drove enemies to acts of desperation".

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/261/2]

"The Witchcraft Trial in Moscow", 1936

"The Witchcraft Trial in Moscow", 1936

National Council of Labour circular, signed by the Secretaries of the Labour Party and Trades Union Congress. It promotes a pamphlet on the Moscow trials by Dr Friedrich Adler (a copy of which is included in the file), and comments on the "wave of indignation throughout public opinion in Europe and America".

[Included in a file on 'Russia: Prisoners & Trials etc.', from the archives of the TUC; document reference: MSS.292/947/58]

The Moscow Trial and Trotsky, 1936

The Moscow Trial and Trotsky, 1936

Pro-Trotskyist leaflet for a London meeting to present "The Facts of the Moscow Trial", and 'Statement by Leon Trotsky in reply to the charges made against him by the "TASS" agency'. The statement was circulated with a petition to the Norwegian Government "to afford Trotsky sufficient protection against attacks on his person".

[Included in a file on 'Russia: Prisoners & Trials etc.', from the archives of the TUC; document reference: MSS.292/947/58]

Contrasting views on the Moscow Trials, 1936

Contrasting views on the Moscow Trials, 1936

Resolutions from Fulham Trades Council and a "mass meeting of Pontypool workers", sent to the Trades Union Congress in response to the trials. One attacks the actions "against such old and well-known heroes of the revolution of 1917", the other "expresses full approval of all measures taken by the Soviet Government to safeguard the Workers Fatherland from the counter-revolutionary and fascist attacks".

[Included in a file on 'Russia: Prisoners & Trials etc.', from the archives of the TUC; document reference: MSS.292/947/58]

'The Spanish Revolution', Bulletin of the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM), 3 February 1937

'The Spanish Revolution', Bulletin of the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM), 3 February 1937

English language bulletin published in Barcelona. This edition counters Communist or Stalinist accusations made against against the Trotskyist POUM in both Spain and the Soviet Union, and includes a resolution from the General Council of POUM on the "new sensational trial" in Moscow.

[One of a series of publications on the Spanish Civil War from the papers of Henry Sara, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.15/3/8/255/9]

More documents relating to the suppression of the POUM by the Communist Party during the Spanish Civil War are available online through our digital collection on the conflict.

Soviet Russia Today

'Your questions answered on the Moscow Trial', October 1937

Official Communist Party response to Trotskyist criticisms of the Moscow Trials, voiced by Theodore Bayer in the US magazine 'Soviet Russia Today'.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/291/1]

Treat the Trotskyist as you would a Nazi

'Treat the Trotskyist as you would a Nazi', undated [1940-1945]

This Communist Party leaflet attacks followers of Trotsky as members of a Nazi "Fifth Column" "unearthed by the Russians between 1937 and 1938", and describes Trotskyists as "a virus that must be cleaned out".

[Included in the papers of Henry Sara, Trotskyist; document reference MSS.15/5/2/1]

'Warner's Fake Film 'Mission to Moscow'': A Falsification of History, [1943] 

'Warner's Fake Film 'Mission to Moscow'': A Falsification of History', [1943]

Leaflet issued by the British Trotskyist group Workers' International League in response to the 1943 film 'Mission to Moscow', based on the memoirs of J.E. Davies, the former US Ambassador to Moscow. The film portrayed Stalin's Russia in an unfailingly positive light and included a re-enactment of the Moscow Trials which very much took the official Soviet view of the proceedings.

[Included in the archives of Harry Wicks, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.102/5/1/2]

'Nuremberg and the Moscow Trials', [c.1946]

'Nuremberg and the Moscow Trials', [c.1946]

Statement sent to the War Crimes Commission at Nuremberg, signed by British political and literary figures including H.G. Wells and George Orwell. The signatories request that the newly available Gestapo records should be checked to establish the truth of the allegations made at the Moscow Trials. The reverse shows the fates of the Bolshevik Central Committee of 1917. This leaflet was produced by the Revolutionary Communist Party, a British Trotskyist group.

[Included in the archives of Harry Wicks, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.102/5/1/2]

 

Looking East: Perceptions of the Soviet Union in Europe

A 'ready-made' search of our catalogue highlights many reports on the Soviet Union made by delegations and individuals between 1918-1955 - these are all available to read at the Modern Records Centre.

'Moscow under the Soviet', 1928

'Moscow under the Soviet', 1928

Memorandum of private interview between Dr Hagberg Wright of the London Library and Walter Citrine, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress. Dr Wright gives his opinion on conditions in Moscow following his recent visit to the city to see the literary executor of Leo Tolstoy, and comments on the contrast between "the idealism of the older revolutionaries" and the "intellectual materialism" and concern for maintenance of power shown by the new leadership.

[Included in a file on Russia: "Documents", 1924-1930, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/947/6]

National Congress of Peace and Friendship with the USSR, 1935

National Congress of Peace and Friendship with the USSR, 1935

Leaflet for a national congress "to correct wrong impressions that still exist in the minds of many people in this country concerning the remarkable progress that has been made by the Soviet Union in the social, cultural, and economic fields". A list of supporters is on the reverse.

[Included in a file on 'Russia - Societies: Congress of Peace & Friendship', 1935-1939, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/947/55]

15x-2-245-1-01.jpg 

'U.S.S.R. Soviet Russia travel handbook for 1937'

Booklet produced by Intourist Ltd., the official Soviet state travel agent, to promote tours to the Soviet Union in the 20th anniversary year of the Russian Revolution. It includes information about the practicalities of travel and suggested itineries for British visitors.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/2/245/1]

The Communist Party and the Left Book Club

'The Communist Party and the Left Book Club', 1938

Economic League leaflet illustrating "how the Communist Party of Great Britain uses the Left Book Club as a channel for revolutionary propaganda and activity". The Economic League was a strongly anti-Communist and anti-socialist organisation.

[Included in a file on 'Communism: Societies and Activities', from the TUC archive; document reference: MSS.292/778/2]

The People

National Council of Labour leaflet on "The People's Convention", 1941

The NCL (representing the Trades Union Congress and the Labour Party) attacked "Innocents' Clubs" such as the new People's Convention as "campaigns and organisations instituted by the Communist Party for the purpose of distracting our mass membership, disrupting our nation-wide organisation, and deluding the public".

[Included in a file on 'Communism: Societies and Activities', from the TUC archive; document reference: MSS.292/778/2]

Letter

Letter from Right Hon. Sir Charles Trevelyan, 1942

Trevelyan was from a liberal aristocratic family and had served in both Labour governments of the 1920s. He was briefly expelled from the Labour Party in 1939 for his support for a 'Popular Front' with the Communist Party, and had published an account of his visit to the Soviet Union during the 1930s. In this letter he comments on the Soviet system and his attempts to correct British misconceptions about it.

[Included in a file on 'Russo-German War', from the TUC archive; document reference: MSS.292/947/44]

Notes and Comments

'Notes and Comments: Fellow-Travellers', 1951

Extract from Economic League leaflet on fellow-travellers in Britain - described as those who have swallowed "large doses of Communism wrapped up in pink cottonwool". It gives anonymised examples of 'well-known' fellow-travellers.

[Included in a file on 'Anti-Communism: Economic League', from the TUC archives; document reference: MSS.292/770.2/5]

 

The Great Patriotic War

Peace or War?

"This war is not a war for democracy against fascism", 1939

Communist Party of Great Britain leaflet issued shortly after the outbreak of war. It reflects the official Kremlin line and argues that "the continuance of this war is not in the interests of the people of Britain, France or Germany", as it is "a fight between imperialist powers over profits, colonies and world domination... [which] will bring only great suffering and boundless misery to millions of working-class homes".

[Included in the papers of Ken Tarbuck; document reference: MSS.75/3/4/160]

Soviet War News

"They want extermination - they shall have it", November 1941

This issue of Soviet War News, produced by the Press Department of the Soviet Embassy in London, reproduces Stalin's speeches to the Moscow Soviet and in Red Square on 6-7 November 1941. He attacks "the German imperialists" "who treacherously attacked our peace-loving country" and gives his view of the four months that the Soviet Union had been at war.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/290/1]

Deportees in the USSR

'Deportees in the USSR', 1943

Report on the treatment of children deported to the USSR following the Soviet invasion of Eastern Poland in 1940, when "about 1 million of the Polish, Jewish, Ukrainian and White Ruthenian population were deported to the interior of the Soviet Union". It includes extracts from letters sent by some of the deported children. The report was probably sent to the British Trades Union Congress by the Polish Social Information Bureau, London, connected with the Polish government in exile.

[From a file on Poland, 1936-1945, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/943.8/1] 

Stalingrad

'The siege of Stalingrad', 1943

Heavily illustrated booklet on the siege of Stalingrad, produced by the Communist Party of Great Britain. It includes information about life in the city before the war, the local activities of Stalin during the early years of the Bolshevik administration, conditions during the siege, and the liberation of "Stalin's city" by the Red Army.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/2/103/271]

Stalin speaks

'Stalin speaks', 1944

Text of speech made by Stalin on the 27th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, published by Soviet War News. "The great exploit of the Soviet people in the patriotic war" is one of the main themes, and is illustrated by photographs of Soviet troops in Eastern Europe and the war effort on the home front.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/2/482/8]

Digest of messages

"Repressive measures" in Poland, 1944

Digest of messages received between 19 July-26 September 1944 on measures taken by the Soviet authorities against the Polish Home Army and underground administration. It lists cases of disarmament, mass arrests and deportations to Russia in different districts under Soviet occupation. It was probably sent to the British Trades Union Congress by the Polish Social Information Bureau, London, connected with the Polish government in exile.

[From a file on Poland, 1936-1945, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/943.8/1]

How Warsaw fell

'How Warsaw fell', 1944

Account of the Warsaw Uprising by the Polish Home Army against the German occupiers, timed to coincide with the Soviet Red Army's approach to the city. Lack of Soviet support led to the crushing of the revolt. The publication was one of several on this subject sent to the British Trades Union Congress by the Polish Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, in exile in London.

[From a file on Poland, 1936-1945, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/943.8/1]

'Stalin the Soldier', February 1945

'Stalin the Soldier', February 1945

Extract from a pamphlet by the German Communist and soldier Lt. Col. Hans Kahle, published by the Russia Today Society. The pamphlet provides a biographical description of Stalin (the man "as strong and yet as flexible as steel") and his military accomplishments, very much from the official Soviet point of view.

[Included in the archives of Harry Wicks, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.102/4/12/6]

 

The Sovietisation of Eastern Europe

Soviet News

Stalin on the Cold War, September 1946

This article from Soviet News, published by the Press Department of the Soviet Embassy in London, reproduces Stalin's replies to questions on foreign policy from the Sunday Times journalist Alexander Werth. Stalin refers to the question of a "new war", Soviet policy in Germany, relations with Britain, and the USA's monopoly on the atomic bomb.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/1/290/3]

Plea from the housewives in the Soviet Zone

Plea from 'The Housewives in the Soviet Zone', Gustrow, Germany, December 1946

Translation of a demand for "human treatment for our families and ourselves after nearly two years after the end of hostilities", sent to organisations including the British Trades Union Congress. It complains of the shortage of food, clothing and other essential goods due to their export to the Soviet Union, and calls for an end to violence by the occupiers.

[Included in a file on Germany, 1936-1947, from the archive of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/943/4]

General situation in Poland

'General situation in Poland', Autumn 1948

Report on the "great speeding up of the communisation of the country" since the summer of 1948, including a description of the development of Communist "Circles" in all organisations, references to moves to collectivise farms and abolish private enterprise, and comments on the changing attitude towards Russia.

[Included in a file on Poland, 1945-1953, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/943.8/2]

Statement of Foreign Ministry of the USSR on North Atlantic Pact 

Statement on the formation of NATO, 1949

Statement of the Foreign Ministry of the USSR on the North Atlantic Pact, published by Soviet News. It attacks the formation of NATO as a "weapon of the aggressive Anglo-American bloc in Europe", and argues that it will undermine the United Nations.

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/2/482/25]

Why we want peace

'Why we want peace by the Soviet man-in-the-street', 1949

Pamphlet published by the British-Soviet Society, intended to portray the "universal desire for peace and the most emphatic denunciation of war". It contains short statements by ordinary Soviet citizens on their wish for peace in the face of the "American aggressors".

[From the Maitland Sara Hallinan collection; document reference: MSS.15X/2/65/8]

Extract from speech

'Ordeal of the Hungarian Social-Democrats', 1950

Extract from a speech to be delivered by Mr A. Ban, Chairman of the British Hungarian Club, in response to "mass arrests of Social-Democrats" and events following "the occupation of Hungary by Russian forces" in 1945.

[Included in a file on Hungary, 1949-1960, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/943.9/2]

Memorandum on the recent political trial in Prague

Memorandum on the recent political trial in Prague, 1950

This document was sent to the Trades Union Congress by the National Council of Czechoslovak Women in Exile, in an attempt to organise public protests against the death sentences passed against members of the group in Czechoslovakia. It includes a description of the trial and biographical information about the accused.

[Included in a file on Czechoslovakia, 1946-1951, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/943.7/3]

Visit to Poland

'Visit to Poland', 1951

Report on a British trade union delegation visit to Poland, submitted to the Executive Committee of the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association. The author was unimpressed by the political nature of the delegation, and describes his impressions of the country, including the comment that "the precedence given to Stalin [in portraits in workplaces] forced me to the conclusion that Poland was no more than a Russian colony".

[Included in a file on Poland, 1945-1953, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/943.8/2]

Moscow shaping its foremost satellite

'Moscow shaping its foremost satellite', 1953

Bulletin of "features and news from behind the Iron Curtain", issued by the US-based (anti-Communist) Information Service of Free Czechoslovakia. It looks back at the "Prague coup" of 1948 and the establishment of Communist power in Czechoslovakia.

[Included in a file on Czechoslovakia, 1952-1960, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/943.7/4]

Twelve hours of freedom

'Twelve hours of freedom', 1953

Report on events on 17 June 1953 in Görlitz, when demonstrators temporarily overthrew the Communist administration, storming the Town Hall (dancing on pictures of Communist leaders "with great gusto") and releasing prisoners. Russian tanks soon restored control.

[Included in a file on the German Democratic Republic (GDR), 1953-1960, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/943/29]

Press release

Press release from the Czechoslovak Embassy, London, 1958

On the 10th anniversary of the "Czechoslovak Government crisis", the Czechoslovakian Embassy issued this "brief survey of the background to the events" of 1948, concluding with a statement on the progress made in the country since the Communists had been in control.

[Included in a file on Czechoslovakia, 1952-1960, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/943.7/4]

 

Stalinism after Stalin

The Big Smile

'The Big Smile: An analysis of the Soviet 'New Look', October 1955

Cover of a pamphlet published by the Free Trade Union Committee, American Federation of Labor. The cartoon suggests that Khrushchev's approaches to the West are covering up continuing repression in Eastern Europe.

[Included in a file on 'Russia etc.', 1952-1956, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/947/10]

The new Soviet Plan

'The new Soviet Plan', March 1956

Copy of report from The World Today on the sixth Soviet Five Year Plan. It looks at the results of the previous plans and considers the economic changes that were introducted after Stalin's death.

[Included in a file on 'Russia etc.', 1952-1956, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/947/10]

Britain

'Britain's Guests: Nikolai Bulganin and Nikita Khrushchov', April 1956

Soviet News booklet on the "lives and work" of the two Soviet leaders, produced to coincide with their visit to Britain. Whilst Lenin is praised as an inspiration in the publication, the only reference to Stalin is to his death in 1953 ("after Stalin's death...").

[Included in a file on 'Russia etc.', 1952-1956, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/947/10]

Krushchev

Khrushchov's speech on Stalin, 25 February 1956

39 page version of Khrushchev's condemnation of Stalin at the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, released by the US Department of State in June 1956, and distributed by the United States Information Service in London.

[Included in the archives of the Socialist Party; document reference: 601/R/1/12/1]

Response to the revelations of the 20th Party Congress

The Daily Worker on the revelations of the 20th Party Congress, 1956

Statement by the Political Committee of the Communist Party of Great Britain published in the Daily Worker, the CPGB's newspaper. They describe themselves as "deeply shocked" at Khrushchev's revelations, as published by the United States authorities.

[Included in a file on 'Soviet Union, 1953-1957', from the archives of Hugo Dewar, Trotskyist; document reference: MSS.206/3/6/3]

Political murders shook the free world

'Political murders shook the free world', 1958

Press release issued by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (representing trade unions in the West), in response to the execution of Hungarian leaders following the 1956 Prague Spring. It argues that "these political murders finally dispose of the myth that Soviet controlled regimes have been 'liberalised' since Stalin's death".

[Included in a file on Hungary, 1949-1960, from the archives of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/943.9/2]