Historie – Otázky – Problémy

A few remarks on the communication between the left wing social democrats and communists during external resistance (from USSR entry into war to Benes´s visit to Moscow in December 1943)


Abstract: The socialdemocratic parties played a fundamental role in the strategy employed by the Communists in the countries falling under the Soviet sphere of interest after World War II. This strategy was based on initial cooperation, later transformed into a „unification“ of both labour parties. The cooperation started within the Czechoslovak resistance movement abroad in 1941, after the USSR had entered the War. This study points out that the initial impulse to cooperate came from the left-wing fraction of the Social democrats, who offered the Communists to participate in the exile government with the perspective of being later unified into a single socialist party. The Communists, however, refused, proposing their own project, the “National Front“, declaring their readiness to cooperate with the entire spectrum of anti-fascist resistance. The only contact between the isolated group of Social democrats in London and the Communist party was made possible through the correspondence with Zdeněk Fierlinger, Czechoslovak ambassador to the USSR and the ideological leader of the left-wing group within the Social democratic party. Even though on the outside, the Communists refused the social democratic offer to cooperate, they could still influence the party thanks to Fierlinger acting as their agent, building up an allied fraction within the new social democratic party.

Key words: Czechoslovak resistance abroad, Social democracy, Communist party, National front, 1941–1943

PhDr. Pavel Horák studuje postgraduálně moderní české dějiny na Ústavu českých dějin FF UK a žurnalistiku na FSV UK. V rámci grantu Edvard Beneš, Německo a Němci působí v Masarykově ústavu a Archivu AV ČR, v. v. i. Zabývá se dějinami sociální demokracie a poúnorovým exilem (pavlis.horak@seznam.cz)