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From Communism to Anti-Communism

 | 
Andre Liebich
, 
Svetlana Yakimovich

From the Revolution to the Comintern

Gate of Smolny, Comintern Congress, Petrograd, 19 July 1920

Lars Lih

Texte intégral

The back of the document reads in French: “L’entrée de Smolny” - [“The entrance to the Smolny”]. The sign on the gate reads in Russian: “Да здравствует III Коммунистический Интернационал” - [“Long live the III Communist International”]. Black and white photograph; 11 x 15.5 cm.

1Although the Bolsheviks used prewar practices from earlier socialist conferences, such as sightseeing in host cities, they were doing so in a public space they themselves controlled.

2From the station, most delegates went to the Smolny building, seat of the first Soviet government before the move to Moscow in early 1918. The delegates took a streetcar from the station, and at the controls was Mikhail Kalinin, formerly a leader of the streetcar workers’ union but now the official Soviet head of state (a largely ceremonial office).

3This photograph shows the revolutionary decorations of the approach to the building. Over the archway is a sign “Long live the III Communist International.” The lettering on the arch itself spells out “Proletarians of all countries, unite!” In smaller letters on each side, the slogan is found in German and French. France, and especially Germany dominated the Second International and served as model parties to other members. Thus the archway asserts that a new model party was now dominant. The decorative motifs – sun and flowers – recall the actual season as well as symbolic hopes for the Comintern.

Bibliographie

Kevin J. Callahan, Demonstration Culture: European Socialism and the Second International, Leicester: Troubadour Publishing, 2010.

John Riddell, ed., Workers of the World and Oppressed People, Unite! Proceedings and Documents of the Second Congress of the Communist International, [vol. 2, The Communist International in Lenin’s Time], New York: Pathfinder, 1991.

Alfred Rosmer, Moscow under Lenin, Introduction by Tamara Deutscher, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1973 [1st French edition, 1951].

Table des illustrations

Légende The back of the document reads in French: “L’entrée de Smolny” - [“The entrance to the Smolny”]. The sign on the gate reads in Russian: “Да здравствует III Коммунистический Интернационал” - [“Long live the III Communist International”]. Black and white photograph; 11 x 15.5 cm.
URL http://books.openedition.org/iheid/docannexe/image/6474/img-1.jpg
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