Occupation: Activist and journalist Boris Souvarine — 1 November , also known as Varine, was a French Marxist communist activist, essayist and journalist. A founding member of the French Communist Party , Souvarine is noted for being the only non-Russian communist to have been a member of the Comintern for three years in succession. In the decades that followed, Souvarine continued publishing as a leading Sovietologist and anti-Stalinist. He was also the founder of the Institute of Social History and an author, historian, publisher and journalist. He trained as a jewelry designer.

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Early life[ edit ] Souvarine was strongly affected by World War I. He trained as a jewelry designer. At the age of 14, he came into contact with the French socialist movement while he was working as an apprentice in an aviation factory. Souvarine experienced his first trauma with the outbreak of World War I. Mobilised as part of the French army in , he quickly discovered the horrors of trench warfare and in March , he lost his older brother who died fighting on the front-line.

War pushed Souvarine into politics and the antimilitarist movement. He welcomed with fervour the Russian Revolution in and his Russian skills helped him relay the events closely to left-wing circles in France.

This could become a terror for the Russian working class, and eventually, the global proletariat. In one of these leaflets, Souvarine wrote: The Socialist-Communist parties must attempt to create a proletarian democracy that will eliminate class by abolishing economic privilege, and of which the organs are soviets, i. In March , he created the widely read and influential Bulletin Communiste as twice monthly mouth-piece of the Third International.

Souvarine was arrested on 17 May in a government crackdown that accused a number of communist leaders and revolutionary activists of anarchist plots and conspiracy. Because of a lack of substantive evidence, he was released shortly after with Fernand Loriot and Pierre Monatte, who are all acquitted in March Much later, once the party became fully Stalinised, it became known as the French Communist Party.

Break with Communist Party[ edit ] Having defended Trotsky against Stalin in the Comintern during the s, Souvarine kept up close correspondence with him until his death. As an executive member of the Comintern, Souvarine kept in regular contact with Leon Trotsky. He became associated with the communist opposition against Joseph Stalin. Souvarine was removed from his official roles in the French Communist Party in early and was expelled by the Comintern in July.

He shared some positions with the Left Opposition as well with the so-called Right Opposition , but he refused to take part in its international conference called by Heinrich Brandler and August Thalheimer in Berlin in The Bulletin communiste was continued, and Souvarine also launched La critique sociale.

He was the secretary general while Alexandre-Marie Desrousseaux was the president and Boris Nicolaevsky was the director. In November , burglars stole the archives of Trotsky that were deposited at the institute. In , the institute was looted by the Nazis, who brought some of its collections to Germany. After his return to France in and with the help of Jacques Chevallier , he recreated the Institute of Social History. The institute published the magazine Le Contrat Social.

Later life[ edit ] Souvarine was involved in a variety of organizations and journals of the anti-Stalinist left in France, publishing frequently on the Soviet Union, Stalin and Stalinism. Souvarine aso criticised Lenin. His criticisms of Stalinism were important sources for some less orthodox Trotskyists, such as C. James , who translated his Stalin biography into English. Portrait of Souvarine and Anatoli Lunatscharsky In , declining health forced him to abandon his position at the Institute of Social History.

He died in Paris on 1 November Works[ edit ] Original French publications[ edit ] Souvarine, B. Souvarine, B. Le Stalinisme, Paris, Spartacus. Controverse avec Soljenitsyne, Paris, Allia Editions. Re-edition, Translated into English[ edit ] Souvarine, B. The Third International, Bibliobazaar Reprints.


Boris Souvarine Explained



Boris Souvarine


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