Stalin’s Intervention

  • John Barber
Part of the Studies in Soviet History and Society book series (SSHS)


At some point in the summer or autumn of 1931, the debate about the Bolsheviks’ role in the pre-war International came to the attention of Stalin. As a result, he wrote a letter in October to the editors of Proletarskaya revolyutsiya, protesting against the publication, more than a year earlier, of Slutsky’s article. The effect of his letter on historians was cataclysmic.


Editorial Board Historical Work Central Committee Historical Literature Party Member 
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  1. 1.
    P. P. Postyshev, ‘Ocherednye zadachi marksistskogo-leniniskogo vospitaniya’, Pravda, 1 September 1931.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See J. P. Nettl, Rosa Luxemburg, vol. 2 (London, 1966), pp. 809–10. In the aftermath of Stalin’s letter, the journal of IKKI contained several references to Luxemburg’s sideas being used by oppositionists; see, for example, Kommunisticheskii internatsional, no. 35, 1931, p. 65.Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    Ibid., pp. 101–3. The books in question, Kurs istorii VKP (b), parts III and IV (Moscow, 1930–1), had been criticised for their assertion that the policy of socialism in one country had its origins in the failure of the world revolution to develop. See D. Baevsky, ‘Antipartiinaya vylazka pod flagom istorii partii’, Bolshevik, no. 16, 1931, pp. 90–5.Google Scholar
  4. 32.
    V. Knorin, ‘Za bol’shevistskuyu partiinost’ v istoricheskoi nauke’, BK, no. 1, 1932, pp. 23–4.Google Scholar
  5. 35.
    L. Kaganovich, ‘Za bol’shevistskoe izuchenie istorii partii’, TF, no. 14 (December 1931) pp. 1–2.Google Scholar
  6. 57.
    P. Postyshev, ‘Misinterpretations of Stalin’s letter to the “Proletarian Revolution”’, in J. Stalin, L. M. Kaganovich, P. Postyshev, Questions Concerning the History of Bolshevism, A Symposium (Moscow, 1932 ) pp. 35–7.Google Scholar

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© John Barber 1981

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  • John Barber

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