The Policy of the Comintern towards the Communist Party of Spain as Interpreted ...

The Policy of the Comintern towards the Communist Party of Spain as Interpreted by Modern Historians

Il'ya A. Suzdal'tsev
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The article analyzes modern Russian and foreign historiography (2000s – present day), devoted to the relationship of the Communist International (the Comintern, an international organization that united the communist parties in 1919–43) and the Communist Party of Spain (the PCE) from its founding (1921) till the end of the Spanish Civil War (1939). The opinions of historians from Russia, Spain, Great Britain, the USA, and Italy are considered. The choice of countries is due to the fact that a number of works on this topic have been published there over the past decades. According to the leaders of the Communist International, Spain was not among the countries in which the preconditions for a revolution were created throughout the entire period of the activity of this international organization, with the exception of the period of the Civil War (1936–39). Therefore, most of the studies taken into account in the article relate mainly to this period. Historians are expanding the range of their research, first of all, in the area that concerns attempts to rethink the events of the Spanish Civil War and the politics of the Popular Front. Many previously unexplored questions and topics are subject to significant analysis thanks to the opening of archives. The article deals with several questions: the powers of the Comintern in relation to the PCE and the Spanish government, mainly during the Civil War; assistance to Spain provided by the Comintern and the Soviet government; the plans of Joseph Stalin to establish allied relations with France, Great Britain, and the USA in the same period. Conclusions are drawn that there are various opinions on these issues, including contrary ones, which indicates the continued relevance of this topic, and that the contemporary Russian historians more often adhere to the opinion that the CPE was directly dependent on the decisions of the Comintern taken mainly by J. Stalin, while foreign historians, on the contrary, conclude that the Spanish Communists were independent to a certain extent and preserved their independence during the Civil War as well.
Il'ya A. Suzdal'tsev
Сandidate of Historical Sciences, history teacher
School no. 1381, Moscow, Russia
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historiography, Comintern, “bolshevization,” “class against class” tactics, Communist Party of Spain, Spanish Civil War (1936–39), Popular Front, International Brigades
For citation:
Suzdal'tsev, I.A. “The Policy of the Comintern towards the Communist Party of Spain as Interpreted by Modern Historians.” Historia Provinciae – the Journal of Regional History, vol. 7, no. 2 (2023): 650–73,

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