Vadim Damier. Anarchists and the WW2

"The end of the Spanish Civil War ", the German anarcho-syndicalist Rudolf Rocker remembered, "was a prelude to an even greater disaster of international scale ... Condemning the Spanish people to death, one tored down the dam, which alone could prevent World War II. Prophetic words of Alexander Herzen: "You do not want revolution - well, so get war" has been reaffirmed "[1]. On 1 September 1939, the second imperialist world war outbroke.

The official position of the international anarcho-syndicalism in relation to the war in general, was reduced to the following key provisions:

1. "The war is the result of the capitalist system", "an expression of fierce competition between capitalist groups for raw materials, colonies and markets", the "desire of the imperialist states to ensure influence and control of the world and its wealth for the benefit of their own group of powers" (from the appeal of Secretariat of the International Workers Association, the anarcho-syndicalist International in connection with the outbreak of war; the Secretariat was located in Sweden) [2].

2. Although the responsibility for the outbreak of war lied with all countries, the "large dictatorial states - Germany, Italy, Russia and Japan" were the main guilty, in the view of Secretariat, as they sought to aggressively change the status quo, at the while Britain, France and other "democracies" tried to defend its dominance [3], Therefore, fascism was ranked as "the most brutal form of capitalism" and "enemy of mankind №1» [4]. Sharply negatively was judged the role of the Soviet Union, especially in the first stage of World War II. The International condemned the Soviet-German pact of 1939, regarding it as a manifestation of "deep filiation" between both regimes [5], as it condemned the violent and "brutal attack Soviet Russia to Finland" [6].

3. However, the anarcho-syndicalists did not call for workers to defend the democracies, because they "are not a force against reaction, against the bloody wars", "do not guarantee peace". "... If the mankind wishes to live a free life and be free from the constant wars, it must destroy capitalism...", the anarcho-syndicalist International said in the statement. "The war between nations should become a war between the classes. The international working class must begin with all the energy to eliminate capitalism"[7]. In the same vein were the statements made by the anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist organizations in France, Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium [8].

Thus, in principle, the Secretariat of IWA announced the commitment to an internationalist position and to line of turning the war into a revolution, but at the same time, in fact, showed a bias towards an approach in the spirit of the "lesser evil". Democracies should not be supported, however, the emphasis was on the point that "fascism and Nazism to be defeated wherever they appear, and at any cost. This is one of the most important tasks at the moment". At the same time, the IWA urged workers to "strengthen their struggle against capitalism to the last extremity", in order to use for revolutionary purposes a social explosion, which, as the it was anarchists hoped, would be generated by war [9].

This position was not free from controversy and, of course, it was been challenged in the world anarchist movement. A significant number of anarchists did not agree with the conclusions that could arise from the definition of fascism as a "greater evil". After all, it was tacitly assumed that there was a "lesser evil", a democratic capitalism, and that the fight against it should be carried out as if "in the second place". Thus, "a group of Belgian, Spanish, Italian, French and German anarchists" disagreed with the assessment of fascism as "enemy №1", regarded this as a "dangerous opportunism". In a statement of the group was said: "The enemy - today, like yesterday, and tomorrow even more than today - are our masters. Our enemy number one is the State, i.e. the authorities, the repression, the official and semi-official institutions that support it, the army, the bureaucracy, the church - all eternal accomplices of idea of oppression of freedom and individuality"[10]. In other words, the authors proceeded from the need to confront equally both warring parties, to oppose the war of oppressed to the war of the oppressors. These activists were part of the Brussels International Committee of the anarchist defense; they issued a special bulletin in several languages, which was distributed in various countries, including Italy; its editor was an Italian anarchist Mario Mantovani [11].

The anarchist workers of Argentina and Uruguay from the Regional Workers' Federations (FORA and FORU) did also not agree with the approach in the spirit of the "lesser evil". They warned that fascism and bourgeois democracy are interlinked and often pass each other: "... The illusion of bourgeois democracy leads to fascism ..." [12].

In the anti-war manifesto issued by the FORU drivers union, it was said: "We are not for fascism and not with the democracies. After all, the first is an open barbarism, while others wear a mask for the ignorant world ". "What we have to do against the war? The only answer is: a social revolution!". The FORU urged workers not to trust "neither in fascism nor in democracy, nor in another form of fascism, whose supreme chief is called Stalin": "Fight Fascism! Neither fascism nor democracy, against both of them! Whoever of them won, the capitalism will always remain winner. Whoever loses, the loser will always be people. Yes, we should be on the side of the German people, not their tyrants. We look forward to a rebellion of German, Polish, Czech peoples against provocateurs! Against the war - a social revolution "[13].

The conference of the Argentinian FORA in 1941 confirmed consistently the internationalist line: against all the warring parties, for the social revolution. The war, in terms of Argentine workers anarchists, was between different groups of states and capitalists who fought for supremacy and privileges; this war in no way responded to hopes and aspirations of the peoples in the struggle for freedom and justice. The FORA saw in the ideology of anti-fascism only a cover for the interests of capital of one of the groups of warring states. It urged the peoples of the world do not support the war under the pretext and the flag of anti-fascism and proclaimed the slogan: "Neither fascism nor anti-fascism". Advocating the intensifying of anti-war and anti-militarist work, the conference said: "The only solution against the war, against all wars is a revolutionary union of the peoples!" [14].

At the other pole were the Polish anarcho-syndicalists. They took clearly anti-German stance, though stated that they intend to fight with Germany not in alliance with their "own" bourgeoisie [15].

Already the beginning of the war brought with it a significant deterioration in the material conditions of life of workers and the strengthening of the reaction in the belligerent and in neutral (until a certain time) countries. In Canada, the authorities banned the activities of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). In France, during the first months of war, the civil liberties were limited, leftist and anarchist newspaper were closed; some union activists were put on trial. Many of the young activists of the CGTSR, French section of the anarcho-syndicalist International, were mobilized into the army; many of the local branches of the organization were closed [16]. After the invasion of German troops to the country in May 1940, the CGTSR ceased the activity. The contacts of activists among themselves and with like-minded people abroad were interrupted. Attempts to continue underground work were observed for some time in the Paris region [17].
The organized structures of the French libertarian movement disintegrated. Among the anarchists there was no unity as to what should be done in the new situation. Part of the former activists took part in the Resistance, some waited. An active underground work was launched by a group in Marseille, grouped around Voline and Andre Arru. Russian emigrant Voline didn`t not left France, despite of dangers for him as having a Jewish descent to be sent to death in a Nazi camp. He was convinced that he had to remain in France to work with young people and "prepare for the revolution after the war" [18]. The Voline-Arru group was international in composition: it included the French, Spanish, Italian, Czech and Russian. It published and distributed leaflets calling for workers to act not only against the German and Italian fascism, but also against the Soviet Stalinism and democratic capitalism of the West, against the slogan of "national liberation" as the unity between the ruling and oppressed classes. It called the "Workers of the world" to understand, finally, "that they have the same enemy: their bosses", to fraternize and to turn their weapons against those who sent them into battle [19]. The Marseilles group, which launched a campaign for social revolution and were known as the "international revolutionary syndicalist federation", became the center of attraction for other anarchist groups throughout France. In 1943, it was succeeded to convene an illegal congress of the anarchists of the South of the country, but soon Arru and some other prominent activists were arrested. Others continued underground work, keeping the independence of the resistance movement, which they regarded as a nationalist and capitalist.

Sharp differences existed in the Spanish anarchist exile in France, who came in the country after the defeat in the Spanish Civil War. After the start of World War II, many Spanish anarchists and other anti-fascists were interned in camps by the French authorities, and in 1940 they fell into the hands of the Nazis. The anarchists were in a state of deep division between supporters of continued cooperation of anti-fascist forces and those who advocated a return to traditional anarchist position against participation in any coalition or anti-fascist republican power structures. After the summer of 1940, the General Council of the Spanish libertarian movement (MLE) collapsed. A large part of the Spanish anarchists managed to emigrate from France to the countries of the Americas, many were arrested or subjected to other forms of repression. During the meeting of Hitler and Franco at the Franco-Spanish border, the anarchists Domingo Ibars and Canillas tried to kill both dictators, but their attempt failed. There is some information that this plot was also attended by the French and German anarchists [20].

In 1941, underground commissions for relations between the Spanish activists were created in various French cities; the group in the Cantal begun to publish an "organizational circular" in November 1941. The groups of the MLE worked illegally. In September 1942, a regional and in June 1943, a national plenum in Mauriac were held, elected the Committee on Relations of MLE in France. Some draft resolutions on the future of the line of Spanish movement after the overthrow of the dictatorship were prepared for discussion on the plenum in Tourniac, in September 1943. The document of Juan Manuel Molina was guided by the anti-fascist cooperation up to participate in the future Constituent Assembly of liberated Spain. The project of Felipe Alais advocated a return to a purely anarchist line. Plenum elected Molina the new Secretary and the National Committee in Montpellier, but postponed discussion of resolutions. The opponents of any cooperation with the exile republican government formed with the support of "Libertarian Youth" (FIJL) its own underground body in Beziers: the Committee of Confederal and Libertarian movement in France.
A new confrontation between the both tendencies occurred at the plenary in December 1943 in Marseille, in discussing the attitude towards the war. Committees of Bordeaux and Beziers regarded World War II as a purely inter-capitalist conflict and proposed to the "activists of the Confederation to hide among the civilian population in case of conflict between the French Resistance and the Germans". Those who advocated the continuation of the alliance with the republican forces, called on the Spanish anarchist immigrants to join the French Resistance to avoid deportation to Germany. Most delegates supported the second line and approved the creation of the Alliance of Democratic Forces. In reality, the Spanish libertarians in France acted differently. Some really took an active part in the French Resistance (for example, they fought in the Division of General Leclerc, who in 1944 defeated the German troops in Paris), others were not active, and others have cooperated in some French underground groups, which advocated class struggle against all the belligerent parties. An official split between supporters and opponents of the anti-fascist cooperation occurred only after the war in 1945 [21].

British anarchists opposed both belligerent sides. The group, which includes well-known libertarian activists as Vernon Richards, Maria Luisa Berneri, Albert Meltzer, T.Braun and later also George Woodcock, the pacifists John Hewetson, Ethel Mannin, Reginald Reynolds, Frederick Lohr and leftist activists Frank Ridley, George Padmore and others , begun with the publishing of "War Commentary" bulletin in November 1939. The publication called upon to conduct a broad revolutionary and anti-imperialist propaganda and the struggle for the emancipation of the workers by the workers themselves, against all politicians. The publishers and authors have expressed the hope that new revolutionary opportunities can mature during the war [22]. Later, the "War Commentary" was renamed to "Freedom". The publishing house "Press Freedom" and the center of distribution of propaganda materials were established in London. The British stated that the class struggle must continue, despite the war. "Only through vigorous resistance to owners during the war, we will be strong enough to be able to benefit from a revolutionary situation after the war with the aim of social revolution", they wrote [23]. Members of the "Freedom" group, V. Richards and A. Meltzer refused to join the army, not wanting to participate in the war. The anti-war campaign of anarchists led to the State repressions. The centers of the movement periodically subjected to police raids and searches. Meltzer was arrested in 1944 and sent to the army, where in 1946 he took part in an attempt to create the Soviets in the British army in Egypt; Richards and Philip Sansom were arrested in 1945 for the "disintegration of the army". A public committee of defense of "Freedom" emerged, which included such well-known figures as Herbert Read, George Orwell and Bertrand Russell (in 1946, the arrested were released). At the same time the group has matured split on tactics: in 1944, the anarcho-syndicalists, led by Tom Brown and Ken Hawkes were left [24].

Another center of the anarchist movement in Britain during the war was the Scottish city of Glasgow, where there was a relatively large and very active group headed by Frank Leach, E. Shaw, Ch. Baird and others. It held weekly meetings in Burnbank, Hamilton, Paisley, Glasgow and Edinburgh, influenced the miners, sent speakers, supplied anarchist literature to local activists, etc. Its events draw thousands of people. The group was based primarily on the industrial workers of factories and shipyards, and in 1944, actively supported the strike of factory apprentices for higher wages [25].

The Netherlands and Belgium remained neutral until the spring of 1940, but the authorities have vigorously persecuted the oppositional dispositions and activities, and anarchists denounced the turn democracy to authoritarianism. Dutch police banned the holding of celebrations to commemorate the famous anarchist Domela Nieuwenhuis in November 1939 (in spite of the ban, the march took place). The police tightly observed the congress of the Nederlands Syndicalistisch Vakverbond (NSV) in April 1940. The NSV newspaper, "De Syndicalist" was systematically censored. This small organization of anarcho-syndicalists held consistently anti-war stance, stating that it "can not recognize the fundamental opposition between fascist and democratic state" [26]. It hoped that the "revolt of the masses" will put an end to the war [27], and until then supposed to continue the struggle for social and economic interests of the working people, "for our cause everywhere and by every given opportunity".

Immediately after the German invasion, the Dutch authorities ordered the arrest of leading "radicals", including Albert de Jong, the chairman of the NSV, and Derk Ploeger, editor of the anarchist weekly "De Arbeider". Soon they were released: even before the German troops occupied the country completely. The occupation regime officially banned the NSV, the Nationaal Arbeids Secretariat (an other radical trade union) and organizations of the anti-militarist movement on July 16, 1940. The newspaper "De Syndicalist" was closed.

Most unions of the NSV ceased to exist. Small organization of municipal employees in the energy services of Amsterdam, "Voouit" with ca.70 members was longer active. In February 1941 it took a very active part in the movement of protest against the persecution of the Jews by the Dutch Nazis and the occupation authorities. This movement has grown into a powerful general strike; Dutch anarchists assisted the participants and those who have suffered as a result of its suppression. They collected funds for this purpose. Casper Joseph Priem, chairman of the "Vooruit" issued an open manifesto calling of public service workers to fight against the persecution of the Jews. He urged to assist laid-off colleagues of Jewish nationality. Priem was arrested for "anti-German propaganda", but thanks to a good lawyer, he received a relatively light sentence: 4 months in prison. In May 1941, the occupation authorities banned the "Vooruit" union and destroyed it. It chairman, Jan Hendrik Gulien, and Secretary, Pieter Hoogwout were briefly arrested, but later released.
Most Dutch anarchists, like many left communists and left socialists, have taken in relation to the Second World War a position, which was called the "Third Front". They did not want to support neither the bloc under Nazi Germany nor the Allies, as all the warring forces were capitalist and militarist. The anarchists opposed to World War the slogan of international socialism. In their combat, they preferred non-violent action, such as refusing to cooperate with the occupiers and the government, disobedience, boycotts, distribution of critical materials and publications, conducting oral agitation, hiding people in underground, etc. Anarcho- syndicalists actively participated in such activities. So, Amsterdam tram conductor Louis Mounoury refused to grant the German soldiers prescribed travel benefits. And A. de Jong, who joined himself the underground in winter 1942, helped organize the hiding of Jews.

Since the end of 1941, former members of the NSV revived old ties. They began regular meetings in rural areas, and in 1942 the anarcho-syndicalists started the publication and distribution of leaflets. Martin Paulissen played an active role in the revival of an underground organization until his arrest in January 1945. He restored contacts to anarcho-syndicalist August Rosseau in Belgium, and both established under the guise of private correspondence extensive contacts with various activists and illegal groups. Anarcho-syndicalists collaborated primarily with other left-wing radical underground organizations of "Third Front" as "Spartacus", which stood on the positions of communism of non-party workers' councils, and a group of "Se Vonk", created by the anarchists, anti-militarists and left socialists.

In August 1944, the anarcho-syndicalists succeeded in start publish of illegal newspaper "Arbeiders Eenheid" with a circulation of 250-400 copies. The group has been particularly active in Amsterdam and Twente, calling for the creation of workers' councils. Later, newspaper "Bedrijfsgemeenshap" appeared [28]. Subsequently, the Dutch syndicalists took part in the new movement for the creation of joint trade unions, which they hoped in vain to pull out from under the control of political parties [29].

In Belgium, in spite of the difficult economic conditions in the first months of the war, arrests and police repression, the anarcho-syndicalist from the "Centre Independant Unitaire" participated in the struggle of miners for the preservation of 7.5-hour working day and higher wages in proportion to the rise in prices [30]. After the occupation of the country by German Nazi troops all libertarian organization ceased its activities. The anarchist movement has ceased to exist as a coherent whole. Some activists have fallen victim to the arrests and deportations, others fled to France, Britain and other countries, and others lived in inactivity; there were those who took part in the Resistance, or, on the contrary, has collaborated with the occupation authorities. Known anarchist anti-militarist Hem Day continued to hide refugees and helped them to leave the country through a network that extends all the way to South America. [31] The occupation of Norway and Denmark by Germany also paralyzed activities of small anarchosyndicalist unions in those countries (NSF and Fagopposition, respectively); their locals were seized, and the newspaper stopped going.
Anarchists in Eastern European countries tried to put up armed resistance against the German occupation and the pro-German regimes.

In September 1939, Poland was occupied by German and Soviet troops. Unlike most of the anarchists of the world, Polish anarchists and syndicalists took emphasized anti-German (and anti-Soviet) position, stating, however, that they intend to fight the enemy independently from the Polish supporters of capitalism [32]. Josef Grinberg, a leading activist Anarchist Federation, who was arrested by the Soviet authorities, died in a Siberian prison camp. Polish libertarians have started to reorganize their forces in underground. Already in October 1939, the former leaders of the trade union federation ZZZ (in which the pre-war anarchists and syndicalists participated), K. Zakrzewski and J. Szurig (both were killed in 1941) created an illegal "Wolnosc i Lud" union (in 1941 renamed in the Union of Polish syndicalists, ZSP). In December, the "Fighting departments" of this union were formed, under the command of Stefan Kapuscinski (executed in Warsaw on May 29, 1943) [33]. The group consisted of people from different backgrounds and different beliefs, even including former Attorney General of the country [34]. The ZSP sought to block the socialist and democratic circles, taking part in an attempt to form a "third force", independent of both the bourgeois government in exile, and the Communists and the Soviet Union. In 1942, together with the Polish Democratic Party and the popular socialist "Freedom" group from Lwow, the ZSP created the "Front of Patriotic Left", which in 1944 merged with the Supreme People's Committee (created by the Left Socialist): the "Centralization of democratic, socialist and syndicalist parties" was organized. The Syndicalists published various underground publications: central organs "Akcja" (1939-1941) and "Sprawa" (1941-1944), programmatic and theoretical magazine "Czyn", information paper "Iskra", peasant newspaper "Sprawa hlopska", youth paper "Mysl mlodych", and various brochures and leaflets. The factory committees were set up in some places (especially in Warsaw and near Kielce), at the initiative of the ZSP [35]. The ZSP consisted of 2-4 thousand members. Its organizations ("hundreds") operated in areas of Warsaw, Kielce and in the South; and in Lwow they were in alliance with the Popular Socialists [36].

A part of former anarchist members of the ZZZ associated with Alfons Pilarski (he was in the Warsaw underground from May 1942), in 1940, formed the group "Walka ludu". In 1941 it was renamed in the syndicalist organizations "Wolnosc" [37]. Unlike the ZSP, this group criticized sharply the prewar Pilsudski regime and referred to such anarchist theorists as Bakunin, Malatesta et al. The "Wolnosc" had fighting groups in Warsaw and the region of Kielce. It published "Droga wolnosci", later "Walka ludu" and "Towarzysz pancerny" [38].

The views of the Polish syndicalists oddly mixed elements of social revolution and of nationalism. They advocated the creation after the war of an independent federal " socialist and libertarian Poland", which would at the same time include in it also areas on the Oder and the Baltic Sea and lead the "union of the Slavic peoples" [39].

The militias of Left Socialists, syndicalists, the Centralization, the Bund and other organizations were united in the Polish People's Army (PAL) in 1943-1944. This army numbered several thousand fighters and acted mainly in large cities (Warsaw, Lodz, Kielce et al.) and around them. The fighting groups of the ZSP and of the "Wolnosc" made guerrilla attacks and sabotage acys; their organizations have been working among the workers sent to work in Germany, and among German soldiers, and helped hide Jews. They collaborated in the uniting of non-Communist units in the "Home Army" (AK), but retained its autonomy [40].

In 1944, the syndicalists (including Pilarski) took an active part in the Warsaw Uprising, forming a "Rebel syndicalist agreement". They were organized in the "104th syndicalist company" of AK and in the "syndicalist brigade" who operated in different areas of the city. 104th company captured Sept. 2 the telephone station and archive building and raised a red-and-black flag [41]. During the uprising in the Warsaw, the ZSP and the "Wolnosc" published the newspaper "Syndikalista", which was edited by an pre-war activist of Anarchist Federation, Pawel Lew Marek, escaped in 1943 from the Warsaw Ghetto, and fought in the 104th syndicalist company. With the arrival of Soviet troops, S. Szwedowski, head of the ZSP, dissolved the organization in February 1945.

In some countries, the anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists joined the anti-fascist struggle, trying to take a more or less independent position in it to play an independent role, if possible. In Bulgaria, they formed small guerrilla groups that fought against armed forces of profascist regime (in the regions of Veliko Tarnovo and Gabrovo) [42]. Osip Tsebry, a former Makhnovist, managed illegally to return to Ukraine, and in 1942 formed a guerilla unit in the Kiev region, which, acting in the tradition of Makhno, opposed both Germany and Soviet Union until the winter of 1943, when it was defeated by German troops [43]. In Hungary, a small group of anarchist students ("Free Youth" or "Red belts") participated in guerrilla groups and tried to organize sabotage actions in Budapest in late 1944, including the crushing of the river warships and explosion of ammunition depot. One part of Hungarian libertarians inclined to cooperate with the Communists, and other opposed and wanted to preserve independence [44].

The Italian anarchists in underground basically remained committed to the ideas expressed earlier by Errico Malatesta. They proceeded from the opinion that the overthrow of the fascist dictatorship will not lead directly to the libertarian revolution, as anarchists are not strong enough to destroy the dictatorship alone. But then, in their view, the second stage of the struggle had to immediately begin: for the actual anarchist goals. They hoped to win and defend during the resistance against fascism and in the transition a kind of "free spaces", which can then be used for social-revolutionary activity.

On the underground libertarian conference convened in June 1942 in Genoa, it was stated: "Because fascism is the first object that you want to break, and any strike, whoever it done, is always desirable, we are in this action with arms in the hand elbow to elbow including with those elements whose goals conflict with ours or are not defined... But as soon as the first object, which is the fascism falls, each of the revolutionary tendencies will make its own demands... Therefore, our behavior should be, as we believe, the following: yes, to work against fascism together with anybody, but require from anybody right to express our sacred libertarian principles"[45]. A network of contacts between small informal groups and individual activists began to build; there was a series of illegal inter-regional meetings in Florence. New impulses and hope to anarchists were given by a powerful strike across the country in March 1943, to force the regime to increase workers' wages. May 16, 1943 at a meeting in Florence, the Libertarian Communist Federation of Italy (FCL) was founded, which was joined by groups of North and Central part of the country. This Federation released and distributed a manifesto containing a kind of "minimum program". It proclaimed the condemnation of war as a product of the capitalist system, supported any opposition to the regime in the sense of intransigent anti-fascism, stressed the need to defend the freedom of expression, of press and of association and to avoid any "revolutionary dictatorship" during the transition period. There was also an expression of the desire for abolition of the monarchy and for the establishment of "free federation of autonomous communes, consisting of free producers"[46]. The anarchists tried to hold a secret meeting with the representatives of the Communist Party, but it failed.

In July 1943 Mussolini's regime fell. September 8, a conference of anarchists in Florence decided to resume publication of the newspaper "Umanita nova" and urged the workers of the other anti-fascist parties to create a United front of workers [47]. However, the project was never realized due to the hostile attitude of the major anti-fascist parties and organizations. In some places anarchists managed to agree on cooperation with ultraleft breakaways from the Communist Party, for example, with the Bordigists whose Internationalist Communist Party campaigned for "united proletarian front" in an effort "to prevent workers were poisoned by war propaganda" [48]. In 1944, even the League of Revolutionary Councils was founded in Milan, but it was short-lived.

Since the autumn of 1943, the Italian anarchists participated in the rebel resistance struggle against the German fascist troops and supporters of Mussolini in Northern Italy. In most cases, they joined the guerilla units of Action Party, of the Communist or the Socialist Party, actively fighting in these units and sometimes even taking command posts, but they were "completely subordinated to the hegemony of other left-wing forces" [49]. However, there were some anarchist guerrilla forces: in Genoa (the FCL troops "Pisacane" and "Malatesta"; about 400 fighters), Carrara (units "Lucetti", "M.Schirru", "Garibaldi Lunense", "Elio", " R.Macchiarini "and of Anarchist Federation, about 1000 fighters), Lucca, Pistoia (detachment "Silvano Fedi", more than 50 fighters), Milan (units" Malatesta"and" Bruzzo "; 1300 fighters), Como (detachment "Amilcare Cipriani"), Pavia ("Malatesta" brigade), etc. [50]

Some anarchists participated in the creation of territorial and factory "Committees of Liberation". They still hoped that the armed struggle against fascism can somehow grow into a social revolution. As later one of researcher wrote, "a proposal of the "United Front of workers"... facing the labor activists and ordinary members of the Left parties, was ... a part of the project which considered the first underground resistance bodies as elements of counter-power in the spirit of anarchism and workers' councils. ... The participation of anarchists in the liberation committees in factories should be viewed in this light, and not as a concession to the democratic program of the liberation struggle as a second Rissorgimento" [51]. But in reality, the Italian anarchists have failed to promote their libertarian revolutionary line [52]. Also the once powerful revolutionary syndicalist movement has not been recreated. Most anarchists preferred to work in a unified trade union center, the Italian General Confederation of Labour, which leadership belonged to the communists and socialists.

In neutral Switzerland, the authorities in August 1940 stopped all activity of the group in Geneva, which maintained contacts with the anarcho-syndicalist International, and ceased publication of it organ, "Le Reveil anarchist" [53]. Swiss anarchists began to publish a monthly illegal pamphlet. A committee of assistance for the Spanish refugees interned in France worked in country [54]. A veteran of anarchist movement, Luigi Bertoni supported the Italian anarchists who lived in Piedmont, Lombardy and Marche and created an underground anti-militarist movement "Lose to win". Its members distributed illegal literature [55].
Sweden remained the only European country in which the anarcho-syndicalist unions operated legally by the end of the war, despite the well-known political constraints, a de facto ban strikes and persecution of opponents of military service. Swedish syndicalists wanted at all costs to prevent retraction of the country into the war [56]. They still expressed the hope for the fall of capitalism, but also stressed the "positive side" of democracy and called to fight for the preservation of democratic freedoms [57]. In the Swedish syndicalism (the SAC union and the syndicalist Youth Federation) a wing appeared, which advocated the rejection of a strict anti-militarism and the defense of democracy against totalitarianism, accepted the service in the army and even the participation of volunteers on the side of Finland in the "Winter War" with the Soviet Union in 1939 -1940. These differences resulted after the war in the collapse of the youth organization, in the crisis of syndicalist union center and revision of its former traditional anarcho-syndicalist positions by 1952.

In general, we can conclude that the Second World War found the anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist movement largely disoriented and weakened. It did not have force to raise the working classes to the revolution in response to the outbreak of war, as it was planned before. Even where libertarians took an active part in the fight against Nazism and fascism, they could not impose a significant imprint on the further development of events. The Second World War could not be "their" war. The generalized zeal of struggle for "national liberation" strengthened national and statist ideology among the masses. The fall of the fascist regime allowed the anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists restore legal groups and organizations to start new gathering of dispersed and scattered forces. In Eastern Europe after the war, the anarchist activities soon proved impossible due to repression by the new Stalinist regimes.

Vadim Damier


[1] Rocker R. Aus den Memoiren eines deutschen Anarchisten. Frankfurt a.M., 1974. S.382–383.
[2] Дело труда – Пробуждение. 1940. Январь – февраль. №1. С.7–12; Service de Presse de l`AIT. 1939. Septembre. No.11.
[3] Service de Presse de l`AIT. 1940. Mai. No.19.
[4]Дело труда – Пробуждение. 1940. Январь – февраль. №1. С.7–12; Service de Presse de l`AIT. 1939. Septembre. No.11.
[5]Service de Presse de l`AIT. 1939. Octobre. No.12.
[6]Ibid. 1940. Janvier. No.15.
[7]Дело труда – Пробуждение». 1940. Январь – февраль. №1. С.7–12; Service de Presse... 1939. Septembre. No.11.
[8] См.: Дело труда – Пробуждение. 1940. Январь – февраль. №1. С.7–12; Service de Presse de l`AIT. 1939. Septembre. No.11; Octobre. No.12.
[9] Service de Presse de l`AIT. 1940. Mai. No.19.
[10]Service de Presse de l`AIT. 1939. Décembre. No.14.
[11] Sacchetti G. Gli Anarchici contro il fascismo. Livorno, 1995. P.19–20.
[12] Service de Presse de l`AIT. 1939. Septembre. No.10.
[13] Ibid. 1939. Décembre. No.14.
[14] Lopez A. La FORA en el movimiento obrero. T.2. Buenos Aires, 1987. P.138–141.
[15] Service de Presse... 1940. Janvier. No.15.
[16] IISG, Amsterdam. IWMA Archive. Annual reports, rules and regulations. Nr.32. Bericht über die Tätigkeit der IAA im Jahre 1939. S.11.
[17] Ibid.Rapportsur 1945. P.8.
[18]Аврич П. В.М.Эйхенбаум (Волин): человек и его книга // Волин В.М. Неизвестная революция, 1917–1921. М., 2005. С.12.
[19] Interview d`Andre Arru // Itineraire. 1995. No.13 (Voline). P.78.
[20]Les anarchistes espagnols dans la tourmente (1939-1945). Marseille, 1989. P.9; Meltzer A. Anarchist activity in Nazi Germany // Black Flag. 1990. Sept. No.200.
[21] Les anarchistes espagnols dans la tourmente... P.166–171.
[22] Service de Presse de l`AIT. 1940. Février. No.16; direkte aktion. 1996. September – Oktober. Nr.117. S.8.
[23]IISG, Amsterdam. IWMA Archive. Annual reports, rules and regulations. Nr.32. Rapport sur l`activité de l`AIT pendant l`année de 1941. P.7–8.
[24] direkte aktion. 1996. September – Oktober. Nr.117. S.8–9; 1996. November – Dezember. Nr.118. S.9.
[25] Anarchism in Glasgow. Interview with Charlie Baird Snr, Mollie Baird, John Tailor Caldwell, Babs Raeside, Jimmy Raeside, 14.08.1987 –
[26] Service de Presse de l`AIT. 1940. Mai. No.19.
[27] Spahr M.P. Vrijheidsbezinning in tijden van dictatuur. Nederlandse anarchisten en de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Amsterdam, 1998.
[28] Spahr M.P. Op.cit.; Hazekamp A. Het verzet van Nederlandse anarchisten tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog // De AS. Anarchistisch tijdschrift. 2005. Nr.151.
[29] IISG, Amsterdam. IWMA Archive. Annual reports, rules and regulations. Nr.32. Rapport sur 1945. P.9.
[30] Service de Presse de l`AIT. 1940. Février. No.16.
[31] Inghels N. Le mouvement anarchiste en Belgique francophone de 1945 a 1970. Vingt-cinq ans d`anarchie //
[32] Service de Presse de l`AIT. 1940. Janvier. No.15.
[33] T.J. Dzieci Sorela i Pilsudskiego. Dzieje syndykalizmu polskiego – od faszysmu do anarchizmu // Podaj dalej. Warszawa, 1997. Nr.7. S.31.
[35] T.J. Dzieci Sorela i Pilsudskiego... S.31.
[36] Chwedoruk R. Polscy syndykalisci lat II wojny światowej. Dzialalnosc i mysl polityczna // Zeszyty Historyczne (Paris). 2005. Nr.154. S.58–62.
[37] Nelles D. Internationalismus im Dreiländereck. Alfons Pilarski und der Anarchosyndikalismus in Oberschlesien in der Zwischenkriegszeit // Schwarzer Faden. 2002. Nr.2 (74). S.64.
[39] Ciesielski S. Przyszła Polska i Europa w rozważaniach programowych Organizaciji Syndikalistycznej «Wolność» w latach II wojny światowej.
[40] Chwedoruk R. Op.cit. S.75–78.
[41] Podlewski S. Przemarsz przez pieklo. Warszawa, 1994; Syndykaliści w Powstaniu Warszawskim // A-tak. 1999. Nr.1.
[42] About Bulgarian anarchist guerillas in the WW2: Радев Б. Не ни разбирайте криво // Свободна мисъл. 1994. №6 (44). С.6.
[43] Дело труда – Пробуждение. 1949. Декабрь. №31. С.35.
[44] Iztok. Revue libertaire sur les pays de l`Est. 1981. Septembre. No.4. P.36–39.
[45] Sacchetti G. Op.cit. P.20.
[46] Ibid. P.21–22.
[47]Barroero G. Anarchici e Resistenza a Genova: Una storia che manca // Umanità Nova. 1998. N.14. 26 aprile. P.5.
[48] Courant Communiste International (ed.). La Gauche communiste d`Italie. Contribution à une histoire du mouvement révolutionnaire. Bruxelles, 1991. P.219.
[49] Sacchetti G. Op.cit. P.24.
[50] Ibid. P.24–27; Rivista Anarchica. Red Years, Black Years. Anarchist Resistance to Facism in Italy. London, 1989.
[51] Barroero G. Op.cit. P.6.
[52]Sacchetti G. Op.cit. P.27.
[53] IISG, Amsterdam. IWMA Archive. Annual reports, rules and regulations. Nr.32. Rapport sur l`activité de l`AIT pendant l`année de 1940. P.11.
[54]Ibid. Rapport sur l`activité de l`AIT pendant l`année de 1941. P.12–13, 2.
[55] Sacchetti G. Gli anarchici contro il fascismo. Livorno, 1995. P.20.
[56] Service de Presse de l`AIT. 1939. Septembre. No.11.
[57] Ibid. 1940. Avril. No.18.