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Stalin’s Intervention

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Abstract

This chapter revolves around Togliatti’s ‘Salerno Turn’, as he led his party and its allies into government. It argues that the Turn embodied the overlapping of the Italian Communist Party’s (PCI’s) new democratic approach with its ongoing Soviet inspiration, allowing the Party to unite widely varying political sensibilities. While an old historiographical debate divided historians who recognised Stalin’s role in the Turn from those who instead emphasised its Italian inspiration, this chapter takes a different perspective, countering the assumption that the spectre of Soviet involvement was solely perceived in negative terms. Rather, it shows how Roman communists explicitly emphasised the compatibility of their own strategies with Soviet foreign policy, using this as a source of legitimation.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    ‘I fatti di Via Rasella’. Disposizioni Rivoluzionarie, 29.3.1944, p. 2.

  2. 2.

    Ibid.

  3. 3.

    Such is the thesis of Cortesi, Luigi. 2004. Nascita di una democrazia. Guerra, fascismo, Resistenza e oltre. Rome: manifestolibri.

  4. 4.

    Reconstructed in Aga Rossi, Elena and Victor Zaslavsky. 2011. Stalin and Togliatti: Italy and the Origins of the Cold War. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

  5. 5.

    What Pietro Nenni called the ‘bomba Ercoli’, in reference to the PCI leader’s pseudonym.

  6. 6.

    An interview quoted in Di Loreto, Pietro 1991, Togliatti e la “doppiezza”. Il PCI tra democrazia e insurrezione 1944–1949. Bologna: il Mulino, p. 33.

  7. 7.

    Fondazione Gramsci, Archivio Partito Comunista (henceforth APC)/CRM, A/16, ‘Verbale riunione segreteria’, 4 November 1943.

  8. 8.

    Ibid., Relazione M.

  9. 9.

    Ibid.

  10. 10.

    Ibid.

  11. 11.

    Ibid., Intervento di Giulio.

  12. 12.

    Ibid.

  13. 13.

    Ibid.

  14. 14.

    Ibid.

  15. 15.

    Ibid.

  16. 16.

    Ibid.

  17. 17.

    Ibid., Intervento di Gino.

  18. 18.

    Ibid.

  19. 19.

    Ibid., Intervento di Palmieri.

  20. 20.

    Ibid.

  21. 21.

    Ibid.

  22. 22.

    Spriano, Paolo. 1975. Storia del Partito comunista italiano, Vol. V, La Resistenza. Togliatti e il partito nuovo. Turin: Einaudi, p. 301, cites the Rome l’Unità’s incongruous response to the Soviet recognition of Badoglio in its 23 March issue, as if it were a recognition of Italy’s fighting contribution rather than Badoglio’s specific government.

  23. 23.

    Spriano, Storia del Partito comunista italiano, Vol. V, p. 302.

  24. 24.

    Ibid.

  25. 25.

    Ibid.

  26. 26.

    Cited in ibid., p. 314.

  27. 27.

    Valenzi, Maurizio. 1995. C’è Togliatti! Napoli 1944. I primi mesi di Togliatti in Italia. Palermo: Sellerio, p. 119, cited in Cortesi, Luigi (ed.). 1999. Amadeo Bordiga nella Storia del comunismo, Naples: ESI, p. 1.

  28. 28.

    Cacciapuoti, Salvatore. 1972. Storia di un operaio napoletano, Rome: Riuniti, p. 130, cited in Cortesi (ed.), Amadeo Bordiga nella Storia del comunismo, p. 1.

  29. 29.

    The only such debate was in the Salerno branch, under the leadership’s control. See Fondazione Gramsci, Fondo Mosca (henceforth FGFM)/Archivio Direzione Napoli.

  30. 30.

    ‘Le rétablissement des relations diplomatiques avec l’Urss’. Liberté, 23.3.1944, cited in Spriano, Storia del Partito comunista italiano, Vol. V, p. 283.

  31. 31.

    ‘Soviet Policy in Italy’. The Times, p. 3, 31.3.1944 noted the ‘asperity’ implicit in Izvestia’s comments on Italy, suggesting that the Soviet call for a democratised Badoglio government reflected Moscow’s will to become an independent actor in Italian affairs. See also ‘Allied Policy in Italy’, p. 4, 1.4.1944 (and the editorial ‘The Allies and Italy’, p. 5).

  32. 32.

    ‘Party Moves in Italy’. The Times, p. 4, 3.4.1944.

  33. 33.

    FGFM/Archivio Direzione Napoli/8.

  34. 34.

    A contrast noted in ‘Due ritorni’. Il Proletario, 16.5.1944. Organ of the ‘Left Fraction of the Communists and Socialists of Italy’, Il Proletario was stridently anti-Stalinist and dominated by Left-Communist positions, unlike Bandiera Rossa. See p. xxx on the February 1945 ‘Naples Congress’ which failed to unite the dissident movements.

  35. 35.

    ‘L’eredità letteraria di Gramsci’ (unsigned). L’Unità, Naples, 30.4.1944.

  36. 36.

    Ibid.

  37. 37.

    ‘La politica di Antonio Gramsci’ (signed Ercoli). L’Unità, Naples, 30.4.1944.

  38. 38.

    See p. xxx.

  39. 39.

    Note in particular ‘La politica socialista dopo la crisi governativa’, dated 1.5.1944, reproduced in the Rome Avanti! on 6.5.1944 and in Neri Sereni, Simone (ed.). 1988. Il Partito socialista nella Resistenza. I documenti e la stampa clandestina (1943–1945). Pisa: Nistri-Lischi, pp. 142–50.

  40. 40.

    Notable is the mismatch between the hostile tone of l’Italia Libera, 19.4.1944, protesting Togliatti’s deal with conservative interests, and the approach actually taken by Action Party leaders in the South, who did join the government.

  41. 41.

    Bonomi, Ivanoe. 1947. Diario di un anno (2 giugno 1943–10 giugno 1944). Milan: Garzanti (7.4.1944), p. 175.

  42. 42.

    Ibid.

  43. 43.

    Bonomi, Diario di un anno (8.4.1944 entry), p. 176.

  44. 44.

    Ibid.

  45. 45.

    Cited in Pons, Silvio. 2021. I comunisti italiani e gli altri. Turin: Einaudi, p. 91.

  46. 46.

    Gori, Francesca and Silvio Pons (eds.). 1998. Dagli archivi di Mosca. L’URSS, il Cominform e il PCI 1943–1951. Rome: Carocci.

  47. 47.

    Cortesi, Nascita di una democrazia, p. 295.

  48. 48.

    ‘Una politica italiana’. L’Unità XX/9, 6.4.1944.

  49. 49.

    ‘Il fronte nazionale unitario’. l’Unità, 13.4.1944; ‘Unanime deliberazione del CLN dell’Italia libera per un Governo Nazionale Democratico’. Ibid.

  50. 50.

    ‘Commentario’. Disposizioni Rivoluzionarie, 30.4.1944.

  51. 51.

    ‘La nostra tattica’. Disposizioni Rivoluzionarie, 30.4.1944, p. 3. These same words appear in ‘Perche siamo contrari alla collaborazione’. Bandiera Rossa, 11.5.1944.

  52. 52.

    Untitled. Disposizioni Rivoluzionarie, 8.4.1944, p. 1.

  53. 53.

    Ibid., My emphasis.

  54. 54.

    ‘Antifascismo’. Disposizioni Rivoluzionarie, 30.4.1944, p. 2.

  55. 55.

    Ibid.

  56. 56.

    Ibid.

  57. 57.

    Ibid.

  58. 58.

    Ibid.

  59. 59.

    ‘Il riconoscimento ufficiale del governo Badoglio’. Disposizioni Rivoluzionarie, 29.3.1944.

  60. 60.

    Ibid.

  61. 61.

    Or indeed that provided by ‘Quando verrà Baffone’. Scintilla, 2, October 1942.

  62. 62.

    ACS/MI/RSI (Gabinetto, 10), ‘Panorama della situazione dei partiti politici antifascisti’, cited in Gremmo, I partigiani di Bandiera Rossa, p. 110.

  63. 63.

    APC/ 7.3.10, ‘Fed. PCI, direttive per gli attivisti’, 1.3.1944.

  64. 64.

    ‘PCI, Com. Prov. di Viterbo—Zona 3-4, 2.4.1944’, APC/7/7/15, p. 5.

  65. 65.

    Lambert, Serge. 1979. Les Révolutionnaires dans la Résistance italienne 1942–45, I. Stella Rossa, unpublished Masters dissertation, IEP de Grenoble; 1985. Tradition révolutionnaire et ‘Nouveau Parti’ en Italie (1942–1945), PhD thesis at the Grenoble Sciences-Po, supervised by Pierre Broué; Peregalli, Arturo. 1991. L’altra resistenza, Milan: Graphos.

  66. 66.

    ‘Il riconoscimento ufficiale del governo Badoglio’. Disposizioni Rivoluzionarie, 29.3.1944.

  67. 67.

    Ibid.

  68. 68.

    ‘Parole e fatti’. Bandiera Rossa, 2.6.1944.

  69. 69.

    For an electrifying account, see Djilas, Milovan. 1963. Conversations with Stalin. London: Penguin. On p. 15: the Yugoslav Communists fell into the same trap as ‘everyone in the long history of man who has ever subordinated his individual fate and the fate of mankind exclusively to one idea: unconsciously they described the Soviet Union and Stalin in terms required by their own struggle and its justification’.

  70. 70.

    ‘Il fascismo e il movimento rivoluzionario in Italia’. 16.4.44, APC/7/10/1.

  71. 71.

    Ibid., p. 23.

  72. 72.

    Ibid., p. 3.

  73. 73.

    Ibid., p. 10.

  74. 74.

    Ibid., p. 16.

  75. 75.

    Ibid., p. 14.

  76. 76.

    Ibid., p. 17.

  77. 77.

    Ibid., p. 18.

  78. 78.

    Ibid.

  79. 79.

    Ibid., p. 21.

  80. 80.

    Ibid.

  81. 81.

    Ibid., p. 17.

  82. 82.

    Ibid., p. 23.

  83. 83.

    Cited in Aga Rossi and Zaslavsky. 2011. Stalin and Togliatti: Italy and the Origins of the Cold War. Stanford: Stanford University Press, p. 66; Dimitrov, Georgi. 2003. The Diary of Georgi Dimitrov 1933–1949. New Haven: Yale University Press, p. 304.

  84. 84.

    Ibid.

  85. 85.

    See Di Loreto, Togliatti e la “doppiezza”…

  86. 86.

    ‘Lettera di Luca alla direzione’. 25.1.1944. in Istituto Piemontese per la Storia della Resistenza e della Società (Turin), Fondo Arturo Colombi/3.

  87. 87.

    Cited in Gori and Pons (eds.), Dagli archivi di Mosca, p. 42.

  88. 88.

    As Pons relates in ibid., pp. 48–52.

  89. 89.

    See Sect. 9.5.

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Broder, D. (2021). Stalin’s Intervention. In: The Rebirth of Italian Communism, 1943–44. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-76489-0_7

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