ALLIANCE (North America) & COMPASS (UK)
Previously Unpublished Correspondence
Being a Polemic Against the Communist League; by the "Marxist Study group"; Birmingham;
And -
A rebuttal from the Communist League

    In March 1994 "Compass" No.112 published by the so-called "Communist League" appeared with the headline; "Georgi Dimitrov: Tool of Imperialism".[See on web at:    http://ml-review.ca/aml/Comintern/DIMITROV_TOOL_COMPASS112.htm ].
    The traitor who published this issue claims on page 7 that:
 
    The issue relies heavily on distortions and on quotations from imperialist and revisionist sources , such as the American Stephen Koch of the 'New York Times, and the so-called 'Institute of Marxism-Leninism, Moscow 1971' (i.e. agents of Brezhnev) It also relies on quoting from the German traitor Ruth Fischer, who was exposed by none other than Comrade Stalin himself.

    The apparent purpose of the article is to show that Comrade Dimitrov was a tool of imperialism, but the real and hidden purpose is to attack comrades such as Stalin, whom the article portrays as if he were controlled by Dimitrov. Stalin emerges as if he were incapable of preventing Dimitrov from landing at Moscow airport or of restraining his "revisionist" activities, during the period when he lived in Moscow and worked as General Secretary of the Communist International !

    Equally the whole article is an insult to Comrade Enver Hoxha of Albania. To expose the criminal efforts of 'Compass', we reproduce several pages from the book on the "Khrushchevites" by Comrade Hoxha which reveal how false is the writer of 'Compass'.

    Comrade Hoxha describes Dimitrov as: "the great George Dimitrov", who was a "comrade of the great Stalinelt who had "adherence to principle, breadth of ideological and political understanding and capacity as a leader .. ..... "The unforgettable George Dimitrov ..." ... "1 met Dimitrov and Kolerov, these outstanding Bulgarian communists only once in my life, but they left an indelible impression on my memory." .. "Up to the time when Stalin died there was not the slightest shadow over our relations with the Bulgarians. We loved the Soviet Union with a pure and sincere love" ..... Dimitrov "was the clearest ideologically and politically amongst the Bulgarian leaders, a man determined in his opinions, courageous and a good organizer" . . "Dimitrov raised the
prestige of the Bulgarian Communist Party and of Bulgaria very high...."
 
    The traitor who attacks Dimitrov has one purpose - to distort facts in order to cause confusion.
The Marxist Study Group,
BIRMINGHAM
Un-Dated.
HERE FOLLOWS THE EXCERPTS THAT THE MARXIST STUDY GROUP SELECTED:
BEING: As Follows:
                ENVER HOXHA: "THE KHRUSCHEVITES - Memoirs";
Another book in the series of the memoirs of Comrade Enver Hoxha. This work, written in 1976, comprises the author's memoirs and personal impressions of his direct meetings and other various cantocts with the leaders of the CPSU and the other communist and workers' parties during the years 1953-1961.
The Khrushchevites. is published in Albanian as well as in several foreign languages


   p.154
    "It had never crossed the minds of those who knew Gottwald that this strong, agile, healthy man would die... of a flu or a chill allegedly caught on the day of Stalin's funeral ceremony.

    I knew Gottwald. When I went to Czechoslovakia and met him in Prague, we talked at length about our problems. He was a modest, sincere comrade, not a man of many words. I felt I could talk to him freely; he listened to me attentively, puffing away at his pipe and spoke with much sympathy about our people and our fight, and promised me that they would help us in the building of industry. He promised me neither mountains nor miracles, but a very modest credit which Czechoslovakia accorded us.

    Gottwald , an old friend and comrade of Stalin and Dimitrov, died suddenly. This grieved us, but also surprised us.

    Later came the equally unexpected death of Comrade Bierut, not to mention the earlier death of the great George Dimitrov. Dimitrov, Gottwald and Bierut, all died in Moscow. What a coincidence! The three of them were comrades of the great Stalin!

    Edward-Ochab replaced Bierut in the post of first secretary of the party. Thus Khrushchev's old desire was realized . Later, however, Khrushchev

p.155
"fell out" with Ochab, apparently because he did not fulfil Khrushchev's demands and orders as he should have done. That is why Khrushchev later launched attacks on Ochab at those meetings at which we, too, were present. I met Ochab several times, in Moscow, Warsaw and Beijing, and I think that he was a person who not only could not be compared with Bierut as a man, but also lacked the necessary capacity to lead the party and the country. Ochab came and went like a shadow, without being a year in that position.

    Below I shall speak about how events developed in Poland (See Enver Hoxha, Selected Works, vol. 2, the "8th Nentori" Publishing House, Tirana 1975, Eng. ed. pp. 655-724) later. It is clear that with the death of Bierut the road to the throne of Poland was opened to the reactionary Gomulka. This "communist", brought out of prison, after a number of ups and downs and writhings of a heterogeneous leadership, in which agents of zionism. and the capitalist powers were not lacking, was to be brought into the leadership by his friend Nikita Khrushchev.

    Poland was the big sister of the Krushchevite Soviet Union. Then came Bulgaria, with which the Khrushchevites played and are still playing their game shamelessly, to the point that they have turned it into their "obedient daughter".

p.156
    The Bulgarians were linked closely with Stalin and the Communist Party of the Soviet
Union(B) led by him, quite differently from the Czechs, the Poles and the Rumanians  - let alone
the Germans. Moreover, the Bulgarian people had been traditionally linked with Russia in the
past. Precisely because of these links, Czar Boris had not dared to involve Bulgaria officially in
the war against the Soviet Union and the Soviet armies entered Bulgaria withoat firing a shot.

    Khrushchev wanted to consolidate this influence for his own chauvinist interests and the extension and consolidation of his revisionist views. Therefore he exploited this situation, the trust of the Bulgarian Communist Party in Stalin, the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (B), and placed at the head of the Bulgarian Communist Party a worthless person, a third-rate cadre, but one ready to do whatever Khrushchev, his ambassador, or the KGB would say. This person was Todor Zhivkov, who was publicized and inflated until he became first secretary of the CC of the Bulgarian CP.

    My opinion is that, after Dimitrov, the Bulgarian party and state did not have any leader equal to Dimitrov, or even to come anywhere near him from the point of view of his adherence to principle, breadth of ideological and political understanding and capacity as a leader. Here, of course, I do not include Kolarov, who died

p.157
very soon after Dimitrov, only a few months later, who was an old revolutionary and the second personality after Dimitrov, with whom he had worked in the Comintern.

    I met Kolarov when I went on an official visit to Bulgaria in December 1947. He was about the same age and size as Dimitrov, liked to converse and all the time we stayed with him, talked to us about the missions to Mongolia, Germany and elsewhere the Comintern had charged him with. It seemed that the party had placed Kolarov in charge of relations with foreign countries, because he spoke to us several times about the relations of Bulgaria, especially with its neighbours: Yugoslavia and Greece, which were also our neighbours. He also explained the general international situation to us. This assisted us greatly.

    Like the unforgettable George Dimitrov, Kolarov was a modest man. Although we were young, there was not the slightest sign of haughtiness to be seen in him during the talk. He honoured us and respected our opinions and, although we were meeting for the first time, as long as we stayed there, we felt ourselves as members of one family, in an intimate group, in which affection and unity and efforts for a single aim, the construction of socialism, predominated.

    I met Dimitrov and Kolarov, these outstanding Bulgarian communists only once in my life, but they left an indelible impression on my memory.

p.158
After Dimitrov Kolarov became prime minister was one of the initiators of the condemnation of the Titoite agent, Kostov. But only a few months later Kolarov died. His death too, grieved me greatly.

    After the deaths of Dimitrov and Kolarov, people without authority or personality began to come to the head of the Bulgarian Communist party and state.

    I have gone to Bulgaria several times on business, as well as on holidays with my wife and children. To tell the truth, I felt a special satisfaction in Bulgaria, probably because, although our two peoples are of quite different origin, during the centuries they had coexisted, had languished under and fought against the same occupying power, the Ottomans, and are alike in many directions, especially in their modesty, hospitality, stability of character, the preservation of good traditions, folklore, etc.

    Up to the time when Stalin died there was not the slightest shadow over our relations with the Bulgarians. We both loved the Soviet Union with a pure and sincere love.

    I have talked with the Bulgarian leaders many times, have eaten and drunk with them, and have made trips all over Bulgaria. Even later, until we broke with Khrushchev, we had no ideological and political contradictions and they welcomed me warmly. Many of them, like

p.159
Velko Chervenkov, Ganev, Tsola Dragocheva, Anton Yugov, etc., were not young. They were people of the older generation, who had worked abroad in exile with Dimitrov, or at home in illegality, and later had been in the prisons of Czar Boris. In the end, Todor Zhivkov emerged above them, a man who is the prototype of political mediocrity.

    After the death of George Dimitrov Velko Chervenkov became general secretary. He was a big man, with greying hair and bags under the eyes. Whenever I met him in Bulgaria or in Moscow, he gave me the impression of a good fellow who walked with his arms flopping aimlessly as if to say: "What am I doing at this fair? I am serving no purpose here."

    He must have been a just man, but lacking in will. At least this was my impression. He was extremely sparing in words. In official talks he said so little that, if you didnít know him, you would form the impression he was haughty. But he wasn't in the least haughty. He was a simple man. In non-official talks, when we ate together, and met with other Bulgarian comrades to exchange opinions, Velko sat in stony silence, with his mouth closed, as if he were not there at all. The others talked and laughed, but not he.

    Chervenkov was Dimitrov's brother-in-law. He had married the sister of the great leader of Bulgaria. It is possible that a little of Dimitrovís glory and authority had descended on Velko Chervenkov

p.160
but Velko was quite incapable of becoming Dimitrov. Thus, just as he came to the head of the leadership of the Bulgarian Communist Party in silence, so he went without any fuss when he was thrown out. His ouster did not become any sort of issue, he was removed without any commotion leaving place of leadership in the party to Todor Zhivkov.

    Thus, for Nikita, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Bulgaria had been settled. Rumania, too, where the party had some inglorious episodes in its history, was not to be left out of his aims and efforts, either.

    We did not have any contacts with the Rumanians during the war, which is different from what occurred with the Yugoslavs, or with the Bulgarians, who once sent to our country Belgaranov, who informed us of the work in Macedonia, sought our help in organizing the struggle of the Albanians living in "Macedonian", territory occupied by the nazi-fascists. After the war, from the Soviets we had heard very good things about the Rumanian party and about Dej, as an old revolutionary, who had suffered greatly in the prisons of the Doftana. But, to tell the truth, I was somewhat disappointed when I met him for the first time, in the meeing about the problem of the Yugolsav revisionists , which I mentioned above.

    This is not the place to speak about my recollections of that meeting, but I want to stress

p.161
that, from what I saw and heard in Rumania and from the conversations I had with Dej, the impression I formed about the Rumanian party and about Dej personally was not good.

    Regardless of what the Rumanian leaders claimed, the dictatorship of the proletariat was not operating in Rumania and the Rumanian Workers' Party was not in a strong position. They declared that they were in power, but it was very evident that, in fact, the bourgeoisie was in power. It had industry, agriculture and trade in its hands and continued to fleece the Rumanian people and to live in luxurious villas and palaces. Dej personally travelled in a bullet-proof car with an armed escort, which showed how secure their positions were. Reaction was strong in Rumania and, had it not been for the Red Army, who knows how things would have gone in that country.

    During our talks in those few days which I stayed in Bucharest, Dej bombarded us with his boasting about the valour they had displayed in forcing the abdication of the corrupt King Michael, whom they had not condemned for his crimes against the people, but had allowed to leave Rumania for the West, together with his wealth and his mistresses.

    Dei's self-glorification was astonishing, especially when he told me how he "challenged" the reactionaries by going into their cafes with a pistol in his belt.



p.216
    "Khrushchev used all methods: Gottwald died, Bierut died, Gomulka and Kadar were returned to power, Dej turned his coat, Rakosi and Chervenkov were liquidated. We were the only ones whom Khrushchev was unable to liquidate.

    Of course, in seeking rapprochement with American imperialism, Khrushchevite revisionism intended to come out on the arena as its powerful partner, a country with developed industry and agriculture, able to compete with those of the United States of America (as was loudly proclaimed), and with its own colonial empire, part of which would be the countries of the socialist camp.

    Khrushchev and company had begun their work for the making of this empire, and now they continued it further. In some places this work went smoothly, in others there was friction, while in Albania these ambitions were never realized.

    Bulgaria, for example never caused  the Soviet revisionists any trouble. After the deaths of Dimitrov and Stalin, apparently the "authority" of Velko Chervenkov could no longer be imposed on the Bulgarian Communis Party. He had become an obstacle in Khrushchev's way and, without doubt, the Soviet intrigues, the intrigues of Khrushchev, who seized power and did what he did, must have played a part in his liquidation.

p.217
    Immediately after the 20th Congress Chervenkov, who was prime minister at that time, was attacked over the "cult of the individual", the mistakes he had committed, etc. However, Velko did not seem to have been one of those who created a cult around themselves. He was used more as a "scapegoat" in order to justify the "corrections" which were made with the rehabilitation of Kostov and company. Chervenkov made way without any fuss and left his post as prime minister in favour of Anton Yugov, who did not keep this position for long, either.

    In Dimitrov's time, AntonYugov was minister of internal affairs,  while with the advent of  Chervenkov, he became deputy prime minister and later, prime minister. During the war, Yugov fought in the underground movement and fought well. He was one of the main and most dynamic leaders, especially in the uprising. which led to September 9, 1944, the day of the liberation of Bulgaria. When I went to Bulgaria for the first time I noticed that Dimitrov showed special respect for Yugov, kept him close and, it seemed, had great faith in him. Irrespective of certain shortcomings in Yugov, to the extent that I knew him, my opinion is that after the death of Dimitrov he was
the clearest ideologically and politically amongst the Bulgarian leaders, a man determined in his
opinions, courageous and a good organizer. I have had contacts with him many times in Bulgaria, in

p.218
Moscow, and also in Albania, when he visited our country, and he always showed himself frank, friendly and ready to talk with me.

    Yugov knew the political, economic and organizational situation in Bulgaria well and, from my impression, he knew this not only from reports, but more from his contacts. He went all over the country and was a man of the masses. Not only did he know how to organize, but he was a man who took decisions and knew how to defend them. In other words, Yugov was not a leader who could be made to conform quickly or a "yesman".

    In the organization of the Bulgarian Communist Party under the leadership of Dimitrov, Yugov had his own role. The same thing must be said, also, in regard to the restoration of industry and the organization of agricultural cooperatives, which were built following the example and course of the Soviet collective farms.

    When Chervenkov was removed from the post of general secretary of the party, he was replaced by Zhivko (NB: ironical diminutive for Zhivkov), while Yugov remained where he was, as deputy prime minister. As the cunning devil he was, Khrushchev preferred Todor, who would do the work for him better. Khrushchev could not manoeuvre with Yugov as he wanted. Did Yugov like this Khrushchevite solution?

p.210
Certainly not and he expressed it. Whenever we were together, it was quite clear that Yugov had utter disregard for Zhivkov.

    One fine niorning Yugov, too, was liquidated quietly like Chervenkov. We never heard the reasons for this liquidation, but we can guess them. He must have been in opposition to Zhivkov, i.e., to Khrushchev. In a word, he must have been against the colonization of Bulgaria by the Khrushchevite Soviet Union, against the loss of the independence and sovereignty of Bulgaria. Yugov must have refused to become a marionette in the hands of the Khrushchevites, as Zhivkov did.

    Together with Yugov's good qualities as a leader, in my opinion he also had some personal shortcomings. His main shortcoming was his conceit, which took concrete form in his boasting and the expressions which he used to boost himself and his work. I travelled through Bulgaria with him, he accompanied me to see cities, plains, agricultural cooperatives, historical sites, factories, artistic performances, etc. I enjoyed the beauties of the country and felt the affection of the Bulgarian people and the Bulgarian communists for our people and Party, Yugov's company was always pleasant and very instructive.

    However, wherever he went he seemed to want to show off. We travelled by car, passed through many villages and Yugov never failed

p.220
to tell me, not only the name of each cooperative, but also how many hectares of land, how many cows, how many horses, and even how many goats, let alone the hectares of vineyards, the type of grape and the number of fruit trees it had. Everything with statistics! Well, I thought, but even statisticians can be wrong! But no, Yugov, the "man with the ready answer", wanted to impress me that he "had everything at his fingertips".

    When they put on a folklore performance for us, he would jump up and join in dancing and singing. He was a bon vivant (jolly fellow - French in the original).

    Despite these things, Yugov was a good man and I retain pleasant memories of him. I believe he has not degenerated politically and ideologically.

    With his elimination, Khrushchev named Todor Zhivkov as the leader of Bulgaria or, more precisely, the "steward" of the Soviets in Bulgaria. Dimitrov raised the prestige of the Bulgarian Communist Party and of Bulgaria very high, but Todor Zhivkov completely reversed this process. This element without personality came to the top with the aid of Khruslichev, and became his docile lackey. At the time I met Dimitrov I never heard of Zhivkov. Later, in the time of Chervenkov, I saw him once or twice. Once he gave me

p.221
an alleged talk about Bulgarian agriculture and another time he accompanied me somewhere outside Sofia to a field of strawberries.

    When he talked to me about agriculture it seemed that it was not Zhivkov's mind talking but his notebook. He was Yugov's opposite. In a small notebook marked A-Z, he had noted down figures about everything - from the population of the country to the number of strings of tobacco. In other words, he bored me with figures, without any conclusion, for a whole hour. Another comrade who was with him spoke much better about the Bulgarian economy, in general, and about industry, in particular. I completely forgot Zhivkov. Later, however, when Chervenkov was removed, he emerged as first secretary (!). We were astonished, but we had no reason to be surprised. I met him in this function, too! He was just what he had been. There was only one change: in order to distinguish himself from the past, he had assumed some new poses; he no longer brought up his notebook, smiled frequently, sat with his cap on and used more popular expressions.

    Even after this I never had a serious conversation with him. Many times we dined together with the comrades of the Bulgarian leadership; Zhivkov took us from one of Czar Boris' palaces to the other, f rom the palace of Sofia to that of Eksinograd in Varna, but he never said anything .. . ."


W.B.Bland, Secretary Communist League
22 April 1994

Dear Comrades,
    Thank you for your letter of criticism with regard to the article on Dimitrov published recently in our journal 'Compass'.

    We agree with your point that to base such an article on such dubious sources as Ruth Fischer would have been incorrect. We consider it correct, however, to cite such sources where they corroborate other incontrovertible evidence.

    You suggest in your letter that the Dimitrov article was an individual creation. This is not correct. Before we publish any article, we do as much research as we consider necessary; in the case of the article concerned, this extended over several years. This is followed by a collective discussion of the draft findings until (if possible) a unanimous asssessment is reached. Nevertheless, having no divine powers, we are fallible. Where an error in an article is pointed out to us, we correct it and do our best to analyse the reasons for the error so that, as far as possible, we may avoid a similar mistake in the future.

    Most of your article is devoted to quotations from Hoxha in praise of Dimitrov. But to a materialist, facts must always take precedence over opinions -- even the opinions of such an outstanding Marxist-Leninist as Hoxha. And the facts demonstrate conclusively that Dimitrov was a revisionist who expressed his revisionist views quite openly.

    What are these facts?

    The key fact is one which you refrain from mentioning in your letter - namely, the expression of Dimitrov's revisionism in his own writings. The article quotes on page 16 (with the reference) his words of 1949:

    This was seven years before Khrushchev put forward the same line of 'peaceful transition to socialism' at the 20th Congress of the CPSU.

    If you are, as you say, anti-revisionist, you will accept, therefore, that the statement in the article to which you particularly object -- namely,

    -- is completely accurate.

    There are many other facts omitted from the article, for reasons of space. For example, the Yugoslav revisionist Milovan Djilas, anti-Stalin but pro-Dimitrov, records that it was Dimitrov's influence that secured Tito's appointment as Secretary of the CPY:

    While I thank you for your criticism, I can find nothing in your letter that would justify me referring the article concerned back for reconsideration. Indeed, I must say, with respect, that much of your letter is not principled Marxist-Leninist analysis of known facts, but mere nursery school name-calling.

    What you appear to be saying is that Dimitrov's undoubted revisionism should be concealed in order not to 'cause confusion'. But our view is that it is the duty of any Marxist-Leninist organisation to tell the truth, and that the truth never causes confusion. We maintain that lying is never justified -- particularly when it serves only to protect from temporary irritation aspiring Marxist-Leninists who have come to accept long-standing revisionist mythology as 'fact'.

to: The 'Marxist Study Group,
BIRMINGHAM


JP: From Leeds LS8 1DW
3.5.94

Dear Marxist Students,

    I was interested to receive a copy of your initial reactions to 'Compass No.1121. As you know, this issue examined the odd features of the Reichstag trial and on the basis of the known facts together with an examination of Dimitrov's writings constructed a hypothesis that he was in fact a tool of imperialism.

    I note you have expressed the following objections:

    As far as the first point is concerned, there are certainly references to non-Marxist-Leninist sources in the text, but the hypothesis itself relies heavily on established historical facts and Dimitrov's own words. You seemed to have managed to ignore this crucial aspect completely! If the revisionist and imperialist quotes offend, leave them out, and consider only Dimitrov's formulation that socialism could be attained peacefully, without revolution.

    The second point seems to come about through adopting the bourgeois view of Stalin as a 'dictator' who had total control. Stalin submitted to the principle of democratic centralism and struggled against concealed revisionists within the party for many years. Unless one believes that he had complete freedom of action, it must be allowed that some things were beyond his control. But perhaps you would also argue that to acknowledge that over a considerable period of time Trotskyites within the Soviet Union waged an effective campaign of terrorism is, in fact, an attack on Stalin, because it suggests he was not able to mount an effective defence against Trotskyism?

    Finally, Hoxha's remarks are of great interest but unless we know that he was in possession of all the facts, was familiar with Dimitrov's writings in detail, and was infallible, his stated views do not in themselves constitute a rebuttal of the Communist League hypothesis.



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