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The Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties, commonly known as Cominform, was the official central organization of the International Communist Movement from 1947 to 1956.[1] Cominform was a supranational alliance of Marxist-Leninist communist parties in Europe to coordinate their activity under the direction of the Soviet Union during the early Cold War. Cominform became de facto inactive in Soviet affairs from 1950 and dissolved during de-Stalinization in 1956.

Communist Information Bureau
FoundedOctober 5, 1947
DissolvedApril 17, 1956
Preceded byComintern
HeadquartersBelgrade, Yugoslavia (1947–1948)
Bucharest, Romania (1948–1956)
NewspaperFor Lasting Peace, for People's Democracy!
Ideology
Colours     Red

OverviewEdit

Establishment and purposeEdit

The Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties was unofficially founded at a conference of Marxist-Leninist communist parties from across Europe in Szklarska Poręba, Poland in September 1947. Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, called the conference in response to divergences among communist governments on whether or not to attend the Paris Conference on the Marshall Plan in July 1947. It was founded with nine members: the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the Bulgarian Communist Party, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, the Hungarian Communist Party, the Polish Workers' Party, the Romanian Communist Party, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, the French Communist Party, and the Italian Communist Party. The organization was commonly known as Cominform, an abbreviated form of the Communist Information Bureau, itself a shortened version of the official name.

Cominform was officially established on 5 October 1947 with the intended purpose of coordinating actions between European communist parties under the direction of the Soviet Union. Cominform was not intended to be a replacement or successor to the Comintern, the international organization that advocated world communism and dissolved in 1943, but was considered its spiritual successor. Cominform was not a world communist party and did not have subordinates or power, limiting itself to its newspaper, For Lasting Peace, for People's Democracy! published in several languages, and to one goal: "to organize an exchange of experience, and where necessary to coordinate the activity of the Communist parties, on the basis of mutual agreement."[2] Cominform was organize the propagation of communist interests and repel the expansion of anti-communism in the aftermath of World War II and the subsequent Cold War, dividing the world into imperialist and anti-imperialist factions.[3] [4] The French and Italian communist parties were specifically tasked by Cominform with the obstruction of the implementation of the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine in Western Europe.[5]

Expulsion of YugoslaviaEdit

Cominform was initially located in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, but after the Tito–Stalin split expelled Yugoslavia from the group in June 1948, the seat was moved to Bucharest, Romania. Officially, Yugoslavia was expelled for "Titoism", based on accusations of deviating from Marxism-Leninism and anti-Sovietism. In reality, Yugoslavia was considered to be heretical for resisting Soviet dominance in its affairs and integration into Eastern Bloc as a Soviet satellite state. One of the most decisive factors that led to the expulsion of Yugoslavia was their commitment to supporting communist insurgents in the Greek Civil War, in violation of the "Percentages agreement" between the Soviet Union and United Kingdom, and their decision to station troops in Albania.[6] The expulsion of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia from Cominform initiated the Informbiro period in Yugoslavia's history. Cominform's newspaper was originally printed in Belgrade; it was moved to Bucharest after the expulsion of Yugoslavia.[7] A vast array of articles was published, including some from the Canadian Communist Party.[8]

DissolutionEdit

From 1950, Cominform became rapidly irrelevant after the victory of the People's Republic of China in the Chinese Civil War weakened Europe as the center of communism. Cominform, composed of entirely European parties, was rendered largely useless in Soviet influence over the international communist movement. No attempts were made to reorganize Cominform and its decline accelerated drastically after the death of Stalin in March 1953. Meanwhile, the Soviets had gradually replaced Cominform with more effective and specialized organizations to exert their influence, such the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) in 1949 and the Warsaw Pact in 1955. Cominform was officially dissolved on 17 April 1956 in a decision by the Central Committee of the CPSU, prompted by the Soviet rapprochement with Yugoslavia and the De-Stalinization process following the rise of Nikita Khrushchev as Stalin's successor.[5]

MeetingsEdit

There are four recorded meetings of the Cominform, before 1956. The first was the founding meeting. This occurred in Poland, 1947. Members present at the first meeting were Kardelj and Djilas for Yugoslavia, Chervenkov and Poptomov for Bulgaria, Gheorghiu-Dej and Anna Pauker for Romania, Farkas and Revai for Hungary, Gomulka and Minc for Poland, Zhdanov and Malenkov for the U.S.S.R., Duclos and Frajon for France, Slánský and Bastovanski for Czechoslovakia, and Longo and Reale for Italy. Zhdanov was chairman, Gomulka was appointed vice-chairman.[9]

The second meeting occurred in Yugoslavia in January 1948. During this meeting, a permanent editorial board was chosen for the newspaper. This editorial board was under the leadership of Yugoslav national, P. Yudin. He was succeeded by U.S.S.R. national, M. Mitin, after the Yugoslav expulsion. A third meeting occurred in Romania in June 1948. This resulted in the expulsion of the Yugoslav Communist Party. Lastly, the fourth meeting was held in Hungary in November 1949.[7]

Member partiesEdit

See alsoEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Healey, Denis. "The Cominform and World Communism". International Affairs. 24, 3: 339–349.
  2. ^ Timmerman, Heinz (Spring 1985). "The cominform effects on Soviet foreign policy". Studies in Comparative Communism. 18, 1: 3–23.
  3. ^ Hunt, Michael (2013). The World Transformed: 1945 to the Present. Oxford University Press. p. 38. ISBN 9780199371020.
  4. ^ Deery and Redfern (May 2005). "No Lasting Peace? Labor, Communism and the Cominform: Australia and Great Britain, 1945-50". Labour History. 88: 63–86.
  5. ^ a b "Cominform". Britannica Academic. 3 February 2017.
  6. ^ Swain, Geoffrey (1 March 2010). "The Cominform: Tito's International?". The Historical Journal. 35, Issue 3: 641–663.
  7. ^ a b Morris, Bernard S. (April 1953). "The Cominfom: A Five-Year Perspective". World Politics. 5, 3: 368–376.
  8. ^ Black, J. L. (Spring 1988). "The Stalinist Image of Canada The Cominform and Soviet Press, 1947-1955". Labour / Le Travail. 21: 153–171.
  9. ^ G.I. (May 1950). "The Evolution of the Cominform 1947-1950". The World Today. 6, 5: 213–228.

Further readingEdit

  • G. Procacci (ed.), The Cominform. Minutes of the Three Conferences (1947-1949). Milan, Italy: Feltrinelli, 1994.