Victor Serge
Victor Serge born Victor Lvovich Kibalchich , was a Russian revolutionary and writer. Originally an anarchist, he joined the Bolsheviks five months after arriving in Petrograd in January 1919 and later worked for the Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

 as a journalist, editor and translator. He was critical of the Stalinist regime
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

 but remained a socialist
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 until his death.
Serge was born in Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, Belgium, to a couple of impoverished Russian anti-Czarist exiles.

Revolutionaries knew quite well that the autocratic Empire, with its hangmen, its pogroms, its finery, its famines, its Siberian jails and ancient iniquity, could never survive the war.

On Russia in World War I

All right, I can see the broken eggs. Now where's this omelette of yours?

After visiting Russia, to the pro-Leninist sentiment in the global left.

Victor Serge born Victor Lvovich Kibalchich , was a Russian revolutionary and writer. Originally an anarchist, he joined the Bolsheviks five months after arriving in Petrograd in January 1919 and later worked for the Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

 as a journalist, editor and translator. He was critical of the Stalinist regime
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

 but remained a socialist
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 until his death.

Early life

Serge was born in Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, Belgium, to a couple of impoverished Russian anti-Czarist exiles. His father, Leonid Kibalchich, a former infantry trooper from Kiev, was distantly related to Nikolai Kibalchich
Nikolai Kibalchich
Nikolai Ivanovich Kibalchich was a Russian revolutionary, taking part in the assassination of Tsar Alexander II as the main explosive expert for Narodnaya Volya , and also a rocket pioneer...

 of the People's Will
People's Will
Will of the People is a political party that aimed for representation in the Parliament of Sweden, but only got 881 votes nation-wide in the Swedish general election, 2006, of a national turnout of 5,650,416...

, who was executed as a result of the assassination of Alexander II
Alexander II of Russia
Alexander II , also known as Alexander the Liberator was the Emperor of the Russian Empire from 3 March 1855 until his assassination in 1881...

 in 1881. Leonid, himself a Peoples' Will sympathiser, had fled Russia around 1887 and gone to Switzerland, where he met Serge's mother, Vera Frolova, née Podorovskaya. She was the daughter of an impoverished petty nobleman of Polish
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 extraction from the Nizhni-Novgorod province. Vera had married a Saint Petersburg official and, after giving birth to two daughters, had received permission to go to Switzerland to study and heal her consumptive lungs, but also to escape the reactionary environment of Saint Petersburg. She fell in love with the handsome, feckless Kibalchich, and the couple wandered Europe, according to their son, "in search of cheap lodgings and good libraries". Victor was born "by chance" in Brussels, where the couple were so poor that Victor's younger brother died of malnutrition before Leonid eventually found work as a teacher at the Institute of Anatomy. The 'Kibalchich myth' of revolutionary idealism and sacrifice dominated Victor's impoverished childhood. He read a great deal, and became interested in socialism and anarchism along with his friends, including Raymond Callemin.

Serge's parents broke up in 1905, when he was 15. Living on his own from then on, he soon joined the Belgian Socialist Party, but soon came to feel that it was not radical enough. He became increasingly involved in anarchism and was expelled from Belgium in 1909. He moved to Paris and learned the printing trade.

Serge's first published article was written in September 1908. Under the pen name
Pen name
A pen name, nom de plume, or literary double, is a pseudonym adopted by an author. A pen name may be used to make the author's name more distinctive, to disguise his or her gender, to distance an author from some or all of his or her works, to protect the author from retribution for his or her...

 "Le Rétif" ("The Restless One" or "The Stubborn One"), Serge wrote many articles for Le Révolté
Le Révolté
Le Révolté was an anarcho-communist journal started by Peter Kropotkin, along with François Dumartheray and Georg Herzig, in February 1879. The journal was partially funded by Elisée Reclus, Kropotkin's mentor. At the time of the journal's founding, Reclus and Kropotkin were living in the village...

and, starting in 1909, L'Anarchie, a journal founded by Albert Libertad
Albert Libertad
Joseph Albert was an individualist anarchist militant and writer from France who edited the influential anarchist publication L’Anarchie.- Life and work :...

, whom Serge and his friends considered to be a hero. Serge at this stage was an outspoken supporter of individualist anarchism
Individualist anarchism
Individualist anarchism refers to several traditions of thought within the anarchist movement that emphasize the individual and his or her will over external determinants such as groups, society, traditions, and ideological systems. Individualist anarchism is not a single philosophy but refers to a...

 and illegalism
Illegalism is an anarchist philosophy that developed primarily in France, Italy, Belgium, and Switzerland during the early 1900s as an outgrowth of individualist anarchism...

, frequently clashing with the editor of L'Anarchie, André Roulot (aka "Lorulot"), who favoured less inflammatory rhetoric. In 1910, following a schism in L'Anarchie, Lorulot departed and Serge was named as the new editor of the paper. During this time Serge was in a relationship with Rirette Maitrejean
Rirette Maitrejean
Rirette Maitrejean was the pseudonym of Anna Estorges. She was a French individualist anarchist born in 1887 in Tulle who collaborated in the French individualist anarchist magazine L´anarchie along with Emile Armand and Albert Libertad. She had romantic relationships with Maurice Vandamme and...

, another anarchist activist.

In 1912 Serge was judged to have been involved in acts of terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 and was sentenced to five years in solitary confinement for his involvement with the Bonnot Gang
Bonnot gang
The Bonnot Gang was a French criminal anarchist group that operated in France and Belgium during the Belle Époque, from 1911 to 1912...

. Several of his comrades were executed. He was thus in prison on the outbreak of the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. He immediately forecast that the war would lead to a Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

: "Revolutionaries knew quite well that the autocratic Empire, with its hangmen, its pogroms, its finery, its famines, its Siberian jails and ancient iniquity, could never survive the war."

In September 1914, Serge was in a prison on an island in the Seine
The Seine is a -long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Saint-Seine near Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre . It is navigable by ocean-going vessels...

, twenty-five miles or so from the Battle of the Marne
First Battle of the Marne
The Battle of the Marne was a First World War battle fought between 5 and 12 September 1914. It resulted in an Allied victory against the German Army under Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke the Younger. The battle effectively ended the month long German offensive that opened the war and had...

. The local population, suspecting a French defeat, began to flee, and for a while Serge and the other inmates expected to become German prisoners.

On his release in 1917 he went to live in Spain, which was neutral in World War I but was the scene of an attempted syndicalist
Syndicalism is a type of economic system proposed as a replacement for capitalism and an alternative to state socialism, which uses federations of collectivised trade unions or industrial unions...

 revolution. It was around this time that he first used the name Victor Serge, as a pen name for an article in the newspaper Tierra y Libertad.

Nicholas II
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until...

 was overthrown in February, 1917, and in July Serge decided to travel to Russia, for the first time in his life, to participate in the revolutionary activities there. In order to get there he returned to France. He studied art history
Art history
Art history has historically been understood as the academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style...

 for two months, but was then arrested because he had promised to stay out of France. He was imprisoned without trial for more than a year and engaged in political discussions with fellow prisoners.

In October 1918 the Danish Red Cross intervened, arranging for Serge and other revolutionaries to be exchanged for Bruce Lockhart
R. H. Bruce Lockhart
Sir Robert Hamilton Bruce Lockhart KCMG , was a journalist, author, secret agent, British diplomat in Moscow and Prague, and footballer...

 and other anti-Bolsheviks who had been imprisoned in Russia.

During the Civil War

Soon after Serge arrived in Russia, in January 1919, he joined the Bolsheviks, having grown disillusioned with anarchism, and believing that anarchism was a good ideal for life but Bolshevism offered the best theory of political change. He continued to support the involvement of anarchists and non-Bolshevik socialists in the revolution, and joined social groups largely containing non-Bolsheviks, such as the circle around the novelist Andrei Bely
Andrei Bely
Andrei Bely was the pseudonym of Boris Nikolaevich Bugaev , a Russian novelist, poet, theorist, and literary critic. His novel Petersburg was regarded by Vladimir Nabokov as one of the four greatest novels of the 20th century.-Biography:...

. While Serge was a staunch internationalist, believing that revolutions in other countries were desirable and even necessary for the survival of the Soviet Union, and wishing for socialism to succeed across the planet, he was concerned about the Bolsheviks’ desire to force world revolution, particularly believing that France was far from revolutionary conditions. He also believed that while revolutionary conditions were ripe in Germany, the necessary revolutionary consciousness was lacking.

Serge lived in Petrograd, the former Saint Petersburg, which was going through a difficult period. At one time he lived in a mansion that had belonged to a noble family. With no other way to keep warm, Serge and his companions began burning books, and he was particularly happy to burn a book of the laws of the Russian empire.

Serge met Maxim Gorky
Maxim Gorky
Alexei Maximovich Peshkov , primarily known as Maxim Gorky , was a Russian and Soviet author, a founder of the Socialist Realism literary method and a political activist.-Early years:...

 and was offered a position at the publishing house that Gorky was running, Universal Literature. Though Serge deeply admired Gorky, he declined the position. At first he made his living as an inspector of schools and as a lecturer for the Petrograd Soviet. In March 1919 he began working for Grigory Zinoviev
Grigory Zinoviev
Grigory Yevseevich Zinoviev , born Ovsei-Gershon Aronovich Radomyslsky Apfelbaum , was a Bolshevik revolutionary and a Soviet Communist politician...

, who had been appointed as President of the Executive of the Third International. Serge's knowledge of languages enabled him to help in the publishing of foreign-language editions of the organization's publications, but he was already criticizing what he saw as Zinoviev's bureaucratic tendencies.
Serge was a very capable worker in the Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

 and was particularly known for meeting people who visited the Soviet Union from various nations, including Pierre Naville
Pierre Naville
Pierre Naville was a French Surrealist writer and sociologist. He was a prominent member of the 'Investigating Sex' group of Surrealist thinkers.In politics, he was a Communist and then a Trotskyist, before joining the PSU...

, Gerard Rosenthal, Nikos Kazantsakis and Panait Istrati
Panait Istrati
Panait Istrati was a Romanian writer of French and Romanian expression, nicknamed The Maxim Gorky of the Balkans. Istrati was first noted for the depiction of one homosexual character in his work.-Early life:...

. He also worked to help those who, he believed, were being unjustly persecuted by the secret police.

Serge married Liuba Russakova, and they had their first child, Vlady in 1920. The Russakovs were a Russian Jewish family who had been expelled from France and had travelled to Petrograd on the same boat as Serge. Liuba's father, Alexander Russakov, was also a revolutionary, who had moved to France following the 1905 revolution, while always continuing to be a worker and returning to factory work after his return to Russia. Liuba herself briefly served as Lenin's stenographer in 1921. Her health problems became a major concern for Serge.

Serge had arrived in Russia during the civil war and the era of war communism
War communism
War communism or military communism was the economic and political system that existed in Soviet Russia during the Russian Civil War, from 1918 to 1921...

. At first he believed that the Soviets could not afford to be merciful to their enemies, and he once criticized officers who let White Army prisoners go without shooting them. This was a reaction to the persecution of communists and other revolutionaries in the rest of the world. However, his positions on such issues soon changed as the government continued to be just as harsh against dissenters after the end of the civil war as it had been during it. Serge soon became disillusioned, and joined with Emma Goldman
Emma Goldman
Emma Goldman was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century....

 and Alexander Berkman
Alexander Berkman
Alexander Berkman was an anarchist known for his political activism and writing. He was a leading member of the anarchist movement in the early 20th century....

 to complain about the way the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 treated the sailors involved in the Kronstadt Uprising. He believed that, with more competent officials in charge of the negotiations, there could have been a settlement between the government and the sailors. However, Serge reluctantly sided with the Bolshevik Party on the Kronstadt rebellion, because, in his view, it better represented the interests of the workers, and the alternative was counter-revolution.

As a libertarian socialist, Serge protested against the Red Terror
Red Terror
The Red Terror in Soviet Russia was the campaign of mass arrests and executions conducted by the Bolshevik government. In Soviet historiography, the Red Terror is described as having been officially announced on September 2, 1918 by Yakov Sverdlov and ended about October 1918...

 organized by Felix Dzerzhinsky and the Cheka
Cheka was the first of a succession of Soviet state security organizations. It was created by a decree issued on December 20, 1917, by Vladimir Lenin and subsequently led by aristocrat-turned-communist Felix Dzerzhinsky...

. Serge also criticized the New Economic Policy
New Economic Policy
The New Economic Policy was an economic policy proposed by Vladimir Lenin, who called it state capitalism. Allowing some private ventures, the NEP allowed small animal businesses or smoke shops, for instance, to reopen for private profit while the state continued to control banks, foreign trade,...

, believing that it was counter-revolutionary, though in 1923 he admitted that it had resulted in improved conditions compared to war communism.

In the spring of 1921 Serge briefly withdrew from the government and began a commune on an abandoned estate near Petrograd. However, after three months the commune was abandoned because of hostility from anti-Semitic
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

 peasants, who thought that all the residents of the commune were Jews.

Foreign missions

Serge then went on a Comintern assignment to Germany, where there was an active Communist Party. Living mainly in Berlin, he witnessed the effects of economic crisis throughout Germany. Though he was still worried about repression in the Soviet Union, his stay in Germany restored his pride in the accomplishments of the Russian Revolution. Though he returned to Moscow to attend meetings several times, he lived in Germany until November 1923, when he was forced to leave after the failed Communist insurrection in October and the fascist coup attempt in November .

Serge harshly criticized the bureaucratic nature of the Comintern and its attempts to determine when revolutions "should" occur on the basis of inaccurate information and dogmatic preconceptions. He criticized the increasing control of the Comintern by the Soviet government, and particularly the factions of Zinoviev and Stalin. He cited the situation in Germany in 1923 as a major example of their mistakes. Along with German communist leaders such as Heinrich Brandler
Heinrich Brandler
Heinrich Brandler was a German communist trade unionist, politician, revolutionary activist, and writer. Brandler is best remember as the head of the Communist Party of Germany during the party's ill-fated "March Action" of 1921 and aborted uprising of 1923, for which he was held responsible by...

, Serge had worked in Germany to promote a workers’ revolution, which was eventually cancelled and occurred only in Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 because the party there had not heard of the cancellation. Serge believed that the working class in Germany was not ready for revolution because it was too moderate. Serge criticized the Social Democrats in Germany, felt that the Communists
Communist Party of Germany
The Communist Party of Germany was a major political party in Germany between 1918 and 1933, and a minor party in West Germany in the postwar period until it was banned in 1956...

 had poor organization, and predicted the danger of fascism there.

In 1923 Serge became associated with the Left Opposition
Left Opposition
The Left Opposition was a faction within the Bolshevik Party from 1923 to 1927, headed de facto by Leon Trotsky. The Left Opposition formed as part of the power struggle within the party leadership that began with the Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin's illness and intensified with his death in January...

 group that included Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

, Karl Radek
Karl Radek
Karl Bernhardovic Radek was a socialist active in the Polish and German movements before World War I and an international Communist leader after the Russian Revolution....

, Yevgeni Preobrazhensky
Yevgeni Preobrazhensky
Yevgeni Alekseyevich Preobrazhensky was an Old Bolshevik, an economist and a member of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik faction and, its successor, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.-Life:...

 and Adolf Joffe. Serge was an outspoken critic of the authoritarian way in which Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 and his allies were now governing the country. He is believed to have been the first writer to describe the Soviet government as "totalitarian".

Serge moved to Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Austria, later in 1923. Austria was then ruled by the Social Democrats and the Communist Party
Communist Party of Austria
The Communist Party of Austria is a communist party based in Austria. Established in 1918, it was banned between 1933 and 1945 under both the Austrofascist regime, and German control of Austria during World War II...

 was so small that there was no possibility of revolution there. However, many Communists were working or in exile in Vienna, and Serge befriended some of them, including Georg Lukács
Georg Lukács
György Lukács was a Hungarian Marxist philosopher and literary critic. He is a founder of the tradition of Western Marxism. He contributed the concept of reification to Marxist philosophy and theory and expanded Karl Marx's theory of class consciousness. Lukács' was also an influential literary...

, Adolf Joffe and Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci was an Italian writer, politician, political philosopher, and linguist. He was a founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy and was imprisoned by Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime...

. Serge watched political events in Russia, Germany and elsewhere, but could participate little, and worked on other pursuits, such as literary analysis.

The Left Opposition

Serge returned to the Soviet Union in 1925. Shortly after his arrival Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev
Lev Kamenev
Lev Borisovich Kamenev , born Rozenfeld , was a Bolshevik revolutionary and a prominent Soviet politician. He was briefly head of state of the new republic in 1917, and from 1923-24 the acting Premier in the last year of Lenin's life....

, members of the ruling troika alongside Stalin, reconciled with Trotsky, and the United Opposition
United Opposition
The United Opposition was a group formed in the All-Union Communist Party in 1926 by Leon Trotsky, Lev Kamenev and Grigory Zinoviev in opposition to Joseph Stalin...

 was formed. Serge was generally supportive of the United Opposition, despite continued disagreements on economic and other matters between its Trotskyist and "Zinovievist" members. Meanwhile, Serge moved to Leningrad (the former Petrograd), where he was actively involved in Opposition groups. Despite the support of Kamenev and Zinoviev, Stalin's allies were gaining more and more power, and the opposition often had to meet in secret. Serge soon realized that the defeat of the opposition was inevitable, and by 1927, the tenth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, he concluded that the reaction had been completed. He often compared the defeat of the Left Opposition to the Thermidorian reaction
Thermidor was the eleventh month in the French Republican Calendar. The month was named after the French word thermal which comes from the Greek word "thermos" which means heat....

 that followed the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...


Serge was not one of the political or theoretical leaders of the Left Opposition, but he worked tirelessly to promote it through both writing and activism. At that time he agreed with Trotsky that their fight should remain within the party, but he later wrote that "party patriotism" had helped to defeat them, while admitting that there were no other organizations with mass support that could have challenged the party. Serge was one of the few members of the opposition who could speak at Communist Party meetings without being shouted down by hecklers, though he was given only five minutes to speak at each meeting.

In late 1927 most of the Opposition, including Trotsky and Zinoviev, was expelled from the party, and some, led by Zinoviev, capitulated in order to return to the party. Serge believed that the expulsion of the opposition meant that the party was completely broken, and refused to support the capitulation. He believed from this point onwards that the ban on additional political parties was wrong.

After Stalin's victory

In 1928 Serge was expelled from the Communist Party, largely because of his protests against the Soviet Union's policy on China, and officially because of his protests over the party congress's expulsion of the Opposition. He was now unable to work for the government. Over the next few years he spent much of his time writing Year One of the Russian Revolution (1930), completing two novels, Men in Prison (1930) and Birth of Our Power (1931), and translating Vera Figner
Vera Figner
Vera Nikolayevna Figner was a Russian revolutionary and narodnik born in Kazan, Russia.-Biography:...

's Memoires d'un révolutionnaire into French. These books were banned in the Soviet Union, but were published in France and Spain. He also commented on and attempted to investigate the murders of political dissenters. Amid the growing poverty and peasant resistance, which was brutally crushed, he also wrote commentaries on these aspects of Soviet life.

Serge was arrested in March 1928 and spent two months in jail without charge. While some of the French intellectuals who had been among his close comrades, such as Henri Barbusse
Henri Barbusse
Henri Barbusse was a French novelist and a member of the French Communist Party.-Life:...

, harshly criticized his continued opposition to Stalin, others continued to help him and soon won his release. Shortly after his release, Serge suffered serious health problems, particularly an intestinal occlusion of which he almost died, and this drove him to devote himself to writing. During the next five years of "precarious liberty" he worked at the Lenin Institute, translating the works of Lenin into foreign languages, though his translations were closely monitored by the censors and he was unable to receive any credit. He lived in a communal apartment in Leningrad with at least three people who openly monitored him as they worked for the GPU. Serge's family was targeted for harassment, particularly his father-in-law Alexander Russakov, who was denied work, arrested for a time and denied a bread card. He died in 1932. Serge's wife Liuba Russakova was driven insane. Serge could not meet friends and relatives openly, because they could get into trouble for contacting him, so when he visited Moscow he often slept in empty houses. However, he occasionally met the remaining free opposition members secretly, and had some contacts with former friends who worked for Stalin. He also worked as hard as possible to smuggle anti-government material out of the Soviet Union. Trotsky received his last communication from the Soviet opposition from Serge in 1929.

Serge was arrested and imprisoned again in March 1933. This time he did not receive a quick release. The arrest occurred while Serge was in the street attempting to buy medicine for his wife. He was held and interrogated at the Lubyanka
Lubyanka (KGB)
The Lubyanka is the popular name for the headquarters of the KGB and affiliated prison on Lubyanka Square in Moscow. It is a large building with a facade of yellow brick, designed by Alexander V...

 prison, where he spent 85 days in solitary confinement
Solitary confinement
Solitary confinement is a special form of imprisonment in which a prisoner is isolated from any human contact, though often with the exception of members of prison staff. It is sometimes employed as a form of punishment beyond incarceration for a prisoner, and has been cited as an additional...

. The GPU claimed to have obtained a confession from his sister-in-law and former secretary, Anita Russakova, that she and Serge had been involved in a conspiracy led by Trotsky. Serge knew from his contacts in the Communist Party that if he signed the confession he would be executed. The GPU's claim was later proven to be entirely false (though Anita Russakova herself was arrested in 1936). Eventually the GPU dropped this part of the case, stating that the "evidence from Anita" was not necessary, though Serge never knew that she had not made any confession. Serge never signed a confession of his own, though he did eventually sign a statement agreeing to his sentence of three years in a gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

 in Orenburg
Orenburg is a city on the Ural River and the administrative center of Orenburg Oblast, Russia. It lies southeast of Moscow, very close to the border with Kazakhstan. Population: 546,987 ; 549,361 ; Highest point: 154.4 m...


As he travelled to Orenburg Serge was finally able to meet and have discussions with Left Oppositionists who were also being deported. Orenburg was an impoverished town and he had to struggle for food. He could not work because he refused to declare his support for the general line
General line of the party
In the terminology of communism, the general line of the party or simply the general line refers to the directives of the governing bodies of a party which define party's politics. The term was in common use by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and also adopted by many other communist...

 of the party. He depended on parcels of food from his wife and money from the sale of his books in France. However, the GPU could confiscate his mail at any time, and after his first year in Orenburg they largely cut off mail delivery. Serge was able to address manuscripts to the French writer Romain Rolland
Romain Rolland
Romain Rolland was a French dramatist, novelist, essayist, art historian and mystic who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915.-Biography:...

, who was sympathetic to Stalin but was against Serge's repression, but many manuscripts that Serge tried to send were lost.

Serge's wife and their son Vlady joined him in Orenburg in 1934, but he sent his wife back to Moscow so that she could seek treatment for her mental illness. In Moscow she gave birth to their second child, a daughter named Jeannine. Vlady stayed with Serge. After their mail was cut off they subsisted on a soup of cabbage, water and salt. Serge became gravely ill at the end of 1934 and spent time in a hospital under terrible conditions. Despite these difficulties, he was able to make friends with many of the deportees who were also political prisoners. His novel Midnight in the Century is based on his time in Orenburg.

Noting that the Soviet Union was in economic recovery by 1935, Serge predicted that Stalin would choose normalization, but by 1936 the terror was expanding, using the assassination of Sergei Kirov in December 1934 as a pretext. (Serge believed that Kirov had been killed by an assassin acting alone, with no involvement by either the opposition or Stalinists, though more recent research has indicated that the assassination was almost certainly arranged by the regime.)

Protests against Serge's imprisonment took place at several international conferences, most notably the International Congress of Writers for the Defense of Culture in 1935 in Paris. Protests came from intellectuals of various political ideologies, including Georges Duhamel
Georges Duhamel
Georges Duhamel , was a French author, born in Paris. Duhamel trained as a doctor, and during World War I was attached to the French Army. In 1920, he published Confession de minuit , the first of a series featuring the anti-hero Salavin...

, Charles Vildrac
Charles Vildrac
Charles Vildrac , born "Charles Messager", was a French playwright and poet.Born in Paris, Vildrac's first poems were written when he was a teenager in the 1890s. In 1901 he published Le Verlibrisme, a defense of traditional verse...

, Boris Souvarine
Boris Souvarine
Boris Souvarine was an Imperial Russian-born French socialist, communist activist, essayist, and journalist.-Early years:...

, André Gide
André Gide
André Paul Guillaume Gide was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars.Known for his fiction as well as his autobiographical works, Gide...

 and Romain Rolland. Serge was able to correspond with Gide, and had a strong influence on him, later telling Gide to "keep [his] eyes wide open" while visiting the Soviet Union in 1936. Rolland corresponded with Genrikh Yagoda
Genrikh Yagoda
Genrikh Grigoryevich Yagoda , born Enokh Gershevich Ieguda , was a Soviet state security official who served as director of the NKVD, the Soviet Union's Stalin-era security and intelligence agency, from 1934 to 1936...

 about Serge's manuscripts, eventually visited the Soviet Union and had meetings with Stalin during which Serge was mentioned. The Serge case caused the Soviet government considerable embarrassment and in 1936 Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 announced that he was considering releasing Serge from prison. Pierre Laval
Pierre Laval
Pierre Laval was a French politician. He was four times President of the council of ministers of the Third Republic, twice consecutively. Following France's Armistice with Germany in 1940, he served twice in the Vichy Regime as head of government, signing orders permitting the deportation of...

, the French prime minister, refused to grant Serge an entry permit, but Emile Vandervelde
Emile Vandervelde
thumb|upright|Emile VanderveldeEmile Vandervelde was a Belgian statesman, born at Ixelles. He studied law at the Free University of Brussels and became doctor of laws in 1885 and doctor of social science in 1888.-Activities:Vandervelde became a member of the Parti Ouvrier...

, a veteran socialist who by then was a member of the Belgian government, managed to obtain Serge a visa to live in Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...


Serge was ordered to return to Moscow and arrived there on April 12, 1936. As he prepared for departure from the Soviet Union, he attempted to get permission to take his manuscripts with him, but they were taken from him. He left the country safely, along with his wife and children, but their relatives were not so fortunate: Anita Russakova spent 25 years in a gulag (and was eventually able to give her version of events after 1989), while Serge's sister, his mother-in-law and two of his brothers-in-law all died in prison.

In Belgium and France

Soon after Serge's arrival in Belgium he was able to move to France. He immediately began corresponding with anti-Stalinist socialists
Anti-Stalinist left
The anti-Stalinist left is an element of left-wing politics that is critical of Joseph Stalin's policies and the political system that developed in the Soviet Union under his rule...

, including Leon Trotsky and his son Leon Sedov
Leon Sedov
Lev Lvovich Sedov was the son of the Russian Communist leader Leon Trotsky and his second wife Natalia Sedova. He was born when his father was in prison facing life imprisonment for having led the first Soviet Revolution of 1905.-Life:...

. His mail was still frequently intercepted, both by Stalinist agents and spies for western countries. Trotsky was having many disagreements with other non-Stalinist leftists, and was unhappy that Serge continued to associate with his critics. Some revolutionaries also distrusted Serge because they felt that he could not have been released unless Stalin thought that he would be useful. These allegations were untrue, but would soon cause Serge serious difficulties.

Serge resumed work on two books about Soviet Communism, From Lenin to Stalin (1937) and Destiny of a Revolution (1937). During this time, coinciding with the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

, Serge was the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM
Poum is a commune in the North Province of New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. The town of Poum is located in the far northwest, located on the southern part of Banare Bay, with Mouac Island just offshore....

) correspondent in Paris. He also published several novels and a volume of poems, Resistance (1938). Many of these poems were actually written in Russia, but the manuscripts were among those confiscated from him and he reconstructed them from memory.

Around the time of Serge's arrival in France Mark Zborowski
Mark Zborowski
Mark Zborowski was an anthropologist and an NKVD agent...

 was becoming a powerful person in the French Trotskyist movement, as a confidante of Leon Sedov. Zborowski, who turned out later to be a GPU agent, successfully used Serge's minor disagreements with other Trotskyists to spread distrust of Serge within the Trotskyist movement, a distrust that eventually led Trotsky himself to break off relations with Serge.

In Mexico

After France was invaded by Germany in 1940, Serge, together with his son, Vlady Kibalchich, managed to escape. Serge's wife Liuba was left behind in a mental institution as she was too ill to travel, and their daughter stayed with her. (Liuba remained in France until her death in 1985.) Serge and Vlady had trouble finding a country that would take them in, but in 1941 they obtained visas to live in Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

. They arrived several months after Trotsky had been assassinated in Mexico City.

As Serge was most comfortable writing in French, and had little knowledge of Spanish, he found it difficult to adjust to living in Mexico, and often had little money for food. He soon remarried, to Laurette Séjourné
Laurette Séjourné
Laurette Séjourné was a Mexican archeologist and ethnologist best known for her study of the civilizations of Teotihuacan and the Aztecs and her theories concerning the Mesoamerican culture hero, Quetzalcoatl....

, and developed friendships with some other European exiles, most notably Trotsky's widow Natalia Sedova
Natalia Sedova
Natalia Ivanovna Sedova is best known as the second wife of Leon Trotsky, the Russian revolutionary. She was, however, also an active revolutionary in her own right and wrote on cultural matters pertaining to Marxism...

. He continued to receive support from some American intellectuals, such as Dwight Macdonald
Dwight Macdonald
Dwight Macdonald was an American writer, editor, film critic, social critic, philosopher, and political radical.-Early life and career:...

, and his writings were published in certain American left-wing periodicals. He was also the Mexican correspondent for the New Leader. The Communist establishment publicly denounced him as a Trotskyist, and he was subjected to strong criticism by the Mexican press and by the veteran Communist propagandists Otto Katz (writing under the nom de plume André Simone) and Paul Merker. Serge was charged with being a fascist secret agent, just as Trotsky had been. However, he found support from the International Revolutionary Marxist Centre
International Revolutionary Marxist Centre
The International Revolutionary Marxist Centre was an international association of left-socialist parties. The member-parties rejected both mainstream social democracy and the Third International.-Organizational history:...

, and wrote Los problemas del socialismo en nuestro tiempo with Marceau Pivert
Marceau Pivert
Marceau Pivert was a French schoolteacher, trade unionist, Socialist militant and journalist. He was an alumnus of the École normale supérieure de Saint-Cloud.-In the Socialist Party:...

 and Julián Gorkin
Julián Gorkin
Julián Gómez García-Ribera, better known as Julián Gorkin was a Spanish revolutionary socialist, and a central leader of the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification during the Spanish Civil War. He was also a writer of many books on political and cultural themes, as well as novels and some plays...


After the United States and the Soviet Union became temporary allies in 1942, criticism of Serge spread to the American press, and though he had staunch defenders there, his ability to defend himself was limited by the fact that he was still distrusted by many Trotskyists. Serge and his allies in Mexico were also victims of several assassination attempts by the GPU and Mexican Stalinists.

As Serge became increasingly unable to publish articles, he continued to write novels, including The Long Dusk, concerning the fall of France to the Nazis, and The Case of Comrade Tulayev, about the Stalinist purges (starting with the killing of Sergei Kirov). His autobiography, Memoirs of a Revolutionary, was first published in the United States in 1945.

Serge's health had been badly damaged by his periods of imprisonment in France and Russia, but he continued to write until he died of a heart attack, just after entering a taxi in Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, on 17 November, 1947. He was buried in an unmarked grave that finally received a headstone in 1992.

Several controversies have surrounded the end of Serge's life. It has been widely rumoured that Serge had abandoned socialism, because of a letter written six days before his death to André Malraux
André Malraux
André Malraux DSO was a French adventurer, award-winning author, and statesman. Having traveled extensively in Indochina and China, Malraux was noted especially for his novel entitled La Condition Humaine , which won the Prix Goncourt...

 saying that he would support the Gaullist government. Serge's defenders point out that Serge was writing to Malraux, who worked for De Gaulle, as a friend attempting to reestablish a relationship, and that the comment has been taken out of context. Some have also been suspicious that Serge was poisoned by the GPU. However, there is no evidence to prove this.

On the Russian Revolution and the Civil War

Year One of the Russian Revolution presents Serge's interpretation of the events that happened in Russia during his second imprisonment in France. He acknowledged that the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, mediated by South African Andrik Fuller, at Brest-Litovsk between Russia and the Central Powers, headed by Germany, marking Russia's exit from World War I.While the treaty was practically obsolete before the end of the year,...

 was necessary, and that Lenin and Trotsky were right to negotiate it despite the humiliation it caused. He also emphasized the role of the failed Finnish revolution
Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic
The Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic was a short-lived Finnish socialist government, established by a revolution just prior to the Finnish Civil War and in the aftermath of the October Revolution...

 and the White Terror
White movement
The White movement and its military arm the White Army - known as the White Guard or the Whites - was a loose confederation of Anti-Communist forces.The movement comprised one of the politico-military Russian forces who fought...

 that followed in foreshadowing the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 and the Bolshevik government's view that it was necessary to institute the Red Terror. Serge was one of the few historians of this period to give prominent attention to the role of Finland in early Soviet history.

On the rise of Stalin

Serge became a major historian of the struggles of the Left Opposition. He stated that around 1926 some oppositionists felt that Trotsky could have organized a coup, as he was still supported by the Red Army. However, Trotsky feared (and Serge agreed) that such a military revolution would only create a dictatorship similar to that of Napoleon Bonaparte after the French Revolution. Serge saw the party as developing a kind of religious feeling among many of those who were expelled, so that expulsion seemed to them like excommunication from a church.

On China

During the late 1920s, around the time of the decline of the Left Opposition and Serge's expulsion from the party, Serge spent a great deal of time and energy writing about China. China had an attempted revolution around that time but it was stopped by the Comintern, which ordered the Chinese Communists into a disastrous alliance with the Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

. The Kuomintang soon betrayed the Communists and massacred them. Though Serge was never able to visit China, he drew from the reports of those who had visited China for his analysis. Serge noted that the Kuomintang had developed a bureaucratic authoritarian structure similar to that of the Soviet Communist party and the Comintern under Stalin. He argued that the proletariat needed to make an alliance with the peasants in a way that would depart from liberalism and nationalism. He also praised the early works attributed to Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

, who was not well known at the time. Serge's works on China influenced the French intellectual debate on China and also the later writings of Trotsky on China.

On the Stalinist economy

Beginning in the late 1920s, Serge helped to lead the anti-Stalinist Left's criticism of wasteful resource management in the Soviet economy, along with many other writers including Christian Rakovsky
Christian Rakovsky
Christian Rakovsky was a Bulgarian socialist revolutionary, a Bolshevik politician and Soviet diplomat; he was also noted as a journalist, physician, and essayist...

 and Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

. Serge's writing includes many examples of inefficient factories, homes and other buildings being built, as well as inefficient machines. He also drew attention to the fact that, while the Moscow subway stations were architecturally grand, they had no benches for tired workers. He criticized the bureaucrats who approved these projects out of political loyalty, and stated that these bureaucrats, though they claimed to be Communists, did not really care about the workers. Like many other Left Oppositionists, he pointed out that Stalin had no authentic plan, but instead shifted policies erratically.

On literature

Serge always maintained that writers and artists needed free expression, no matter what their political views were. In this opinion he was supported by the prominent Bolshevik Nikolai Bukharin
Nikolai Bukharin
Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin , was a Russian Marxist, Bolshevik revolutionary, and Soviet politician. He was a member of the Politburo and Central Committee , chairman of the Communist International , and the editor in chief of Pravda , the journal Bolshevik , Izvestia , and the Great Soviet...

, with whom he disagreed on economic issues and many other matters. Even after committing himself to Communism, Serge maintained friendships with anarchist, Christian and non-political artists, often considering them to be superior to the artists fostered by the state. When unable to participate in politics, during his time in Vienna and when imprisoned, Serge wrote essays about Soviet art and culture, and analyzed the contributions of many early Soviet writers and artists. He was also influenced by Trotsky's ideas on proletarian culture.


  • The Long Dusk (1946) Translator: Ralph Manheim
    Ralph Manheim
    Ralph Frederick Manheim was an American translator of German and French literature, as well as occasional works from Dutch, Polish and Hungarian...

    ; New York : The Dial Press. Translation of Les dernier temps, Montreal 1946.

  • The Case of Comrade Tulayev (1951) Translator: Willard R. Trask; Hamilton. Translation of L'Affaire Toulaev. Paris 1949.

  • Birth of our Power (1967) Translator: Richard Greeman; New York : Doubleday. Translation of Naissance de notre force, Paris 1931.

  • Men in Prison (1969) Translator: Richard Greeman; Garden City, NY: Doubleday. Translation of Les hommes dans le prison, Paris 1930.

  • Conquered City (1975) Translator: Richard Greeman; Garden City, NY: Doubleday. Translation of: Ville conquise, Paris 1932.

  • Midnight in the Century (1982) Translator: Richard Greeman; London : Readers and Writers. Translation of S'il est minuit dans le siècle, Paris 1939.

  • The Unforgiving Years (2008) Translator: Richard Greeman; New York : New York Review of Books Classics. Translation of Les Années sans pardon, Paris 1971.


  • Resistance (1989) Translator: James Brooks; San Francisco: City Lights. Translation of Résistance, Paris 1938.

Non-fiction: Books

  • From Lenin to Stalin (1937) Translator: Ralph Manheim; New York: Pioneer Publishers. Translation of De Lénine à Staline, Paris 1937.

  • Russia Twenty Years After (1937) Translator: Max Shachtman
    Max Shachtman
    Max Shachtman was an American Marxist theorist. He evolved from being an associate of Leon Trotsky to a social democrat and mentor of senior assistants to AFL-CIO President George Meany.-Beginnings:...

    ; New York: Pioneer Publishers. Translation of Destin d'une révolution, Paris 1937. Also published as Destiny of a Revolution.

  • Memoirs of a Revolutionary (1963) Translator: Peter Sedgwick
    Peter Sedgwick
    Peter Sedgwick was a translator of Victor Serge, author of a number of books including PsychoPolitics and a revolutionary socialist activist.-Life:...

    ; Oxford: Oxford University. Translation of Mémoires d'un révolutionnaire, 1901-1941, Paris 1951.

  • Year One of the Russian Revolution (1972) Translator: Peter Sedgwick; London: Allen Lane. Translation of L'An 1 de la révolution russe, Paris 1930.

  • The Life and Death of Leon Trotsky (1973) (with Natalia Sedova Trotsky
    Natalia Sedova
    Natalia Ivanovna Sedova is best known as the second wife of Leon Trotsky, the Russian revolutionary. She was, however, also an active revolutionary in her own right and wrote on cultural matters pertaining to Marxism...

    ) Translator: Arnold S. Pomerans; Garden City, NY: Doubleday. Translation of: Vie et mort de Leon Trotsky, Paris 1951.

  • What Everyone Should Know About State Repression (1979) Translator: Judith White; London: New Park Publications. Translation of Les Coulisses d'une Sûreté générale. Ce que tout révolutionnaire devrait savour sur la répression, Paris 1926.

Non-fiction: Collections of essays and articles

  • The Century of the Unexpected – Essays on Revolution and Counter-Revolution (1994) Editor: Al Richardson; special issue of Revolutionary History
    Revolutionary History
    Revolutionary History is a British journal dedicated to the history of the far left. It was founded in 1988 by Sam Bornstein and Al Richardson and has maintained an editorial board representing many strands of British Trotskyism. In its articles, it also covers other anti-Stalinist communist...

    , Vol.5 No.3.

  • The Serge-Trotsky Papers (1994) Editor: D.J. Cotterill; London: Pluto.

  • Revolution in Danger – Writings from Russia 1919-20 (1997) Translator: Ian Birchall
    Ian Birchall
    Ian Birchall is a British Marxist historian and translator, a member of the Socialist Workers Party and author of numerous articles and books, particularly relating to the French Left...

    ; London: Redwords.

  • The Ideas of Victor Serge: A Life as a Work of Art (1997), Edited by Susan Weissman, London: Merlin Press.

  • Witness to the German Revolution (2000) Translator: Ian Birchall; London: Redwords.

  • Collected Writings on Literature and Revolution (2004) Translator and editor: Al Richardson; London: Francis Boutle.

Non-fiction: Pamphlet

  • Kronstadt '21 (1975) Translator: not named; London: Solidarity.

Sources: British Library Catalogue and Catalog of the Library of Congress.

External links

  • Victor Serge: Year One of the Russian Revolution in Marxists Internet Archive, 2005. Translation, editor's Introduction, and notes © 1972 by Peter Sedgwick
    Peter Sedgwick
    Peter Sedgwick was a translator of Victor Serge, author of a number of books including PsychoPolitics and a revolutionary socialist activist.-Life:...

    . (Retrieved April 5, 2005)

  • Bulletin of the Russian Opposition: "Victor Serge and the IVth International". Statement criticising Serge by the editors of the Bulletin of the Russian Opposition, writing in Quatrième Internationale, April 1939. Source: Victor Serge & Leon Trotsky, La Lutte Contre le Stalinisme. Maspero, Paris, 1977. Translated for Marxist Internet Archive by Mitch Abidor in 2005. Retrieved April 28, 2005.

  • Peter Sedgwick: "Introduction" to Victor Serge, Memoirs of a Revolutionary

  • Susan Weissman: "Introduction" to Critique 28/29: The Ideas of Victor Serge: a Life as a Work of Art (Edited by Susan Weissman) (Retrieved March 14, 2007.)

Offline Source

  • Susan Weissman Victor Serge: The Course is Set on Hope (Verso, 2001).

  • Adam Hochschild Finding the Trapdoor: Essays, Portraits, Travels (Syracuse University Press, 1997), "Two Russians," pp. 65-87.

See also

  • Anarchism in France
    Anarchism in France
    Thinker Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who grew up during the Restoration was the first self-described anarchist. French anarchists fought in the Spanish Civil War as volunteers in the International Brigades. French anarchism reached its height in the late 19th century...

  • Anti-Stalinist left
    Anti-Stalinist left
    The anti-Stalinist left is an element of left-wing politics that is critical of Joseph Stalin's policies and the political system that developed in the Soviet Union under his rule...

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