It is with an extreme discretion that the French press (Le Monde, October 28, 1992), announced, in some poor lines, the death of Ante Ciliga, in Zagreb (Croatia), without giving the date of disappearance (October 21): he was presented as a former leading personality of the Yugoslav Communist Party, having tasted the Stalinist lagers and those of the Croatian Ustashe. But it is with a certain glare that was celebrated in February 1998 in Croatia the 100th birthday of Ciliga, presented as a "patriot" and a "worthy child of the country", who was personally honorated in 1990 by the General-President Tudjman (Croatia Weekly, Zagreb, March 26, 1998).

Ante Ciliga - to pronounce Tsiliga - became the emblematic figure of the opposition to Stalinism and to the Bolshevik system of State capitalism, set up by Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin, by his major book: In the country of the great lie. (1) This book published in French, in 1938, in Dutch in 1939, always republished, translated into several languages seems to have bodied Ciliga; at the point to let forget the tormented path, finally ambiguous, of a whole political life which did not stop after the Thirties.

For generations of militants coming from the opposition to Stalinism, and also for the historians of the labour movement, the name of Ciliga evokes the irreducible fight of a Left Marxist Opposition to Stalinism, as of the Thirties, at the time where the few voices which rose in the workers and intellectual circles faithful to the principles of the humanistic socialism of Marx were covered by the Stalinist and democratic campaigns praising the extraordinary results of "socialism in one country". Stalinist "Fellow travellers" as Aragon sought to show the virtues of socialist "Russia" and sang the GPU and Stalin in "poems".

Well before at the time of the Cold war, a lot of people "discovered " the reality of the USSR, by the testimony of Khravchenko and others, and that then, with the historical wear of Stalinism, "the fellow travellers" change into virulent adversaries of "Communism ", a voice had resonated which, to the left of Stalinism and Trotskyism, denounced the system of State capitalism set up by Lenin and Trotsky, and completed by Stalin and his regime. To point out this historical context should not however exempt to give a true biography of Ciliga. The path of Ciliga is far from being summarised with his book. It is crossed by hesitations and ambiguities, rich in lessons for whose study the relationship between "internationalist" engagement and old "nationalitarian" reflexes among known figures of Communism. As "left" communist between 1931 and 1935, classified as Left Trotskyist and close to anarchism, Ciliga symbolises all the hesitations of militants of Central and Eastern Europe who became revolutionaries shortly after the First World War, while seeking - consciously or unconsciously - a national "identity". For this reason, the road of Ciliga raises many interrogations on communist "engagement" in Balkans.


I. - From Croatian nationalism to World Revolution.


In addition to the autobiographical elements provided by Ciliga himself, but in Croat (2), we have a French Autobiography (1983) (3). This one - of course - must be corrected according to the facts and archives we have. Ciliga was born on February 20, 1898 in Segotici (Shegotichi) in an Istrian village, in a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, where mixed Italian, Croatian and Austrian populations. The risks of the history had left to that Ciliga, Croatian of language and of culture, became successively Austrian citizen until 1919, then Italian citizen until 1945. Descending from a family of Croatian peasants, his grandfather let share in with the young boy interest to the Croatian culture and the fights of national emancipation directed against the Italian Bourgeois and Austrian administration.

After having been a family shepherd until the 7 years age, Ciliga was dealt with by his veterinary uncle in Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina) to start primary studies there, then as schoolboy until 1914. In 1912, at the time of the Balkan wars, defining himself as "a Yugoslav Croat of tendency", he started to take part in street demonstrations against the Austrian-Hungarian regime, which dominated Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was interested in the French literature, but also in the "Great French Revolution", finding his heroes in "Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot, Robespierre and Marat". Feeling himself "Slavic and French at the same time ", Ciliga discovered several fatherlands then: "Croatia, Yugoslavia, Russia and the Slavic world in general being my first fatherland, France became my second one" (4).

Until the war, the young Ciliga left anti-Austrian agitation inside the college. He was expelled from it, measure that was deferred only thanks to the intervention of a Bosnian deputy. But after the assassination attempt of Sarajevo, he was expelled from all the schools of Bosnia, and had to return in Istria. A new, he was excluded from the college to have read and let read to other pupils the Life of Jesus of Renan... What was extremely dangerous in a so much Catholic country. 1914 made of him an eternal wandering man. The war with Italy involved his evacuation in Moravia, where he finished his studies at the college of Brno, in Czech language! But in this Austrian Manchester, where arose with acuity the working class question, he came from there "to regard as logic and probable the end of capitalism and the advent of socialism ". He was about a radical socialist, not nationalist: "... my rallying to socialism was directed from the beginning towards a Internationalist socialism in declared opposition to the national selfishness which prevailed in the European socialist parties engaged in the war." In particular, he understood that Czech ultra-nationalism, like everywhere else, was only a reactionary screen of the Czech middle-class, which was hardly obstructed to oppress its own nationals, peasants and workers.





When the Revolution of February 1917 bursts, Ciliga was doing his military service in the Austrian-Hungarian army. From this historic moment the young man, 19 years old, was fascinated by those who want to plow in-depth the Russian lands: the Bolsheviks: "The position of the Bolsheviks - against the imperialist war and for universal peace - without annexations nor repairs - had acquired my sympathy ". But, according to him, "the take-over by force of November 7 " left it filled of doubts. The peace of Brest-Litovsk, in January 1918, disturbed him in his "national" conscience, of "Slavic Austrian ": "...I say to me: Didn’t Lenin pass from the opposition to the imperialist war to peace with the German and Austrian imperialisms, while leaving us, us, Austrian Slavs, under the yoke of the Germans and the Hungarians?" (5).

While undertaking higher education, Ciliga adhered to the Croatian Socialist Party at the time even where Yugoslavia was formed. It hardly caused his enthusiasm: Yugoslavia was placed under the sign of the Bourgeois State, and dominated by the Serb people that Ciliga, as a good Croatian patriot, regarded as "taking in a certain manner the place of the old Austrian and Hungarian oppressors ". But, in spite of this strong "Croatian streak", Ciliga very quickly will become a radical internationalist, racing from a country in to another, to the pursue of the World workers’ Revolution. "When at the beginning of 1919 (January 26-27) took place in Zagreb the conference - and not the congress like he writes it - of the Croatian Socialist Party, Ciliga is the most radical speaker, and immediately forms an autonomous fraction of left, fraction which became Croatian section of the Yugoslav Party in 1920. But from the 20 to April 23, 1919, in Belgrade the Left minority of the Croatian party, the social-democrat parties of Bosnia and Serbia had unified in a Yugoslav workers socialist Party (communist), which had postulated its adhesion to the Comintern (6).

As of this time, Ciliga - but is it the effect of stand back, more than 60 years afterwards? - was convinced that the Yugoslav State was going to collapse: "As of February-March 1919, I had concluded from there that the first Yugoslav State was going to break down for lack of comprehension between the Serbs and the Croats, although this common State had been objectively built in the interest of the ones like others. "

He thought whereas the resolution of these national contrasts would pass by the international Communist Party. Being located in the fraction of radical left, Ciliga was quickly object of the attention of the police; and he had to leave quickly Croatia. Thinking of continuing higher education in France, the taste of the adventure and action carried out it in Hungary in full revolution (spring 1919). He engaged at once in a detachment of Yugoslav volunteers. But he was quickly disappointed by the lack of radicality of Bela Kun’s Hungary in the land question, by his "respect until the autumn of the great land property". Thus, "a revolution which does not touch great property during the first six months is not a true revolution; it is condemned to perish."

This indecision where he saw the moderating influence of Hungarian social democracy decided him to begin militancy in the communist camp. He passed by again in May 1919 in Yugoslavia, little time before the crushing of the councils Revolution by the Entente’s armies. He was then in charge of a clandestine work of organisation in Slovenia, disguised as a hawker of the workers press. He is a chief of the organisation of Ljubljana, under the pseudonym of Rogic. (7) Since 1919, the dismemberment of Austria-Hungary had made of Ciliga, born in Istria, an Italian citizen. He benefited from this status to take part in the organisation of the Maximalist Italian Socialist Party in Istria at the summer 1920, in full revolutionary agitation in Italy. But, as he self writes it, he made the same experiment of Maximalist indecision, which he had observed in Hungary among the Socialists and the Communists. During the factories occupation, he noted that Maximalism and demagogy were combined wonderfully to opportunism and cowardice. He was under arrest in autumn and spent the winter in prison in Trieste and Capodistria. He thought that in Italy the Anarchists would be as radical as the Bolsheviks in Russia, and than Malatesta could be a kind of "Italian Lenin". He understood how much he had been mistaken.

Coming out of prison in February 1921, he plunged in full Fascist reaction. The trade union centre of Pola is set fire to and the workers organisations destroyed. With the peasants of his native district, he organised an armed resistance against the Fascist bands (squadristi). In April, at the head of 30-armed people, a confrontation to Fascists left a death and 5 wounded in the rows of the Black Shirts (Camise nere). This revolt known as "Revolt of Prostina" will remain famous (8).

But of course the army ran to support these lasts, which in addition profited from the support of the Dalmatian authorities, in perfect symbiosis with the Italian State. At that time, already, he interpreted the fall of the Councils in Hungary as the end of the revolutionary wave of 1917-1919. The rise of Fascism consolidated him in this idea. Also, thought it of being centred especially on the preparation of the next wave, theoretically and practically.

From 1919 to 1924, he continued higher education while undertaking his revolutionary activity in Hungary, Italy, Slovenia - in Prague, then in Vienna, and finally in Zagreb (1919-1924). In Yugoslav immigration co-ed, in Prague initially, then in Vienna, Ciliga created communist circles. In Prague, he organised a Marxist Club, then an "International Federation of Marxist Students ". The Czech Slansky, this one of the lawsuits of Prague, was to succeed to him. Speaking Czech perfectly, he entered the press section of the CPT, contributing to the weekly magazine Socialni Democrat (later Kommunist), and to Rudé Pravo. In Vienna, he continued to collaborate to the Czech communist daily newspaper. He had especially the occasion - as delegate of communist students outside - to firmly express his rejection of the alleged tactics of terrorism which had been used by part of the young Yugoslav Communists in 1921. This "tactics" was officially abandoned, to pass to the form of illegal conspirative organisation.

From September 1922 until 1925, he accepted increasing responsibilities in the Yugoslavian communist movement. In 1922, in Zagreb, he takes up the duties of secretary of the party for Croatia and of director of the Borba (9), weekly magazine, the legal and semi-official organ of the CPY, the communist press being prohibited in Serbia, and enjoying a great popularity in workers’ strata. In 1923, he was appointed as member of the central committee. Lastly, during the winter 1924-1925, as representative of the Croatian party, he became member of the central committee of the CP of Yugoslavia (10). In 1920, the CPY would have had 60.000 members and directly influenced 200.000 workers in the trade unions. The Yugoslav Communist Party was indeed in full expansion, in a country where however the percentage of the farming population was 76 %. Having formally excluded the right-wing tendencies, the CPY had adhered to the Communist International (Comintern) during the congress of Vukovar in June 1920. Being parliamentarist, the new Party had conquered many municipalities, of which that of Belgrade. The local elections had given it 59 seats. In a tended social situation, marked by the repression of the railwaymen strike of April 1920, the government passed to the offensive: it dissolves the communist municipality of Belgrade (August 1920), drove out the communist advisers of Agram (Zagreb). Finally, the Yugoslav CP which had played all on the elections lost all: December 29 a special decree (Obznana, i.e. proclamation) pronounced the dissolution of all the communist and trade-union organisations, closed the offices of the CP, and gracefully gave to the social-democrats the communist clubs. A law of July 30, 1921 worsened the situation: it put the CP out the law and drove out it Parliament and municipalities, which it controlled; the death penalty could be applied for propagation of communism (11).

Since 1921, a Left fraction, Leftist Group of the Yugoslav CP had been constituted in fraction, and had taken to contact with the German left-wing KAPD "to denounce the opportunist course of the parties of the Third International" (12). High bodies of the Comintern also underlined that the CPY had been the victim and of its sluggishness and its opportunism. It had not even published the 21 conditions of membership as well as the Theses on revolutionary parliamentarism. For the speakers of the IVth congress of the Comintern, the chiefs of the Yugoslav party turned all their attention on the electoral victories and took care not to frighten the Petty-Bourgeois elements in showing what was a Communist Party and which were its struggle methods (13).

In addition, another unforgivable crime, the CPY did not have built clandestine organisations. Thus, the party was dismembered, and almost ceased existing. Even its legal cover, the Independent Workers Party (Nezavisna radnika partija Jugoslavije or NRPJ), does not succeed in attracting the sympathy of the workers: in 1923, this last did not have any elected official in the general elections. Piteous result, which is not explained only by the faking of the elections and the vigilance of the monarchist police. According to official figures, the number of members passed from 60.000 members to 3.000 in 1928, to go up to 12.000 in 1941 (14), but on Great-Serbian Stalinist positions. It is remarkable that in his Autobiography and his interviews Ciliga did not speak by no means about these internal problems, of the parliamentary question, or of the Left Opposition in the party. Ciliga acquired a political notoriety in the party while being confronted with the thorny problem of nationalities in the Yugoslav State at that time, the Bulgarian Party had shown the leadership of the Comintern and the Yugoslav Communist Party neglected the national question. In fact, the Comintern had been very far in the concessions that it had made, under the pressure of the leading Russian party, vis-à-vis the nationalitarian tendencies in Balkans. The communist Federation of Balkans - created in 1920 and supposed to fraternally bring together Communist Greek, Bulgarian, Rumanian, Yugoslav and Turkish people - became since 1922 a battlefield between Bulgarians and Yugoslavs on the question of the national membership of Macedonia. However during the Vth congress of the Comintern (1924), which had put on the agenda the national question in particular connection with Yugoslavian question, Zinoviev had defined this State as a multinational State dominated by the Bourgeois Serbs and composed of several oppressed people. Consequently, he recommended "the separation of Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro of the framework of Yugoslavia and their constitution in independent republics " (15).

This congress was also that of the bolshevisation of the sections of the Comintern, on which Ciliga does not blow word. In fact, as notes it the Italian secret police, Ciliga was a partisan of the bolshevisation. In a letter addressed to the communist leader of Trieste Felice Platone, in 1925, he decided for the cells system, which was going to remove any freedom of political debate in the Communist Parties, in the name of the "iron discipline of the party". At that time, therefore, he was far from being adverse, and followed the official line. Ciliga - against "the right-wing tendency"of the party, which envisaged "the constitution of a limited provincial autonomy", (16) and the left which "preferred to leave with the future socialist revolution" - had the care to settle the national question (17) - in total agreement with the Comintern’s orientation. Already, recognised leader, at the top of the Party, he proposed in Borba ( "the Fight ") a radical "counter-project ": the transformation of the monarchical and centralist Yugoslav State in a federative Republic of five national republics (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia) and two nationally mixed republics (Bosnia-Herzegovina and Vojvodina). He defended this project against the communist chief Sima Markovic, "who seemed to defend Great-Serbian options, while being based on the positions of the Austro-Marxism and of Stalin in 1912" (18). (This project of Yugoslav federation was taken again and put into practice by Tito after 1945.) In any case, Ciliga became extremely popular apart from Serbia, and was co-opted at the Central Committee of the Yugoslav Communist party. He was fully sustained by Moscow for his radicalism. (19).

But, the proposal of the Vth congress to form three independent republics left Ciliga sceptic, since the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Vojvodina had overlooked. For Ciliga these plans destroyed Yugoslavia straightforwardly. This Comintern’s policy was applied until 1926. Everywhere, even in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Vojvodina were proclaimed the need "for the self-determination of the people ". Ciliga was the instigator of this policy, as a secretary of the party for Croatia and director of Borba. In an article, he denounced the slavery of 9 million not-Serbs subjected to the dominant, strong Serb nation despite of its 3 million inhabitants (20). As the policy of the Comintern was at that time hostile to the Great-Serbian tendencies - for, undoubtedly, better sticking to the policy of the Bulgarian CP -, Ciliga during the winter 1924-1925 became also member of the Yugoslav Politburo.

With the autumn 1924, at the instigation of Zinoviev, the Comintern inserted in Krestintern (Peasants’ International, subdivision of the Comintern) the Croatian Peasants party (HSS) of Stjepan Radic. On this policy which appeared even for Gramsci as vermin, Ciliga seems not to have emitted the slightest doubt. Well more he called for a united Front with a party that the Comintern at its beginnings would have described as a Bourgeois party (21).

All these leading functions drew to him the attention of the police. Ciliga was expelled in April 1925 from Yugoslavia under pretext that he, born in Istria, was in fact an Italian citizen... Given to the Fascist police and put in prison because of the 1921-armed action, he was released, as well as the 120 peasants who with him had resisted the squadristi, thanks to a providential amnesty. What does not prevent the Fascist police from spying him step by step, under his various pseudonyms: Cegala (Giuseppe), Antonetich.

Emigrated in Vienna, September 8, 1925, he represented the Yugoslav Communist party as liaison officer between the Comintern, the Federation of Vojvodina, and the Balkan communist Federation. He wrote for the Balkan Federation review under the nickname of Antonetich, but also in the Austrian Communist newspaper Siegel und Hammer ("Hammer and Sickle"). Finally in October 1926, he was sent to Moscow, there to teach at the school of the Yugoslav party and to take part in the work of the Yugoslav section of the Comintern. At that time, he would not have never imagined to cast doubt on the orientations of the Comintern, which seemed to him right, and was completely unaware of all the left currents which fought the Comintern’s official line. The names of Bordiga, Korsch are never quoted, although Ciliga - by the organ in Slovenian language Delo (Work) of the Communist Party of Italy - could take note of it.




At the time when Ciliga left Vienna for Moscow, important changes had occurred at the top of the apparatus of the Comintern, and consequently in the high bodies of this last one. Bukharin, combined with Stalin, had replaced Zinoviev, who had allied himself to Trotsky. That resulted in an abandonment of the theory of the liberation of the people oppressed into Yugoslavia. Consequently, the right-wing fraction conveying the Serb nationalist tendency, triumphed over it in the party: by a series of manoeuvres Serb Sima Markovic (1888-1939) was replaced at the head of the CPY. But when the national conflicts burst again in 1927, Markovic was relieved of all his responsibilities and replaced by Djuro Cvijic (1896-1938), representative of a moderate fraction of left allied besides with the trade unionists. This Left had made of Zagreb its fortified town. But Bukharin made revoke the direction of "left" and, with the assistance of Bosnian Josef Cijinsky "(1904-1937) (known under the name of Milan Gorkic), bolshevised the party by forming a political centre composed of Yugoslavians living in Moscow. Returned from Russia, where he was since 1915 as prisoner, then fighter of the Red Army, arrived at the end of 1925 Josip Broz, who was going to begin one fulgurating rise in the Party, like man of Bukharin, until 1928, then after his arrest this same year, of Stalin. Two destinies crossed: that of Ciliga going to Moscow, to know the Russian prisons and insulators, that of Tito returning to Yugoslavia to know a slow but sure rise towards the power (22).

Was Ciliga conscious of the risk which he took while going to Moscow, in full purges of the high bodies of the CPY? It is at least what he affirmed in 1937: "... while going to Moscow, I was likely to lose my freedom of movement. But the desire to studying on the spot the experiments of the Great Russian Revolution carried it. The repeated failures that the communist movement in Europe underwent showed the need for improving some, to look further into the tactics of it." (23). All the adventures, disappointments, hopes, imprisonments, the political activity of Ciliga are well known by his book - writing in France between January 1936 and July 1937 - and published by the Editions Gallimard in 1938 under the title: In the country of the great lie. His Siberian exile and the report of his exit of the USSR is described in the second volume (written between 1938 and 1941), and published in 1950 under the title Siberia, land of exile and industrialisation (24). For the comprehension of the Ciliga’s political path, it is necessary to give the broad outline of his testimony, especially at the moment when the media assertion of the fall of Communism overlooks the groups and elements who denounced "the great lie"of the Russian State capitalism, presented by Stalin, and his adversary Trotsky - for once in full agreement - as of " socialism " and a remarkable "model" of development of the "productive forces ". When Ciliga arrived at the beginning of October 1926 in Moscow, he was immediately struck by the misery and the backwardness of the "fatherland of socialism", while noting " the rise of whole social groups ". He arrived at the moment when the NEP sank in the rout, with an increasingly paralysed economy and 2,2 million misemployed people (25).

He realised quickly that the foreigners like him, members of the Comintern, were considered by the Russian working people plunged in misery, like privileged people living like Barins. Since 1924 doctor of philosophy and history of the university of Zagreb, Ciliga was the right person to teach for the Yugoslav section of the Communist University of the Western national minorities (KUNMZ) of Moscow. Each year 25 new pupils went into this School of the CPY - created in 1925 - for a 4 years teaching, especially in Serb-Croat (26).

But Ciliga was not regarded himself a "red academician". Civil servant of the Comintern, he became automatically on his arrival member of the Communist Party of the USSR, whose life seemed "more interesting to him than that of the Comintern". As of his arrival, the organisation seemed to him not like the staff of the world revolution but a simple branch, "without much importance", attached to the propaganda service of the Russian party. While taking part himself in Vth Plenum of the Comintern (December 1926), he realised that this former "Convention of the World Revolution", as defined by Trotsky in 1919, was already in the Stalin’s hands. Listening the speeches of Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, he was especially impressed by the speech of this last who stressed that the "right" danger in the Russian party was due above all to "the Petty-Bourgeois character (of Russia) and to the weakening of the revolutionary tendencies in the western proletariat" (27).

With the listening of all the debates of the Russian party and especially of the reflections of the Russian workers, noting the repression of the anarcho-syndicalist workers, suspected of publishing an illegal paper which required only the improvement of the working conditions in their factory, Ciliga became very pessimistic on the future of the "socialist fatherland". Whereas before Ciliga - of its own consent - did not nourish any doubt about the accuracy of the policy of the USSR, he came from there to conclude that "the evolution towards socialism was definitively stopped, revolution died, and that consequently all was poured..." (28). In Russia at least. But since 1927 he started contacts with the Russian Trotskyist Opposition (29), whose influence within the frameworks of the party grew day after day. But his own opposition apparently was extremely discrete, since he could take part in works of the Comintern’s VIth congress (August 1928), just before Trotsky was expelled from URSS (30). In fact, the Yugoslav problems will bring Ciliga in the rows of the Trotskyist Left Opposition. There were in Moscow 120 militants of the Yugoslav Communist Party, the majority workers, who, by their jobs, were more engaged in the Russian problems than in the life of the Yugoslav party. Ciliga, under the pseudonym of Zadvornij, played a great part, being member of the political office of the Yugoslav CP. While Ciliga was in Moscow, great changes were producing in the Yugoslav party, on which he seemed to have little information in the insulation of his Moscovite School. The triumvirate Bukharin-Gorkin-Manuilski had solicited - he affirms - a whole underworld which had never had anything to do with the Yugoslav movement and which was sent for "bolshevising" completely the party. In the VIIIth conference of the organisation of Zagreb, the Djakovic-Tito fraction seized the power in the name of the fight against the splitting represented by the "left ". But in August 1928, Tito was arrested and imprisoned during 5 years in Yugoslavia. Djuro Djakovic (1886-1929), Croat like Ciliga, had followed the courses of the Lenin School in 1927-1928. Obliged to return clandestinely to Croatia, for a true suicidal mission, he was assassinated at once in April 1929. The situation of Yugoslav Communism worsened quickly: less because of monarchist repression that following his concessions to the anti-Serb Croatian nationalist movement and especially of the so-called politics "class against class", purely adventurist, issued by Stalin after the VIth congress of the Comintern (31).

In June 1928, the assassination inside the Parliament of the Peasant deputy Radic, leader of the Croatian Peasant party, with the blessing of the Serb nationalist parties (32), put fire at the powders. The national factor definitively took the step on the social factor, nourishing all the adventures of type the nationalist or terrorist. The assassination of Radic, - whose party had been in 1924 member of Krestintern before Radic chosen in 1925 to take part in the royal government - and the disorders which followed in Croatia made it possible for the king of Yugoslavia to build his personal dictatorship in January 1929. He dissolved the Parliament and put out the law the political parties, initially the Yugoslav CP. That occurred in full "third period" of the Comintern, period of calculated adventurism, where the armed insurrection was prepared at each street corner (33).

In a party directed by Russian agents, of whom some were agitators at the service of the police (34), the direction of the CPY was engulfed in the adventurism. It proclaimed that the only solution to the crisis for the working class and the farmers (was) the armed fight, the civil war against the domination of the hegemonic Serb Bourgeoisie. That resulted - in addition to the reinforcement of the anti-Serb nationalist feelings - in duels with the revolver between Communists and police officers. According to Ciliga, and the CPY, repression made among Communists hundreds of deaths; perhaps 30 (35).

It was already enormous; and the party was tiny room for a few hundreds of members. But all this radicalism badly hid CPY’s nationalist gangrene: it supported the nationalist organisations of any edge, which at least since 1928 was concretised by a close co-operation with the nationalist Macedonians (VRMO) (36) and the Ustashe terrorists (37). In 1929, at the time of these tragic events, Ciliga was already formally in the Left opposition. He and his Yugoslav comrades of Moscow made push back with one crushing majority (90 votes against 5) the resolution of support to the Comintern’s policy in Yugoslavia. Interesting fact, the left of the CPY was devoted to a self-criticism of its national policy: "Started from the national question, we were in the presence of the following dilemma: Socialist revolution or Bourgeois revolution in Yugoslavia. The left-wing fraction had formerly recommended exploiting the problem of nationalities in the interests of the revolution. But this exploitation had ended up taking a form such as the Communist Party and the labour movement was reduced by it to serve Bourgeois nationalism of the oppressed people of Yugoslavia. Well before one had seen in France the reconciliation between Red and Tricolour flags, the International and the Marseillaise, one had come from there in Dalmatia to alliance of the Croatian Tricolour and red flags, International and the national anthem Our beautiful fatherland (Nasa lepija domovina). The revolutionary workers’ movement was likely to dislocate themselves in as many simply radical movements than there are nationalities in Yugoslavia." (38).

Ciliga with others had formed a Trotskyist group, in the illegality, with a score of oppositional elements. A centre of 6 members had been named and composed of 4 Yugoslavians: Stanko Dragic, the true person in charge of the group, old member of the central committee of the CPY; Mustafa Dedic, former secretary of the trade-union committee of Herzegovina; Stepan Heberling, coming from Vojvodina; finally Ante Ciliga. There were also two Russians: Victor Zankov and Oreste Glibovskij (39). This group incorporated the woman of Tito, Pelagija Denisova-Belusova, until his arrest and his disappearance in 1934-1935, without Tito protesting (40). This clandestine group was in contact with the Trotskyist organisation of Moscow, which provided it letters and documents of Trotsky and Racovski. In addition, Ciliga and his comrades were in close connection with the Russian factory workers. Of course, the activities of the group were discovered by the GPU. A commission of the Comintern (Soltz commission, name of this one who chaired it), with the servile support of Yugoslav Politburo, decided to exclude Ciliga and two militants of his group for one year (with deferment!). 20 others had to leave Moscow. According to a usual practice of Stalinism, at its beginnings, the apparatus tried "to buy" Ciliga by proposing to him a job well remunerated as archivist and teacher in Leningrad. After having personally seen Kirov, "the boss" before his assassination, he was named part-time lecturer at the Communist University of this City. But he does not pass with weapons and luggage on the side of the new red "bourgeoisie", "camouflaged under the tinsels of bureaucrat". It was in full period of forced collectivisation of the campaigns, where the speech was simple: "That those who want to enter to the kolkhoz put on the left, and those who want to go to Siberia to right!..." (41). The whole followed by appalling famines and massive shootings of the recalcitrant peasants. As for the workers, promised to the "gay and merry life" of the Stalinist quinquennial plans: their wages dropped by 50 % compared to 1913. "We live currently more badly than at the time of the capitalists!". Their demoralisation - which explains partly the triumph of the counter-revolution - was total: "... what can we do now? Can it were possible that we, who wanted the power Soviet, would fight it? " (42).

In fact, although the Dragic’s and Ciliga’s group - according to his terms - was a particular case of an underground life, where were born the new ideas, the Croatian Communist had to note a terrible insulation. The students of Ciliga - coming from the working class - ‘were parvenus of the system, and thus the worst enemies of any authentic labour movement, for such a movement should necessarily seek the destruction of all the bureaucratic system." After discussions with the Trotskyist intellectuals, Ciliga started to have serious doubts about this current and its chief Trotsky. Being interested finally little in the fate of the working class, for them "Stalin (carried out) the essence of the program of the opposition, but with more brutality". He concluded since 1930 - conclusion a posteriori of 1937? (43) - that the State capitalism triumphed in the USSR, sustained constantly as well by Stalin as by Trotsky and the intellectuals of the opposition: "Stalinists and Trotskyists (identify) the State capitalism to socialism and bureaucracy to the proletariat. Trotsky, as well as Stalin, made pass the State for the proletariat’s one, the dictatorship of the bureaucracy on the proletariat for dictatorship of the proletariat, the victory of the State capitalism over private capitalism for socialism, for a victory of this last one." (44).

In this state of mind, where - so he write it - he underestimated his divergences with the Trotskyists, he was arrested on May 21, 1930 in Leningrad, after having visited his comrades of Moscow, more interested by an immediate activity in the factories (leaflets, strike watchwords) that by an activity of theoretical reflection in the long time.




Arrested with his comrades, whereas Dragic escaped the GPU temporarily, Ciliga knew the prison of Leningrad. Each day, prisoners were shot. However, at that time, "the prison is the only place in Soviet Russia where people express themselves in a more or less sincere and open way." And beside that, social demoralisation was so deep that all condemned to dead were keep silent, "without a cry of revolt against the government which put them at death" (45). As Ciliga deduced from it: as the forces of the revolution as the forces of the left were "exhausted".

In November, Ciliga was transported to the insulator of Verkhne-Uralsk, political prison along the Ural Mountain, in the north of Magnitogorsk (46). This insulator was the last place where it could be easy to speak freely, where the press and meetings freedom was exerted. The 250 prisoners (approximately 180 Communists and 70 Anarchists) made political meetings according to the rulebook, with meeting’s president and secretary. The majority was exerted to write articles for hand-written newspapers, which circulated by "the interior post office" (by de means of baskets between the cells). There was even a library with political books. A strong majority of the prisoners was Trotskyist (120 to 140) and received Trotsky’s booklets, pamphlets and circulars. With the presence of Mensheviks, Left Socialist-revolutionaries, 16 Decists ( "Democratic Centralism group"), and of 3 partisans of Miasnikov, there was "a true illegal Parliament of Russia".

According to Ciliga, the social composition of the insulator was primarily "intellectual". There were hardly 15 % of workers. The communist sector of the opposition was composed of 43 % of Jews, of 27 % of Caucasians (Georgians and Armenians), Russians with some representatives of other nationalities reaching 30 %. Interesting fact: the Russian and working class element was especially represented in the Ultra-Left: Democratic Centralism, group, and prevailed in the Miasnikov’s Workers’ Group. This Russian national "phenomenon ", also appeared according to Ciliga - among Anarchists. Among the Trotskyist militants, Ciliga noticed a vast majority of young intellectuals and Jewish technicians coming from the Ukrainian and Bielorussian Petty-Bourgeoisie. According to him, there was among them "a strong group of former soldiers and Chekists ", directly resulting from the Apparatus (48).

Ciliga found in Verkhne-Uralsk his Yugoslav and Russian comrades: Dragic, Dedic, Zankov, Glibovskij. They decided to militate in the "collective of the Bolshevik-Leninists" of the insulator. But those were divided into three tendencies:

A tendency directed by professors Solnstsev, Iakovin and Stopalov. This group, author of the Theses of the three, agglomerated Dingelstedt. It was the largest fraction. It recommended "a reform by in the tops", and finally industrialisation, the quinquennial plans, etc. It wanted "... the same thing as Stalin ", but only in a "more human appearance" (49).

A small group, known as "centre-wing" or "centrist" group, directed by the son-in-law of Trotsky Man-Nivelson and Aaron Papermeister, which was hardly different from "the right-wing" group. It published with this lasts one a common newspaper (hand-written) entitled Pravda v tjurme (" the Truth in prison ").

The Left fraction to which the Ciliga’s friends adhered wanted "a reform by in bottom", being based on the working class. Its theoretical weakness held in what not only it defined the quinquennial plans as "bluff " but it denied the world economic crisis. It published the newspaper Voinstvujuchtchij Bolshevik (" the militant Bolshevik")

Apart from these fractions, only the Trotskyist Densov considered, while citing Lenin, that the Soviet economy was a form of State capitalism.

"The militant Bolshevik" in whom Ciliga under the pseudonym of Richard wrote, was published once per month or every two months, including 10-20 articles, in separated books, with a run of only three copies (1 for each wing of the prison) (50).

Ciliga very quickly belonged to the Left Bolsheviks’ tendency evolving apart from the Trotskyist mould, where "a quotation of Trotsky had the value of a proof " (51). He noted that the Stalinist bureaucracy became "little by little the nucleus of a new leading class "; consequently, it was necessary to carry out wage claiming, as in any capitalist country; and for this reason even to be combined with socialist and anarchist factory workers. For a new fight of the revolutionary working class, there was a need of a new revolutionary party. This position, with 5 years of delay, was finally that of Korsch in 1926, of whose writings Ciliga seems to have been unaware.

The increasingly radical Ciliga’s evolution was initially given - according to him - by the attitude of the Trotskyist majority of the insulator, which required a monolithic position: the "militant Bolsheviks" had to dissolve and suspend the publication of their newspaper, or else they would be excluded. The Left Trotskyist group of the 30 (whose Ciliga) proposed a new editorial board, composed of a representative of each tendency, and publishing only one organ for all the Communists. "The militant Bolsheviks " were not indeed represented in this editorial board.

The Trotskyist known as "right-wing Trotskyists" and the "centrists" excluded them, with hateful methods which proved "that between Trotskyism and Stalinism there were many common items" (52). The other reason was that the GPU, which had agents until the interior of the prison, pushed towards the scission.

The result was that there were (around 1931) two Trotskyist organisations:


The political radicalisation of Ciliga and the "leftist" Bolshevik-Leninists can be explained as much by the horrors of collectivisation and the quinquennial plans as by the rejection of the Trotsky’s positions.

Ciliga noted already - when he taught in Leningrad - all the privileges of the rising class, whereas the worker stagnated in misery. Among the prisoners arriving in the insulator, one of them assure him the massive massacre of Ukrainian peasants (3 million of victims), the deportation from 5 to 10 million Muzhiks, the slow anguish of exiled of Siberia from which the lifespan did not exceed two years. A third of the working class lived in a true slavery, for Stalin’s pharaonic works (Baltic-White seas channel, etc.).

The Trotskyist ultra-left, represented by Ciliga and his friends, was extremely dissatisfied by the Trotsky’s dithyrambic standpoint in 1932 on the "really incredible current successes" of the Stalinist economic policy (54).

Quite naturally opened, in 1932, in the Trotskyist milieu of the prison a rough discussion on the nature of the USSR. One voted for even a resolution for or against the "working class" character of the USSR: this one obtained 15 vote for. Another resolution, defended by what there remained of the "militant Bolsheviks " collected 15 vote, while speaking as Trotsky about a necessary "political revolution on the economic basis of October "; the regime was " above the classes ", but "dictatorship of the proletariat " had disappeared.

But especially, there were "extremist negators", of whose Ciliga. Their resolution, minority, supported by 15 vote, proclaimed that the bureaucracy was a true class hostile to the proletariat; and thus that only the social revolution could lead to socialism.

In 1932 the document, after reading last documents of Trotsky, the rupture of Ciliga and ten militants with the Trotskyist collective was consumed. Like use, a declaration was written where it was clearly announced that the Trostky’s Program reinforced "the illusions of the Western proletariat " in Stalinism, by wearing it of the absurd label of "Proletarian State ". The conclusion was a rejection of the Trotskyism as a left current of Stalinism: "Trotsky and his partisans are too closely related to the bureaucratic regime in the USSR to be able to carry out the fight against this regime until its extreme consequences ". Trotsky was "at the bottom the theorist of a regime whose Stalin is the practitian" (55).

A Ciliga’s article entitled "Bureaucratic or Proletarian Opposition" marked its passage in the extreme left. In fact, in the insulator, the influence of the non-Trotskyist extreme Left was decisive and became more and more extensive, according to Ciliga.

There were first of all the Decists, certainly most divided into fractions. Leninists at the beginning, but against the bureaucratic centralism, they had been against the Workers opposition in 1920. A lot of them had capitulated after the first quinquennial Plan, which seemed to them a victory against the NEP. In the insulator, on the other hand, and undoubtedly elsewhere, they had been radicalised much, but in confusion and division. There were 3 or 4 Decist fractions. But with important nuances, they had approached much the Miasnikov’s Workers’ Group (56), whose leader in Verkhne-Uralsk was Sergej Tijunov. Miasnikovians defined Trotskyism as "an opposition of high-ranking civil servants " of the bureaucracy. They criticised at the root Leninism and "party dictatorship". For them, it was decisive that the workers can have freedom to choose among the concurrent workers parties within the working class. Since 1923, they had gradually arrived at the position that in USSR reigned the bureaucratic State capitalism. (57)

As for the Decists - whose leader S.P. Medvedev (1885-1937) was going to join the insulator in 1935, whereas Ciliga was in Siberia - they had approximately adopted the Miasnikov’s Theses. For the Decist Jak Kosman, Lenin had given industry to the hands of the bureaucracy. For Shapiro, another Decist, the Workers Opposition in 1921 had not represented the interests of the proletariat, but those of the trade-unions’ bureaucracy ". But, on the other hand, in accordance to the positions of the German and Dutch Councils Communists, another Decist Volodia Smirnov affirmed: " There never existed in Russia a proletarian revolution nor a dictatorship of the proletariat. There was simply a popular revolution by bottom and a bureaucratic dictatorship by the top. " As for Lenin, the holy image of the Russian revolution, it was to be broken: "Lenin was never an ideologist of the proletariat. From the beginnings to the end he was an ideologist of the intelligentsia. ".

In fact, for Volodia Smirnov - as for besides Otto Rühle (58) - the Bolshevism expressed, just like Mussolini, Hitler, Ataturk, Roosevelt, a universal tendency towards the State capitalism. Such theses caused scandal until in the ultra-left, and Smirnov was excluded from the group. However an extremely important discussion had opened on this question where clashed Ciliga who considered this capitalist tendency in Russia as relatively "progressist" and Tijunov who saw in it a "purely parasitic phenomenon " (59).

Ciliga evolved in the same direction as these Left Communist tendencies. After having demolished the image of Trotsky, in whom he did not believe any more - following a report that made him a sailor of Kronstadt on the Trotsky’s responsibility of the 10.000 shot sailors and workers by the Cheka after March 1921 -, he started to break his veneration for Lenin. Although having "a place of honour in the heart of the workers and the Pantheon of the history ", he had become the spokesman of the Soviet bureaucracy ", by liquidating socialism in the economic field. Finally, "Lenin had opened the way to Stalin ".

At the time when Ciliga - with Dragic - were to leave Verkhné-Uralsk to be off-set in Siberia, was based in 1933 in the insulator "a Federation of the Left Communists", strong from 20 to 25 members, including the Workers Group of Tijunov, the old Decists and some Trotskyists.

The year 1933 had opened heavy threats, with the Hitler’s arrival to the power. The question of a new International arose with the bankruptcy of Stalinism in Germany. The left-wing Trotskyists, being unaware of the Trotsky’s new positions, judged that the call to the formation of the Fourth international was "a premature and demagogic watchword". Smirnov decided for the fusion of the social democrats and the Communists. Tijunov, next to the German and Italian Left Communists, decided vigorously against any "republication of the Third International ". Ciliga, supported to him in writing that "the union of two corpses (social democracy and Stalinism) would not produce an alive body ".

There would be to still say much on the political groups with which Ciliga discussed before its departure the insulator: Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, divided - according to him - between the Trotskyism and the left-wing Communism (group of Kamkov); the anarchists who "represented a form of chivalrous ideal ", the Armenians and the left-wing Zionists purely occupied by their respective national problems...

May 18, 1933, therefore, Ciliga left the insulator, his detention having been gracefully prolonged for two years by the OGPU, with the acceptance of Politburo of the Yugoslav CP. Nothing made there: suicide attempt and hunger strike; Ciliga was off-set during almost 3 years in Siberia (Irkutsk, Ienisseisk, Krasnoïarsk), occupying a place of economist for the Dan bank, then for the forest trust Sevpolarles. All his observation of the living conditions, Ciliga largely told in his book (second part, published in French in 1949).

He contacted the Italian embassy in Moscow, by telegrams, and made play his Italian citizenship. He obtained, after grind efforts, an Italian passport. With the assistance of his family in Italy, and in spite of a prolongation of 3 years exile of stay in Siberia in 1935, Ciliga succeeded in being expelled from the USSR, while making play his quality from alien. Without knowing until the last moment if he were going to be sent on the Arctic circle, to be shot, locked up in a camp, Ciliga on December 3, 1935 with the exit from the train at the Russian border left Russia for Poland.

It was the end of the odyssey in the country of the great lie, certainly richest and most instructive by Ciliga’s analysis of the political life of extreme left in the prisons, lagers of the Soviet Gulag Archipelago. On the other hand, his comrade Stanko Dragic, eminently combative and courageous man, after an attempt at escape in 1934 towards Poland, disappeared body and heart in the terrible Solovki Isles.




Of course, all the Ciliga’s manuscripts, letters and notes were removed to him by the men of the GPU, and thus are sleeping in the archives of this organisation.

Without recognising it in his memories and interviews, while passing by Czechoslovakia, Ciliga contacted two Trotskyist militants: Vladislav Burian and Jan Frankel (60), and by this skew Trotsky. Without wasting time, a few days hardly after his exit of the USSR, Ciliga had written to Trotsky, who answered him (61), and with the Bulletin of the Russian opposition. His testimony is published immediately in Russian and French by the Trotskyist press. He launches the idea of a material and political aid in order to come to assistance of the deportees and imprisoned, "under the pressure of the European workers and the democratic movement ". This idea was taken up by Trotsky as of December 1935: he proposed to launch a "Ciliga committee" for the defence of the political Communist prisoners, following the important revelations made by the Croatian Communist (62).

But the divergences with the Trotskyist movement were spread out quickly and openly. Ciliga suggested a committee which would defend the "Bolshevik-Leninists as well as the imprisoned Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks". He noted besides that, compared to Germany de Hitler, the Trotskyist hastened to call with the common fight of the social democrats with the Stalinists against Fascism. Trotsky refuses. A block with the Mensheviks and "s.r." abroad would be harmful, especially because it would lend the side to the attacks of Stalinism.

Installed in Paris at the end of January 1936, Ciliga published articles in Bjulleten’ oppozitsii (Trotskyist organ in Russian, published in Paris, until 1940). That lasted until May, date on which ceased any written collaboration. Ciliga had committed the "unforgivable crime" to also send articles to the Dan’s Menshevik review in Paris Sotsialisticeskij Vestnik ("the Socialist Messenger ") (63), articles which were especially informative.

Nevertheless, Ciliga, who had been with the extreme Left of the Trotskyism, to join finally in 1933 with certain positions of the Russian Communist Left (Workers Group, Decists) moved away from there to approach gradually social-democrat positions. These were not the positions on the State capitalism which made of Ciliga " a Menshevik" - as it is affirmed by certain Trotskyist which assimilates Communist Left to Menshevism (64) - but its spirit impresses democratic idealism. Trotsky could write, not without reason, June 22, 1936, that Ciliga was not Marxist, but an "semi-liberal element in his thought, humanitarian, idealist, certainly very honest in its kind ". But he also added - what was obviously false with the reading of the book that Ciliga started to write all the year 1936 - that "even in the insulator, he (was) remained what he had always been: an idealistic and exalted Democrat, who, of Stalinist that he was, (was) become anti-Stalinist, but not Marxist for as much " (65).

In fact, all the work of Ciliga was to make known by all average the its experiment in the Russian insulators and prisons, which was made by the translation of Russian of his book published by Gallimard in spring 1938. The Gestapo in 1941 (66) seized besides this book, published in English in London in 1940.

Before the war, the path of Ciliga was going to be contradictory. He lived of his pen; but he wrote also articles for the Messager socialiste in 1937 (67), the liberal newspaper of Zagreb Nova Evropa (68), the Novosti newspaper of governmental tendency, and even the French Syndicalist Révolution prolétarienne (69), oscillating between liberalism, anarchism, and nostalgia of the Croatian country. All this activity in the Croatian press allowed the organ of the CPY, Proleter, to denounce him as "fascist spy". (70).

In summer 1937, he returned to his native village of Istria, where the Fascist police supervised him. On his arrival in Yugoslavia, he was - he claims - decree and put six months in prison (in fact three months); according to him at the instigation of the Stalinist Yugoslavians who had infiltrated the political police, whose chief was a Communist. He could nevertheless regain Paris, as the Titists allowed it, in a purely Stalinist style, in 1952, to show him to having been since Russia an agent of the Mussolini’s OVRA. (71).

It should however be stressed that in 1936 and 1937 Ciliga constantly obtained the renewal of his Italian passport. That made it possible to the Croatian journalist Jan Balkas in the review Cultura (September 1, 1937) to show Ciliga to be with the service and the pay of the fascist government and police. In fact, according to police reports’, Ciliga questioned on August 17, 1937 with the quaestorship of Pola was satisfied to give its history, while ensuring that socialising remainder, he was no more registered with any party. In September 1937, the embassy of Italy noted that Ciliga was of "antifascist feelings without however carrying out any propaganda " (72). December 21, he left Italy for France, where the Fascist OVRA noted all his changes of residence and profession (he taught German at the commercial school Pigier in Saint-Maur and frequented as student the Russian courses at the School of Eastern Languages).

In 1938, Ciliga was already in liaison - whereas he wrote the second part of his book - with "the revolutionary Syndicalists" of the Révolution prolétarienne. At the same time as Victor Serge, Ciliga conducted campaign against Trotsky in connection with his role in the repression of the insurgent sailors of Kronstadt. Those were presented by Trotsky as "completely demoralised elements, men who carried elegant baggy breeches and were capped the made-to-order of upholders ". While being defended to have taken part directly in repression, and by it minimising, Trotsky approved it completely (73). For Ciliga, who remained still faithful to certain positions of the left-wing Communism, "the repression of Kronstadt, the suppression of the Workers’ and Soviet democracy by the 10th congress of the Russian Communist Party, the elimination of the proletariat of the management of industry, the introduction of the NEP meant already the death of the revolution ". There remained nothing any more but the alliance of the State capitalism with private capitalism (74). Ciliga held first hand information of an insurgent communist sailor whom he met in the Leningrad’s prison in 1930, as he brings it back in his book "In the country of the great lie ".

In 1939, some time before the world war, Ciliga was integrated in the discussion circle leaded by the Germans Arkadij Maslov and Ruth Fischer, the Russians Gabriel Miasnikov - old leader of the Workers Group, who lived in France since 1929 -, and the "left-wing Menshevik " Vera Alexandrova, literature critic of Sotsialisticeskij vestnik ("Socialist Messenger ", Menshevik review in Paris). A circle where reigned large disorientation: Arkadij Maslov was pessimistic on the German proletariat, reached "provincialism ". Miasnikov, "a volcanic energy " and "a brilliant autodidact " poured gradually in "Soviet patriotism " starting from the Russian war against Finland (75).

At the time of the rout of 1940, Ruth Fischer and Maslov succeeded in leaving France for the American continent. Ciliga raised the question to embark France for the USA or to remain in this country, "to go on a circular journey through Europe in war, to see by (his) proper eyes the aspects of the crisis and decline of the European continent ". (76).

At that time, Ciliga had already given up any reference to the Marxist and proletarian movement. Influenced, according to its statements, by Keynes and Spengler, he estimated that the revolution belonged to a completed past, that declining Europe would leave clear room "to the ambition of the Kremlin to colonise Europe ". (77).

Having finished his book on Siberia, land of exile and industrialisation, in August 1941, Ciliga - as Ulysses - returned in his "Croatian fatherland", animated by a patriotism which had hardly left him since his youth.

Ciliga made the Paris-Zagreb trip, via Turin, Trieste, Pola in Istria - where he remained two months in the family house -, then passed by Ragusa (Dubrovnik) to go to Bosnia-Herzegovina, then from there to Croatia, where he arrived in December 1941 (78).

For the comprehension of the odyssey of Ciliga, and to answer the libellous charges point by point that he underwent at the Tito’s time, it is necessary to point out some historical facts.

After the invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941 by the Hitler’s armies, the German emissary in Zagreb had wanted to install Vladimir Macek, president of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), and former vice-president of the government reversed by the coup-d’état pro-Allied of March 27 - and who had decided alliance with Hitler and Mussolini. But he had refused to become Head of the Croatian State which Third Reich wanted to create after the dismemberment of Yugoslavia. Therefore the choice of Germany had been directed towards the Ustasha movement, whose chief in Zagreb colonel Kvaternik proclaimed with the radio the creation of the Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska, or N.D.H.) and its catch of being able in the name of the poglavnik (chief) Ante Pavelic. It is interesting to note that Macek and his Peasant Party gave support to and invited to collaborate with the new government.

Refugee in Italy, the Ustasha chief - with the help of Mussolini, after "giving" Dalmatia to the Duce - could return to Zagreb on April 15 with his henchmen. Following completely the Axis policy, he declared at once the war to Great Britain, then later to the USSR and the USA. For price of this good behaviour, Germany agreed to give to Croatia Bosnia-Herzegovina, while it installed a puppet government in Serbia, that Italy divided Slovenia with Reich; that finally Bulgaria received major part of Macedonia, and Hungary Vojvodina with its Hungarian "minority ".

The Ustasha State - a few days hardly after its formation - decided to undertake an "ethnic purification", directed against the 2 million Serb living in the Croatian State (against 3,3 million Bosnian Croats and 700.000 "Moslems"). Serbs, Jews and Gypsies were proclaimed "lower races". The result was a ferocious and pitiless terror: 600.000 Serbs were massacred directly or by sending these ones in death lagers; 30.000 Jews were exterminated. In all the country, emergency courts multiplied, whose sentences of death were executory in the next 3 hours. These massacres will last until summer 42, with the blessing of the Catholic Church and Croatian Franciscans, who saw as "blessed bread" the forced conversion of all Serbs who had not been killed. (79).

Dalmatia lately Italian became a land of asylum for persecuted Serbs and Croatians; but also for Serb tchetnici (Chetniks), sometimes combined to the Italians for their zeal in the fight against the Tito’s partisans, and who in their turn will massacre Croats of Dalmatia. In front of the success of Stalinist propaganda and movement in favour of the Serb and Croatian workers and peasants in Croatia, Italy and Germany reflect a brake, by pure interest, with the massacres of orthodox Serbs. (80).

In these conditions Ciliga arrived to Zagreb, via Bosnia-Herzegovina, - not as Pavelic’s companion, as Titoist propaganda (81) supported it. Ciliga was put in prison on a Titoist warrant arrest emanating from former Yugoslavia. According to him behind this arrest there was the Tito’s hand, whose agents would have infiltrated all the police machinery of the Ustasha movement; the Stalinists suggested to the police that Ciliga "was the political representative of Moscow in Yugoslavia and that Tito was only some military specialist in guerrilla " (82).

According to the Mussolini’s police in Croatia, Ciliga was stopped on June 19, 1942 in Sisak by the men of Pavelic on suspicion "of spying in favour of Italy ", as indicated in his file of Zagreb. (83).

At the end of his detention, where he had had a short conversation with Pavelic, who visited the prison, and to whom he explained why he was not any more communist (84) he was sent at the end of June 1942 in the terrible death camp of Jasenovac (85), carrying an indefinite death sentence.

But, as he self acknowledges it, Ciliga had his safety due only to his reputation of anglophilia. Indeed, the defeat of Stalingrad had shaken the Ustasha State. It was born a conspiracy of the Ministers for the interior and defence to make pass the Croatian State in the Allied camp, exactly as for Fascist Italy in 1943. They waited - and Pavelic too - as it seems - who had contacted the USSR and the British government in case of a combined landing in Dalmatia - to pass in the other camp.

Thanks to these interventions in high place, Ciliga was released on January first, 1943 of the camp. This was too thanks to the archbishop Alois Stepinac, but not, as the Titoist propaganda claimed it, for glorifying the Croatian State in various publications. (86)

The Italian police noted however with a certain dislike that Ciliga was abruptly promoted in the Ustasha State. He was placed at the house of the State employees in Zagreb. As journalist, he was named section head of Croatian journalism close to the ministry of the Foreign Affairs, a promotion that incontestably testified a high confidence on behalf of the Ustasha State, and of a not less great compromising with the Ustasha party. That he was defended some later, drove back in his cuttings off, by making a "distinction" between the Croatian State and the Ustashe, cannot dissimulate this collaboration.

Though his flatterers say some, it is certain that Ciliga at that time - whereas he was presented as such in his books on Russia - was any more neither Marxist nor Internationalist, but a Croatian nationalist, apparently pro-Allied, sailing in stinking water of Ustasha.

It is certain that Ciliga published much in Zagreb during all the year 1943 and until the summer 1944. He wrote for the Catholic review, intended for "the intellectuals": Spremnost ("Preparation "). His articles related to his experiment in Russia (88). In the absence of a direct access to the Croatian Archives, it is difficult to realise of the positions defended by Ciliga on other questions, if not indirectly. Thus, for example, September 19, 1943, in Spremnost, he published an article where, after the Italian collapse, he called to the integration of Istria in the Ustasha State, "for the restoration and the reinforcement of the political and cultural Ustashe positions in Istria " (89).

It is not astonishing that with such nationalist feelings, Ciliga - at the time of the Croatian edition in 1943 of his odyssey in Russia (90), was credited from an eulogistic foreword of a Ustasha politician, who flatteringly compared him with Doriot.

That he also wrote in the semi-official organ of the Ustasha State Hrvatski narod ("Croatian People"), as his Titoist adversaries sustained it (91), that is true. On top, as on certain articles of Spremnost, Ciliga kept a total silence in his memories and interviews.

He published, in 1944, in "Istrian dialect" his report on his odyssey in Istria and in the lager of Jasenovac. On this last point, the testimony of Ciliga seems not very reliable and to even reveal anti-Semite feelings. According to him, the Jews, in the camp of Jasenovac, enjoyed a privileged position, assisted even the Ustashe, by supervising the selection of the prisoners; taking part in the execution and baiting themselves - as the Ustashe - Serbs and Gypsies, introduced like "competitors" of the Jews in the control of the camp. This "vision " of the facts is not without to have consolidated the "revisionist " vision of the Croatian history (92).

About spring 1944, Ciliga decided to leave Zagreb, for Austria and Germany, to study "the complex balancesheet which existed between Hitler and the German people " (93). In fact, the situation became delicate for him. Some believed him in the service of some government or secret service, either English, or Russian. In addition, in summer 1944, with the unloading in Normandy, Pavelic realised the place of the unloading would not be any more in Dalmatian. Therefore he could not any more tolerate any pro-Allied tendency in his government. The anglophile opposition (the two ministers Lorkovic and Vokic) was pitilessly decapitated in September 1944 after the attempt against Hitler.

Paradoxically, according to Ciliga, because he was believed a pro-Allied agent, he could obtain a visa for Vienna. He had initially refused in May 1944 to form part of a Croatian delegation to take part in the European antibolshevik congress that Goebbels prepared in Vienna. In consideration of which, for the circumstance, Ciliga had been appointed professor of history and sociology at the University of Zagreb. (94).

At the same time, by twice, he was invited - so he writes it - to pass in the rows of the Tito’s partisans, who in fact controlled all the Croatian Dalmatia and campaigns. He refused by fear, as he write it, of a trap where he would be stopped by the Ustasha police, on denunciation of "the Titists", and carried out.

In fact, he could leave Zagreb for Vienna thanks to Konrad Klaser, the chief of local Gestapo, (95), a former Austrian Communist, who was interested particularly in him. He revealed that Klaser was an agent of Tito, who passed to the Titists in May 1945, and was liquidated in 1948 as Kominformist pro-URSS. This " mole " of Tito believed that Ciliga was "a Communist agent " like him. From July 1944 to February 1945, Ciliga travelled with the visa granted in Vienna and Berlin, noting the atmosphere reigning in the two countries. The end of the war found it in Switzerland, after a stay in Bavaria, where he met the American troops. Well took some to him: "the Titists " massacred in Bleiburg 50.000 Ustashe or alleged such, in May 1945. After 1948, it was the turn of the Kominformists to know the camps and death in arid islands (Goli Otok).


VI. - "JANUS WITH DOUBLE FACE " (1945-1992)


After the World War II, Ciliga will pass all the remainder of its life between Paris, where it lives a few years, and Rome. Its books on Yugoslavia will make known in France, Italy, and other countries as much by the republication of its book on "the great lie" and by its booklet on Lenin (96). One can quote: Yugoslavia under the interior and external threat, in 1951 (97); The State Crisis in Tito’s Yugoslavia in 1972, and finally only in Italian Il Labirinto jugoslavo in 1983 (98) This last book is the last one published alive by him on this subject.

This very strong interest for the problems of Yugoslavia built by Tito was translated in fact by a full engagement in the Croatian nationalist movement, in his "left wing". At the end of his life - in 1983 - Ciliga wrote that by antistalinism "he did not cease supporting the foreign policy of Tito by always criticising advantage its policy interior" in the problem of the nationalities. (99).

In fact, in the immediate future post-war period, Ciliga in Paris did not cease to have activity directed towards Istria, where he went (there was a allied garrison, in this zone which became Yugoslav only at the end of 1947) several times, and missed being removed several times by the police of Tito; but that failed for that, he says, he had friends "among the partisans and in the Tito’s political police" (100).

At the beginning of the Fifties, installed in Paris, Ciliga wrote in French a hostile book against Tito, and which caused a new attempt at removal to him. In fact, the literature published by him of "Serbo-Croatian " takes to a tonality definitely nationalist Croatian, anti-Serb. Will Ciliga raise the question "to when the Croatian people groan under the Serb yoke?" (101). Previously, he wondered, seriously, in the revolutionary syndicalist review Revolution prolétarienne whever Tito would solve the national problem by the real equality "between all the Slaves of the South ", and who would be "true political great man of our country " (102). In 1952, he seemed to have found it, with criticisms, in the chief of the Croatian Peasants party (HSS), Vladko Macek, exiled in the USA (103), to whom he proposed to contribute to "the liberation of the Croatian people" and to take the direction of a Balkan committee (104).

This insertion in Croatian immigration - very composite - was worth to him to be published as far as Argentina in a politico-cultural review moreover largely opened to the Ustashe currents, Hrvatska Revija. - Revista croata, published in Buenos Aires (105), where Pavelic had taken refuge, whom Tito claimed the extradition. It is very characteristic that Ciliga was always opposed to this extradition, taking care well not to publicly criticise Ustashe before the middle of the Fifties.

Installed to Rome about the middle of the Fifties, Ciliga will be affirmed in the Croatian emigration like a politician, of social democrat tendency, publishing his own publications. In the name of the Croatian national Council (Hrvatski narodni odbor), whose base was in Germany under the crook of Ivan Jelic, he published from 1958 to 1960 a bulletin: Bilten Hrvatskog Narodnog Odbora u Italiji (106). Thereafter, this last was replaced by a Bulletin of the democratic and social Action Croatian (Bilten Hrvatske Demokratske I Socjalne Akcije) from 1961 to 1973. In this last social democrat organisation (HDSA), Ciliga was not a simple contributor; he was officially the political secretary (107).

The development of a strong particularly Croatian Yugoslav emigration, then the same events of Yugoslavia, at the end of the Sixties and at the beginning of the Seventies, will give him a growing place and a political recognition in this medium strongly marked by nationalism.

Thus, in 1960 less than 10.000 Yugoslav workers were employed in BRD (West Germany); in 1972, they were 400.000, and 640.000 in 1976. Many others emigrated in Australia, Canada, the USA, and even in Sweden and Switzerland. A majority of them was Croatian. It followed a proliferation of nationalist groups from the Stalinist left to the extreme Ustasha right-wing tendency, splitting groups - for example 100 per 43.000 Yugoslavians in Sweden! - and of reviews (more than 80 Croatian monthly reviews through the world (108).

In addition in 1971 occurred - what in a typical way Ciliga names "Croatian spring" - demonstrations in Zagreb, with Croatian flags and slogans. The CP of Croatia which had besides contacts with the Croatian nationalist emigration supported those, Ustashe included. The major reason was that the Croatian Bourgeoisie was extremely dissatisfied with the federal State: this one obtained a third of the currencies gained by tourism in Croatia, which received only the tenth from it. A severe purge operation by Tito followed; and a certain number of writers and intellectuals were exiled to reinforce the Croatian opposition in exile. It was the true beginning of the decomposition of the Yugoslav Federal State (109).

Ciliga, in this context, continued his activities of "editor ", "person in charge" and "political adviser" of his reviews. From 1974, the review typed with the machine on stencils became a printed quarterly review. It took the name of "With the threshold of the future" (Na pragu sutrasnjice) and lasted until the beginning of the Eighties, seems it. This review of "the writer-editor Dr. Ante Ciliga ", with other many contributions, was marked on the right side. He wanted to be for "a dialogue on the problems democratic, national and social of the Croatian fight "and addressed to "the Croatian public ""line with the left ".

Enjoying a certain notoriety as Croatian social democrat politician, Ciliga tried to be elected in 1975 at the congress-assembly of the Croatian national Council (HNV - Hrvatsko Narodno Vijece); in vain since he obtained only half of the voices required to be nominee (110). This council, pro-Westerner, installed in the USA, had been founded in 1974 gathering however whole, pro-Muscovites with the Ustashe - to try to politically control the million and half of Croats living apart from the borders of Yugoslavia, in the name of the unit of "the emigrated Croatian people" (111).

Admittedly, Ciliga in his writings, since 1971, envisaged the possibility of the disappearance of Yugoslavia. (The right man for the job was, according to him, the opponent Milovan Djilas.) He underlined the risk of the reconstitution of a Serb block, after the disappearance of Tito "with annexation of the mixed areas with Serb minorities"; then "there would inevitably be dangerous tensions which would burst in civil war, war of nationalities, war of religion ". If Serbia remained the dominant power without division of the power with the other national Bourgeoisies, could we add, then "that will lead to the disintegration of current Yugoslavia, a partial confederation including Croatia and the other central and Western republics of Yugoslavia, which will want to adhere to it, Kosovo probably passing to Albania and Macedonia to Bulgaria. " (112).

This forecast, one knows it now, - except for details, since the extension of the conflict to Balkans does not make that to start - was fully checked in the slaughters perpetuated in the name of the Serb, Croatian nation, etc. The Ustashe of 1941 found successors on their level in the Stalinist or former Stalinist parties, reconverted into "the capitalism ", which they are of Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia.

A psychological and political characteristic of Ciliga, in his path of Communist until that of social democrat, will be to research at all costs "united front" of all the political parties, the common agreement in the name of pluralism. But in the last part of his life, that will be carried out under the sign of "the Croatian nation". That stills in 1979, at the moment when the HNV - to which Ciliga had presented his candidature - was in crisis. (113).

Later, in 1980, with the death of the old great chief Tito, Ciliga could announce the end of Yugoslavia, born in 1945. But it was for once more putting ahead a nationalist solution, the creation of a Croatian State, certainly inserted in "a Confederation of 6 sovereign national States " (114). "A true confederation or separation", such was the program of the Ciliga’s group, which in any event put ahead, even in such a confederation, the need for building a Croatian State. It is true that, for once, Ciliga did not annex any more (as in its bulletin of the Sixties) Bosnia-Herzegovina to Croatia... (115).

In the final analysis, all the hidden life of Ciliga, that of the underground of the Croatian emigration, was that of a Croatian patriot, marked by a whole policy "frontist", having broken in practice with its old communist convictions and internationalists.

One can speak with. matter of Ciliga of a figure of Janus with double face: nationalist in the Croatian emigration and " mondialist "in his public interventions, but also its memories and interviews, insofar as that did not relate to Croatia and Yugoslavia.

Thus, since 1945, Ciliga affirmed it that the discovery of atomic energy, and threatens it of a third world war put on the agenda "the world political unification, the planetary official organisation ". And it added: with the birth of "a political movement and social nine, conscious and able to undertake the new tasks which fall on mankind the world political unification and the construction of the planetary socialist company ", internationalism is on the agenda. But it is true that it was for better affirming the need for nations: "the former as the new national States must constitute basic units, autonomous and levelling cells of a new world and supranational synthesis and a new unit ". (116).

These last quotations, the Ciliga’s life even show all the ambiguity (Janus) of the character, in his youth at the time of the debates on the Croatian national question, and since 1938-1940 until its death, pensioned by the new Croatian government, when it returned to Zagreb after the proclamation of independence.

Many militants and not-militants, attaches to the ideal internationalist and recipient of the fight of a working class, that one says disappeared, will not forget its oral testimony - with Marcel Body (117) - at the time of the international conference on Kronstadt from March 1981 in Paris, where it was a question of international revolution, proletariat, fight against the oppression of all the States.

Especially the history of the labour movement, and even the history very short - precisely at the moment when it shows the bloody bankruptcy of the nationalitarian ideology and reality in Yugoslavia even - will undoubtedly retain only the author-witness and militant with "the country of the great lie ".

It is in this book that is condensed the best of the former son of Croatian poor small farmers, this son also of the international Revolution, who had ceased thinking one moment that he was Croatian, to be a man without fatherland nor nation, among other beings who had refused the nation for the hope of a planetary revolution giving rise to the mankind-world.

January 1993

(revised Edition, July 1998)

Philippe Bourrinet.




1.Ten years in the country of the disconcerting lie, Editions Champ Libre, Paris, 1977. The title "In the Country of the great lie" was that of the Editions 10/18, published the same year. Le Monde, October 14, 1977 (p. 16) specifies that the republication in 10/18 was seized at the request of Ciliga. There was an English translation: The Russian Enigma, London, Routledge, 1940. In Italian : Dieci anni dietro il sipario di ferro. 1 - Al paese della menzogna dell’enigma. 2 - Sibiria, Casini, Roma, 1951. In castillan, Buenos Aires, 1951; German: Im Land der verwirrenden Lüge. Zehn Jahre hinter dem Eisernen Vorhang, Köln, 1953; and in Japanese, Tokyo, 1953.

2.A. CILIGA, Sam kroz Evropu u ratu ("Alone through Europe in war"), Paris, 1954, p. 157. Complete edition: Sam kroz Evropu u ratu (1939-1945), Editions "Na Pragu sutrasnjice", 586 pages, Rome, 1978.

3.This autobiography of 21 pages, on May 25, 1983, entitled simply "Ante Ciliga ", without mention of place and editor ", was provided to us by Arfé (Arthur) Marchadier. (public Edition in 1994 by the editions La Digitale, Quimperlé, in the compilation of texts: Ante CILIGA, After Russia 1936-1990.) It rests much - sometimes supplements it - on the interview made by Minima and Pier Paolo Poggio, for the Italian review Umana Avventura, in three parts, January and May. 1979, then in January 1980. We thank Arturo Peregalli for us for having communicated a photocopy of it. In November 1992, Vecernji list (Zagreb) published a series of articles on the life and the work of Ciliga.

4."Ante Ciliga ", referred to above, p. 2.

5.Idem, p. 3-6, for the period of 1917 and the Bolshevism. These points are not developed in the Italian interview of 1979.

6.For the history of the Yugoslav CP, cf. Ivan AVAKUMOVIC, History of the communist Party of Yugoslavia, 1964, The Aberdeen University Press; Paul SHOUP, Communism and the National Yugoslav Question, 1968, Columbia University Press, London/New York; Milovan BOSIC, Izvori za istoriju Komunistike partije Yugoslavije (1919-1941), "Izdavaki centar komunist ", Belgrade, 1984. This last book contains an invaluable bibliography, and mentions reprints of the congresses and publications of the CP in Yugoslavia, as well as the Memories of leaders of the party.

7.Autobiography, in French, op. cit., p. 8. Many specific points on the young Ciliga in some Story of the Croatian Communism published as from the Seventies in former Yugoslavia.

8.Cf. APIH (Elio) Italia, fascismo e antifascismo nella Venezia Giulia, 1918-1943, Bari, 1966, p. 156. The file of the police on Ciliga (Roma ACS CCP 1342, file 21538) specifies that he was denounced on April 14, 1921 for revolt with armed hand; under the menace of a warrant for arrest, he took refuge in Zagreb. A document of May 11, 1925 (Prefecture of Pola) note that Ciliga "enjoys a good reputation in the public opinion... is a good speaker and able to make conferences... made an intense propaganda of the Bolshevik ideas especially among the coloni and the working class. "

9.There is reprint of Borba (1922-1923); izdanje, Belgrade-Zagreb, 1972, 1980. Ciliga reproduced his articles of Borba on the national question; cf. infra.

10.It is notable that the book of BOSIC, as of others devoted in Yugoslavia to Croatian Communism does not mention name of Ciliga in the central bodies of the CPY. This conspiracy of silence is at the very least strange and recalls - in the former Tito’s Yugoslavia - methods at one time used to the country of the great lie.

11.Cf. J. SCHÄRF, "the October revolution and the labour movement in the Balkan countries ", p. 206-213, in the October Revolution and the European labour movement, EDI, Paris, 1967.

12.Grulovic directed this fraction. Cf. Protokoll des ausserordentlichen Parteitages der KAPD vom 11 (a) 14.9.1921 in Berlin, published and presented by C. Klockner; VWP, Darmstadt, 1986, p. 16-17.

13.Ivan AVAKUMOVIC, op. cit., p. 65. Quotation of "the Resolution about the Yugoslav question ", Proclamations, theses and resolutions of the first four world congresses of the Communist International, reprint Maspéro, 1969, p. 209-210.

14.Cf. General history of socialism, T. 3, PUF, Paris, 1977, under the direction of Jacques DROZ.

15.Cf. P. SHOUP, op. cit., p. 26.

16."Autobiography ", op. cit., p. 9.

17.It is at least what Ciliga affirms. Face the "right" line of Markovic, "the left ", represented by Djuro Dvijic (1896-1938) defended the idea of a federation of Workers and Peasants Governments in each area. The both tendencies were located on a nationalist basis, where it was not any more question of class struggle.

18.In 1923, Sima Markovic published a booklet entitled Nacionalno pitanje u svetlosti marksizma ("the national question in the light of the Marxism "). Ciliga, under the Mbt signature, retorted in Borba Nos. 29, 37, 38, 44, and 45, from August until December 1923. One will find reprint of extracts of the pamphlet of Markovic and articles of Ciliga, in his review Na pragu sutrasnjice, Rome, No. 2-3, August 1974, p. 253-306: "Sima Markovic-Ante Ciliga polemika o nacionalnom pitanju, 1923 g. ". It is interesting to stress that, while speaking about "a federation of Workers and Peasants governments" - watchword of the Comintern -, Ciliga judged that the Serb-Croatian quarrel was a quarrel between two separate nations and two capitalisms. But he denied that each one of these nations could be an imperialist one compared to the other.

19.Autobiography, op. cit., p. 10. This nomination intervened at the end of 1923. Sima Markovic (pseudonym: Semic) was attacked highly by Stalin, March 30, 1925, in "the Yugoslav Commission " of the Executive of the Comintern, since he was pressed on the Stalin’s booklet of 1912, to justify his position. Cf. Kongresi i zemaljske konferencije KPJ 1919-1937, T II "Istorijskog arhiva KPJ ", Belgrade, 1950, p. 421-424.

20.CILIGA, Autobiography, op. cit., p. 11.

21.Cf. G SOMAI, Gramsci a Vienna, Argalia Editore, Urbino, 1979. Gramsci, member of the Office of Vienna, noted in 1923 that Radic was a crafty, skilful politician, and expert in the compromises, but unable to be a strategist (p. 77, and 114.) On the other hand, in an article of Borba, No. 38, Oct. 18. 1923, Ciliga called for a "Workers and Peasants United Front" with the Radic’s HSS, whose party was accepted in 1924 in Krestintern.

22.For this period, cf. article of CILIGA, "Come Tito si impadroni del Partito comunista jugoslavo ", Corrispondenza Socialista No. 7, July 1961, p. 393-399. Reprint, with a provided introduction of Paolo CASCIOLA (p. 1-8), Quaderni Centro di Studi Pietro Tresso, series Studi e Ricerche, No. 12, February 1989. There is an important article of CILIGA on "the role and the destiny of the Croatian Communists in the KPJ " ("Uloga I sudbina hrvatskih komunista U KPJ "), in Bilten HDSA, p. 1-68, No. 67, 1972.

23.10 ans au pays du mensonge déconcertant, Ed. Champ Libre, Paris, 1977, p. 22-23.

24A. CILIGA, Siberia, land of exile and industrialisation, Editions des Iles d’Or, Paris, which published also texts of Rossi (Tasca), Victor Serge, etc.

25.Idem, p. 45.

26.There existed in the USSR several specialised "communist universities". In addition, one of the consequences of the "bolshevisation" had been to create "communist schools" in all the countries.

27.Idem, p. 26-27. For the speech of Trotsky, in the name of the Opposition, December 9, 1926, cf. International correspondence No. 6, January 14, 1927.

28.Idem, p. 31.

29.Idem, p. 42.

30.Ciliga considered the meetings of the Comintern tedious, and pure chattering, where all decided "in the slides". The book of Milovan Bosic, already quoted, mentions (p. 328), as members of the official delegation: Jakob Zorga (1888-1942), G. Vukovic, M. Brezovic and Albert Hlebec (Lidin). Under the name of Rogic, Zorga, secretary of the Yugoslav party, spoke to thank Bukharin for having liquidated the fractional fights in the CPY. Zorga decided for "a Leninist direction and an iron discipline", finally for a Balkan federation of "Workers and peasants independent republics". No opposition is perceptible. Cf. International correspondence, August 4, 1928 (sixth meeting of July 23, 1928).

31.The course towards " the armed insurrection " was especially put on the agenda at the time of the 10th plenary session of July 1929.

32.For a short outline of the period, cf. Natacha RAJAKOVIC, Ambiguities of the Yugoslavism, from Sarajevo to Sarajevo, p. 21-49, Editions Complexe, Brussels, October 1992.

33.Since spring 1928, the direction of the Comintern was concerned with " military question". In German under the name of Neuberg a handbook had come out on the armed insurrection. Cf. French translation, reprint Maspéro, Paris, 1970: A. NEUBERG, Armed Insurrection. In May 1929, the politburo of the central committee of the CPY put on the agenda "the armed insurrection"; in October 1929, the Central Committee proclaimed that it "was necessary to pass from the defensive to the offensive... and to prepare the masses and the party for the armed insurrection" cf. Pregled istorije Saveza Komunista Yugoslavije, Belgrade, 1963, p. 175-177.

34.Ivan AVAKUMOVIC, op. cit., p. 94-95.

35.A. CILIGA, State Crisis in Tito’s Yugoslavia, Denoël, Paris, 1974, p. 165. Ivan AVAKUMOVIC, op. cit., p. 96, gives 30 killed, much less than the number of Yugoslav Communists shot by Stalin a few years after (approximately 800, according to the historian Vladimir Dedijer).

36.The revolutionary Organisation interior Macedonian (unified) or ORIM (U) in French had been created starting from the ruins of the terrorist movement Macedonian ORIM in September 1925. The VMRO (Macedonian-Bulgarian initials), directed by Macedonian, Communists was a pure nationalist creation. The ORIM known as " historical militarily formed the Ustashe of Pavelic, after 1929.

37.AVAKUMOVIC, op. cit., p. 108-109.

38.CILIGA, Ten years in the country..., p. 67-68.

39.Idem, p. 69.

40.The woman of Tito, of Russian origin, Pelagija, was stopped under her eyes. She was exiled in 1938, remaria and "was rehabilitated" in 1957. She died in Moscow in 1968. This arrest of notorious adverse failed to cost the life to Tito in 1938, for suspicion of Trotskyism.

41.CILIGA, op. cit., p. 105.

42.Ibidem, p. 115.

43.Ibidem, p. 87.

44.Cf. passage on the relationship with Trotsky in 1935-1936.

45.CILIGA, idem, p. 110.

46.Ibidem, p. 179.

47.Ciliga quotes also the insulators of Cheliabinsk, Yaroslav, and Souzdal. In this last was the chief "Decist" V.M. Smirnov who was carried out in 1937. At the beginning of the Thirties, isolators did work: " Letter of the comrade Ciliga " (December 9, 1935), booklet A bas la répression contre-révolutionaire en USSR, Paris, at the beginning of 1936?, Editions Fourth International, p. 6-16.

48.The analysis of the balancesheet of the political forces in Verkhne Uralsk was confirmed by the letter of two "orthodox" Trotskyists of this prison (T.D. Ardachelia and G.I. Iakovin) with Trotsky, on November 11, 1930 (in Cahiers Léon Trotsky 7/8, 1981, p. 184-193.). The "theses of the 3", mentioned by Ciliga for this tendency were republished by the Cahiers Léon Trotsky 6, under the title "the crisis of the Revolution". Cf. also the Cahiers Léon Trotsky 53, April 1994, on " the opposition of left in the USSR ".

49.CILIGA, op. cit., p. 288. E.B. Solnstsev (1900-1936); G.I. Iakovin (1896-1938), F.n. Dingelstedt (1890-1938) all were shot in camps, in particular in Vorkhuta.

50.The two signatories of the letter affirm that Saakian and Kvatchadzé created Voinstvujuchtchij Bolshevik in January 1930. It "was taken in hand by young people (Pouchas, Perevertsev, Emelianov) and was directed towards the Decism" as of the second number. Paolo Casciola announces in its foreword to the book Trotskyist Serials Bibliography (1927-1991), K.G. Saur, München, London, New York, Paris, 1993, p. VII, the contradiction of testimony between Ciliga, on the one hand, and Ardachelia and Yakovin of the other.

51.CILIGA, op. cit., p. 222.

52.For this thesis, to see the book of Willy HUHN, Trotsky - Der gescheiterte Stalin, Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin, 1973. Translation in French and postface of Daniel SAINT-JAMES, with a text of Paul MATTICK, "Stalinism and Bolshevism", Spartacus , Oct.-Nov. 1981, No. 113 - B.

53.CILIGA, op. cit., p. 209.

54.One can read in a text of Trotsky, published in October 1932, a defence of the USSR, which made certainly howl the imprisoned militants, and even more the workers in the lager-factories or the camps: "We take the workers State such as it is, and we say: it is our State. Despite everything what remains of delays, in spite of the food shortage, the bureaucratic tails, errors, and even despicable tricks, the workers of the whole world must defend with the teeth and the nails in a this workers State their future socialist fatherland." And the former Bolshevik chief added: "socialism like system showed its right to the historical victory not in the chapters of the Capital, but by the practice of the hydraulic stations and the blast furnaces." This theory of the accumulation of capital, like equation of socialism, already exposed by PREOBRAJENSKIJ, the New Economics, 1924, was defended many times by Trotsky. (for the article of 1932, cf. Writings 1928-1940, T I, Marcel Rivière and Co, Paris, 1955, p. 111).

55.CILIGA, op. cit., p. 258-259.

56.Cf. Roberto SINIGAGLIA, Mjasnikov e la rivoluzione russa, Jaca Book, Milano, 1973.

57.For the position of Miasnikov in 1923, cf. the " Proclamation of the workers group of the Russian CP (Bolshevik) ", published in German translation by the KAPD. French translation, in Invariance, series II, No. 6, May 1975.

58.Cf. Carl STEUERMANN (pseudonym of Otto RÜHLE), the World-wide crisis or towards the State capitalism, NRF, Paris, 1932.

59.CILIGA, op. cit., p. 285.

60.Works of TROTSKY, T. 8, EDI, Paris, 1980, p. 34. By error, P. BROUE, gives as year of birth of Ciliga 1896, instead of 1898.

61.Ibidem, p. 34-36, letter of January 2, 1936.

62.Ibidem, p. 54, January 7, 1936. It should be noted that Ciliga was not the only one with to have come out of the USSR in 1935. Arven Davtian, known as Tarov (1895-1943) had given his testimony; he spoke about the " life" in Verkhne-Uralsk, of " the 450 (?) Bolshevik-Leninists, hunger strikes" and mentioned the activity of 3 Czech, in fact Ciliga and his friends. (Bulletin d’information et de presse sur USSR No. 1, January 1936, "Of a letter of Tarov on his escape", p. 10-12; published by the International Secretariat of the L.C.I. (B-L).

63.Articles of Ciliga: Bjulleten oppositsii, No. 47, January 1936, "Stalinskie repressii v SSSR", p. 1-4; No. 48, February 1936, "v borbe za vyezd iz SSSR", p. 11-12; No. 49, April 1936, idem (continuation), p. 7-12. For the articles of Ciliga in Sotsialisticeskij vestnik, in 1936 and 1937, cf. Tables of the Russian review the Socialist Messenger 1921-1963, Paris, Institute of Slavic studies, 1992.

64.The Trotskyist historian Pierre Broué writes for example, without quoting the positions of the KAPD, of Korsch, or Miasnikov, that "the position according to which the USSR had become a State capitalism, which was that of Ciliga, was for a long time that of the Mensheviks." (Works, Trotsky, T 8, p. 65.)

65.Letter of Trotsky of June 22, 1936, in Works, volume 10, EDI, Paris, 1981, p. 123-125. Trotsky required that the Bulletin of the Russian opposition did not publish more any text of Ciliga, and that in spite of the moderate opinion of the Trotsky’s son.

66.That gave to Ciliga the reputation of anglophilia. In the Seventies, there was an English republication.

67.Sotsialisticeskij Vestnik No. 7/8, April 27, 1937; No. 11, June 12. In the No. 7/8, Ciliga made print the letters sent to the Bjulleten Bolchevikov-lenintzev (August 1936 and April 1937). He approved the action of the "ultraleftist Communists"; he was not a " Bolshevik-Leninist" but "unorganized". He wanted to work for the building of a "united front of the oppositional Communists, Socialists and Anarchists against Stalinist bureaucratic terror" (p. 24.) This position of calling to the "united front" showed, on the contrary, an increasingly clear distance of the positions of the Communist Left, of which one of the characteristics was the rejection of any "united front".

68.Nova Evropa was a Croatian newspaper appearing since the beginning of the Twenties, where intellectuals in favour of the Yugoslav national unity expressed themselves. In 1938, Ciliga sent an article where he affirmed that the war would not occur soon. Cf. CILIGA, Sam kroz Evropu u ratu, Paris, 1954, p. 6.

69.La Révolution prolétarienne, No. 278, September 10, 1938, "Insurrection of Cronstadt and destiny of the Russian Revolution".

70.In Proleter (1929-1942), organ of the central committee of the Yugoslav Communist Party, Ciliga is many times denounced as "Trotskyist and Fascist spy". Cf. No. 2-3, May-June 1936; Nos 2, 3, 7, 10, and 13 of 1937; and No. 1-2, January-February 1938.

71.A "Committee of the Yugoslav journalists in exile", affirmed in a French leaflet (Paris, April 22, 1952) that "while (Ciliga) was in Soviet Russia, he was excluded from the (Yugoslav) party under the double charge to have belonged to the Trotskyist group and to have served the Yugoslav secret police. Thrown in prison by the Soviets, he had drawn some aid from the Italian consul in Moscow in 1937. By which bargaining the Italian consul had succeeded in releasing Ciliga, it is secrecy still kept by the Kremlin. Once released, Ciliga entered to Yugoslavia where he lived under the protection of the police. Then, he settled in Italy and made the shuttle between Rome and Paris, as agent of the OVRA (political police of Mussolini)". The key of this leaflet (BDIC, Nanterre, Q part 7230) is in the conclusion: " (Ciliga calumnies) the Serbs and the orthodox religion".

72.The political folder on Ciliga in Rome established by the OVRA (Archivio Centrale di Stato, CCP 1342) defines him as "attentatore", "comunista pericoloso". A police report notes that he could make condemn June 1939 a French Stalinist newspaper showing him to be paid by Goebbels.

73."... I take the full and whole responsibility for repression of the revolt in Kronstadt". Text of Trotsky, in Fourth international, August 1938. Included in the book: Victor SERGE and Lev TROTSKY, The fight against Stalinism, texts presented by Michel DREYFUS, Maspéro, Paris, 1977, p. 213-216.

74.New publishing, Paris, 1983; quotation p. 16-17. In English, The Kronstadt Revolt, Freedom Press, London, 1942.

75.CILIGA, Sam kroz Evropu u ratu, 1954, p. 13-20, on Miasnikov. The review of Maslov, janv. 1939, No. 1 - Cahiers d’Europe - Europäische Monatshefte - published a text of Ciliga, " the Masters of the Country", p. 29-33.

76.Autobiography, p. 14.

77.Ibidem, p. 14.

78.Sam kroz Europu u ratu, Rome, 1978, Part II, " U balkanskom vrtlogu: tri godine u NDH".

79.For the framework of the events, to see: Ladislaus HORY and Martin BROSZAT, Der Kroatische Ustascha-Staat (1941-1945), Schriftenreihe der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Nummer 8, Stuttgart, 1964. K. MENEGHELLO-DINCIC, "the Ustasha State of Croatia (1941-1945)", Historical Review of World War II No. 74, Paris (in French), April. 1966. Fikreta JELIC-BUTIC, Ustase i Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska 1941-1945, Zagreb, 1977. For the role (little glorious) of the Vatican and the Croatian Catholic Church, cf. Hervé LAURIERE (pseudonym of Branko Miljus, former Serb minister in the royal government of Yugoslavia in 1939, taken refuge in Paris), Murders in the name of God, 1951, Paris, "La Vigie".

80.On the 1,7 million killed out of the war, two thirds were victims of other Yugoslavs. Concerning Dalmatia under Italian Military Occupation, to see O. TALPO, Dalmazia; una cronaca per la storia (1941), Rome, 1985. It arose from the German reports that the 40.000 railwaymen of Croatia were pro-Communists, that the peasants (80 % of the population) were hostile to the Ustashe authorities; that the "Moslems" of Bosnia - the " flower of the Croatian nation" according to Pavelic - were gained by the " partisianism" of Tito.

81.What is true it is that a homonym of Ciliga, veterinary surgeon, formed part of the team of Pavelic. Perhaps it was about the Ciliga’s uncle, who was a veterinary inspector to Mostar. Cf. also "memories" of a former high-ranking civil servant of the Ustasha State: V. VRANCIC, Branili smo Dravu ("We defended the State", sic), index, two volumes; Knjinica Hrvatske Revije, Barcelona - Munich, 1985. Another homonymy, that of Ante Pavelic: the member of the Serb-Croatian Coalition of 1919, which constitutes the provisional government of the Southern Slavic provinces, of the same name (1869-1938), should not be confused with the chief of the Ustasha movement (1889-1959).

82.Autobiography, p. 15.

83."Rapporto del ufficio dell’ispettore di P.S. in Croazia", October first, 1942 (CPC 1342, Ciliga, Archivio dello Stato, Roma).

84.This version is in the interview of Ciliga, carried out by Umana Avventura No. 9, January 1980, p. 38.

85.Cf. R. TRIVUNCIC, Jacenovac i jasenovacki logori ("Jacenovac and camps of Jacenovac"), Jacenovac, 1974.

86.The leaflet already quoted affirms that it is Gestapo which asked for the arrest of Ciliga, as OVRA’s agent, and the archbishop of Zagreb, Stepinac, made him leave prison (whereas Ciliga was in a death camp). Amid other things, Ciliga is denounced by the mysterious committee of Yugoslav journalists as " the leader-writer of the Ustashe newspapers Spremnost (imitation of the newspaper Das Reich de Goebbels) and Hrvatski Narod; that starting from February 1943 "he did not cease of glorifying the participation of the Independent Croatian State to the war efforts against the Allied and the Yugoslavian Partisans." What is sure, all the political ambiguity of Ciliga during the war gave form to such charges. As for the Stepinac archbishop - become cardinal in 1956, whereas Tito had imprisoned him in 1946 per 16 years - he adopted an attitude more than ambiguity during the Ustasha period, but brought his individual assistance to the persecuted Serbs, Jews and Croats, unlike the archbishop of Sarajevo, Ivan Saric, openly Ustasha.

87."Generale Rapporto dell’ufficio dell’ispettore di polizia in Croazia, dirigente della XI zona OVRA", Zagreb, February 19, 1943 (in CPC 1342, already quoted).

88.Ante CILIGA, Deset godina u Sovjetskoi Rusiji (" Ten years in Soviet Russia"), Zagreb, 1943; collection of articles reprinted of the Spremnost review. The first article was published on February 14, 1943 with the title "10 years among the Bolsheviks". The Fascist police - in its report of February 19, 1943 on Ciliga - defines the Spremnost review as an " official organ of the Ustasha movement".

89.Quotation extracted from the book of JELIC-BUTIC, op. cit., p. 273.

90.The foreword to the pamphlet of 1943, 10 godina u S.S.S.R., written by Aleksander Seitz, praised Ciliga as "a Croatian intellectual fighting against the Bolshevism".

91.Hrvatski Narod was a general public daily newspaper appearing twice per day. Like all the other newspapers, it was controlled by the new Ustasha power.

92.CILIGA: Storice iz prostine - on his travel in 1941-1942 through Dalmatia, Bosnia and Croatia - editions Matica Hrvatska, Zagreb, 1944 (Mentioned by Ciliga.). Testimony of Ciliga on Jasenovac, where he affirms that at a certain time the "Jews" directed the camp before "being eliminated by the gypsies" was used by General-President Franjo Tudjman in his book published in 1990 on the "Desolation of historical reality", with some anti-Semite perfume. Tudjman made thereafter (on February 10, 1994) public excuses at the international Jewish Community, in front of the international reactions, and engaged to withdraw the litigious passages of the English edition of his book. See Franjo TUDJMAN, Bespuca povijesne zbiljnosti. Rasprava o povijesti i filozofiji zlosilja, "Nakladni zavod Matice Hrvatske", Zagreb, 1990, p. 318-320. Tudjman claims that the Pavelic’s regime had a "philosemitic" (sic) policy and minimises considerably the number of the victims in Jasenovac.

93.CILIGA, Sam kroz Europu u ratu, 1978, Rome; 3rd part, " U Becu, Berlinu i Bavarskoj ".

94.CILIGA, State Crisis in Tito’s Yugoslavia, p.145. Ciliga refused, writes it, to leave for this congress. He tells that after September 1944, during the purification of the Ustasha State, he was required in Zagreb by the Gestapo. The 1952 leaflet ,mentioned above, affirms that "Ciliga was named attached cultural of Croatian independent State in Berlin where he remained until the defeat of Hitler".

95.CILIGA, State Crisis in Tito’s Yugoslavia, p.144-145. Cf. also his Autobiography, p. 16.

96.A. CILIGA, Lenin and Revolution, "Cahiers Spartacus", Paris, January 1948. Undoubtedly written in 1938.

97.Editions des Iles d’Or, 1952, and not 1950, as indicated in his "autobiography".

98.Edizioni Jaca Book, Milan, 1983.

99." Autobiography ", p. 17.

100.State Crisis in Tito’s Yugoslavia, p. 146.

101.A. CILIGA, "Dokle ce hrvatski narod stenjati pod srpskim jarmom?" In subtitle: " Diskusija o suvremenim problemina hrvatske politike", Paris, Christmas 1952.

102.A. CILIGA, " the Southern Slavic people between East and West", in La Révolution prolétarienne, November 1950. He also affirmed that "the crisis of the Serb hegemony is the nucleus of the current Yugoslav situation" (Underlined by Ciliga itself.)

103.Vladko MACEK (1879-1964) wrote Memories in English language: In the Struggle for freedom, New York, 1957.

104.CILIGA, Dokle ce hrvatski narod stenjati pod srpskim jarmom, already quoted, p. 81. To note in this booklet formulations more than doubtful on the Ustasha movement. While stressing that the policy of Pavelic had led to the catastrophe, by a "unreal anti-Serb chauvinism" - but was it about simple " chauvinism" in the case of the massacre of 600.000 Serbs?- and "to the enslavement to Italy and Germany", he wrote: " Despite that, Pavelic and the Ustashe achieved a basically positive role in the history of the Croatian people" (p. 40.) Undoubtedly the construction of a bloody "Croatian State"... Here, Ciliga could not further push compromising with the Ustashe.

105.A. CILIGA, "Nacionalizam I komunizam u hrvatskosrpskom sporu" ("Nationalism and Communism in the Serbo-Croatian disagreement"), in Hrvatska Revija, No. 4, p. 365-396, March 1951. This article was the same one as that which was appeared in the Roman newspaper Libertà, in March, in serial. The review was directed by Antun Bonifacic and Vinko Nikolic, close relations - if not in - movement Ustasha.

106.To find itself there a little in the nebula of the Croatian emigration which goes from the Ustasha extreme right to Croatian national-Communism pro-Moscow, see Stephen CLISSOLD, " Croat Separatism: Nationalism, Dissidence and Terrorism", No. 103, January 1979 of Conflict Studies, British review. For the description of the Croatian emigrated press on all the continents, cf. Hrvatska Revija Jubilarni Zbornik 1951-1975, Munich-Barcelona, 1976, p. 358-369. Ivan Jelic published a H.N.O. Bulletin in Munich. His brother, Branko Jelic - who published Hrvatska Drava was on the other hand pro-Soviet, calling to the independence of Croatia in exchange of naval bases for the USSR in the Adriatic.

107.Cf. Bilten HDSA No. 37-38, 1965, p. 10. (Letter to Branko Jelic.)

108.Stephen CLISSOLD, op. cit., p. 8.See too Hrvatska Revija, op. cit., p. 368. The various Ciliga’s reviews are also mentioned (p. 358.)

109.Cf. PhD of D.S. STEFANOVIC, Origins of the Croatian crisis of 1971, E.H.S.S., Paris, June 1979.

110.Na pragu sutrasnjice, No. 5, December 1975, p.129-144.

111.Stephen CLISSOLD, op. cit., p. 17. That went from the Ustasha HOP (Croatian Movement of Liberation) to young refugees of the so-called "Croatian spring" of 1971, while passing by the HSS (Peasant Party), the HRS (republican left), and the Socialist and Communist (Kominformist) parties. According to the author, the HNV condemned terrorist violence, by providing moral and financial assistance to the stopped Croatian terrorists.

112.CILIGA, Crisis of State in Tito’s Yugoslavia, Denoël, Paris, 1974, p. 344. (In Italian: La crisi di stato nella Jugoslavia di Tito, ED. Odep, Rome, 1972.)

113.This research of the "united front" of all the Croatian political parties of the right-hand side to the left, one finds it in the Ciliga’s activity in the HNV, where existed strong cleavages between Ustashe, republicans, and Socialists. In the No. 13 (Nov. 1979) of Na pragu sutrasnjice, p.157-158, Ciliga required vis-à-vis the "current crisis of the HNV" a political pluralism with the "old nationalists", the " young nationalists", the members of the Peasant party HSS, and the " Croatian Communists of democratic and national orientation".

114.CILIGA, Izjava Petnaestovice. - Konac Titove Yugoslavije i zadati Hrvastske politike (" Declaration of the 15 - end of Tito’s Yugoslavia and tasks of the Croatian policy"), Lund (Sweden), July 10, 1983 (booklet).

115.First Bilten HDSA, in 1963-64, shown a chart of Europe, on the cover of the Bulletin, where Croatia (indicated in black) included Croatia strictly speaking increased of Bosnia-Herzegovina,… as between 1941 and 1945.

116.Autobiography, p. 20-21. In the same way of calling to a world community, one can also read in his book on Tito’s Yugoslavia, op. cit., p. 208: " internationalism and universalism are the concretisation of human solidarity, essential bases to carry out the world unification and the future Socialist Community".

117.Marcel BODY (1894-1984) wrote a book of testimony on Bolshevik Russia, after returning to France and becoming Anarchist and Pacifist: My years in Russia.