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Document Creation Date: 
November 16, 2016
Document Release Date: 
April 5, 2000
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Publication Date: 
June 13, 1952
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''- - Jo {'TYPE IN THIS SPACE Air ?ouch 1MM(ICTED ? ~ Approves f' 8r Release 2000/ +"` 8-00915ROpFOREIGN SERVICE ~E"S 9f ROM AmConGaneralg Marseille X TO a C0 TOM DEPARTMENT OF STATE. WASHTliGTOIV...;:3 REF Voluntary Lu 27 1 REP DCR For Dept. E. N bER H Irl Ut Only R F tas nN 19 ? DNS Disilluaionment of a Communist This is a report on several recent conversations between an officer of tiAs Consulate General and a ;rjlitan} harsoil.le Corim ist, chile these conversations disolose_'. little factual information concern- in- the Co:! 'lunist Party i:i Marseille, tl-ny revealed, in personal terms, thhe rac'ual disillusionment of a militarit Coiw.--unist and evidenced the ideolo ;ical crisis throur;lh~ whicli he is presently passinC0 These con- versat cr1s also indicated that,, while the Socialist Party c'oes not appea to the disillusioned Coni.unist as a possible alternative to the CPa the is a definite sentiment among certain disillusionec: Co:,~__unists favoring creation of an independent French Coii unist Party. It is impossible to estimate accurately the mutter of French Com;.,unists who today find them--. selves in a position sil.:ilar to the one occupied by the subject of this dispatch, but this writer is convi.zced, on the basis of his contacts amen? local :1,ilitants, that subject is but one of many Communists in th. area who arc becoming; I.ncreaainCly disillusioned with their party. if this conclusion is correct, it is believed that the causes of this ind.w victual's disillusionment and the factors undorlyin`, his ideological crisis are of particular interest. Biographical ;raphical Sketch of Sub 'e c t Subject is today the secretary of one of the most Important and most active Communist cells in i,.arseille, an~ is also a part cula~`-l active aionioer of the CGT union. He joined the Cozrr..Lnist ?arty In 1032 and fought for two years in the panis:i civil war as a -,e bor of the International Brigade In 1939-x.10 he served as a serl-eant In the renc :_ armored forces in Colonel .'.e ;Liaulle' s re irent. >urin,; the Ger, . oe - cupation he was arrested as an active Comm-.unist anc?.. deported to a conce.- ttation ca.-,,p in Germany. Liberated by ..merican troops in the spring of 1944, he was careO, for by the n:::erican ocl Cross for th:re '_.o nths befog: returnin,, to i'rance. Followin his return, he was employed in a r umber of :r:anual occupations, for the past f our t'i ilichs as a freight ran ler at the l arseille railroad station. h-e resui'.:ed h .r roi as a Party :s. COT militant as soon a`u 'Inc returned to 1''ranco, and in 1 57i '_oo vIs'f ted. thh: Soviet Union in a group of twenty,-seven 1ronch m:'militants i-n tee to the US.''R: as .uosts of the overran nt. On 4 Jime 191,2 he oa~'t cipated in the strike ordered by t, .,e CUT and on 5 June was fired from his job by the M rse' lle director of the railroae company for l ving participated. On 6 June he found a job as a 1wal.ter in a restaurant and is now employed__ ' such r.- 'G;,'n~ mxart it lip S {CTL: REP RTER IN RMATI N 6 COPY Retain In divls;Sonui 11c a estYOY In, with ,ecuritY regulations. SCI ,'~ e1 . OOd ' W/0 .w. T w5/0 ?.+5 rwi... : . ? CIA- TOQRDP8 ..+L1L Approved For Rel.Leas-0.0915RO00300160005-6 State Depdeclassification & release instructions on file 1ra;2 DATE L'12 klL SY MS yi U . m_ IS I rIlt 10 Bad. No FrW M i ei 110 _ ( assi cation) Q.P. No Approved For Release 2000/05/05: CIA-RDP78-00915R00030 Subject ,is married and has two a children. Judgin by his remarkal he is devoted to his family, and the welfare and happiness of his wii're and children appear to be his chief concerns in life. Although the enjoyed but a limited formal education, subject is surprisingly well informed or. many subjects, especially recent and current internationa events. He as attended at least one Communist political training school but has certainly not succumbed to all aspects of the Party's political doctrination. He speaks Spanish and Italian in addition to his native language and reads the anti-Coxnsunist press as well as the Party press. Reasons for Joiniri the Communist Party Subject joined the CP in 1932 in the belief that the CP was the one party devoted to the betterment of the workers' lot. Believing that it is natural for an individual to join the political party whic he feels best represents his interests, he chose the CP as the single party dedicated to the defense of the laboring masses. As the son of a manual laborer, he was conscious from his earliest youth of the con. tinuous struggle between the conflicting classes of French society, and in the CV 1-4 found the "voice of the oppressed, the defender of the exploited, and the spokesman of humanity." As a : inbor of the CF, he considered the French capitalists, more especially, the "200 familic as France's greatest enemies and he found enormous satisfaction, prldE said party justification in the social benefits gained under the Popul; Front Government,. ';Nhen the International Brigades were formed for the Spanish civil war, he joined for "motivations of idealism" in the be- lief that they were the defenders of "liberty, humanity and the best interests of the greatest number of peoples." Reasons for Joining; the CGT Although the CGT was the only significant union organized for ma- nual laborers in 1932 and thus subject had no choice in choosing one or another union, he joined the CGT in the belief that it represented the same principles and was devoted to the pursuit of the same ob- jectives on the syndicalist level as dirt the CP on the political lever Subject's Early lisillusionment Subject experienced his first disillusionment with the CP during the civil war in Spain. As a practicing Catholic, he was shocked by the barbaric and "unnecessary" attacks upon church property and re- ligious personnel. He observed that Co=unists were the principal instigators of these attacks, and for the first time he found himself in opposition to one of his party's practices. lie was also upset by what he torxied "the Soviet looting, the Soviet exploitation of the foreign volunteers, and the Soviet attempt to control all aspects of the war." When he returned to France at the conclusion of the war, hey returned with minor cut definite nisgivin;;s reardin , what he ,lieved were the Soviet Union's attempts to dominate and nani;?ulate Approved For Release 2000/05/05: CIA-RDP78-00915R000300160005-6 (CIdIsifrcation) Desp. No PO F*+ approved For Release 2022/05/05, %I&-%q78-0 915R000 016 gn commis t pares . til this t -he bas a%6c% ea Moscow's derahig of iihternational ootmnuniam, more esPecial1y Moscow' o direction of the French CP., for he felt that the French CP benefited from the support and leadership it received from Moscow and be be- lieved that the interests of the French CP and the Soviet CP were identical. However, on the basis of his experiences in. Spain, he began to wonder if Moscow's leadership of the French CP was really in the best interests of the French party.. Further Disillusionment When the second world war commenced in September, 1939, subject was called up for duty in the armored forces. As a "Frenchman first and a Communist second," he rejected the CP' a denunciation of the war and accepted France's participation in it as being entirely cor- rect and justified. his patriotism made it impossible for him to follow the Party policy on the war and once again he began to question seriously Moscow's directives to the French CP. While his thinking; on this issue undoubtedly has been influenced by subsequent events, sub- ject today states that in the autumn of 1939 he clearly realized for the first time that Moscow's orders to the French CP were not always in the latter country's interests. Subject suffered further disillusionment at the time of France's liberation, for although in Germany at the time,, he learned enough upon his return to appreciate the extent of the summary executions and killings which were carried out at the time of the liberation by the CP in the name of the Resistance. He recognized that many totall; innocent people were killed solely for reasons of politics and per- sonal vengeance and he realized that the CP was responsible for many of these executions. Subject's confidence in the CP revived considerably during the years 1945-1946 when the CP was represented in the French government. He took satisfaction in the fact that his party was an active parti- cipant in the government and he believed that the program advocated by this party was in his best interests and in his country's best Interests. De Gaulle's trip to iioscow and the resultant French - Soviet pact did much to restore subject's credulity in the harmony of interest between these two nations. The French CP' s policy during these years was not flagrantly anti-National and neither the party's subservience to ~,.oscow nor the latter's utilization of the former for its oven purposes were glaringly obvious. However, the CP's anti-national policy became more evident to subject following the party's exclusion from the --overnment., said the serious strikes of the autumn of 1947 revealed to him the dangers inherent in the manner in which the CGT was both controlled and ex- ploited by the CP for political purposes. The manner in which the se strikes were ordered also revealed to him how the French CP itself eras directed from r ioscow . As a militant syndicalist, subject went on strike in the autumns of both 1947 and 1948, but the polittt Approved For Release 2000/05/05: CIA-RDP78-00915R000300160005-6 IMI M ~ 0 A I e cu ana ieItt in i the seoaa 0 dd ; sc* to the wisdom of this union's policy, While he recognized the reasons which prompted the creation of the Force Ouvriere union and while he was partially sympathetic to these reasons, he was not tempted to join the FO for, as a militant unionist, he believed that a schism among the unionized workers would only serve to weaken labor's influence and he preferred to remain in the CGT in the hope that reforms would be carried out within this union which would prevent its future exploitation for political purposes, Final Disillusionment Subject's disillusionment with. both the CF and the CGT reached its climax on 4-5 Juno 1952. He struck on the 4th, and on the 5th he was di.am4ssed from his job as an employee of the national rail- road company? Considering his attitude toward the CP an the CGT, more especially considering his attitude toward the strike call, it is difficult to understand why he did strike. He recognized that the strike call was motivated by purely political considerations, and for this reason alone he did not approve of the strike. Again, he was reasonably certain that the strike would fail for he knew that many of his feller C? - CGT members were equally unenthusiastic about striking for purely political reasons, and perhaps questionable ones at that. He argued against this strike with his superiors in both the CP and the CGT, but while some of them indicated that they per- sonally were inclined to agree ;i th him, they emphasized that orders were orders and as they had been instructed to strike, they must strike. Subject's CP section secretary argued that the arrest of Jacques DUCLOS and Andre ST IL marked the c omnencement of the govern- ment's program to disr.,tomI-)er the CP and that if these arrests were not vigorously protested, the government would be able to pursue this pro- ram unhindered, with the final result that the CP would be rendered impotent. On the other hard, the departmental secretary of the COT ar6,ued that the right to strike was an inherent right of the French worker and that anyone who refused to follow the orders of the depari;- mental union was an anti-syndicalist. Taus, although he disapproved of the reasons for this strike and although he expected the strike to fail, subject went on strike. Today, subject finds it difficult to explain why,- he did strike and merely states that "as a disciplined militant I felt it my duty to follow the orders issued by my superior? Y4 hen fired from his lob the day after he struck, subject went iz- diatol;; to iric superiors in both the CP and the CGT and ached them to help him find another job. Alt; ither the party nor the union did anything to help him, and In the and it was his Catholic ,ario'_ pr lest who found him another job. Subject returned a second time to bobs the party and, the union to try to borrow the money needed to buy '; ^ nece3 sary clothes for his now job. Again, neither the party nor the union, would help him. It was thus with deep bitterness that subject re- :marked to the writer, "At last I have come to realize how the Fre nch Approved For Release 2000/05/05: CIA-RDP78-00915R000300160005-6 P;fN 1$~ mow- -am - np1 Approv~r Release 2000/05/05: CIA-RDP78-00915R0003 600ei11e OF and the COT are exploited aacordin ; to Moscow's wishes and in turn how I, a French worker and syndioalist, am exploited by the leaders of my party e r 1 ,m union. Causes of Disillusionment The forementioned account is a brief chronological record of sub jest' a disillusionment. The causes of his di.sillusior4mente which of course are of greater interest than the more reword of his dis- illusionment, can be su>marized as follows: CP's anti--Natimal1s Subject cases to realize that the French CP was a traitorous and subversive party inasmuch as part of its program was betraying Frances national interests. As a patriot who is a Frenobman first and a Com- munist second, he opposes the party's continuous efforts to strip France of her rtilitary defenses and the party's vilification of the French force's in Indo-China and Korea. In this respect, it is of interest to note that while he dislikes De Gaulle for many reasons, he considers De Gauls as France's "first resistant" and respects him as such. Similarly, while lie admires THOREZ for all that he has done for the workers and considers him the champion of the working class, he regards him as a traitor to his country who should have been shot for desertion in time of war? Subject takes particular exception to Thorez' oft-quoted statement that French Communists will never bear arms against the Soviet Union, and states that he, like many other Communists, would not hesitate to take up arms against the Soviet Union if this country attacked Franca. Remembering his own regimsnt?-_ lack of arms in 1939, subject states that he approves the North At- lantic treaty as a defensive treaty and approves all of France's current efforts for rearmament. In this respect, he also approves of the installation of American bases in France. CP' a Deceit Subject cane to realize that r uch of the CPt a propaganda was based on lies and deceits. As examples of the Party's nondacityg be cited the Communist claim that the United States was enCa ed in baGa- teriolo ;ica1 warfare and the Coru=ist contention that the United States and Korea provoked the war in Kona. He stated that while many of the Party functionaries realized that these charges were false, they nevertheless continued to support them publicly. Desire for Peace Subject cam to realize that the Soviet Union is actually the greatest t'rroat to world peace. In this respect he cited the Korean 1es of Sov et A.-. pA9`isnn and i?nd Into^_r"h4necep were as but to e` m p mentioned such incidents as the recent Soviet attack on an "Air ? prances" plane as further evidence of Soviet hostility and 3TRICTED Approved For Release 2000/05/05: CIA-RDP78-00915R000300160005-6 (LcassipCarion) L=F.11V~ arseille Froc F!t f81r ReI??JP5.iaQAA t ates . Visit to the Soviet Union Subject came to realize that the Soviet Union was not "The workers' paradise" that it professed to be and the Communism which exists in the USSR today is in fact "Stalin," a totalitarian form of government which has little resemblance to Yiaraist socialism. Subjects s trip to the USSR in 1950 as a guest of the Soviet-Union was unquestionably one of the major factors of his disillusionment, for while he was impressed by some of the things which he was shown, he was more impressed by the things he was not permitted to see. "It was a herded tour," he continents; "we were shown the new workers' quarters but we were not allowed to inspect the old quarters,_ though we could often see them in the distance. The bit of the rural life which I saw on our trip from Moscow to Leningrad was a particular shock. The best comiaent I can make on the tour is to point out that of the ran on the tour whom I Ioac w , at least half of them have since left the Party." CP' s Subservience to ioscow subject carte to realize that the French CP was but a subservient tool in the hands of the Soviet politbureau. As he stated in his own words, "As a call secretary, I take my orders from the section secretary, who in turn receives them from the federal secretariat,, The secretariat receives its orders from the Central Committee, and the latter receives its orders from Moscow. I did not object to the French CP's dependence upon the politbureau as long as I believed in the harmony of interests between the French CP and the politoureau, but it has long since become evident to me that the orders of the politbureau are often detrimental to both my party and my country. The French CP has become a captive party directed by a foreign power for this power's own ends, and I refuse to remain subservient to this totalitarian and authoritarian power in those instances where I recog, nine that this power's orders are opposed to my interests." In this respect, subject cited the Party's overnijht change of attitude towarc. German rearmament, pointing out that this change was dictated by the politbureau for the benefit of German Communists and to the detriment of French Cor;.munists. Again, he pointed out that while he personally admired Pinay and approved of the majority of his program to date, hay as a CP member, was instructed to denounce everything Pinay had atte and aahlicved, OP's Atheism Subject came to realize that the CP was essentially atheistic. ,Aa a "believer," if not a communicant, who is married to a devout Catholic, subject has become increasingly upset by the CP's attacks on the church throughout the worlds His ob jectioLaa to the Party' 3 RESTRICTS 4 *9000016006W peace, Approved For Release 2000/05/05: CIA-RDP78-00915R000300160005-6 user, No~ +w awr?sa~.v car I End. N Y Fi .e_ as i 3 - (C aril fcarion) No Approved For Release 2000/05/05: CIA-RDP78-00915R0003 atheism reached their height when the Party recently criticized h for peernitting his children to join the Catholic church. Subject believes that the church and politics are to separate matters and be believes that one can be both a Communist and a Catholic. CP' s Ex?aloitation of Labor Unions Subject came to realize that the CP' s exploitation of the CGT for purely political purposes was detria ntal to the union and to labor in general. lie points olit that the COT lost much of its ram- bership and influence as a result of the politically inspired strikes of 1947, following Which the Force Ouvriere union was created, and attributes the present schism in French union labor entirely due to the CP' a attempts to exploit the CGT for political purposes, - He cites himself as an example of but one worker who has lost his job as the result of having been exploited by the OF. Subject has not yet withdrawn from the CP nor has he left the CGT. in his own words, he Is "thorou y fad up with the Sovie t iza.. tion of the French CP and the latter's domination and exploitation of the CCT1e but he is nevertheless reluctant to leave either group for be does not believe that any other political party or union offer satisfactory alternatives. In this sense, he regards the Socialist party as a bourgeois party and he believes that the Force Ouvriere union is generally ineffective. Subject considers himself a "militan-; worker" and as such he is unwilling, to give his allegiance to any political party which he does not feel is entirely devoted to the workers' interests. Similarly, he is reluctant to join what'-. he still regards as a schismatic union, and while he is sympathetic to the motives which underlay the creation of the Force Ouvriere, he clings to the idea that the founders of the Force Ouvriere should have re- mained in the COT in order to fight out within the CGT the issues for which they left the COT. Subject is obviously undergoing a tremendous ideological crisis o '+thether or not he remains in the CP, time alone will tell. He says that he will ret.zain in the Party, at least for the moment, althou a. he flatly states that he is through as a militant and disciplined functionary vr'.ao is ready to follow blindly the party's orders. In' sums arizi.n g is political philosophy, he commented: "I am a Com- munist, but 1 am not and never will be a Stalinist." When the writer suggested that subject was in a position quite similar to the positio= in which Tito found himself just before his break with the Cominform, subject was quick to a?reo with this analog. He stated that. there were many Coamiranists in `runce who felt as e. did and that there was a considerable if yet unrnobilized sentiment among elements of the party for establishing an independent national Co:tmdunist Party. Al- though he was reluctant to discuss the matter in detail, subject ad- mitted that he and some twenty other Communist functionaries in. Marseille had been studying the possibilities of creating an Inde- pendent workers' party which they had tentatively nausd the Partie RESTRICTED _ Approved For Release 2000/05/05: CIA-RDP78-00915R000300160005-6 :f&qor Release 2000/ F ~?seille Juvriere Francaise The story of subjoct's disillusionment with t11 Coxunist Party is scarcely an original oine nor is it, in lais instance, a ly si;.ificant ones a However, if it is accepted that subject is but one of many French Communists who are presently undergoing this pro- cess of dis illusionment and disaffection., subject's story is of interest as a case study of the ideological crisis certain n tu- bers of the French CP are passing through. An analysis of the causes of this disillusionment and disaffetic. should certainly be of interest to anyone concerned with the further defection of the French worker from the Communist Party. 3C 1?'5R0003 ~J F.ncL tea.-- Ar~rican Cul ~3r 1 - --~,arsvillA Fmm Approved For Release 2000/05/05: CIA-RDP78-00915R000300160005-6