I: Overviews

To introduce Alfred and Marguerite Rosmer, we give obituaries in the form of brief political biographies of the couple. All come from La Révolution prolétarienne, the journal which Alfred Rosmer helped to found in 1925; despite his divergences in the 1950s, it remained his political home, as is shown by the warmth of the tributes published here. Roger Hagnauer, a veteran of La Révolution prolétarienne, had known the Rosmers since the 1920s, and he gives a valuable overview of Alfred Rosmer’s political development. The pieces on Marguerite are, of necessity, much slighter, but they at least give a glimpse of this remarkable woman and provide such little biographical information as is available.

There is a full-length biography of Rosmer: Christian Gras, Alfred Rosmer (1877‑1964) et le mouvement révolutionnaire international (Paris, 1971). This contains a comprehensive bibliography of Rosmer’s writings, and is indispensable for any serious study of Rosmer. It also contains as much information on Marguerite Thévenet as is likely to be available anywhere. Colette Chambelland, Pierre Monatte, une autre voix syndicaliste (Paris, 1999, reviewed in this issue), a biography of Alfred Rosmer’s life-long associate, also includes much material on the Rosmers.

A number of obituaries of Alfred Rosmer give sketches of his life and character. In addition to Roger Hagnauer’s, published in this volume, the following are worth noting: that in the La Révolution prolétarienne for May 1964 contains tributes by Marguerite Bonnet, Jean Maitron, Gérard Rosenthal and Robert Louzon; the June 1964 issue contained further tributes and a review of press obituaries; among these may be noted France-Observateur for 14 May 1964, which contained an article by Marguerite Bonnet and Colette Chambelland (apparently a number of editorial changes were made to this without the consent of the authors); also that in La Voie communiste of May 1964, which describes Rosmer’s encouragement to those opposing the war in Algeria. There is an obituary in Programme communiste, July-September 1964, and an anonymous obituary in International Socialism, no 17, Summer 1964, p27. See also Pierre Broué, ‘Léon Trotsky, Alfred Rosmer’, Le Mouvement social, April-June 1964. There is an obituary in English by Broué, ‘Alfred Rosmer (1877-1964)’, Fourth International (ICFI), Volume I, no 2, Summer 1964, pp84-5.

A much earlier biographical sketch worth noting is Amédune (Amédée Dunois), ‘Alfred Rosmer, souvenirs de jadis et naguère’, Bulletin communiste, 3 March 1921. See also I Birchall, ‘Alfred Rosmer’, Socialist Worker, 1 August 1987, and ‘Alfred Rosmer (1877-1964)’, in Informations ouvrières, 29 January-4 February 1992.

Prométhée, no 5, May/June 1990, is a special issue on Rosmer, including Antoine Clavez, ‘Du syndicalisme révolutionnaire au communisme’, pp9-12; an interview with Colette Chambelland, ‘Autour d’Alfred Rosmer’, pp13-14; and ‘Rosmer, Trotsky et la question du parti’ (the Rosmer/Trotsky correspondence with the Belgian federation in the summer of 1931).

For an attempt to develop a ‘Rosmerist analysis’ of Stalinism, cf Laurens Otter, October Revolution — Alternative Analyses (no date or place — ‘Anarchist Arguments 5’). For a discussion of Rosmer’s ideas of leadership cf I Birchall, ‘The Encounter with Leninism’, in C Barker, A Johnson and M Lavalette (eds), Leadership and Social Movements (Manchester, forthcoming).

Roger Hagnauer

Alfred Rosmer — A Revolutionary in Difficult Times

‘The difficult thing is to observe the way a revolution goes astray without losing one’s faith in the necessity for that revolution.’ — Albert Camus, from the preface to Lenin’s Moscow

A

LFRED Rosmer departed this life on 6 May 1964, two years after his partner, Marguerite, and four years after Pierre Monatte.

Monatte and Rosmer. It is difficult to separate them, even when they took up different positions.

Certainly, in the beginning they scarcely seemed destined to meet. Both were workers’ children, admittedly. But through his farrier father and lace-maker mother, Monatte kept close ties with his native soil in the Auvergne. Rosmer, the child of a working-class family from the Loire, was born in New York, in the district inhabited by French workers who had been attracted by the dream of Eldorado far from the servitude and poverty of industrialisation in our old country. Monatte represented the convergence of Jacquou le Croquant[1] and Fernand Pelloutier.[2] Rosmer became a public employee in the offices of the prefect of the département (like Marcel Martinet); he chose the name of an Ibsen hero,[3] thereby perhaps expressing his determination to be himself, and to break with his ancestry. This showed his contempt for the tedious security of the bureaucrat, his hankering to travel, his very ‘Ibsenite’ ambition to let his ‘tent’ float free, rather than pitching it on the rock, and to overcome his body ‘by climbing as high as he builds’.[4]

Monatte moved from anarchism to revolutionary syndicalism by natural evolution, as if climbing a gentle slope. For Rosmer, it was a leap. In 1909, he was not in the original team that published La Vie ouvrière. The Sorelian[5] myths and the philosophy of violence seemed to him to be contrary to his libertarian morality.[6] He doubtless realised that they were the marginal fringe of a movement ‘whose only light came from the fires of action’. By a revealing coincidence of timing, he left his administrative post and joined Monatte on La Vie ouvrière. This newcomer soon became the most regular, serious and efficient contributor.[7] Thanks to him, Monatte was able to apply himself to what was always his favourite task: administration. During the last weeks of peace in 1914, in Paris, he was preparing the August issue, while Monatte was vainly trying to relax by catching crayfish. The latter, in the train which brought him back to Paris when general conscription was announced, was infuriated at hearing the warlike songs and shouts of the victims being driven to the slaughter. Rosmer could see the dissolution of the nucleus which until then had preserved the heritage of Pelloutier. Did they need to consult with each other? Not at all. A glance and a handshake were doubtless enough. And both were fully in agreement to disrupt the unanimity of the Sacred Union,[8] first of all by passive refusal, and later by active opposition. And at the time, in August 1914, it was enough not to cry with the pack to prove yourself a hero.

H               H               H

Readers of La Révolution Prolétarienne today must know what the opposition to the war was like. We have given a sketch of the dual process, born in two centres which were initially separate, but which came together and converged: the intellectual and juridical pacifism of the Society for Documentary and Critical Studies on the War[9] and the Socialist and working-class pacifism of the Committee for the Resumption.[10]

Rosmer was one of the founders of this committee, and was its leading activist. It was he who published the Letters to the Subscribers to the ‘Vie ouvrière’,[11] without submitting them to the censor. A collaborator with the Merrheim of the Zimmerwald period, he prepared the issue of L’Union des Métaux (the journal of the metalworkers’ federation) where the ‘blank spaces’ imposed by Anastasie[12] did not appear.[13] It was he who officially represented the committee, which had become the Committee for the Third International in Moscow. On this basis, he took part in 1920 in the Second Congress of the Comintern and the founding Congress of the Red International of Labour Unions.

But Alfred Rosmer also carried out another mission, of which the consequences in the postwar period still have echoes in our own time. Much has been said of his friendship with Leon Trotsky. It would be a fine subject for a historical novel, with dramatic ups and downs, which even rose to the level of a noble tragedy. Rosmer was never the courtier of the victorious leader. But he was always the faithful companion of the outlaw who was perpetually under threat, and finally killed by blows from an ice‑axe, a symbolic instrument of the cowardly ferocity of Stalinism. A few weeks before the fatal blow, Alfred and Marguerite had been in Mexico City, where they had taken the grandson of Leon and Natalia Trotsky, the survivor of a family of which Stalin had had all the other members murdered.

Was Alfred Rosmer the Pylades obedient to the passions of Orestes? He was too much of an individual to play the rôle of confidant.[14] In 1914 and 1915 in Paris, he and Trotsky represented two movements which had never had any point of contact before the war: French revolutionary syndicalism and Russian revolutionary Social Democracy. I have elsewhere pointed to the unusual and edifying character of this encounter.[15] In commenting on it, I should have noted that it was all the more easy for them to find a common language in that both of them stood on the margins of their respective movements. Trotsky belonged neither to the Bolshevik party nor the Menshevik party. Rosmer, if he had served revolutionary syndicalism, was not, as Monatte had been, one of the team which had conceived and proposed the Charter of Amiens,[16] which had guided the CGT[17] from 1904 to 1914.

Monatte considered the Bolsheviks as Jacobins in the service of the workers’ revolution, perhaps unaware that Lenin had claimed the same honour for his party.

I once asked the question: was Rosmer also a Jacobin?[18] In such a form, the question seems to me today to be absurd. Jacobinism is a form of totalitarianism which can never be justified except by its revolutionary nature, and hence as something which is exceptional and provisional. Rosmer, by his very nature, and by his development, rejected every sort of totalitarianism. For him, the Revolution was only a means, and not an end in itself — according to the great words of Albert Camus ‘a path which is probably necessary towards the land where living and dying will not be a double humiliation’.[19]

But convinced that workers’ revolution was necessary as the penalty for a war desired by the ruling classes and imposed on trade unionism which was powerless or betrayed, he logically set out to subordinate the whole revolutionary movement to this revolutionary necessity. Was Rosmer, like Lenin and Trotsky, mistaken in thinking a European revolution was possible after the war? Was Monatte correct in anticipating the dangers of limiting the independence of trade unionism? History has not resolved such problems. It is very possible to understand and justify both positions. But such differences explain the fact that they were opposed to each other, in 1921, when the RILU asserted the necessity for an organic link between red unions and Communist parties. This was something Monatte could not accept. It was something which Rosmer legitimated.

However, the two were associated again when the slogan of the workers’ united front was launched after the defeats of 1920.

Once again, they were automatically associated, even though they were not working on the same task, at the time of the great crisis of selection which until 1923 disrupted the party which had emerged from the split at Tours,[20] and which had not yet achieved its maturity. It is necessary to read Humbert-Droz’s book Moscow’s Eye in Paris[21] — however wearisome and disappointing this retrospective view is — to be aware of the exhausting factional struggles and the squalid conflicts between cliques and individuals which marked this unfinished, or rather aborted, evolution. What seems the most refreshing part of this depressing account are the references to Rosmer and Monatte — the hope of renewal which they embodied for the most lucid representatives of the International.

H               H               H

Rosmer was perhaps the first to have a presentiment of the decisive crisis which was to follow Lenin’s death on 21 January 1924.

Nothing has ever been written which fully illuminates the preliminary signs and symptoms of the disease from which the degeneration of the Communist International and Stalinist totalitarianism emerged. Humbert-Droz, having become a Socialist once more, is scarcely competent to deal with it; and for us it was a bitter disappointment to learn from his own revelations that, having originally been a supporter of Trotsky’s enemies, then becoming suspect after 1927, he did not fear to return to the bosom of Moscow after the ignoble trials set up by Stalin in 1936 and 1937.

In Humbert-Droz’s book, however, a letter from Amédée Dunois denounces the clique of adventurers and ‘simpletons’ who, by their docility, won Stalin’s confidence… provisionally. It was by judging objectively and honestly the British Labour victory in 1924[22] that Rosmer set the pack baying.

After the failure of the Communist agitation, by the end of 1923, the German affair gave a harsh shock to the German party and to the International. However, it was certainly the desire to bring down Trotsky which led all parties to a… ‘selection in reverse’, provoked the revolt of Monatte and Rosmer, and the publication of La Révolution prolétarienne, as a direct consequence.[23]

Monatte, Rosmer and Louzon were certainly not in agreement on the answer to all the internal crises of the International. But all three were equally determined to make a clean break from an apparatus which was complicit in Stalin’s manoeuvres.

It was a break which was more ‘agonising’ for Rosmer than for Monatte and Louzon. For Monatte, the essential thing was the workers’ movement, which had to be liberated from all political aberrations and bureaucratic servitudes. For Louzon, the essential thing was still the revolutionary dynamism which he rediscovered in the Third World after losing hope of reviving it in Europe.

Rosmer was not resigned to the fact of the failure of an International built amid the ruins of war and in the rubble of traditional Socialism. And for him any conviction led to an authentic commitment. In 1929, Stalin’s outlawing of all the fighters of 1917 encouraged the prospect of a new international party, built up anew from scratch, developing through the poverty, upheavals and collapses of the great world crisis which began in 1929. While, together with Monatte, we revived propaganda for trade union unity, Rosmer participated in the foundation of the Fourth International conceived by Trotsky.[24]

It was easy to see that he would not tolerate for long the sectarian atmosphere of the Trotskyist groups. He devoted himself above all to his monumental work, The History of the Labour Movement during the War.[25] The second volume only appeared some 20 years after the first. He was preparing the publication of the third when death took him.

H               H               H

However, on returning to France in 1947, he quite naturally resumed his place in the Révolution prolétarienne nucleus. From his stay in America, he brought back two articles — models of living and edifying journalism — which have a historic value: The War Seen from Mexico City and from New York (they appeared in Crapouillot).[26] But, above all, he took responsibility with masterly vigour for our international coverage. His articles constitute genuine documents — for example, Tito’s Revolt, Co‑determination in Germany, British Bevanism and The Problems of Independent India.[27] He produced numerous texts on the Stalinist Empire and American problems. May I note here that I have never read a line by Rosmer which refutes what has been wrongly called my ‘pro-American prejudice’. Rosmer spoke of American realities as an American militant would have spoken of them — as a French militant should speak of French realities.

Of the lessons we can draw from his whole life, it is perhaps this perfect internationalism which seems to me to be the most fertile. Lenin said of him: ‘Rosmer is a man who knows how to keep his mouth shut in several languages.’[28] This means not only his lack of oratorical talent and his contempt for tittle-tattle, but also his faculty for listening to several languages and ‘thinking’ in several languages. This great traveller was never a passing tourist. As soon as he set foot on foreign soil, the humanity borne by this soil was no longer foreign to him.

I have spoken of Pierre Monatte’s proletarian humanism. That of Alfred Rosmer, without being deeper, was more extensive. His culture was surprising as much for its solidity as for its variety. He appreciated literature, poetry and music. He was capable of commenting on the artistic work of the douanier Rousseau[29] and of Pissarro.[30] Finally, his two monographs on the American philosopher John Dewey[31] demonstrate a perfect understanding of educational problems. Was he not able to discuss the question with Marguerite, a voluntary educationalist who was more effective than the majority of professionals like ourselves?

He was also a humanist in his refusal to make a career,[32] and a humanist in this pride in past commitments, this loyalty to the ideal he had served. Writing a preface to Trotsky’s Permanent Revolution, Rosmer said in 1962 what he would have said in 1920.

At this melancholy time, I recall the woman who was his benevolent partner. At the Columbarium, at the time of Pierre Monatte’s cremation, I was seated next to her. ‘Alfred could not come’, she confided to me, ‘he could never have borne it.’ As early as 1922, Humbert-Droz, who favoured promoting Rosmer in the party, expressed only one reservation: Rosmer has fragile health. Will he be able to take on heavy responsibilities?

And the comparison between our two old comrades also meant a contrast between Monatte’s solid strength — short, broad and stocky — and the fragility of the tall slender form of Alfred Rosmer, his angular, ascetic face illuminated by a gaze of fire.

But Monatte and Marguerite departed before he did.

Last year, he finally kept the promise that Marguerite and he had made to me as soon as they returned to France, namely to visit the Children’s Centre founded and managed by Yvonne Hagnauer.

That day he had difficulty walking. But he wanted to see everything, to visit every room, and to go up to every floor. A few months ago, he told me what pleasure he had felt, in that emotional and almost tender tone he sometimes used.

That day, in the late afternoon, with Charbit, Beaufrère[33] and his wife, we were talking over cups of tea. Rosmer, as always, listened with a slight smile. Then he stood up with difficulty. I felt a bit apprehensive. Had we not expected too much of an old man of 86? I touched his arm: ‘Are you all right?’ — ‘Yes, but I must go. I still have work to do!’

He remained lucid until his last few hours. And he was still telling his plans to those close to him. Perhaps it was his exceptional will which made him still able to sit up in bed. Perhaps he wanted to get up to go and finish the work which unfortunately he never completed.

There is disagreement as to the historical value of his masterly works, The History of the Labour Movement during the War and Lenin’s Moscow (preface by Albert Camus). Can such an intransigent partisan claim historical objectivity? What we can assert is the scrupulous conscientiousness of his research, his rigorous documentation, and the perfect honesty of his eye-witness reports. We can quote, in homage to this Ibsenite, the response of Doctor Stockman in An Enemy of the People, when this hero discovers that the springs on which his city lives are poisoned: ‘So well do I love my native town that I would rather ruin it than see it flourishing upon a lie.’[34] Alfred Rosmer would never have envisaged justifying lies in the interest of the revolution, for he knew that, in the long run, only the truth is revolutionary.

Maurice Chambelland

Discreet Marguerite[35]

S

HE left us discreetly, as she had wished, in her poplar cremation coffin, with a minimum of mourners, a strictly private funeral. The crematorium, almost empty, seemed all the more absurd because of it.

I think she would have liked above all the compartment numbered 19 900, in the furthest corner of the vault, difficult to find, far away from visitors.

Marguerite Thévenet put her discretion at the service of the October Revolution in 1917.

She was well fitted for the task entrusted to her by the leaders of a Revolution which changed the course of History.

It was a thankless task, with no putting on of airs. She was what is now called a ‘frontier runner’, a frontier runner in the service of the Communist International in its golden age.

When Clemenceau, ‘the Tiger’, had sealed off the new Russia with barbed wire, Marguerite Thévenet was able to organise a route across frontiers for books and pamphlets published in the Smolny.[36]

Are there still many around today?

She was able to dispatch to France the documents of the Black Book,[37] the issues of Demain,[38] and the poems of Marcel Martinet.[39]

It was she who accompanied Clara Zetkin to the Tours Congress in December 1920. She had no rival in outwitting officials. All these tasks in no way prevented her from providing accommodation for ‘illegal visitors’, delegates from the Comintern, and in particular, Rákosi.

She also knew how to create the most favourable conditions for Alfred Rosmer’s work. We should thank her for it.

She was always willing to help anyone. Just before she died, she was busy trying to make sure the caretaker in her nursing home got all the holiday pay to which he was entitled.

The whole of Marguerite is summed up in that final detail.

Roger Hagnauer

In Memory of the ‘Godmother’ of Périgny[40]

W

HEN we remember Marguerite Thévenet, we obviously think of her first of all as the partner of our friend Alfred Rosmer, the woman who was, with calm courage, the message-bearer of the Revolution and the International, the woman whose modesty and discretion were placed admirably at the service of getting people and publications across forbidden frontiers.

This justified homage leaves in the shade everything represented by the radiant personality of this selfless servant of great causes. It is as difficult to write Marguerite’s biography as it is Alfred’s. Only a handful of initiates were allowed into the intimate circle of the couple… and even those who got closest only picked up the occasional cryptic confidences doled out very sparingly.

A fortunate chance allowed me to get a glimpse of Marguerite Thévenet on May Day 1919, at one of the roadblocks on the Place de la République, giving out Third International leaflets to soldiers… until an officer (probably a war veteran who had not yet been demobilised) warned her that there were police behind the military cordon.

In 1918, my old friend Gilbert Raguier always named Marguerite, along with Hélène Brion, Lucie Colliard, Nelly Roussel, Henriette Izambard,[41] Marthe Bigot, Berthe Duchêne,[42] Marthe Pichorel, Lara,[43] as the pacifist women whose conscious revolt against war took shape as early as the last quarter of 1914.

The majority of these women belonged to the teaching profession: Marguerite deserves to be listed with them on two counts. For she was a particularly effective teacher who had understood — before the official educationalists did so — that for a child to be known and cultivated it must be perceived, not under the constraints of scholastic slavery, but in the freedom of games, recreation and leisure. She was — if my memory serves me right — the founder of ‘Happy Childhood’, where a small group of children enjoyed out-of-school educational activities under intelligent guidance. And when the Communist organisations of children in care instituted the odious politicisation of childhood and adolescence, Marguerite — despite being one of the most intransigent militants of the Communist left — was one of the first to sign the motion I had drawn up with Gilbert Raguier, which asserted in opposition to this the right of proletarian children to choose and prepare their own destiny in freedom.

But in her place of retirement at Périgny, in this ‘Rosmers’ home’[44] like a cottage built amid a sort of wooded oasis in the long, monotonous, treeless Brie, Marguerite was the benevolent and helpful guardian of all those who needed watchful and effective care.

[1].      Title of a novel (1899) by Eugène Le Roy; Jacquou, the hero, leads a peasant revolt in the early nineteenth century.

[2].      Fernand Pelloutier (1867-1901) was a prolific syndicalist writer and activist in the labour exchange movement (see note 11, page 17 below).

[3].      Rosmer was born Alfred Griot. He took his pseudonym from the hero of Ibsen’s play Rosmersholm (1886), an incurable idealist.

[4].      Solness the Master Builder in Ibsen.[Hagnauer’s note] The quotation is from Hilda in Act II of The Master Builder (1892).

[5].      Georges Sorel (1847-1922) was a philosopher who was influential on French and Italian syndicalism, and claimed to synthesise Marx, Proudhon and Bergson in his Reflections on Violence.

[6].      Rosmer first declared himself to be an anarchist-individualist, then he joined the Revolutionary Socialist Students group, the members of which were not all students and were often anarchists. It was probably there that he was to meet Amédée Dunois, who was to devote a biographical article to him in the Bulletin communiste in 1922. [Hagnauer’s note] In fact it was 1921; see the bibliographical introduction to this section.

[7].      To begin with, Rosmer took responsibility for theatrical coverage, and later for parliamentary reports. [Hagnauer’s note]

[8].      Poincaré’s term for French cross-party unity at the outbreak of the First World War. The term evokes the spirit of national unity in the face of war.

[9].      Formed by Charles Gide and Mathias Morhardt in January 1916.

[10].     ‘The pivot of 1914’ (Révolution prolétarienne, September-October 1954). [Hagnauer’s note] The Committee for the Resumption of International Relations was formed by Merrheim in January 1916, and included Socialists, syndicalists and anarchists.

[11].     See Chapter 3 of this volume.

[12].     A popular name for censorship, often depicted by cartoonists as a cantankerous old woman with huge scissors.

[13].     In the spring of 1915, Rosmer was involved in one of the first public actions against the war. The metalworkers’ union had decided to bring out a special issue of its newspaper for May Day. Merrheim and Rosmer prepared an issue with a number of articles critical of the war, including a piece by Rosmer about the strikes on the Clyde in February 1915, of which French workers knew nothing. The proofs were submitted to the censors, who demanded the removal of the offending articles. Then a few papers were run off with the appropriate blank spaces, and a large number with the full version. They were then carefully packed up into packets, with the censored papers at the top and the rest underneath, and put into the post. Some 17 000 papers were thus distributed to members of the metalworkers’ union and to former subscribers to the Vie ouvrière.

[14].     A reference to Racine’s tragedy Andromaque (1667). In French classical tragedy, each major character has a confident to share his or her innermost thoughts for the benefit of the audience. Pylades, the son of Strophius of Phocis, was the constant supporter of Orestes in Greek mythology.

[15].     Cf Le Crapouillot, January 1962. [Hagnauer’s note]

[16].     The Charte d’Amiens was adopted by the CGT Amiens Congress in 1906, laid down that ‘The CGT brings together, independently of any political school, all workers who are aware of the struggle that must be waged for the disappearance of wage‑labour and of the employers.’ It declared that all trade unionists were free to participate in any struggle they saw fit, but enjoined them not to bring their political or philosophical ideas into the union.

[17].     Confédération générale du travail; the main French trade union confederation, founded 1895; predominantly syndicalist before 1914.

[18].     ‘Alfred Rosmer: A Revolutionary In Difficult Times’, Révolution Prolétarienne, September 1957. [Hagnauer’s note] This is a different article, though it has the same title as the obituary.

[19].     Quoted from Camus’ preface to Lenin’s Moscow.

[20].     The French Communist Party (PCF) was formed when the majority of the Socialist Party (SFIO) voted for affiliation to the Comintern at the Tours Congress in December 1920.

[21].     J Humbert-Droz, ‘L’Oeil de Moscou’ à Paris, Paris, 1964.

[22].     Rosmer opposed abstract denunciations of the MacDonald government in favour of a united front approach; this was one of the main issues leading to his expulsion at the end of 1924.

[23].     The journal launched by Rosmer and Monatte in January 1925 after their expulsion from the PCF.

[24].     Rosmer was never a member of any section of the Fourth International, but he lent his home at Périgny for the founding conference of the Fourth International in 1938. The denial that he did so (in S Bornstein and A Richardson, The War and the International, London, 1986, p24, and repeated in the introduction to the 1987 edition of Lenin’s Moscow) was based on incorrect information.

[25].     Le Mouvement ouvrier pendant la guerre; Volume 1, Paris, 1936; Volume 2, Paris, 1959. See Chapter 3 of this volume.

[26].     Published in Crapouillot, no 2, 1950.

[27].     Révolution prolétarienne, July 1948, September 1948, August 1949, June 1949, etc. [Hagnauer’s note]

[28].     Hagnauer, who was active in the 1920s, is presumably quoting a remark by one of Rosmer’s associates who had met Lenin. Rosmer’s name does not appear in the index to Lenin’s Collected Works.

[29].     Henri Rousseau (1844-1910) was a French self-taught painter who had previously worked as a customs official.

[30].     Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) was a French impressionist painter.

[31].     Preuves, July-August-September 1952. [Hagnauer’s note]

[32].     The idea of ‘the refusal to make a career’ (le refus de parvenir) was common in syndicalist circles; Albert Thierry had launched the term in La Vie ouvrière.

[33].     Identification uncertain; possibly Marcel Beaufrère (1914- ), a Trotskyist from 1936, and expelled from the Parti Communiste Internationaliste in 1948 for supporting the Rassamblement Démocratique Révolutionnaire.

[34].     Act II of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People (1882).

[35].     La Révolution prolétarienne, February 1962.

[36].     The Smolny Institute in Petrograd, formerly a college for aristocratic young ladies, became Soviet and party offices after the February Revolution.

[37].     Un Livre noir (six volumes, 1921-34), made public the diplomatic correspondence concerning the Franco-Russian alliance 1910-16, discovered in the Russian archives by Figaro journalist René Marchand.

[38].     An anti-war review published in 1916-17 by Henri Guilbeaux in Switzerland.

[39].     Martinet’s anti-war poems Les Temps maudits (Accursed Times) were published in Switzerland in 1917; they were banned in France during the First World War, but circulated clandestinely; with Marguerite Thévenet’s assistance copies were typed on thin paper and enclosed in letters sent to soldiers at the front.

[40].     La Révolution prolétarienne, March 1962.

[41].     Henriette Izambard was a teacher, trade union activist and pacifist in the First World War.

[42].     This is probably intended to refer to Gabrielle Duchêne (1870-1954) a pacifist/feminist in the First World War who was later involved in organisations for friendship with the USSR.

[43].     Cannot be identified; Lara may be a pseudonym.

[44].     In Ibsen’s play Rosmersholm is the family seat of the Rosmers.