Criticism of Franco-British failure to pursue negotiations with the Soviet Union for collective security had been the cornerstone of articles in by Aragon and Paul Nizan throughout the preceding month.Indeed, as late as 22 August, in an article entitled “Gare aux capitulards!Aragon, in consultation with Marcel Gitton, the only member of the Politburo in Paris, published an editorial entitled “Vive la paix! (Courtois 42) The pact was presented as a “un gain pour la paix,” a triumph for the Soviet Union which had brought Hitler to an agreement.
Criticism of Franco-British failure to pursue negotiations with the Soviet Union for collective security had been the cornerstone of articles in by Aragon and Paul Nizan throughout the preceding month.Indeed, as late as 22 August, in an article entitled “Gare aux capitulards!Aragon, in consultation with Marcel Gitton, the only member of the Politburo in Paris, published an editorial entitled “Vive la paix! (Courtois 42) The pact was presented as a “un gain pour la paix,” a triumph for the Soviet Union which had brought Hitler to an agreement.Tags: How To Write Reflective PaperEssay Writing Formal LetterProject AssignmentChurch Going Analysis Essays4th Grade Creative Narrative Writing PromptsEasybib Pro ReviewHigher History Extended Essay HelpPersonal Writing Essays
Rejecting the argument that the pact represented a guarantee of peace, the best interpretation she could place on it was that the USSR saw it as an opportunity to spread revolution: “considérant que la guerre est la meilleure des situations révolutionnaires, l’URSS décide ouvertement de laisser les pays capitalistes (…) se jeter les uns sur les autres.” (, 37.) Unconvinced by her own hypothesis, she concludes that, far from guaranteeing peace, the pact has actually hastened the arrival of war.
Critical of Aragon for his defence of the pact, her faith in communism is undermined; and her judgment that the pact will hasten war is confirmed when, “bouleversée d’horreur,” she learns of the Soviet invasion of Poland on 17 September (, foreign correspondent Paul Nizan had been a fully fledged member of the Party since 1928, but he resigned a month after the news of the pact.
Aragon called on the French and British governments to seize the opportunity to sign their own pact with the USSR in order to prevent war: “Le pacte tripartite (qui n’est pas un simple pacte de non-agression mais bel et bien une alliance, et demeure la pièce maîtresse du Front de la Paix) viendra compléter merveilleusement un pacte de non-agression germano-soviétique.” (“Vive la paix!
” OP3 1044) These same points were emphasised in of 24 August (“L’annonce du pacte de non-agression germano-soviétique a fait reculer la guerre”) affirmed the analysis of the pact as an anti-war strategy, while Aragon’s editorial “Cessez de faire le jeu de M.
An examination of these three evolving, though hardly revolving, accounts will be placed in the context of reactions to the pact by other Communist intellectuals and writers of the time.
The years preceding the outbreak of war were ones of intense activity for Aragon, who wrote numerous articles and essays, and delivered speeches on the international situation.Indeed, unlike the PCF’s interpretation of the Second World War, which underwent a number of shifts, Aragon’s position remained anti-Nazi from the beginning to the end of the war.The announcement of the pact on 23 August 1939 caused shock waves within the PCF, and Aragon responded to the news both as a journalist and a novelist.This edition, however, was seized by the police before publication as a prelude to the complete banning of the newspaper, along with It remains Aragon’s last word as a journalist on the controversy caused by the pact, for the legal outlets had disappeared.His words clearly demonstrate his readiness to defend his country against the Nazi aggressor, a position to which he was to remain faithful throughout the war, notwithstanding changes in the party line.It too stressed the party’s continued opposition to Hitler, and its readiness to defend France against future fascist aggression (reprinted in Courtois 493-95).In his editorial of 25 August in, “Tous contre l’agresseur,” Aragon reaffirmed the point, supporting “la déclaration du Parti Communiste Français, qui montre que je ne me suis pas trop avancé hier, qu’en cas d’agression, tous les Français défendraient leur pays, et tiendraient, les armes à la main, les engagements de la France,” (reprinted in Virebeau 6).Reactions of shock to the news of the pact were widespread among left-wing intellectuals.Given the PCF’s history of anti-fascism throughout the 30s, both within France and particularly in relation to the Spanish Civil War, news of an alliance between Hitler and the leader of the socialist world was for many not easy to accept.carried the essence of the party line between 27 August and 21 September.It was characterised by statements of support for a united France standing against the Hitlerite aggressor, under such unambiguous headlines as: “Le peuple de France unanime contre l’agression,” “Tout pour maintenir et renforcer l’Union” and “L’Europe, demain, ne sera pas hitlérienne.” This position, however, changed after 20 September, when instructions from the Comintern informed the PCF that the war was no longer to be considered anti-fascist, but a war between imperialist powers which the party should therefore oppose.