Resolution of the ECCI Secretariat of 28. 1.1936 on the Polish Question*
Having heard the report by com. Lenski[i] on the work of the CP of Poland after the VII Comintern Congress, [ii] the ECCI Secretariat considers the situation in the Polish com[munist] party extremely serious, requiring urgent radical measures to improve the party and strengthen the leadership in the center and at the local level.
Pointing out the positive achievements of the CPP in implementing the United [Popular] front tactics in accordance with the decisions of the VII Congress, the party’s successes in leading the strike movement of the Polish proletariat, [and] the strengthening of the party’s position in the trade unions, the ECCI Secretariat charges the CPP leadership to subject the weaknesses and political mistakes that facilitated the saturation of the party with agents of the class enemy to broad critique, and to decisively oppose any [attempt] to disguise them, which can only impede the improvement of the party.
The ECCI Secretariat believes that the CPP’s political activity at this time should derive from the unresolved tasks of the bourgeois democratic revolution in Poland, the struggle for which will tie the com[munist] party to the millions of laboring masses and will help it to become a decisive factor in the life of its own country. The ECCI Secretariat suggests that the CC define the party line at the next plenum on the basis of the VII Congress decision and* in accordance with the C[ommunist] I[nternational] program, which defines the broad array of tasks of the bourgeois democratic revolution in Poland and the resulting political, tactical and organizational guidelines.
The ECCI Secretariat considers the intensification of the struggle against sectarianism to be essential. The remnants of sectarianism, which by its leftist phrases often encourage passivity in relation to the concrete enemy, have prevented the party from opportunely developing the struggle against the fascist constitution now in preparation.
Despite the daily heroism of the rank-and-file communists, the long-standing disorganizing work of the pilsudchina[iii] in the ranks of the CPP has weakened the party’s capacity for struggle and has systematically undermined the growth of its influence among the broad masses of toilers. This demoralizing work of the pilsudchina and other agents of the class enemy led to a periodic destruction of the party’s proletarian core, delayed the overcoming of the nationalist illusions by the masses, narrowed the party’s influence in the countryside and among the oppressed peoples, and hampered the development of a mass struggle against the fascist dictatorship.
For many years, party leaders did not give the proper Bolshevik rebuff to the demoralizing work of the pilsudchina, and did not order a systematic struggle against pilsudchina ideology and other kinds of nationalist ideology hostile to laborers’ interests.
The current party leadership failed to overcome the saturation of the party [with class enemies] that had been allowed by the former leadership of Warski[iv] and Kosheva,[v] [and] overlooked the dirty game of the Pilsudskyite agents (Zarski,[vi] Sochacki, etc.), who consciously stirred up the factional struggle in order to undermine the CPP’s authority by discrediting its leaders in the eyes of the masses. On the other hand, the current party leadership, having broken with the rightist opportunistic idealization of pilsudchina, failed at the same time to tie its internationalist aims to the nationalist feelings of the masses. Using the leadership’s inadequate vigilance and national nihilism as a cover and, in accordance with the pilsudchina’s tasks, the agents of the class enemy who had infiltrated the party have helped to portray the CPP as a party alien to the Polish people and indifferent to the national fate of Polish workers and peasants.
In conducting the essential struggle against the right-opportunist directives of Kosheva and against counter-revolutionary Trotskyism, the party leadership, which has not overcome the remnants of the factional struggle, did not provide sufficiently effective measures to purge the party of the rotten elements of a semi-Trotskyist character, who are directly linked to the agency of the class enemy.
As a result, healthy proletarian elements in party organizations were frequently pushed aside, their places taken by politically immature petty bourgeois intellectuals untested in the struggle, who by their permissiveness toward the internal party struggle created a fertile ground within the party for the pilsudchiks to recruit agents.
These petty bourgeois fellow-travelers, who are politically emasculated, riddled with skepticism, and lack faith in the power of the working class, used their influence in the party to plant distrust toward the VKP(b), toward the Comintern. They hampered the education of the party’s youth in the spirit of honesty and sincerity toward the Comintern’s Executive Committee.
In the light of this, the ECCI Secretariat resolves to suggest to the CPP leadership:
a) to remove from the CC those individuals whose past and present activities warrant a lack of complete trust;
b) to organize a systematic verification of all CPP activists both in the emigration and in the country; to extend this verification to all CPWU and CPWB activists;
c) to dissolve those levels of party organization most infected by provocation;
d) to dissolve the Polish section of the Comintern which, due to the lowering of its Bolshevik vigilance, has failed to prevent infiltration by spies and saboteurs into the VKP(b);
e) to review the CPP’s organizational structure with the aim of reducing the upper levels of the organization, reducing the size of the bureaucracy unnecessary in the illegal conditions, removing all suspicious and untrustworthy individuals from all the levels of party organization, [and] firmly steering a course to strengthen the internal leadership in the country;
f) to strengthen the regional leadership, in particular in the major industrial districts; to consider as obligatory a careful selection and registration of regional committees’ secretaries, and the provision of real support to the regional committees; to pursue a decisive policy of proletarianization of the party [and] of educating worker cadres to become leaders of the party organizations;
g) the Political Bureau of the CC CPP should convoke a plenum of the Party’s CC[vii] to work out concrete measures to protect the party line from sectarian deviations, to carry out a correct cadres policy and a relentless struggle against provocation and demoralizing elements. The plenum should be held in an atmosphere of bold Bolshevik exposure of all of the party’s illnesses, in accordance with this resolution.
The CC plenum’s resolution on the improvement of the CPP should be submitted to the ECCI Presidium for approval. Expressing confidence in the CC CPP Political Bureau, the ECCI Secretariat is deeply convinced that the implementation of this resolution will assure a radical change in all the party’s organizational policy and cadres’ policy.
The ECCI Secretariat has decided to bring this resolution to the notice of the CC CPP plenum only.
31 January 1936.
? 28/I-36 ?
RGASPI, f. 495, op. 18, d. 1071, ll. 5-8.
Original in Russian. Typewritten.
* Handwritten by G. Dimitrov.
[i] Julian Lenski (real name – Leszynski) (1889-1937). A member of the SDPKPiL from 1905; after 1917, a member of the RKP(b). In 1925, at the 5th CPP conference, he became a CC member, and from 1926, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPP. In June 1929, he was elected the CC CPP’s General Secretary. He was a member of the ECCI from 1928, and, from 1935, a member of its Presidium. On 20 June 1937, he was arrested. On 21 September 1937, the Military Board of the USSR’s Supreme Court condemned Lenski to be shot.
[ii] Lenski’s report on behalf of the CC CPP was presented at the ECCI’s Secretariat session on 28 January 1936. The draft of the resolution suggested by the CPP leadership was declined in favor of Dimitrov’s draft. A commission composed of Dimitrov, Moskvin, Ercoli and the CC CPP’s representatives was charged with completing the draft of the resolution. The final text was approved by the ECCI Secretaries on 31 January 1936.
* Handwritten by G. Dimitrov.
[iii] Pilsudchina – a derisive name used by the Communists to describe the policy of the Polish government under Marshal Pilsudski and a generic term used to describe his followers. Josef Pilsudski (1867-1935) was a leader of the PPS’s right wing. In 1918, he was the war minister; between 22 November 1918 and 1922, head of state. In May 1926, he staged a coup d'état and established a regime of “sanitation.” After May 1926, he was the war minister. Between October 1926 and June 1928, he was the prime minister, later he was the war minister and the Inspector General of the Poland’s Armed Forces.
[iv] Adolf Warski (real name – Warczawski) (1868-1937). A member of the main directorate of the SDPKPiL from the time of the party’s founding. After 1906, he was a member of the CC RSDRP. In 1918-1919, he was one of the leaders of the Warsaw Soviet of workers’ deputies. Between 1919 and 1929, he was a member of the CC CPP; he took part in the 3rd, 4th and 5th Comintern Congresses. Between 1925 and 1929, he was a member of the Polish Sejm. After 1930, Warski lived in the USSR and conducted research at the Institute of Marx-Engels-Lenin. He was arrested and died in 1937.
[v] Maria Kostrzewa (real name – Koszutska) (1879-1939). A member of the PPS from 1902, she conducted underground work in Poland, Austria, Russia and took part in the preparation and holding of the founding congress of the CPP in 1918. In 1918-1922, she was a member of the CC CPP. After the 5th Comintern Congress, she was the CPP representative in the ECCI. At the time of the factional struggle, Kostrzewa headed the “majority” faction. Together with Warski, she was relieved of the party’s leadership for the “Rightist” mistakes. In 1930, she emigrated to the USSR, with the party’s permission. In August 1937, she was arrested by the NKVD and in October condemned to ten years in prison.
[vi] Tadeusz Zarski (1896-1934). A member of the PPS from 1912; after 1921, a member of the CPP. During the factional struggle in the party, he was in the “minority” faction and, in 1925, supported the “ultra-Leftist” group. Zarski was arrested by Polish police several times. In 1930, he was condemned for his membership in the CC CPP and sentenced to eight years of hard labor, as well as six years in prison for “shooting at police.” After having spent two and a half years in prison, he was released during the exchange of political prisoners in September 1932 and was sent to the USSR. He worked at the Institute of World Economy and World Politics as a researcher. Arrested in 1934. On 16 June 1934, the OGPU collegium sentenced him to be shot.
[vii] On 5 March 1936, the ECCI Secretariat heard the report of J. Lenski on the results of the CC CPP plenum. The Secretariat approved in principle the plenum’s political and organizational decisions.