German Communists in the Second World War: actors and networks in the struggle against Nazism

Autumn 2014

During the Second World War, German communists exiled in Belgium, France and Switzerland kept being active on behalf of their party. They collaborated with their comrades in their exile places and fought against the Nazi regime. This article examines the practices of these actors to see if transnational abilities acquired in communists political schools and within the party allowed the German communists to collaborate with their comrades of other nationalities. The article also examines the place of internationalism in their political commitment and the way their discourse changed during the war from an internationalist aim to defeat Nazism to a national perspective at the end of the war when they promoted the reconstruction of Germany. The discussion focuses on both discourses and practices and their possible transnational or international dimensions.

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TCC7 Exiles and diasporas