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Eurocommunism and the Cold War

Stichting Film en Wetenschap
Time period: 1940-1970
Number of interviews: 16 (16 persons)
Accessibility: Restricted
Transcripts: None
Period of interviews: 1977

All interviews can be found on the Sound & Vision website.

Medium: 27 Audiotapes

The interviews were conducted for the VPRO television film Socialisme met een menselijk gezicht, which was never broadcast. The interviewees talk about Eurocommunism and the implications of the Cold War. They are all ex-communists and/or Eurocommunists. In particular, the Eastern European among them were expelled from the respective communist parties as dissidents at some point in their countries of origin. All interviews can be found on the Sound & Vision website. The interview with Djilas was conducted in Serbian, the other interviews in English, German or French.



  • Manuel Ascarate was head of International Relations of the Spanish Communist Party and second in command after leader Carrillo.
  • Giuseppe Boffa, one of the leaders of the Italian Communist Party, was editor of the Communist daily L’Unità.
  • The German Margarete Buber-Neumann, a former employee of the Comintern, was interned with her husband Heinz Neumann during a stay in the Soviet Union in the 1930s for opposing Stalin’s policies. In 1940, she was handed over to the Gestapo and subsequently spent five years in the Ravensbrück concentration camp.
  • Milovan Djilas was a close associate of Yugoslav leader Tito.
  • Ferenc Donath, as one of the secretaries of the Hungarian Communist Party at the time of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising, was a close associate of (then briefly) Prime Minister Imre Nagy.
  • Jean Elleinstein was an advocate of Eurocommunism in France.
  • Andràs Hegedüs, former prime minister of Hungary, was a longtime loyal member of the Communist Party. During the 1956 Hungarian Uprising, he was a warm supporter of intervention by the Russian army. He later went to Russia where he eventually turned away from the party and became a dissident.
  • Wilhelm Hoegner was a member of parliament for the Social Democratic Party in Germany during the Weimar Republic.
  • Leszek Kolakowski (born 1927), a Polish philosopher, was expelled from the Communist Party of Poland in 1966 for criticizing the official party line and dismissed a few years later as a professor at the University of Warsaw. After spending a short time in Britain, he emigrated to Canada. His well-known, three-volume study of the history of Marxism was published in the late 1970s.
  • Wolfgang Leonhard worked on the development of the GDR after the war as a close associate of later SED party leader Walter Ulbricht.
  • Arthur London was one of the members of the Czech Communist Party who stood trial in the so-called Slánsky trial in the early 1950s.
  • Zdenek Mlynár (born 1930) was secretary of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party and a close associate of party leader Alexander Dubcek, the symbol of the Prague Spring. Among other things, he wrote the political part of the 1968 program of action of the Czechoslovak Communist Party. In 1970, he was expelled from the party. He was one of the founders of Charta 77 and was subsequently forced to leave his country. He emigrated to Austria.
  • Jiri Pelikan was director general of Czechoslovak television during the Prague Spring.
  • Marian Sling is the widow of Ota Sling, for a time party secretary of the Brno district in Czechoslovakia. In the early 1950s he and others were sentenced to death in the so-called Slánský trial.
  • Lord Strang chaired the British delegation in the 1939 negotiations between England and France on one side and the Soviet Union on the other.
  • Predrag Vranicki was a Yugoslav Marxist philosopher and rector of the University of Zagreb.
  • Kamil Winter was head of the Information Programs Department of Czechoslovak television in 1968.