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Friedl Baruch on the CPN and the Soviet Union

Daniël Lataster
Time period: unknown (interviewee lived between 1905 and 1995)
Number of interviews: 3 (1 person)
Accessibility: for research purposes
Transcripts: summary
Period of interviews: 1985

Type interview: scientific

The collection has not yet been digitized and therefore cannot be viewed directly at Beeld & Geluid. Digitization can, however, be requested from Sound &  Vision via:

Medium: 2 audio tapes

Title: Links af, naar rechts. Portret van een politieke partij of de ommezwaai van de C.P.N. in het conflict Moskou-Peking

Author: Friedl Baruch

Publisher: Kriseman, Den Haag, 1967

In the interviews, former CPN member Friedl Baruch (1905-1995) tells his (political) life story. Besides more information on the history of the CPN than was available (at the time), interviewer Daniël Lataster particularly wanted to gain insight into the question of the relationship within the party between internationalism and attachment to the Soviet Union on the one hand and national autonomy and responsibility on the other.


Baruch was born in Germany in 1905 and held a Dutch nationality through his father. He studied economics in Göttingen and Hamburg and became an active member of the Kommunistische Partei Deutschland (KPD) in 1929. After being imprisoned from 1931-33, he was deported to the Netherlands where he was taken in by the Dutch section of the Internationale Rode Hulp (IRH) and immediately enlisted in the work of this organization, which was dedicated to supporting political prisoners abroad and political refugees in the Netherlands.


He also became an immediate member of the CPH (later the CPN). In the course of time he held several positions within the party, both on the board and at the party newspapers: the pre-war Volksdagblad and, since the 1940s, De Waarheid. In the many post-war storms within the party, around the “destalinization,” “Hungary,” the conflict around the EVC and the breakaway from the “Bridge Group,” he took a stand behind the official party line and that of the CPSU but the party’s change of course in 1963 towards complete autonomy from the “parent party” in the Soviet Union brought him into fierce conflict with party leader Paul de Groot. This resulted in his suspension and expulsion. He continued his political activities outside the party, including publishing the magazine Communist Notes and an editorship of the monthly magazine of the Netherlands-USSR Association.


In addition, he wrote several brochures. About the entanglements that led to his expulsion, he published: Links af/naar rechts. Portret van een politieke partij, of De ommezwaai van de C.P.N. in het conflict Moskou-Peking, Den Haag: Kruseman, 1967.