Despite their brave role in the resistance ...

10 October 2016 - 16:51

'Despite their brave role in the resistance', Dutch Communists quickly ended up in isolation in the Cold War.

They were accused of being indiscriminate Soviet followers and defending a totalitarian, undemocratic regime. That is why Communists were sidelined by the ruling political forces.

The author of the just published book with this significant title, Jos van Dijk, sees all those discriminatory measures against the CPN itself as a serious violation of democracy, because they were also meant to stifle all left and anti-colonial voices in the Netherlands.
This vision also turns the book into a political pamphlet and gives it a certain degree of topicality, in which we should think of 'Muslims' instead of Communists.

'Without wanting to hide the stubborn and unfortunate steps of the CPN itself' the writer writes history from his anger about the predominant anti-communist atmosphere. This culminated in the outbreak of popular anger against CPN buildings in November 1956, a reaction to Soviet Russian intervention in Hungary. Communists were then exposed to serious threats and even felt forced to go half-way underground.

A comprehensive and balanced treatment is not given to the 'goofing' on the part of the CPN. To get a good picture of 1948 (Czechoslovakia issue) and 1956 (Hungary issue), for example, its coverage in the De Waarheid daily newspaper could have been shown. It certainly evoked some of the violent anti-reactions, but the official party positions are not taken into consideration.

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