O Intermitente<br> (So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

O Intermitente
(So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

quinta-feira, maio 06, 2004

O Centenário do L'Humanité

O February 30 têm um interessante post "comemorativo" do centenário do L'Humanité (que - para quem não sabe - é o equivalente francês do Avante!).

Last Saturday saw the centenary of the French communist newspaper L'Humanité (nicknamed L'Huma), whose history is recalled with considerable lack of affection by former dissident Leopold Unger in Gazeta Wyborcza.Its title wasn't quite such an exercise in Orwellian irony in the early days. It was founded on April 18, 1904 by the French socialist leader and Dreyfusard Jean Jaurès. By 1920 however it had become the mouthpiece of the French Communist Party (PCF). Unger writes:

The history of L'Huma would be pathetic were it not so full of hatred. "Ideologues" from Thorez and Marchais to Castro and Ho Chi Minh wrote for it; it published writers and artists: Aragon, Eluard, Neruda, Picasso, a long gallery of conscious or manipulated "fellow travellers". For all of them, L'Huma was the great tribune of communist and pro-Soviet propaganda in the democratic West.
Unger says the central "drama" of L'Huma was "its insane idolatrous cult of Stalin and the USSR". This led the newspaper to follow the Kremlin's line slavishly "during the Moscow [treason] trials, when Stalin liquidated the old cadres of the party and the army, or at the time of the "friendship" between Hitler and Stalin, regarding Kravchenko*, a 'firsthand' witness of Stalinism, the author of I Chose Freedom, accused of being a CIA agent*, or regarding the Soviet invasions of Budapest, Prague and Afghanistan or 'heresies' like Solidarity".

The newspaper's popularity peaked in the years immediately following World War Two when the PCF was the first or second largest political party in France. Its fortunes declined as that party gradually lost credibility and with the collapse of the Soviet Union, its funding dried up. It currently has a circulation of 50,000. Unger says that until recently L'Huma was so cash-strapped it wouldn't have been able to afford one hundred candles for the cake let alone champagne to celebrate its one hundredth birthday. In the comments below the article one wag recalls the old joke: "Why is L'Humanité more expensive than Pravda?" "You have to add the translation costs."

(* Victor Kravchenko, Soviet apparatchik who defected in 1946. His book I Chose Freedom exposed the truth about the USSR, including the camps system. He was accused by a French Communist journal Les Lettres Francaises of being a liar and CIA stooge and a famous libel trial ensued, in which Kravchenko cleared his name by bringing in dozens of Eastern Bloc refugees as witnesses).

posted by Miguel Noronha 11:07 da manhã

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"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom."

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