Volume 3, 2012
Communism, Nationalism, and State Building in Post-War Europe
Communism, French Patriotism, and Soviet Legitimacy in France: Social Trajectories and Nationalism (1945-1954)
The following contribution analyzes the specific spaces for the legitimization of the defense of the “Soviet model” in France. To do so, rather than examining the policies of the Communist Party itself (often analyzed by French historiography), the paper approaches a vast set of organizational networks that have been commonly known as “transmission belts” of communism in France. Thus, the paper presents a universe of situations, individual trajectories, and associative frameworks that are deployed in defense of the Soviet Union, from 1945 until 1954. In all these different areas and situations the paper points out instances of an intense militancy. As a result, there was a non-contradictory overlap between French patriotism, nationalism and the justification of Soviet hegemony in the context of the communization of Eastern Europe and of the Cold War.