“Why We Appear”: The Brief Revival of The Anti-Imperialist Review

In Sep­tem­ber 1931, the League Against Impe­ri­al­ism and for Nation­al Inde­pen­dence (LAI), 1927–1937, a sym­pa­thiz­ing orga­ni­za­tion against colo­nial oppres­sion and con­nect­ed to the Com­mu­nist Inter­na­tion­al (Com­intern; Third Inter­na­tion­al, 1919–1943), pub­lished the the­o­ret­i­cal organ The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review. Bekar Fer­di (1890–?; real name: Mech­net Schafik), a lead­ing fig­ure of the Turk­ish com­mu­nist move­ment and sec­re­tary of the LAI, was one the con­trib­u­tors. In the arti­cle “Why We Appear” Fer­di point­ed out the pur­pose of the review and declared that with it, the LAI aimed at cap­tur­ing the con­tem­po­rary scope and nature of glob­al anti-impe­ri­al­ism. Explain­ing why the review had appeared at this par­tic­u­lar moment, Fer­di stat­ed: “The jour­nal will pro­vide a weapon for ral­ly­ing forces to the League, for extend­ing and devel­op­ing the front of the anti-impe­ri­al­ist strug­gle, for spread­ing and pop­u­lar­iz­ing the slo­gans of the League and con­sol­i­dat­ing and uni­fy­ing the ranks of those fight­ing for the over­throw of impe­ri­al­ism. It will be a pow­er­ful force.” Fer­di declared in con­clu­sion that the review would aid the work of build­ing up “an organ­i­sa­tion­al con­cen­tra­tion point for all the forces which are ready to strug­gle with­out com­pro­mise and with rev­o­lu­tion­ary deter­mi­na­tion against the Ver­sailles sys­tem and for a new just organ­i­sa­tion of Europe on the basis of the com­plete right to self-deter­mi­na­tion.”

While Fer­di had out­lined the aim of The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review to func­tion as “a weapon for ral­ly­ing forces” to the LAI, what did the LAI actu­al­ly expect to con­vey by pub­lish­ing a the­o­ret­i­cal organ on anti-impe­ri­al­ism? And why was The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review con­sid­ered to be excep­tion­al­ly rel­e­vant for the LAI in 1931?

The LAI was estab­lished on the direct instruc­tions of the Com­intern as an inter­na­tion­al sym­pa­thiz­ing orga­ni­za­tion, and was offi­cial­ly inau­gu­rat­ed at the “First Inter­na­tion­al Con­gress against Colo­nial­ism and Impe­ri­al­ism” in Brus­sels on Feb­ru­ary 10–13, 1927. The Ger­man com­mu­nist week­ly pic­to­r­i­al Arbeit­er-Illus­tri­erte-Zeitung described this event as “the con­gress for the oppressed bil­lions,” and in a long-term per­spec­tive, the League framed the nos­tal­gic vision of anti-impe­ri­al­ism as por­trayed and intro­duced in Achmed Sukarno’s open­ing address at the “Afro-Asian Con­fer­ence” in Ban­dung, Indone­sia, April 1955.1

The his­to­ry of the LAI can be con­cise­ly sum­ma­rized: it begins with the suc­cess and eupho­ria of the Brus­sels con­gress of 1927, only to end in 1937 after being engulfed by the suc­cess of the Pop­u­lar Front pol­i­cy and the growth of the anti-fas­cist move­ment in Europe. As the Com­mu­nist Par­ty of Great Britain launched the “Uni­ty Cam­paign” as a means to cre­ate a stronger alliance with the Pop­u­lar Front, the LAI – its oper­a­tive cen­ter now in Lon­don after sev­er­al years in Berlin, then Paris – suc­cumbed to the pres­sures of being a “banned orga­ni­za­tion,” and in May 1937 it was qui­et­ly dis­solved.2 With­in the peri­od of ten years, the LAI under­went numer­ous orga­ni­za­tion­al changes, ide­o­log­i­cal alter­ations, and geo­graph­i­cal trans­fers, yield­ing the rep­u­ta­tion of the orga­ni­za­tion as a con­cert­ed source of inspi­ra­tion for the decol­o­niza­tion move­ments in the post-war peri­od. A vital part of the LAI’s lega­cy, then, is the scope and con­tent of its pro­pa­gan­da against colo­nial­ism and impe­ri­al­ism.

Today, forums of resis­tance and counter-nar­ra­tives are most­ly locat­ed across the polit­i­cal land­scape of social media. And yet, evi­dent dif­fi­cul­ties remain in relay­ing infor­ma­tion about ongo­ing strug­gles, for­ti­fy­ing activist net­works, and pro­vid­ing the­o­ret­i­cal bases for inter­na­tion­al­ism in prac­tice. Sev­er­al clues and mod­els for strength­en­ing sol­i­dar­i­ty in resis­tance against oppres­sion, colo­nial­ism, and impe­ri­al­ism are to be found in the study of rad­i­cal and sub­ver­sive pub­li­ca­tions, anti-impe­ri­al­ist cam­paigns, and demon­stra­tions as they sur­faced in the first decades of the 20th cen­tu­ry. The LAI’s the­o­ret­i­cal organ The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review and its edi­to­r­i­al his­to­ry rep­re­sent a con­stituent source of mil­i­tant reportage on glob­al anti-impe­ri­al­ism between the two World Wars, a rig­or­ous effort to con­struct a con­cep­tu­al frame­work for the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­nist movement’s approach to colo­nial­ism and impe­ri­al­ism as polit­i­cal top­ics, and how these phe­nom­e­na were artic­u­lat­ed with­in the broad­er inter­na­tion­al rela­tions of force. The dead-ends and rapid, often con­tra­dic­to­ry, ide­o­log­i­cal and polit­i­cal shifts the LAI had to nav­i­gate also point to the insur­mount­able prob­lems of the anti-impe­ri­al­ist prac­tice of Com­intern-linked orga­ni­za­tions.

1931: The LAI at a Crossroads

The LAI was active in devel­op­ing sev­er­al anti-impe­ri­al­ist pro­pa­gan­da cam­paigns over the course of 1931. It coor­di­nat­ed polit­i­cal work around the anti-impe­r­i­al “Counter-Exhi­bi­tion” in Paris, a project under­tak­en in response to the “Impe­r­i­al Colo­nial Exhi­bi­tion” in Vin­cennes the same year. Locat­ed on the out­skirts of the French cap­i­tal, this six-month long affair was a macabre dis­play of colo­nial might, and was effec­tive­ly depict­ed and denounced by the League as a micro­cosm of the French empire. Fur­ther, the LAI took strides in advanc­ing an inter­na­tion­al protest cam­paign against the Japan­ese inva­sion of Manchuria in the fall of 1931; col­lab­o­rat­ing with the com­mu­nist mass orga­ni­za­tion Inter­na­tion­al Red Aid in forg­ing transna­tion­al con­tacts in sup­port of the eight African-Amer­i­can young men in the Scotts­boro tri­al in the Unit­ed States, who were wrong­ly accused of hav­ing raped two young white women. At the same time, seri­ous social, polit­i­cal, and eco­nom­ic crises rapid­ly shot up across the globe: the col­lapse of the world econ­o­my in the sum­mer of 1931; the rise of fas­cism across Europe and the strength­en­ing of Nazism in Ger­many; and the soci­etal con­se­quences of Stal­in­iza­tion of the Sovi­et Union through aggres­sive col­lec­tiviza­tion and indus­tri­al­iza­tion.

The LAI had to con­front and mit­i­gate inter­nal and exter­nal prob­lems in this explo­sive con­junc­ture, and by 1931 it was des­per­ate­ly seek­ing new ways and means to renew itself as an inter­na­tion­al sym­pa­thiz­ing orga­ni­za­tion focused on strength­en­ing con­nec­tions between anti-colo­nial strug­gles and being a peti­tion­er against oppres­sion. The revival of The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review – an ini­tia­tive which the LAI had begun in 1928, only to cease pub­li­ca­tion after a sin­gle issue – stood out as one of few exist­ing endeav­ors for the LAI to artic­u­late a strong counter-nar­ra­tive against colo­nial­ism and impe­ri­al­ism, and which could attract forces of sup­port and sol­i­dar­i­ty. But the most cru­cial fac­tor in this con­text was the Com­intern, the orga­ni­za­tion­al infra­struc­ture that defined the activ­i­ties and ini­tia­tives of the LAI. With­out the con­sent or assis­tance orig­i­nat­ing from Com­intern head­quar­ters in Moscow to the LAI’s admin­is­tra­tive cen­ter and inter­na­tion­al hub – the Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at in Berlin, which over­saw the sec­ond edi­tion of The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review – none of the above was achiev­able or pos­si­ble to car­ry out in prac­tice. This was a one-way rela­tion­ship, deter­mined through the Comintern’s will­ing­ness to extend mate­r­i­al assis­tance.

The revival and pub­li­ca­tion of The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review in 1931 served sev­er­al strate­gic pur­pos­es. The ini­tial ver­sion of the review, which had appeared in July 1928 served a sim­i­lar pur­pose as the one intro­duced in 1931, i.e., to func­tion as a the­o­ret­i­cal organ and tri­bune of glob­al strug­gles. Accord­ing to the “Fore­word,” authored by the LAI’s chair­man, the British social­ist and leader of the Inde­pen­dent Labour Par­ty James Max­ton, con­ced­ed that it was with “great sat­is­fac­tion” that the review would hope­ful­ly be “help­ing toward the lib­er­a­tion of the world’s work­ers.” Fur­ther on in same the issue, the LAI’s Gen­er­al Sec­re­tary and leader of the pro­le­tar­i­an mass orga­ni­za­tion the Work­ers’ Inter­na­tion­al Relief, the Ger­man com­mu­nist Willi Münzen­berg (1889–1940) described how “the echo of the Brus­sels Con­gress” had gen­er­at­ed “very wide atten­tion” on the LAI, and the review would aid in gal­va­niz­ing the essen­tial “coop­er­a­tion of all anti-impe­ri­al­ist forces” on a glob­al scale.3 How­ev­er, noth­ing of the above ever mate­ri­al­ized, and the first issue was not fol­lowed by a sec­ond one in 1928. But it is impor­tant to respond to Sean McMeekin’s erro­neous con­clu­sion in his 2003 biog­ra­phy of Münzen­berg, The Red Mil­lion­aire, that the sud­den dis­ap­pear­ance of The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review in 1929 led to the dis­so­lu­tion of the LAI the same year, a puz­zling obser­va­tion that sim­ply does not hold up.4 The polit­i­cal and orga­ni­za­tion­al his­to­ry is much more com­plex and deserves care­ful atten­tion.

As the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­nist move­ment embarked upon its dras­tic “turn to the left” with the cer­e­mo­ni­al intro­duc­tion of the Comintern’s “new line” at the Sixth Inter­na­tion­al Com­intern Con­gress in Moscow in August 1928, which advo­cat­ed no polit­i­cal col­lab­o­ra­tions or affil­i­a­tions out­side of the com­mu­nist move­ment, and lat­er in 1929 acknowl­edged by the Com­intern as the pol­i­cy of “class against class,” this essen­tial­ly put a halt to the LAI’s ambi­tions of pub­lish­ing a the­o­ret­i­cal organ on colo­nial­ism and impe­ri­al­ism. The Comintern’s “new line” had imme­di­ate con­se­quences on the orga­ni­za­tion­al prepa­ra­tions and polit­i­cal results of the LAI’s “Sec­ond Inter­na­tion­al Con­gress against Colo­nial­ism and Impe­ri­al­ism” in Frank­furt am Main, Ger­many, on July 21–27, 1929, which saw com­mu­nist del­e­gates delib­er­ate­ly engag­ing the non-com­mu­nist del­e­gates in cal­lous debates. As the for­mer went on the attack and demand­ed the LAI to purge itself of “nation­al reformists” and “agents of impe­ri­al­ism,” the lat­ter retreat­ed into either humil­i­a­tion or silence. Above all, this con­cretized the prac­ti­cal out­come of the Comintern’s class against class pol­i­cy as it pro­vid­ed the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­nist move­ment with a new lin­gua fran­ca on how to imag­ine itself vis-a-vis ide­o­log­i­cal coun­ter­parts. For the LAI in par­tic­u­lar, this expe­ri­ence con­firmed that it was next to impos­si­ble to even con­sid­er the idea of pub­lish­ing a the­o­ret­i­cal organ to a cir­cle of read­ers out­side of the com­mu­nist move­ment.

The Frank­furt con­gress ush­ered in a peri­od of tri­al and chaos with­in the LAI, which large­ly dimin­ished the organization’s polit­i­cal cred­i­bil­i­ty as an advo­cate of inter­na­tion­al anti-impe­ri­al­ism and con­firmed the sus­pi­cions of the inter­na­tion­al social­ist move­ment that the LAI was noth­ing more than a front orga­ni­za­tion of the Com­intern. This time of tur­bu­lence ques­tioned the very exis­tence of the orga­ni­za­tion at all lev­els and cast the post-Frank­furt LAI into an ide­o­log­i­cal and orga­ni­za­tion­al divide last­ing for about a year. The expul­sion of Max­ton by British LAI sec­tion in Sep­tem­ber 1929, for exam­ple, was moti­vat­ed by a deci­sion that he “dis­played no inter­est what­ev­er in events of tremen­dous impor­tance in colo­nial coun­tries.”5

This sim­mer­ing ten­sion dis­si­pat­ed after the Polit­i­cal Com­mis­sion of the Com­intern, an insti­tu­tion that con­sist­ed of lead­ing mem­bers in the Com­intern appa­ra­tus in Moscow, approved a plan pro­posed by by the Czecho­slo­va­kian com­mu­nist and LAI sec­re­tary Bohumíl Smer­al. Smer­al had con­duct­ed a thor­ough inter­nal inves­ti­ga­tion of the LAI, which he pre­sent­ed to the Com­mis­sion in Moscow on Sep­tem­ber 13, 1930. He sug­gest­ed divid­ing the LAI into two halves. One, the “offi­cial” half, would advo­cate uncom­pro­mis­ing agi­ta­tion against impe­ri­al­ism, and pro­mote the “lib­er­a­tion strug­gle in the colo­nial and depen­dent coun­tries,” “the rev­o­lu­tion­ary class strug­gle of the pro­le­tari­at,” and defend the “build­ing of social­ism in the USSR.” The sec­ond, unof­fi­cial side would posit the LAI as “a relief orga­ni­za­tion,” and estab­lish transna­tion­al rela­tions for the Com­intern to gain a foothold in resis­tance move­ments and oppo­si­tion­al activ­i­ty in the colonies. Hence, the LAI was to play the role of inter­me­di­ary between nation­al lib­er­a­tions move­ments in the colonies and the Com­intern, or as Smer­al elo­quent­ly described it to the Polit­i­cal Com­mis­sion: “as an aux­il­iary organ, act­ing as a cov­er, [the LAI] would be con­nect­ed with the Com­intern much more than until now.”

The Polit­i­cal Com­mis­sion approved of “divid­ing” the LAI in two halves, promis­ing to secure suf­fi­cient funds and pro­vide with polit­i­cal sup­port on a reg­u­lar lev­el from Moscow to the LAI’s Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at in Berlin. One key ele­ment of this work was in get­ting the LAI to revive The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review, the Polit­i­cal Com­mis­sion stat­ed, and for it to be cir­cu­lat­ed in “impe­ri­al­ist metrop­o­lis­es,” such as Lon­don, Paris, and New York. This invites com­par­isons to Münzenberg’s transna­tion­al orga­ni­za­tion, Work­ers’ Inter­na­tion­al Relief, which pre­dom­i­nant­ly broad­cast­ed its mes­sage of pro­le­tar­i­an sol­i­dar­i­ty via var­i­ous pro­pa­gan­da cam­paigns and pub­li­ca­tions. Münzenberg’s pub­lish­ing com­pa­ny Neuer Deutsch­er Ver­lag in Berlin reg­u­lar­ly issued Der Rote Auf­bau, a the­o­ret­i­cal jour­nal that func­tioned along­side the pro­le­tar­i­an mass orga­ni­za­tion. Yet the LAI did not have a mouth­piece of sim­i­lar cal­iber, and with the inter­nal con­se­quences of the cri­sis con­nect­ed to the class against class strat­e­gy – which in a broad­er per­spec­tive was symp­to­matic of the Bol­she­viza­tion and Stal­in­iza­tion of the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­nist move­ment in the 1930s – the LAI had to do any­thing pos­si­ble to curb any deci­sive and last­ing neg­a­tive fall­out from Frank­furt con­gress in 1929. The ques­tion of reviv­ing The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review was there­fore not only caught up in the mael­strom of inter­na­tion­al com­mu­nism; it also reflect­ed the dif­fi­cul­ties and pos­si­bil­i­ties of mak­ing the LAI’s anti-impe­ri­al­ist agen­da cred­i­ble again.

“The review will strengthen our work”

In Jan­u­ary 1931, the LAI’s Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at felt betrayed by “our major col­leagues” at Com­intern head­quar­ters in Moscow. Con­sid­er­ing the increas­ing­ly sec­tar­i­an behav­ior and con­spir­a­to­r­i­al tech­niques set in motion after the LAI’s cri­sis in 1929–30, every com­mu­ni­ca­tion from Berlin to Moscow was com­piled and dis­patched by the “Kom­frak­tion” [com­mu­nist frac­tion] of the Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at. Lack­ing funds and polit­i­cal direc­tives on how to devel­op ongo­ing work, the “Kom­frak­tion” described in a let­ter to the Comintern’s East­ern Sec­re­tari­at (the LAI liai­son at Com­intern head­quar­ters in Moscow) how they were sit­ting around the office, doing noth­ing, and “just looked at each oth­er.”6 Left with a frag­ile orga­ni­za­tion­al struc­ture after the cri­sis and its tem­po­rary solu­tion in Sep­tem­ber 1930, one of few options avail­able was to launch pro­pa­gan­da cam­paigns, with pub­lish­ing as a cru­cial site in the broad­er ter­rain.

The pub­li­ca­tions of the LAI’s Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at were con­sid­ered to be minor suc­cess­es by the “Kom­frak­tion.” Accord­ing to a con­fi­den­tial “cir­cu­lar let­ter” to the Comintern’s East­ern Sec­re­tari­at in Moscow, the month­ly cir­cu­la­tion of pam­phlets and news­pa­pers had gained atten­tion among read­ing cir­cles out­side of the com­mu­nist move­ment. The pos­si­ble reac­ti­va­tion of The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review was expect­ed to add weight and stand­ing to the pub­li­ca­tions spring­ing from the LAI’s Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at: for exam­ple, the Infor­ma­tions­di­enst (Infor­ma­tion Ser­vice), Presse­di­enst (Press Ser­vice), and the reg­u­lar trans­la­tions of news from India had suc­cess­ful­ly locat­ed the Indi­an nation­al lib­er­a­tion strug­gle in a Euro­pean polit­i­cal con­text. The pub­li­ca­tion of the Ger­man LAI sec­tion, Der kolo­niale Frei­heit­skampf, had also made seri­ous attempts to prop­a­gate an anti-impe­ri­al­ist under­stand­ing through­out the coun­try. The LAI’s aim to intro­duce a nuanced pic­ture of how con­tem­po­rary colo­nial­ism and impe­ri­al­ism looked across the world required a mas­sive amount of mate­r­i­al to be writ­ten for inclu­sion in the pub­li­ca­tions. In turn, the Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at need­ed to acquire a wide array of books, jour­nals, and papers pub­lished inter­na­tion­al­ly. But at the lev­el of out­reach, the LAI’s pub­li­ca­tions released were most­ly writ­ten and pub­lished in the Ger­man lan­guage. The renewed empha­sis on The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review as an Eng­lish-lan­guage jour­nal indi­cat­ed new direc­tions for orga­ni­za­tion with­in spe­cif­ic nation­al sit­u­a­tions and ver­nac­u­lars.

After briefly lan­guish­ing in the begin­ning of the year, the dis­cus­sion over the review restart­ed with an assess­ment on the rel­e­vant con­tent for the first issue. The LAI sub­se­quent­ly con­veyed to the East­ern Sec­re­tari­at what should be includ­ed. The Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at want­ed to high­light nar­ra­tives of colo­nial coun­tries by pub­lish­ing “let­ters from the colonies,” some­thing that would avoid “abstract” and the­o­ret­i­cal accounts of the con­crete con­di­tions in Chi­na, Indochi­na, Indone­sia and Latin Amer­i­ca. Fur­ther, to coun­ter­act the “Impe­r­i­al Colo­nial Exhi­bi­tion,” sched­uled to open in Vin­cennes in the out­skirts of Paris in May, the review should adver­tise and out­line the idea of hold­ing an anti-impe­ri­al­ist “Counter Exhi­bi­tion” in Paris. The lat­ter text would be writ­ten by Fer­di, con­sid­er­ing his fre­quent trav­els to the French cap­i­tal and his close rela­tions with the Com­mu­nist Par­ty of France. Addi­tion­al­ly, per­ma­nent sec­tions of the review had to include reports from the LAI’s nation­al sec­tions, and from “groups, asso­ci­a­tions of colo­nial stu­dents and oth­er peo­ple in dif­fer­ent [impe­ri­al­ist] cap­i­tals”; book reviews on colo­nial ques­tions; and short polem­i­cal arti­cles and notes on minor anti-impe­r­i­al top­ics. Accord­ing to the LAI “Kom­frak­tion,” the prin­ci­pal aim of the review would be to strength­en and sus­tain the LAI’s “orga­ni­za­tion­al work” on an inter­na­tion­al scale.7

Content and Shape

The work to com­pile a com­pre­hen­sive pro­gram for the review entered an intense phase in March. Smer­al wrote to Lud­wig Mag­yar (1891–1937), a Hun­gar­i­an com­mu­nist and deputy head of the East­ern Sec­re­tari­at in Moscow, to explain that “the project” with the review was begin­ning to take shape. Accord­ing­ly, the review would begin with a state­ment on “why it was pub­lished, or per­haps a bet­ter title is pre­ferred,” along with, on Smer­al sug­ges­tion, a his­tor­i­cal tra­jec­to­ry of the LAI since the Brus­sels con­gress in 1927. Next, Clemens Palme Dutt, the British com­mu­nist and expert on the Indi­an ques­tion, would assess the dis­tinc­tion between “oppres­sor and the oppressed” using geo­graph­i­cal, eth­ni­cal, and sta­tis­ti­cal per­spec­tives, a top­ic he had dis­cussed at pub­lic meet­ings orga­nized by the British LAI sec­tion in Lon­don 1930. Expe­ri­ences of the ongo­ing Chi­nese rev­o­lu­tion and the anti-impe­ri­al­ist strug­gle in that coun­try was a cen­tral con­cern, and the Indi­an rev­o­lu­tion­ary and LAI Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tary Viren­dranath Chat­topad­hyaya (Chat­to, 1880–1937) had been told to write a sim­i­lar piece on the rev­o­lu­tion­ary strug­gle in India. Locat­ing the effects British impe­ri­al­ism and “the treach­ery of the Labour Par­ty” was cru­cial in this con­text, and the sec­re­tary of the British LAI sec­tion, the social­ist Regi­nald Fran­cis Orlan­do Bridge­man (1884–1968), would con­tribute an arti­cle on this dilem­ma. Round­ing out the pri­ma­ry arti­cles, Ferdi’s fre­quent trav­els between Berlin and Paris con­sti­tut­ed the sources for his write-up on the anti-impe­ri­al­ist “Counter-Exhi­bi­tion” and the “Inter­na­tion­al Colo­nial Exhi­bi­tion” in Vin­cennes in May. Besides these arti­cles, the review would have per­ma­nent sec­tions, includ­ing “let­ters from the colonies,” cor­re­spon­dence with con­cur­ring asso­ci­a­tions and groups of a colo­nial ori­gin and con­sist­ing of stu­dents and work­ers in Europe and the Unit­ed States. The review would also con­tain a report on the sit­u­a­tion and activ­i­ty of the LAI’s Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at and the nation­al sec­tions; short notes and a “talk­ing space” offer­ing polemics on dif­fer­ent top­ics; and, final­ly, book reviews on colo­nial ques­tions.8

Com­par­ing the gen­er­al out­line of the review in 1931 with the 1928 issue dis­clos­es impor­tant over­laps. First, every arti­cle was going to be writ­ten by a com­mu­nist (except for Bridgeman’s con­tri­bu­tion, but even he was the act­ing sec­re­tary of the British LAI sec­tion, and there­fore entrust­ed with car­ry­ing out the task). Sec­ond, it was impor­tant to retain the glob­al per­spec­tive on colo­nial­ism and impe­ri­al­ism. The 1928 issue had includ­ed arti­cles on the Chi­nese rev­o­lu­tion and Kuom­intang; British impe­ri­al­ism in India and “Dutch impe­ri­al­ist pol­i­cy” in Indone­sia; and an inter­pre­ta­tion of the colo­nial rival­ry of Anglo-Amer­i­can impe­ri­al­ism in Africa.9 Aside from the above, the sec­ond ver­sion of The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review bore much resem­blance to the con­cep­tu­al dis­po­si­tion of the 1928 issue, with sec­tions devot­ed to book reviews, doc­u­ments on the colo­nial ques­tion, and gen­er­al reports on the inter­na­tion­al devel­op­ment of the LAI. At Com­intern head­quar­ters, how­ev­er, it was rec­om­mend­ed that the LAI should use the review as a means of con­nect­ing itself with nation­al rev­o­lu­tion­ary minor­i­ty move­ments in Ukraine, Belorus­sia, the Balka­ns, the Alsace region, and Ger­mans in Poland. Accord­ing to Mag­yar, this line of activ­i­ty was one of the LAI’s focal points in 1931.10

On March 14, 1931, the LAI’s Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at pro­vid­ed Mag­yar with new infor­ma­tion on the bi-month­ly pub­li­ca­tion of “a jour­nal,” explain­ing how the use of Eng­lish would enhance anti-impe­ri­al­ist work. How­ev­er, to ensure the reg­u­lar pub­li­ca­tion of the review, the East­ern Sec­re­tari­at in Moscow had to gen­er­ate the nec­es­sary fund­ing to the Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at.11 It was always a ques­tion of mon­ey: this put every enter­prise at stake regard­less of the actu­al the work need­ed to pre­pare and final­ize the review. While Mag­yar sought to guar­an­tee fund­ing and com­plete his own arti­cle, Dmitri Manuil­sky, the Ukrain­ian com­mu­nist who was reput­ed to be Stalin’s “eyes and ears” at Com­intern head­quar­ters, promised to write the review’s intro­duc­tion (which he nev­er did).12 At the end of March, the gen­er­al out­line of the review was com­plet­ed, and arti­cles had been ordered from sev­er­al con­trib­u­tors.13

“Support a new anti-imperialist journal!”

The Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at pro­ceed­ed to open­ly declare the pend­ing pub­li­ca­tion of the review in May. The sec­re­tary of the LAI youth sec­tion in Berlin, the Japan­ese-Dan­ish com­mu­nist Hans Peter Thögersen (1902–?), sent a cir­cu­lar let­ter to the nation­al sec­tions in April, ask­ing “every­one to sup­port the strug­gle against impe­ri­al­ism” by cir­cu­lat­ing the review, a key task in advanc­ing the anti-impe­ri­al­ist move­ment. The review was envi­sioned as an edu­ca­tion­al instru­ment and source of infor­ma­tion for any­one inter­est­ed in get­ting involved in either the LAI or the anti-impe­ri­al­ist move­ment.

First and fore­most, Thögersen explained that the review aimed at pub­lish­ing “the­o­ret­i­cal and gen­er­al polit­i­cal arti­cles” writ­ten by the “best fight­ers against impe­ri­al­ism.” But to a greater extent than its own cadre, the review depend­ed on the active col­lab­o­ra­tion from the out­side: that is, the read­ers. This referred to the col­lec­tion of “orig­i­nal let­ters from the colonies,” and the coor­di­na­tion of con­tacts with colo­nial stu­dents and work­ers liv­ing in Europe and the Unit­ed States. The lat­ter sug­gest­ed gain­ing access to net­works and ties inac­ces­si­ble to the Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at in Berlin.14 More­over, the request from “the cen­tre” in Berlin to the nation­al sec­tions cor­rob­o­rat­ed one of the LAI’s pri­ma­ry func­tions: to col­lect intel­li­gence on anti-colo­nial activists, infor­ma­tion which was prompt­ly dis­patched for fur­ther assess­ment at the East­ern Sec­re­tari­at in Moscow.

Even with all of this prepara­to­ry labor, the review was still not ready for pub­li­ca­tion in May. The pri­ma­ry rea­son was the recon­sti­tu­tion of the LAI’s Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee at a meet­ing in Berlin from May 31 to June 2, an event that under­scored the sever­i­ty and predica­ment of the LAI’s sit­u­a­tion. This meet­ing was held to coun­ter­act the organization’s cri­sis and decline – and thus the review had far greater impor­tance than to recharge the LAI’s activ­i­ties. Indeed, the Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee gath­er­ing indi­cat­ed a revi­sion of for­mer strate­gies on “pro­pa­gan­da, orga­ni­za­tion­al and tac­ti­cal issues” and, as I have shown in my research on the LAI, the recon­sti­tu­tion of the LAI’s pri­ma­ry func­tion­ing body at the meet­ing con­firmed the Comintern’s gov­er­nance of the Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at and the LAI. While the cen­tral polit­i­cal issue focused on high­light­ing the need to con­nect the anti-impe­ri­al­ist move­ment with nation­al rev­o­lu­tion­ary minor­i­ty move­ments in Europe, most of the dis­cus­sions placed the trou­bled inter­nal sit­u­a­tion in the nation­al sec­tions on full dis­play.15

Apro­pos the project of the review, Münzen­berg informed at the con­clud­ing ses­sion that it was “absolute­ly nec­es­sary” to pub­lish “a mag­a­zine” as soon as pos­si­ble. Con­sid­er­ing the recent inter­nal orga­ni­za­tion­al tur­moil and defi­cien­cies of the LAI, the lev­el of activ­i­ty had, there­fore, not been com­pa­ra­ble to the polit­i­cal oblig­a­tions of the orga­ni­za­tion, and as Münzen­berg stat­ed, an increase in “ener­gy and sharp­ness in these areas” with the pub­li­ca­tion of The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review “pos­si­bly in this year” could real­ize these ambi­tions.16 Once the LAI Exec­u­tive meet­ing was over, the “Frac­tion­al Bureau of the Exec­u­tive meet­ing” sum­ma­rized the impres­sions of the event, and while debat­ing on the future pub­li­ca­tion of The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review, it was rec­om­mend­ed that “the reg­u­lar pub­li­ca­tion of this jour­nal is one of the main tasks of the Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at,” and the first issue should be “devot­ed main­ly to the LAI’s Exec­u­tive meet­ing.”17 Despite the fact that the inter­nal sit­u­a­tion in the after­math of the LAI Exec­u­tive meet­ing was “con­fused,” Fer­di wrote in a let­ter to Mag­yar on July 8 that the Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at was com­mit­ted in prepar­ing the review and for it to “soon be com­plete­ly edit­ed,” includ­ing trans­la­tions of arti­cles from Ger­man to Eng­lish. And if all went as planned, it would be pub­lished in July.18

Working Out the Details

The Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at had to hear the final opin­ion of the East­ern Sec­re­tari­at at Com­intern head­quar­ters before it could pub­lish the first issue. Accord­ing to the July report on the recent activ­i­ties of the LAI, the Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at expressed con­cern about not hav­ing received a sin­gle arti­cle from the Com­intern for inclu­sion in the review. At this stage, it was urgent – most­ly in order to cap­i­tal­ize on the results of the LAI Exec­u­tive meet­ing in Berlin – to pub­lish the review. The lack of prop­er “doc­u­men­tary mate­r­i­al” ham­pered the over­all work, and as the report not­ed, it was expect­ed that the East­ern Sec­re­tari­at would send sup­ple­men­tary mate­r­i­al and arti­cles to the Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at in Berlin.19 Exper­tise on the “Ori­en­tal ques­tion,” for instance, was min­i­mal in Berlin, and rather than rely­ing on arti­cles pub­lished in the Comintern’s week­ly news­pa­per, the Inter­na­tion­al Press Cor­re­spon­dence (Inpre­corr), the LAI want­ed access to the large quan­ti­ties of doc­u­men­tary mate­r­i­al kept on file at the East­ern Secretariat’s office in Moscow. Despite its explic­it depen­dence on the con­sent and mate­r­i­al sup­port ema­nat­ing from Com­intern head­quar­ters, the Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at man­aged to com­plete a final ver­sion of the review. Con­tain­ing twelve arti­cles alto­geth­er, the review would begin with an undis­closed state­ment writ­ten by Fer­di on “why we appear” and a sur­vey on the “deci­sive stage in the devel­op­ment” of the LAI; an arti­cle on the “impe­ri­al­ist sharks and its par­a­sites” authored by the Russ­ian writer Max­im Gorky dis­cussed the deci­sive role of intel­lec­tu­als and social democ­ra­cy in pro­tect­ing the sys­tem of “colo­nial oppres­sion”; and Magyar’s con­tri­bu­tion on the rev­o­lu­tion­ary move­ment in Chi­na, Indochi­na, and India. Fur­ther texts includ­ed a let­ter of greet­ing from the “fel­low trav­eller” of com­mu­nism and French author, Hen­ri Bar­busse; Smer­al had writ­ten two arti­cles, one focus­ing on the social demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ties in Europe and their poli­cies regard­ing colo­nial­ism, and a sec­ond on the “impe­ri­al­ist pol­i­tics of Ital­ian fas­cism”; and Chat­topad­hyaya had writ­ten a short piece on “Nehru’s betray­al.”20

Nehru had been a dri­ving force in link­ing togeth­er the Indi­an nation­al­ist move­ment with the LAI pri­or to and after the Brus­sels Con­gress in 1927. Appoint­ed as mem­ber of the LAI Exec­u­tive, he togeth­er with Chat­to had cre­at­ed a transna­tion­al net­work that chan­neled infor­ma­tion on what was hap­pen­ing in India back to Europe, and, he con­vinced the Indi­an Nation­al Con­gress to pro­vide with fund­ing for the estab­lish­ment of an “Indi­an Bureau” at the LAI’s Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at in Berlin, hav­ing the bureau tar­get Indi­an stu­dents liv­ing in Europe. How­ev­er, after the Frank­furt Con­gress in 1929, Nehru was no longer con­sid­ered as a desired per­son to be in con­tact with for the LAI, and by the begin­ning of 1930, he vol­un­tar­i­ly resigned from the orga­ni­za­tion. For Chat­to him­self, how­ev­er, work­ing with the review was one of his last under­tak­ings with the LAI. After hav­ing act­ed as the LAI’s Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tary since 1928, in 1931 he sud­den­ly found him­self sus­pect­ed of “polit­i­cal dis­hon­esty” by the Com­intern, only to receive instruc­tions to trav­el to Moscow to answer to the accu­sa­tion. In Berlin, and pri­or to his depar­ture in Sep­tem­ber, Chat­to trans­lat­ed some of the orig­i­nal arti­cles in Ger­man or French to Eng­lish.21

The review was not pub­lished until Sep­tem­ber. Whether any objec­tions from the East­ern Sec­re­tari­at delayed the ambi­tions of the Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at in Berlin to pub­lish in July is not known. How­ev­er, it is like­ly that the com­bi­na­tion of uncer­tain­ty over per­son­nel ques­tions (Chatto’s role), lack of mate­r­i­al for inclu­sion in the review, and the secur­ing of funds from the Com­intern for print­ing and dis­tri­b­u­tion post­poned the process. But the fit­ful starts and pro­longed col­lec­tive labor paid off: the first issue of the revived Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review indeed saw the light of day.

“An accurate reflection of what is taking place in the colonies”

The pub­lished ver­sion of The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review cor­re­spond­ed almost exact­ly to the pro­posed July ver­sion. How­ev­er, some of the names of the con­trib­u­tors had been delib­er­ate­ly con­cealed: Ferdi’s and Magyar’s arti­cles were not­ed as authors “F” and “M,” while oth­ers had anony­mous authors. Some arti­cles were added, like Clemens Palme Dutt’s text “The Flood Cat­a­stro­phe in Chi­na,” while Chatto’s arti­cle on Nehru was exclud­ed. A promis­ing transna­tion­al dimen­sion sur­faced in a sec­tion on the “Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Strug­gle through­out the World,” offer­ing short­er reports on Chi­na, Nige­ria, Manchuria, Ger­many, and Gam­bia. Most impor­tant­ly, how­ev­er, the issue offered a com­plete pre­sen­ta­tion of the results of the LAI Exec­u­tive meet­ing in Berlin on May 30–June 2.22 The Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at had expressed high hopes for the review to con­tribute in reviv­ing the LAI’s posi­tion as a glob­al peti­tion­er against colo­nial­ism and impe­ri­al­ism. It was now pub­lished in Eng­lish, method­i­cal­ly designed and for­mat­ted, and aimed at intro­duc­ing anti-impe­ri­al­ism as a polit­i­cal­ly moti­vat­ed and con­scious move­ment, with the LAI at the fore­front of mass strug­gles. But from the per­spec­tive of League’s inter­nal state of affairs and the reac­tions of a few of the nation­al sec­tions to the direc­tives com­ing from the LAI’s cen­ter in Berlin, the prog­no­sis of the review looked poor from the out­set. In Lon­don, the sec­re­tary of the British LAI sec­tion Regi­nald Bridge­man explained in a let­ter to the Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at that “the sug­ges­tions which you have made with regard to the dis­tri­b­u­tion of the Review indi­cate that you have got an entire­ly incor­rect idea as to our posi­tion.” Bridge­man was above all refer­ring to the “extreme pres­sure of work” in Lon­don due to a short­age of per­son­nel at the office and the added fact that the sec­tion had “very lit­tle mon­ey” to dis­trib­ute the review in Eng­land.23

Yet this did not deter the Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at from start­ing pre­lim­i­nary work for the sec­ond issue in Novem­ber. Thögersen informed the East­ern Sec­re­tari­at that he urgent­ly need­ed “arti­cles deal­ing” with India and Manchuria, and that “any book reviews [were] very wel­come.”24 Issues of the review actu­al­ly con­tin­ued to be pub­lished with Thögersen as chief edi­tor until the end of 1932; but the ensu­ing pow­er strug­gle and polar­ized polit­i­cal scene in Ger­many curbed any means and resources to pub­lish the LAI’s the­o­ret­i­cal organ. While 1932 had been a year in Ger­man pol­i­tics that exposed and vin­di­cat­ed the view that the coun­try had drift­ed towards “a pres­i­den­tial dic­ta­tor­ship” as a con­se­quence of the tumul­tuous strug­gle for pow­er between the far left (com­mu­nists) and the far right (the nazi move­ment), and with Hitler’s ascen­dan­cy to pow­er as Reich Chan­cel­lor on 30 Jan­u­ary, 1933, the short space of time between Novem­ber 1932 and the Nazi par­ty assum­ing for­mal pow­er proved that it was futile and impos­si­ble to push ahead with com­plet­ing a new issue of the review. Any ini­tia­tive to do so was regard­ed as futile by the LAI Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at at their last meet­ing in Berlin on 30 Jan­u­ary 1933, and post­poned for the future.25   

The League would go on to pro­duce oth­er lit­er­a­ture until its ulti­mate demise in 1937. But the short-lived run of The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review should not obscure its unprece­dent­ed and still high­ly nov­el aim: to con­nect, artic­u­late, and the­o­ret­i­cal­ly elab­o­rate ongo­ing strug­gles and move­ments against impe­ri­al­ist pow­er. The Com­intern exper­i­ment gen­er­at­ed some of the first – and most suc­cess­ful – pub­li­ca­tion efforts towards this end, includ­ing George Padmore’s The Negro Work­er and its Pan-African­ist con­tin­u­a­tion out­side Sovi­et influ­ence, the Inter­na­tion­al African Opin­ion, co-edit­ed with C.L.R. James for the Inter­na­tion­al African Ser­vice Bureau.26 The influ­ence of these transna­tion­al hubs of mil­i­tant analy­sis and rev­o­lu­tion­ary activ­i­ty can be seen in the more recent decol­o­niza­tion sequence of the 1950s–1970s, with jour­nals and peri­od­i­cals linked to sol­i­dar­i­ty orga­ni­za­tions like the Tri­con­ti­nen­tal. Cer­tain­ly, recount­ings of lost cur­rents of thought and action like the LAI can invoke nos­tal­gia for the polit­i­cal move­ments, net­works, and spaces of the past; but such exer­cis­es should more impor­tant­ly attune us to the strate­gic coor­di­nates of our present, in which nec­es­sar­i­ly dif­fer­ent forms and visions of anti-impe­ri­al­ist the­o­ry and prac­tice still have pur­chase and sig­nif­i­cance.27

  1. See Sukarno’s ref­er­ence to the LAI in his open­ing lines: “Only a few decades ago it was fre­quent­ly nec­es­sary to trav­el to oth­er coun­tries and even oth­er con­ti­nents before the spokes­men of our peo­ples could con­fer. I recall in this con­nec­tion the Con­fer­ence of the League Against Impe­ri­al­ism and Colo­nial­ism’ which was held in Brus­sels almost thir­ty years ago. At that Con­fer­ence many dis­tin­guished Del­e­gates who are present here today met each oth­er and found new strength in their fight for inde­pen­dence.” Achmed Sukarno, “Open­ing address giv­en by Sukarno (Ban­dung, 18 April 1955).” See the dis­cus­sion of the LAI’s influ­ence on Ban­dung and future anti-impe­ri­al­ist for­ma­tions in Vijay Prashad, The Dark­er Nations: A People’s His­to­ry of the Third World (New York: The New Press, 2003), 16–30. 

  2. This text is, pri­mar­i­ly, based on my doc­tor­al dis­ser­ta­tion and book on the League against Impe­ri­al­ism and for Nation­al Inde­pen­dence: “We Are Nei­ther Vision­ar­ies Nor Utopi­an Dream­ers”: Willi Münzen­berg, the League against Impe­ri­al­ism, and the Com­intern (Åbo: Åbo Akade­mi Uni­ver­si­ty. Pub­lished as Vol.I–II, Lewis­ton: Queen­ston Press, 2013). For a pré­cis, see Fredrik Peters­son, “Hub of the Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Move­ment: The League against Impe­ri­al­ism and Berlin, 1927–1933,” Inter­ven­tions: Inter­na­tion­al Jour­nal of Post­colo­nial Stud­ies 16, no. 1 (2014): 49–71. 

  3. The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review. A Quar­ter­ly Jour­nal Edit­ed and Pub­lished by the Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at of the League against Impe­ri­al­ism 1, no. 1 (Berlin: Friedrich­strasse, July 24, 1928). 

  4. Sean McMeekin, The Red Mil­lion­aire. A Polit­i­cal Biog­ra­phy of Willi Münzen­berg, Moscow’s Secret Pro­pa­gan­da Tsar in the West (New Haven: Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 2003), 208, 348. 

  5. This refers to the Wail­ing Wall riots between the Jew­ish and Arab pop­u­la­tions in Jerusalem as they had evolved dur­ing the sum­mer of 1929. 

  6. Russ­ian State Archive for Social and Polit­i­cal His­to­ry, Moscow (RGASPI) 542/1/51, 1-2, Let­ter from Kom­frak­tion, LAI, Berlin, to East­ern Sec­re­tari­at, Moscow, 9/1-1931. 

  7. RGASPI 542/1/48, 26-28, (Ver­traulich) Zirku­lar­brief Nr.8, Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at, Berlin, to the East­ern Sec­re­tari­at, Moscow, 12/2-1931. 

  8. RGASPI 542/1/48, 49, Let­ter from Smer­al, Berlin, to Mag­yar, [unknown loca­tion], 7/3-1931. 

  9. Here is the com­plete table of con­tents for the 1928 issue of The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review (Vol. 1, No. 1): Fore­word by James Max­ton, MP (Great Britain); “In the Name of the Chi­nese Peo­ple,” Madame Sun Yat Sen (Chi­na); “Greet­ings,” from S. Srini­vasa Iyen­gar (India); “From Demon­stra­tion to Organ­i­sa­tion,” Willi Münzen­berg MP (Ger­many); “The Colo­nial Pol­i­cy of the Labour and Social­ist Inter­na­tion­al,” Clemens Dutt; “The Chi­nese Rev­o­lu­tion and the North­ern Cam­paign of the Kuo Min Tang,” Asi­ati­cus; “British Impe­ri­al­ism in India. A World Men­ace,” Sha­pur­ji Sak­lat­vala. MP (Great Britain);  “The Lat­est Devel­op­ment of Dutch Impe­ri­al­ist Pol­i­cy in Indone­sia,” Moham­mad Hat­ta; “Anglo-Amer­i­can Impe­ri­al­ist Rival­ry in Africa,” Max Leit­ner; Doc­u­ments on the Colo­nial Ques­tion; Book Reviews; Report on the Devel­op­ment of the League Against Impe­ri­al­ism. 

  10. RGASPI 542/1/48, 50, Let­ter from Mag­yar, Moscow, to “Kom­frak­tion,” Berlin, 11/3-1931. 

  11. RGASPI 542/1/48, 51, Zirku­lar­brief Nr.10, Frak­tion der LAI, Berlin, to East­ern Sec­re­tari­at, Moscow, 14/3-1931. 

  12. RGASPI 542/1/48, 52, Zirku­lar­brief Nr.11, Frak­tion der LAI, Berlin, to East­ern Sec­re­tari­at, Moscow, 15/3-1931. 

  13. RGASPI 542/1/48, 56, Brief Nr.12, LAI, Berlin, to Mag­yar, Moscow, 25/3-1931. 

  14. RGASPI 542/1/48, 77, Unter­stützt eine neue anti-impe­ri­al­is­tis­che Zeitschrift, Hans Peter Thögersen, Berlin [stamped date: 7.4.1931]. 

  15. Peters­son, League, 426–39. 

  16. RGASPI 542/1/49, 208, Pro­to­col: LAI Exec­u­tive meet­ing, Berlin, 31/5-2/6-1931. 

  17. RGASPI 542/1/49, 281-287, Bericht des Bureaus der Frak­tion der Exeku­tivsitzung der Liga gegen Impe­ri­al­is­mus, author: Fer­di, [stamped date, on arrival in Moscow: June 27 1931]. 

  18. RGASPI 542/1/48, 128, Let­ter from Fer­di, Berlin, to Mag­yar, Moscow, 8/7-1931. 

  19. This refers to all kind of mate­ri­als the Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at depend­ed on to com­plete the review. For exam­ple: prop­er intel­li­gence from the colonies (let­ters, reports); print­ed mate­r­i­al (arti­cles, jour­nals, and books); or assess­ments writ­ten in Moscow at Com­intern head­quar­ters on the colo­nial ques­tion. 

  20. RGASPI 542/1/48, 129–135, Monats­bericht über die tätigkeit der LAI, Berlin, to East­ern Sec­re­tari­at, Moscow, 15/7-1931. 

  21. Chat­to was exe­cut­ed in Moscow dur­ing the Great Ter­ror on Sep­tem­ber 2, 1937, accused of hav­ing been a Ger­man spy on Sovi­et soil. On Chat­to, see my above-cit­ed dis­ser­ta­tion and book, and Nirode K. Barooah, Chat­to: The Life and Times of an Indi­an Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist in Europe (Oxford: Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 2004). 

  22. The Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review, vol.1, no. 1 (Berlin: League against Impe­ri­al­ism, September–October 1931). 

  23. RGASPI 542/1/52, 26, Let­ter from Bridge­man, Lon­don, to Inter­na­tion­al Sec­re­tari­at, Berlin, 26/8-1931. 

  24. RGASPI 542/1/49, 324, (Table of con­tents, draft) Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Review, vol.1, no. 2 (Berlin: League against Impe­ri­al­ism, Novem­ber 1931). 

  25. Peters­son, League, 452, 487-91. 

  26. See Antho­ny Bogues, “The Notion and Rhythm of Free­dom: The Anti-Colo­nial Inter­na­tion­al­ism of the Inter­na­tion­al African Ser­vice Bureau,” in Inter­na­tion­al­is­men: Trans­for­ma­tion weltweit­er Ungle­ich­heit im 19. und 20. Jahrhun­dert, ed. Karin Fis­ch­er and Susan Zim­mer­mann (Vien­na: Pro­me­dia, 2008), 129–46. 

  27. See Fredrik Peters­son, “Anti-impe­ri­al­ism and Nos­tal­gia: A Re-assess­ment of the His­to­ry and His­to­ri­og­ra­phy of the League Against Impe­ri­al­ism,” in Inter­na­tion­al Com­mu­nism and Transna­tion­al Sol­i­dar­i­ty: Rad­i­cal Net­works, Mass Move­ments and Glob­al Pol­i­tics, 1919-1939, ed. Hol­ger Weiss (Lei­den: Brill, 2016), 191–255. 

Author of the article

is a historian based at Åbo Akademi University. He is the author of Willi Münzenberg, the League against Imperialism, and the Comintern, 1925 – 1933 (2 vols., 2013) and The Dark International. The League Against Imperialism, Anti-Colonialism, and International Communism, 1927 – 1937 (2016).