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date: 05 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The post-war communist peace movement was a powerful instrument of Soviet foreign policy during the early Cold War. By the early 1950s the movement had eclipsed the Cominform as the centrepiece of communist political strategy. The communist-dominated World Peace Council was supported by many famous Western artists, scientists, and writers and by hundreds of millions of people across the world who signed its anti-nuclear petitions such as the Stockholm Appeal. The relationship between the communist peace movement and Moscow was a two-way affair and the movement’s leaders—Frédéric Joliot-Curie, Ilya Ehrenburg, Alexander Fadeev, Pietro Nenni, and J. D. Bernal—were crucial in cementing the USSR’s commitment to the struggle for peace and in steering Stalin away from the idea that war was inevitable under capitalism. In 1956 the peace movement split over the USSR’s invasion of Hungary and thereafter declined, overshadowed by the rise of non-communist movements of disarmament campaigners.

Keywords: communist peace movement, World Peace Council, Cominform, Soviet foreign policy, Stockholm Appeal, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, Ilya Ehrenburg, Alexander Fadeev, Pietro Nenni, J. D. Bernal

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