Christian Rakovsky

The Communist Movement in Roumania


Source: The Communist International, 1920, No. 13, pp. 112–114.
Transciption: Ted Crawford.
HTML Markup: Brian Reid.
Public Domain: Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line 2006. You can freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Marxists Internet Archive as your source, include the url to this work, and note the transcribers & proofreaders above.

The last elections in Roumania gave proof of the tremendous growth of the Labour movement after the war. Owing to political and police conditions in the country (in Roumania the working class did not enjoy the right of suffrage), the Roumanian Socialist Party before the war had only good revolutionary units which had managed, during the whole war, to keep the Roumanian working class from giving up its revolutionary class position. With the introduction of universal suffrage, the units rapidly developed into a powerful party, numbering at present about 60,000 members. The elections showed that in all the town centres the Socialist Party was second in respect of the number of votes, after the Governmental party of General Averescu. At the last elections, 20 Socialist deputies were elected and three Senators; of these, twelve deputies were elected in Roumania, and eight in Bukovina and Transylvania. The Socialist senators were elected in Bukovina and Transylvania. But, unfortunately, it must be noted that the good qualities of the Party do not correspond to its numerical force; and the addition of the Transylvanian and Bukovina Social-Democrats, who belonged formerly to the Austrian and Hungarian Coalition Social-Democratic Parties, has laid its stamp on the Roumanian Party by increasing the latter’s opportunist element, in particular, this may be seen in the attitude of the Roumanian Party towards the Third International. Although in old Roumania, as well as in the Bulgarian quadrangle, annexed to her in 1913, the Party sections had decided almost unanimously to join the Third International, the National Council of the Party, in its April session, passed a resolution adjourning the question of joining the Third International until the Congress of the Party, which was to take place in August. The pretext was not a very plausible one: “In order that the resolution to join the Third International should be binding, it must be passed by the Party Congress”. That was the motion that the secretary, Moscovitch, advanced in favour of the adjournment, although he himself had advocated joining, and had even been delegated to appear at the Congress for the purpose of defending the theses for joining the Third International. The National Council limited itself to the official confirmation of the fact that since 1915 the Roumanian Socialist Party had left the Second International. The real reasons, however, were of a totally different and purely opportunist nature. The Executive Committee of the Party did not wish to scare the petty bourgeoisie on the eve of the elections; and, on the other hand, it wanted to preserve the “unity” of the Party as the majority of the Bukovina groups, with Grigorovitch, a former deputy of the Austrian Reichstag, at their head, had pronounced themselves against joining the Third International. But a split is inevitable. All the Party organisations of old Roumania and Dobroudja are tending thereto [1], as well as the opportunist leaders, like Grigorovitch, distinguished by their attacks against Soviet Russia. Quite recently Grigorovitch made a speech in the Senate, in which he declared that he was a Social-Democrat, loyal to the old tactics (it is to be noted that after the war the Roumanian Party laid aside its Social-Democratic signboard and called itself Socialist); and that he renounces Lenin and Trotsky, who have become “anti-Marxists.”

Another deputy of the Party, Dunariano, made a speech of the same commonplace character, in which he tried to convince the bourgeois deputies that the Socialists are striving to obtain a reorganisation of society in a peaceful way, by means of the creation of a Parliamentary majority, and only if the bourgeoisie would prevent them from freely using their right of suffrage they would be compelled to have recourse also to revolutionary methods of struggle. This was said at a moment when Parliamentary democracy in Roumania itself had been proved wholly fictitious; when Comrade Boujor, Communist, elected by the workers of Galatz, serving his five years’ term of hard labour, was not even admitted into the Chamber of Deputies to defend his mandate; when the Socialists were being arrested and beaten; and the elections themselves were carried out in the following form – a gendarme on the right, a gendarme on the left, the elector in the middle; and the Roumanian Parliament became the scene of the most violent scandals and obstructions, because the Parliamentary majority of General Averescu did not reckon with any Parliamentary regulations or constitutions. It must be said that the behaviour of Grigorovitch, Dunariano, and others received a corresponding response from the central organ of the Party, the Socialismul. In the number dated July 7, in an article signed by Comrade Fabian, a Communist, and entitled “Parliamentary Cretinism is Already Beginning,” the author criticises Dunariano’s conduct unmercifully. Dunariano has merited the applause of the representatives of the bourgeoisie but he takes no account of the decisions of the Party sections, nor the program accepted by the May Conference of the current year. (The Conference in May accepted fully the platform of the Third International.) This fact cannot be silenced. It is necessary to adopt unfailingly and immediately the requisite measures for satisfying the revolted consciousness of the Party. Dunariano’s opportunism is the more revolting because he is a representative of the Prakhov Federation, which includes the most revolutionary sections of the Party, and which was one of the first to raise the banner of the Third International and the motto of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This fact was specially mentioned by the bourgeois deputies in parliament; and Dunariano, instead of declaring his solidarity with the Federation, which had, supported his candidature, betrayed it.

In the following number of the Socialismul Comrade Stanev, a Communist member of parliament, in his article, “The Revolutionary Period,” referring to the same parliamentary debates, declares openly that the task of the Party at the present moment consists in the organisation of the dictatorship of the proletariat. “We Socialists, Communists, Bolsheviks – let our opponents call us what they like – see clearly, that a dictatorship cannot be met otherwise than by a dictatorship, and that the dictatorship of the proletariat must be set against that of the bourgeoisie. As long as the latter has recourse to dictatorship, so long will our task consist in educating the working masses in the same tendency, in order that events should not find us unprepared.”

A week hence the Party Congress will he convened. In expectation of its resolutions, General Averescu, whom people are beginning to call the Roumanian Horthy, has done very much to help the Right Wing of the Party. During the last two months, hundreds of Communists have been arrested: both those that have been working illegally, and those that were working lawfully, in the Party. All the influential leaders of the Communists are arrested. In May, Comrade Boujor was arrested. He was court-martialled for taking part in the Russian revolution, and in association which had for its object the overthrow of the State in Roumania. The juridical proceedings were such a mockery of justice that the counsels for the defence were compelled to desist from the defences of their client. The witnesses for the defence were not called up. After Boujor’s courageous speech, the Court pronounced the verdict – five years’ hard labour in the salt mines at Okna. In answer to this verdict, the workers of Galatz elected Boujor as their member. But when the question was raised in the Chamber of Deputies of the recognition of his mandate, and the Socialists proposed that he should be allowed to defend it, only 22 deputies voted in favour of the proposition – that is to say, only two or three bourgeois deputies besides the Socialists. A few weeks after Boujor’s arrest, the whole group of Communists were arrested, including Comrades Nikolau, Markovitch, Shaïn, Teodorescu, and others, all working illegally. A little later, Comrade Alexandre Constantinescu was arrested. In spite of the sentence of death passed upon him, he managed to carry on illegal work in Roumania for another eighteen months. We are enumerating here the most influential illegal Communists, who are known to many of our Russian comrades. Together with these arrests, others were carried out among the lawful Communists and members of the Party. In connection with Constantinescu, Comrade Illiescu, secretary of the Party Federation of Oltepia (West Wallachia), was also arrested. But the Government did not stop at this. It proceeded to the liquidation of the Party Centre itself, arresting the secretary of the Executive Committee of the Party, Comrade Moscovitch (deputy) who was to defend the theses of joining the Third International at the approaching Party Congress. The Government of General Averescu calls itself the last reserve of the bourgeoisie. The Government has set itself the task of liquidating the Communist and Left Wing Socialist movement in Roumania. With this end in view, it endeavoured to cause a split between the workers and their Communist leaders. Simultaneously with the relentless persecution of the Communist organisations, the Government carried on a demagogic policy in regard to the working class, which even went so far as to legalise the Workers’ Councils at the factories by compelling the factory owners to bear the expenses of such Councils, and the Government even recognised the first of May as a lawful holiday, on which all mills and factories are to be closed.

It is to be noted that after the war a colossal wave of strikes broke out over the whole country. The number of workers joining the Trade Unions increased to ten times what it had been before the war. This wave passed over all the govermental and private enterprises; there is not a single more or less important enterprise where the workers have not been on strike several times. The force of the labour movement compelled the Government to abandon the draconian laws published in 1910, by which a strike of railwaymen or any workers at State factories was pronounced to be a crime punishable by two years’ imprisonment. The Government does not profit. The Yellow nationalist syndicates, created by the Liberal Party, which promised millions of money for their support, have failed utterly. The appearance of the Yellow syndicates called forth a series of strikes among the Red syndicates, which at last put forward an ultimative demand that the Boards of the factories in the governmental enterprises (the number of such in Roumania is very considerable) should enter into relations exclusively with the Red syndicates. According to the latest information received, the Government is compelled to make this concession also. Neither terror nor demagogy can save the Roumanian bourgeoisie or the Roumanian boyards.




1. The Bessarabian Communist and Socialist organisations have not joined the Roumanian Socialist Party.

Last updated on 16.10.2011