Hub of the Anti-Imperialist Movement: The League against Imperialism and Berlin, 1927-1933

A1 Journal article (refereed)


Internal Authors/Editors


Publication Details

List of Authors: Fredrik Petersson
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication year: 2014
Journal: Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies
Volume number: 16
Issue number: 1
Start page: 49
End page: 71
eISSN: 1469-929X


Abstract

On 10 February 1927 the first International Congress against Imperialism and Colonialism, held in Brussels, Belgium, marked the official establishment of the League against Imperialism and for National Independence (LAI). The German communist Willi Münzenberg was the instigator of the congress, supported by the Comintern in Moscow. The congress was first mooted in 1925, however. From 1927 to 1933, Berlin was the operative centre for the LAI. Berlin was a haven for anticolonial activists in Europe during the 1920s, where the International Secretariat of the LAI coordinated anti-imperialist activism with the aim to fulfil the policy of the Comintern on the colonial question. The Nazi party's rise to power in Germany on 30 January 1933 witnessed the literal end of the German communist movement, the LAI and the anti-imperialist movement. This essay analyses the ‘lost’ history of the LAI, a sympathizing organization. The LAI was also a nostalgic reference for the decolonization movement in postwar societies that gained its momentum at the Afro-Asian conference in Bandung in 1955. The essay describes Berlin as the ‘place’ that provided anticolonial activists with a forum to manifest their political agenda. The aim is to narrate the LAI as the hub for the anti-imperialist movement in Europe. For the involved actors, the communist and anticolonial movement, the LAI was the central means to develop an international anti-imperialist movement.


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