Speech by Andrei Zhdanov
(member of the Soviet Politburo) at the founding of the
Cominform in September 1947
A new alignment of political forces has arisen. The more the war
recedes into the past, the more distinct become two major trends
in post-war international policy, corresponding to the division
of the political forces operating in the international arena
into two major camps: the imperialist and anti-democratic camp,
on the one hand, and the anti-imperialist and democratic camp,
on the other. The principal driving force of the imperialist
camp is the U.S.A. Allied with it are Great Britain and France.
... The imperialist camp is also supported by colony-owning
countries, such as Belgium and Holland, by countries with
reactionary anti-democratic regimes, such as Turkey and Greece,
and by countries politically and economically dependent on the
United States, such as Near-Eastern and South American countries
The cardinal purpose of the imperialist camp is to strengthen
imperialism, to hatch a new imperialist war, to combat socialism
and democracy, and to support reactionary and anti-democratic
pro-fascist regimes and movements everywhere.
The anti-imperialist and anti-fascist forces comprise the second
camp. This camp is based on the U.S.S.R. and the new democracies
[of Eastern Europe]. It also includes countries that have broken
with imperialism and have firmly set foot on the path of
democratic development, such as Rumania, Hungary and Finland.
Indonesia and Vietnam are associated with it; it has the
sympathy of India, Egypt and Syria. The anti-imperialist camp is
backed by the labor and democratic movement and by the fraternal
Communist parties in all countries, by the fighters for national
liberation in the colonies and dependencies, by all progressive
and democratic forces in every country. The purpose of this camp
is to resist the threat of new wars and imperialist expansion,
to strengthen democracy and to extirpate the vestiges of
The expansionist ambitions of the United States find concrete
expression in the "Truman Doctrine" and the "Marshall Plan". ...
The main features of the "Truman Doctrine" as applied to Europe
are as follows:
Creation of American bases in the Eastern Mediterranean with the
purpose of establishing American supremacy in that area.
Demonstrative support of the reactionary regimes in Greece and
Turkey as bastions of American imperialism against the new
democracies in the Balkans. ...
Constant pressure on the countries of the new democracy, as
expressed in false accusation of totalitarianism and
expansionist ambitions, in attacks on the foundations of the new
democratic regimes, in constant interference in their domestic
affairs, in support of all anti-national, anti-democratic
elements within these countries, and in the demonstrative
breaking off of economic relations with these countries with the
idea of creating economic difficulties, retarding their economic
development, preventing their industrialization, and so on.
The "Truman Doctrine," which provides for the rendering of
American assistance to all reactionary regimes that actively
oppose the democratic peoples, bears a frankly aggressive
character. ... Progressive public elements in the U.S.A. and
other countries vigorously protested against the provocative and
frankly imperialistic character of Truman's announcement.
The unfavorable reception with which the "Truman Doctrine" was
met accounts for the necessity of the appearance of the
"Marshall Plan," which is a more carefully veiled attempt to
carry through the same expansionist policy.
The vague and deliberately guarded formulations of the "Marshall
Plan" amount in essence to a scheme to create a bloc of states
bound by obligations to the United States, and to grant American
credits to European countries as a recompense for their
renunciation of economic, and then of political, independence.
Moreover, the cornerstone of the "Marshall Plan" is the
restoration of the industrial areas of Western Germany
controlled by the American monopolies.
It is the design of the "Marshall Plan" to render aid in the
first place, not to the impoverished victor countries, America's
allies in the fight against Germany, but to the German
capitalists, with the idea of bringing under American sway the
major sources of coal and iron needed by Europe and by Germany,
and of making the countries in need of coal and iron dependent
on the restored economic might of [West] Germany. ...
The need for mutual consultation and voluntary coordination of
the action between individual [European Communist] parties has
become particularly urgent at the present juncture. ... Upon the
communists devolves the special historical task of leading the
resistance to the American plan for the enthrallment of Europe,
and of boldly denouncing all supporters of American imperialism
in their own countries. ... The communists must be the leaders
in enlisting all anti-fascist and freedom-loving elements in the
struggle against the new American expansionist plans for the
enslavement of Europe.