Esperanto

Raymond Chase r_chase at sympatico.ca
Fri Aug 8 14:03:53 MDT 2003


Re the Marxist Internet Archive, I have more 4th Internationalist bulletins
in Esperanto from the 1930s (obtained from Ralph Dumain several years ago).
Also perhaps 15-20 original political books and booklets on Esperanto as a
tool for the revolutionary movement published by the Workers Esperanto
Movement (SAT) in the 1920s and 1930s.  I have a fairly strong interest in
this subject and am willing to correspond (Esperanto / English / French)
off-list with persons who are knowledgeable.

The SAT was a 3rd International cultural front.  Lunacharsky was the chair
of the 1926 world congress in Leningrad. Albert Einstein, Henri Barbusse,
Romain Rolland, and Ernst Toller were also chairs of  SAT  world congresses
in the 1920s.  The movement split in the early 30s over the class nature of
the USSR and workers' control of industry.  Outstanding original theorists
of the movement were the Paris-based founder Eugene Adam (Lanti), who was an
uncle of George Orwell*, and the Soviet linguist Ernst Drezen, known as the
Red Pope of Esperanto-land. Drezen died in the 1938 purge in which
approximately 15,000 members of the Soviet movement were liquidated.

Lenin attended Esperantist lectures while in exile in Zurich, where he
bought an Esperanto textbook for Inessa Armand.  According to Trotsky,
Stalin learned Esperanto while in prison in Baku.  Trotsky had an
unfavourable attitude toward Esperanto.  Lunacharsky was very favourable
toward Esperanto.  The first Soviet commemorative stamps were issued for the
1926  SAT congress in Leningrad.  Stalin was favourable toward Esperanto
until the 1938 purge.  The Soviet International Proletarian Esperantists
were liquidated because of their links to foreign Communists (as were Soviet
Spanish Civil War veterans).

After WW2, the Communist-fostered Esperanto Peace Movement (MEM) had a
favoured position in the Eastern European 'People's Democracies'.  MEM also
had annual world congresses.  Esperanto in pre-Republican China had been
adopted by leading anarchist revolutionaries.  In the 1930s, Mao while in
Yennan made the statement, "If Esperanto is a tool for proletarian
internationalism, it shall and must be learned."  After 1949 translations of
Chinese Communist political documents into Esperanto were regularly
published as was a glossy illustrated monthly Esperanto magazine (El Popola
Chinio).  Mao's Little Red Book was widely distributed in Esperanto.  The
Vietnamese also published political books in Esperanto during the Vietnam
War period.

*Orwell, who had once worked as a clerk in an Worker-Esperantist's
bookstore, despised Esperanto and in some ways parodied it (Newspeak) in his
1984.






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