Boris Souvarine Papers

Biographical / Historical Note

Pseudonym of Boris Konstantinovič Lifšic; born in Kiev 1895; his family moved to Paris c. 1900, where he died in 1984; joined the Section Française de l'Internationale Ouvrière (SFIO) towards 1914; his contributions, sharply worded and signed `Souvarine', attracted attention quickly; opposed the French socialist war effort; one of the French activists of the Third International; until 1924 one of the most important spokesmen for the Parti Communiste Français (PCF) and its representative in the Executive Committee of the COMINTERN; left the communist movement in 1924 because of its anti-Trotsky campaign; broke with the Trotskyists latter around 1929; evolved towards a moderate socialist position; thereafter he chiefly published commentaries on current affairs in the Soviet Union in periodicals, which he edited himself; in 1935 he published his magnum opus 'Stalin. Aperçu historique du bolchévisme' .


Photographs have been transferred to the audiovisual department of the IISH. Nearly two hundred pamphlets and periodicals concerning the socialist movement have been transferred to the library of the IISH.


Letters (in Russian) from Boris Nikolaevskij 1940-1965, articles by and biographical data on Nikolaevskij; correspondence on the whereabouts in 1933 of the archives of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands 1960-1965; file on the confiscation in 1941 of the library and archives of Souvarine and of the Paris branch of the IISH 1941-1959, 1965; correspondence with the IISH 1939-1953; file on Petr Struve and Gleb P. Struve, including letters from Gleb Struve 1966-1975 and articles by him; file on Ilya Ehrenburg; file on Isaac Babel; file on the 'Rote Kapelle'; leaflets, clippings from Poslednie Novosti regarding the Russian emigration, Soviet and international politics, poetry, theatre, film and music; other printed material.

Related Material

Papers of Souvarine are also kept elsewhere: Boris Souvarine Papers held by the Graduate Institute in Geneva.