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Monde was a "weekly newspaper for literary, artistic, scientific, economic and social information" published in Paris from June 9, 1928 to October 10, 1935 in a total of 353 issues with mostly 16 large-format pages (so the subtitle until October 1932; thereafter: " International weekly newspaper ”).


The founder and director of the newspaper was Henri Barbusse , a member of the French Communist Party since 1923. The executive committee, which existed until October 1932, consisted of: Albert Einstein , Maxim Gorki , Mihály Károlyi (from May 1930), Upton Sinclair , Manuel Ugarte , Miguel de Unamuno , Léon Bazalgette (until his death in December 1928), Matthias Morhardt , Léon Werth (until he took over the chief editor in February 1931).

The first editor-in-chief was Augustin Habaru ; after him, Léon Werth headed the editorial team (February 1931 to October 1932), later Alfred Kurella (September to December 1933).

The external image of Monde was largely determined in the first few years by the cover illustrations of socially critical painters and graphic artists; Among them were, in addition to young, unknown artists, Frans Masereel , Käthe Kollwitz , George Grosz , Diego Rivera , Alexander Deineka , then also Henri Matisse , Amedeo Modigliani , Pablo Picasso as well as Camille Corot , Vincent van Gogh , Théophile Steinlen and Honoré Daumier . From autumn 1931 onwards, Max Lingner's title pages, illustrations and make-up designs shaped the company's appearance. Among the several hundred contributors were, in addition to the members of the management committee, Emmanuel Berl , Jean-Richard Bloch , Blaise Cendrars , Jean Cocteau , Ilja Ehrenburg , Sergei Eisenstein , Mahatma Gandhi , Ernst Glaeser , Panaït Istrati , Siegfried Kracauer , André Malraux , Paul Nizan , Magdeleine Paz , Henry Poulaille , Ludwig Renn , Amilcare Rossi , Lidia Seifulina and Victor Serge . A bibliographical indexing by authors, illustrators and articles is still not available.


Barbusse had been preparing to found Monde since the end of 1925 , after he had slipped away from the management of the magazine Clarté , which was founded in 1919 . He won the support of the then Soviet People's Commissar for Education, Anatoly Lunacharsky , with the concept of a paper that “naturally has no political tint and must in no way reveal a communist origin. It will have to present itself as a newspaper for comprehensive literary information and opinion-forming. It should only assert itself through literary and journalistic quality [...], attracting and attracting attention solely through its value and its own authority. ”Beyond intellectual circles, the aim was“ to bring mental workers and manual workers closer together in principle and in fact “- to work on the proletariat and to let proletarians have their say in the newspaper. The concrete preparations for the foundation began after the first conference of proletarian and revolutionary writers in Moscow in November 1927, in which Barbusse had participated. Until the weekly newspaper was closed, Monde was subsidized from Moscow with substantial sums; however, it was also financed through the sale of shares, and Barbusse repeatedly compensated for deficits with private funds.

In the first phase of its activity, the magazine opened to the Bolshevik and the libertarian left. Large polls were directed at proletarian literature and the crisis of the socialist idea. The breadth of the content can be illustrated by the example of number 32 from February 23, 1929: It contained a survey about the “ Treaty between [Italian] Fascism and the Vatican ”, articles about “Clericalism in schools”, “The dictatorship Primo de Riveras ”,“ The Theater in Germany ”,“ Azorín ”,“ Leonhard Frank ”,“ The Financing of War ”,“ Television ”and the“ Scandal of the Radium Monopoly ”, categories on the then modern media radio and Record as well as a serial novel. A print run of 40,000 copies is documented for the summer of 1930.

From autumn 1929 onwards, moons and (more reserved) barbuses were sharply criticized by representatives of the Communist International and the International Union of Revolutionary Writers as "a dance floor [...] for all salon socialists in the world who still call themselves revolutionary". Barbusse defended his concept until the summer of 1932 - even after Monde was condemned at the Kharkov conference of revolutionary writers in November 1930 as a “journal of the reactionary petty bourgeoisie hostile to the revolutionary proletariat”. The Surrealists described it as “a filthy confusion that adds to a dose of pro-Soviet propaganda a whole race of dogs, traitors and writers who we are led to believe have the right to praise the work of that world revolution, of which they are worst enemies are". Barbusse obtained further, in particular financial, support for the weekly newspaper from the Communist International - which Stalin personally supported - after a self-criticism which promised to distance itself from "non-party and excluded Trotskyist elements, social democrats and liberals". Almost a year later, when the original management committee was passed and the subtitle changed in October 1932 - largely organized by Alfred Kurella - the separation from those members of the libertarian left who rejected the policies of the communist movement, which had become Stalinist.

Monde got into a crisis. Throughout 1934 the newspaper could only appear biweekly. A final high point was the extensive coverage of the First International Writers' Congress in Defense of Culture in Paris (June 21-25, 1935). Shortly after Barbusse's death on August 30, 1935, the newspaper had to be discontinued - although its concept could have played an important role in the popular front emerging in France . The story of Monde can be seen as an example of how the communist movement itself destroyed its emancipatory content and its potential for action in the course of Stalinization.


  • The Paris weekly newspaper Monde (1928-1935), ed. by Thomas Flierl, Wolfgang Klein and Angelika Weißbach, Bielefeld: Aisthesis Verlag 2012. ISBN 978-3-89528-930-9
  • Danielle Bonnaud-Lamotte, Sous le feu de l'informatique. La revue Monde, Reims: Presses universitaires 1989. ISBN 2-904835-18-0

Individual evidence

  1. Iz istorii Meždunarodnogo ob-edinenija revoljucionnych pisatelej (MORP), Moscow 1969, pp. 236, 241, (Literaturnoe nasledstvo, Volume 81)
  2. a b Dossier of the French secret police in: Archives Nationales, Center des Archives Contemporaines, Fontainebleau, Fonds 20010 216, Article 42, Dossier 1129 (Monde 1928-1935), sheet 308.
  3. ^ Resolution on the magazine Monde , in: Literatur der Weltrevolution, special issue 1931, p. 117
  4. Louis Aragon: Monde, samedi 23 novembre , in: La Révolution surréaliste , Paris, 12/1929, p. 33
  5. Iz istorii Meždunarodnogo ob-edinenija revoljucionnych pisatelej (MORP), Moscow 1969, p. 247 (Literaturnoe nasledstvo, volume 81)