The Communist International
April, 1940

"We Accuse”
Manifesto of the Communist Party of France

In these grave and tragic hours when the war rages and is already spreading over the soil of France, when five million French workers and peasants, among them more than a million Communists and sympathizers, are compelled to shed their blood, we—the Communists, the true representatives of the people—consider it our sacred duty to tell our people once again the whole truth.

If the duty of our brothers, the workers of Germany enlightened by the Party of Thaelmann, is to wage a vigorous struggle against German imperialism and to unmask its criminal designs, then our task as the Communists of France is to denounce those in our own country who contributed to the outbreak of the present war, those who by their imperialist and reactionary policy paved the way for the invaders, for to tell the truth to the people is to defend their interests.

We accuse the French bourgeoisie of having sacrificed the interests of our people, the lives of millions of French workers and peasants, in order to maintain their capitalist privileges and to maintain their domination over their colonial slaves.

We accuse the French bourgeoisie of having brought on the present war by enslaving the German people through the monstrous provisions of the Versailles Treaty, that imperialist endorsement of an imperialist war.

We accuse the French bourgeoisie of having fed the flames of chauvinist propaganda and the spirit of revenge, of reaction in Germany, notably by its policy of compulsion and the occupation of the Ruhr, and of having installed it in power in some degree.

We accuse Daladier of having smashed the People’s Front in complicity with Blum and Jouhaux because it was a powerful force of resistance to war, an obstacle to the imperialist policy of the French bourgeoisie, an essential factor for rallying and organizing the working masses opposed to reaction and war.

We accuse Daladier, Bonnet and Blum of having through “non-intervention” contributed to the crushing of the Spanish people, whose heroic armed struggle against international reaction immobilized the military forces of the imperialists, prevented the outbreak of the European war and assured the security of the French frontier on the Pyrenees.

We accuse the Daladier-Bonnet gang, the accomplices of the sinister Chamberlain, of having delivered to German imperialism—along with Czechoslovakia and the Skoda arms works—1,582 airplanes, 501 anti-aircraft guns, 2,175 pieces of artillery, 468 tanks, 43,876 machine guns, 114,000 revolvers and 1,090,000 rifles, which are today spewing their fire against French soldiers.

We accuse the Daladier-Bonnet gang of having sabotaged the Franco-Soviet Mutual Assistance Pact which was an essential guarantee of peace and security for our country. We accuse them of having systematically rejected and brought to naught the repeated proposals of the Soviet Union for the organization of collective security and peace, as our people desired. We accuse them of having prepared the present war, of having provoked the misfortunes which are now raining down on our country, by their policy aimed at driving Germany into v/ar against the Soviet Union.

We accuse them of having since September persevered in this criminal design of an anti-Soviet war, of having incited the White Guard Finns, whom they supplied with large quantities of war materials, of having tried to prevent a successful conclusion of peace between the Soviet Union and Finland while the German bourgeoisie was prepared to invade France.

We accuse Daladier, Blum and Jouhaux of having undermined, disintegrated and weakened the vital forces of our people by their reactionary policy of splitting the ranks of the working class and of disrupting the People’s Front, by the policy which led to the destruction of the social achievements of the workers, to the suppression of all liberties, to the establishment of a hateful regime of license and terror in France. We accuse them of having thus brought on the war and the invasion.

We accuse the Daladier-Bonnet gang of having encouraged the crimes of the Cagoulards, spies, provocateurs and other agents of Abetz, the men of the Fifth Column in the service of capital and of foreign countries, whose representatives are today in the government with Marin and Ybarnegaray.

We accuse Daladier, who was the War Minister for four years and Premier for two years, of having vilely abused the confidence of the people by leading them to believe that all military measures were being taken to assure their security. Daladier is the man mainly responsible for the present disasters, for the massacre of the best sons of our people, for the destruction of our towns and villages.

We accuse Daladier and the former so-called ministers of “national defense” of having wasted hundreds of billions of francs while in reality they were pursuing an imperialist policy of “national desertion” which facilitated and precipitated the foreign invasion.

We accuse Daladier of having willfully sabotaged the air force by disorganizing the production of airplanes, as was proved by the Communist leaders of the Metal Workers Union, imprisoned for having served the cause of the people, and by driving out of the air force the young pilots trained by the popular aviation movements.

We accuse Daladier of having deliberately planned beforehand the massacre of the civilian population, in particular of the Paris region, by sabotaging air-raid precaution measures, by driving the Communist representatives out of the suburban municipal councils and replacing them by agents of reaction and police spies who disregard the needs and sufferings of the people.

We accuse Daladier, Bonnet, Blum and Frossard of attempting to escape the terrible responsibility for their crimes, to cover up their incapacity and their treason, by persecuting and contemptibly slandering the Communists, whose ardent and courageous voice never ceased to proclaim the truth, whose policy is in entire conformity with the present and future interests of our people and would have saved our country from war and invasion.

We have openly accused the culprits, the traitors who piled defeat on defeat and who threaten to hurl our people into catastrophe. To avert this catastrophe, to face all perils from wherever they may come, it is necessary to resort to other measures than those undertaken by the government. It is necessary, above all, to take the measures to re-establish the rights of the people.

It is necessary in particular immediately to restore their freedom to the Communists and all imprisoned militants, to abolish the exceptional measures taken against the workers and their organizations, to re-establish democratic liberties, to restore to the working class and the people their great newspaper l'Humanité, to restore their mandate to the elected representatives of the people. Treason and traitors towards the people must be destroyed, starting with those who still occupy the highest posts, like Daladier.

The distress of the poor must be alleviated and the rich must be made to pay the costs of this unjust war.

The people of France must impose its will, must take its fate into its own hands.

We are sure that then there will arise from among our people all the material and moral forces that will enable them to avert the catastrophe and to safeguard their future.

The Communist Party of France
May, 1940

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