The article reviews the proceedings of the Second World Conference on the History of the Resistance Movement, held in Milan in March 1961. Historians and participants in the Resistance Movement attended the Conference from 20 countries. The Conference agenda included a general report on the elaboration of this problem by the French historian Henri Michel, reports by historians from the U. S. S. R., the U.S.A. and Britain - the three Great Allied Powers of the war period, and national reports made on behalf of historians of other countries, which participated in the anti-Hitler coalition.
The author examines each of the four principal problems on which the attention of the Conference was focussed.
The first of these problems is that of the historical role of the Resistance Movement and its significance for the destinies of Europe. Henri Michel's report contained the important admission that the Resistance Movement had played a big part in changing the character of the second world war which began as an imperialist war between two groups of capitalist powers. However, while admitting the moral force of the Resistance Movement, Henri Michel denied its significance as an armed force, which had made a definite contribution to the defeat of the nazi armies.
The author of the article voices his resolute opposition to these views of Henri Michel. The Resistance Movement vastly influenced the progress and outcome of World War II. It was a vivid manifestation of the decisive role played by the popular masses in the historical process. Millions of men and women took part in this movement. Apart from inflicting heavy losses on the nazi aggressors and facilitating the achievement of victory, they made this war a war of liberation, determined its specific features and ensured the emergence of a mighty coalition of freedom-loving nations headed by the U. S. S. R. The Resistance Movement organically combined the national and internationalist aspirations of it ... Read more