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Workers' Party of Marxist Unification
Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista
Catalan name Partit Obrer d'Unificació Marxista
Leader Joaquín Maurín (1935–36)
Andreu Nin (1936–37)
Julián Gorkin (1937–39)
Wilebaldo Solano (1947–80)
Founded 1935
Dissolved 1980
Membership  (1936) 30,000[1]
Ideology Marxism,
Political position Far-Left

The Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (Stalinist repression of the movement, which would help form his anti-authoritarian ideas in later life.[2]


  • Formation 1
  • Position 2
  • Conflict with the PCE and PSUC 3
  • International links 4
  • Cultural references 5
  • See also 6
  • Footnotes 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9


In 1935, POUM was formed as a communist opposition to the form of communism promoted by the Soviet Union, by the revolutionaries Andreu Nin and Joaquín Maurín. The two were heavily influenced by the thinking of Leon Trotsky, particularly his Permanent Revolution thesis. It resulted from the merging of the Trotskyist Communist Left of Spain and the Workers and Peasants' Bloc against the wishes of Trotsky, with whom the former broke.


A c. 1936 POUM poster appeals to workers: "Obreros ¡A la victoria!" ("Workers: to Victory!").

The party grew larger than the official Communist Party of Spain (PCE) both nationally and in the communist hotbeds of Catalonia and the Valencian Country, where the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSUC) represented the PCE. The POUM was highly critical of the Popular Front strategy advocated by Joseph Stalin and the Comintern; nevertheless, it participated in the Spanish Popular Front initiated by Manuel Azaña, leader of Acción Republicana. The POUM attempted to implement some of its radical policies as part of the Popular Front government, but they were resisted by the more centrist factions.

  • Fundación Andreu Nin website, (Spanish)
  • Translation from Victor Alba's "La Revolución Española en la Práctica"
  • Documents on POUM from "Trabajadores: The Spanish Civil War Through the Eyes of Organised Labour," Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. —Collection of more than 13,000 pages of documents from the archives of the British Trades Union Congress.

External links

  • J.R. Campbell, Spain's 'Left' Critics. London: Communist Party of Great Britain, 1937.
  • Jesús Hernández, How the NKVD Framed the POUM. Excerpt from Yo Fui un Ministro de Stalin. Mexico City: G. del Toro, Mexico, 1974.
  • Wilebaldo Solano, The Spanish Revolution: The Life of Andreu Nin. Leeds: Independent Labour Party, 1974.
  • Victor Alba, Stephen Schwarz. Spanish Marxism and Soviet Communism, A History of the POUM in the Spanish Civil War, 2009. ISBN 1412807336

Further reading

  1. ^ John Simkin. "The Workers Party of Marxist Unification (POUM)". Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b  
  3. ^ Haldeman, Joe (1974). The Forever War (First Avon Books Printing: May, 1991. ed.). New York: Avon Books. p. 209.  


See also

Discussion of POUM in Hemingway's For Whom The Bell Tolls (Collier edition, p. 247).

Victor Serge dedicates Midnight in the Century to Andreu Nin and other slain leaders of the POUM.

The POUM is briefly mentioned in Joe Haldeman's science fiction novel The Forever War as a militia where "(y)ou obeyed an order only after it had been explained in detail; you could refuse if it didn't make sense."[3]

members of the Independent Labour Party as part of POUM militias; he recounted the experience in his book Homage to Catalonia. Likewise, the film Land and Freedom, directed by Ken Loach, tells of a group of POUM soldiers fighting in the war from the perspective of a British member of the British Communist Party. In particular, the film deals with his disillusionment with the Soviet Union's policies in the war.

Cultural references

The POUM was a member of the "ILP Contingent in the Civil War. Foreign supporters of POUM during the Civil War included Lois Orr.

International links

Unlike the other leftist parties of the Popular Front, the POUM failed to consolidate again during the Spanish transition to democracy and dissolved in 1980 after getting a bad result in the first post-Franco democratic elections.

The POUM's independent communist position, including opposition to Stalin, caused huge ruptures with the PCE, which remained fiercely loyal to the Comintern. Moreover, these divisions, which included accusations of Trotskyism (and even NKVD agents in Madrid, and his party consistently labeled as provocateur in Stalinist propaganda.

Conflict with the PCE and PSUC


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