West European Communist Parties leaders
Well, I think the communist party leaders of non communist countries were very interesting. Collectors of my age remember well for the Western-European Communist Parties’Leader. Some of them were very strong like the Italian, French, Spanish.
They were important Parties during the Cold War, mainly 1965-1980. Perhaps you also remember for the ideology „Eurocommunism” which was a revisionist trend in the 1970s and 1980s within various Western European communist parties.
The „father” of this ideology was Santiago Carrillo. He was the General-Secretary of the Spanish Communist Party 1960-1982.I have a group photo of him with Enrico Berlinguer and George Marchais, signed by both Carrillo and Berlinguer.
Enrico Berlinguer was the Secretary-General of the strong Italian Communist Party 1972-1984. He was the most popular leader of the Party, as well a very popular political person in Italy. His predecessor was Luigi Longo who led the Party 1964-1972. He sent me his signed photo.
Waldeck Rochet was the head of the Franch Communist Party 1964-1972. He sent me a letter as well his signed photo.
His successor George Marchais sent me his signed photo.
The legendary historical person Dolores Ibarruri „ La Pasionaria” led her party 1942-1960. She was the heroine of the Spanish Civil War, opponent of Franco, known for her famous slogen „ No pasarán! „ She sent me her signed photo from Moscow where she lived in exile for many years.
Alvaro Cunhal was Secretary General of the Portuguese Communist Party from 1961 – de facto since 1949 – until 1992. He was arrested in 1949 but he escaped from Salazar’s prison in 1960. He was very popular in Portugal and when he died in 2005, about 500-000 people was attended at his funeral. He sent me a nice signed New Year card with photo.
Non European, but have to mention the opponent of Pinochet Luis Corvalan, who led the Communist Party of Chile 1958-1990. During Pinochet he spent several years in prison, later he moved to the Soviet Union. He sent me two signed photos.
Finally an Ameriacn radical communist Angela Davis, wo led the party in the 1960s. She was arrested in 1970, and I remember in school, we demonstrated for her freedom….Posters everywhere on houses in Hungary said „ Freedom for Angela! „ She sent me three signed photos.
That time Hungary was a communist country, and those communist leaders were our „Brothers and Sisters….. „ When a Soviet leader – Brezhnev, Kosygin, Podgorny visited to the West, they always found time to meet with the country’s communist leader. If some of them went to exile, they found home in Moscow. / Dolores Ibarruri, Alvaro Cunhal, Luis Corvalan / But the World is changing. After the desintegration of the Soviet Union these communist parties became small, not important ones. Among the party leaders above, only Angela Davis is still alive. She started as a hard communist, but later she became a professor of history at an American university…