Notes on the Moscow Conference of 81 Communist Parties, 1960

Kremlin Wall

Wondering what was going on behind the high walls of the Kremlin?

Red separator bar

In the "old" days, before the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of communist regimes around the world, there were scholars called "Kremlinologists" whose avowed task was to study the documents, audio and video materials, pronouncements, statements, and imagery of communist leadership to discover what was REALLY going on in those communist countries. These Kremlinologists produced an enormous amount of material in which they tried to explain past communist actions and also to predict future policies and endeavors. Note that there were Kremlinologists in both the private (university) and government (defense or CIA) sectors, and in both cases their work could be made public or kept private (secret).

In this instance, as an example of what Kremlinologists did, I have gathered some materials relevant to the Moscow Conference of Leaders of the 81 Communist Parties, which, of course, took place in Moscow, basically in November 1960 (a previous such conference had been held in 1957).

These documents were all part of files kept by Professor Thomas T. Hammond, one of my advisors at the University of Virginia. This is exactly the kind of material that a Kremlinologist would work with. Here are some comments on my part.

Now, looking at these documents, you might not know it on first glance, but they were important indicators of policy disagreements that were taking place in the communist world at that time between Russia and China; disagreements that would lead, in time, to the so-called Sino-Soviet split. A historical note: The Russians and Chinese have not really gotten along very well for about two centuries now.