On the second Sunday in January every year there is a march to the Friedrichsfelde Cemetery in Berlin to commemorate Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg.
In one of the oldest playgrounds in Sofia, where I grew up, there are some new toddler attractions among the old rusting ones, but the potholes in the tarmac haven’t been repaired. For the last six years, flowers have been appearing in them, as part of an ongoing project devised by the artist Veronika Tzekova. She calls it WUMAMPAROI (‘When you make a mistake put a rose on it’). We are a long way from the Soviet cult of childhood, in which the playground played a key role, shifting children’s emotional focus away from home and setting them on the road to the Party.
In a piece on Italy's 'invertebrate left', published in the LRB in 2009, Perry Anderson wrote: From the mid-1960s onwards, Italian Communism had another strand, neither official nor operaista, that remained more authentically Gramscian than anything its leadership could offer, or ultimately tolerate. Expelled in 1969, the Manifesto group around Lucio Magri, Rossana Rossanda and Luciana Castellina went on to create the newspaper of that name that continues to this day, the one genuinely radical daily in Europe.
The BBC has released some papers relating to the hiring and the employment of Guy Burgess. One of the more amusing details is Burgess’s habit of writing memos on the back of the expense forms; another, his fondness for first-class travel and his justifications for it: If you will refer to your papers you will see that in the past I successfully established the principle of travelling first class when at work, under war-time conditions, on Corporation business. I think you will find this on your predecessor's minutes.