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Martin Kettle

Martin Kettle is the editor of the European pages which appear in the Guardian on Fridays.

Goodbye to the Comintern

Martin Kettle, 21 February 1991

In December 1989, as Nicolae Ceausescu was led out from the courtroom in Tirgoviste to his summary execution, he began to hum the opening bars of the ‘Internationale’. More than four decades earlier, Primo Levi recalled that as the Red Army speechlessly liberated the fortunate few from Auschwitz, a fellow survivor, a German named Thylle, sat on his bunk and sang the ‘Internationale’ too: ‘in a low stridulous voice, grotesque and solemn at the same time’.

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