Romain Rolland

29th of January 1866 -

Website was created on his 150th birthday

- 29th of January 2016


[This website was created by the Comintern (SH) on occasion of the 150th Birthday of Romain Rolland.

It is - at present - the greatest online-archive all over the world!]


January 29, 1866 - January 29, 2016

On the 150th birthday of Romain Rolland

- Statement of the Comintern (SH) -

Romain Rolland was one of the leading writers of world literature and one of the most influential international representatives of the progressive intelligentsia. He received, among others the Nobel Prize. As a bourgeois writer, he took the position of critical realism which is essentially idealistic and not materialistic.

We Communists regard the ideology of Romain Rolland not uncritical.

In particular, his model of the so called "International of the mind" stood above the Communist International.

An ideology that pretends itself as a "classless" ideology within the bourgeois class society, is not a proletarian ideology, but a bourgeois ideology.

And communism?

The only classless ideology of the classless society is the ideology of communism. The proletariat is the only class that is able to lead mankind to the classless society. Therefore the classless ideology is the ideology of the proletarian class.

What is the dialectics of communism ?

The dialectics of communism is its ability to be transformed from the ideology of the proletariat into a classless ideology. There is no other way for the formation and development of a classless ideology. Anything else is idealism and subjectivism.

The classless ideology is part of the superstructure of communist economy as its basis. The Marxist character of communist ideology is based on communist economy of the communist society, and thus on the economic basis of the transition from a class society into the classless society. Consequently, without the economic basis of the classless society there can be no classless "International of the Mind", as defined by Romain Rolland.

Romain Rolland defined his "International of Mind" as follows:

"The International of the Mind has an absolute and eternal character: not to lie, either in word, or in thought; never to tolerate a shackling of the free search for and public verification of the truth. And consequently, it admits free groupings, but it refuses all official unitarianism, commanded by State, by Church, or by Party." (Letter from Rolland to Bloch, dated 30 January 1920).

Romain Rolland took a critical stance to Bolshevism, in particular as regards the application of revolutionary violence.

We Stalinist-Hoxhaists are neither pacifists nor "noble" Communists who condemn the revolutionary violence morally. The world of class society can be transformed into a classless world only through revolutionary violence. The oppressed class can not liberate itself without revolutionary violence. The revolutionary violence is the midwife of the new society.

We defend the 11th thesis on Feuerbach of Marx:

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it."

For all the criticism of Romain Rolland, we know his work to appreciate. We defend all of it, which is useful for the revolution.

Romain Rolland was not a Communist, but he freed himself from the hypocritical bourgeois "humanism" and bourgeois nationalism:

"Fighters come from the people, fighters come from the bourgeoisie. But those who come from the bourgeoisie, often need severe efforts in their search more than the others. How hard is it to enlighten the night of ignorance and evil .." (Romain Rolland)

Romain Rolland has created light! He took side with the revolution.

"The bourgeoisie has done everything and will continue to do everything possible to subjugate the people and stifle the progress of the Revolution" (Romain Rolland, in his drama "Robespierre", 1939)

Romain Rolland acknowledged the working class as the social bearer of humanistic future of the society and opposed the theory of the allged "leading role" of the intelligentsia.

Until his death he supported the oppressed and exploited, and he sympathized particularly with the international revolutionary workers' movement.

Romain Rolland was among the supporters of a call of the Soviet Union (30 July 1924- on occasion of the 10th anniversary of the beginning of WW1), which stated:

"Protest together with us against all wars, aimed at enslaving nations and oppression of humanity, fighting against the system of soldiers' bondage which means nothing else but the threat of new wars."

Romain Rolland fought in a joint international front with the Communists against the imperialist war and against fascism. He was still alive to see the liberation of France from Hitler's fascism, namely shortly before his death on the 30th of December 1944.

  It was the October Revolution that divided the writers around the world into two camps. The advanced part welcomed the October Revolution, while the reactionary part fought against the October Revolution. On the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution, the enthusiasm of many Western writers ebbed away and they returned to the camp of the bourgeoisie. Romain Rolland was not among them. He was among those Western writers who supported vehemently the defense of the Soviet Union, and he wrote the appeal: "Hands off the Soviet Union" (1930)

The bourgeois press in the West reacted to this anti-militarist appeal of Romain Rolland with evil slander and insinuations.

Romain Rolland maintained friendly relations with the Soviet Union until his death. Romain Rolland retained a positive attitude towards the Soviet Union of Stalin. He supported Stalin, whom he had also visited. The meeting between Stalin and Romain Rolland was later concealed by the modern revisionists for a long time. The modern revisionists saw Romain Rolland as a pacifist. They took advantage of him to promote their criminal slogan of "socialism's peaceful transition".

From the outset Romain Rolland enjoyed great sympathy in the international communist movement, especially among the proletarian writers. Maxim Gorky and Romain Rolland shared a deep friendship.

It was largely thanks to Maxim Gorky that the masterpieces of world literature, which also included the works of Romain Rolland, were translated into Russian and who made them accessible to a wide Soviet readership (Soviet publishing house of world literature).

Among the Schedule of Soviet theater was also Romain Rolland's play: "July 14". Remarkably was, that it was played already in the years of civil war.

The works of Romain Rolland are among the treasures of world literature, which we Stalinist Hoxhaists defend as World Heritage.

It is the task of the communist literature to provide the entire world literature owned by the past and present at the service of world socialist revolution. And this includes our critical attitude concerning the ideological content of world literature.

Lenin stressed already in the III. All-Russian Congress of the Communist Youth League in 1920, that the proletarian culture is created on the basis of all progressive ideological aspirations of mankind:

"We shall be unable to solve this problem (of proletarian culture) unless we clearly realise that only a precise knowledge and transformation of the culture created by the entire development of mankind will enable us to create a proletarian culture. The latter is not clutched out of thin air; it is not an invention of those who call themselves experts in proletarian culture. That is all nonsense. Proletarian culture must be the logical development of the store of knowledge mankind has accumulated under the yoke of capitalist, landowner and bureaucratic society. All these roads have been leading, and will continue to lead up to proletarian cultur. You can become a Communist only when you enrich your mind with a knowledge of all the treasures created by mankind. " (Lenin, Volume 31)

"4) Marxism has won its historic significance as the ideology of the revolutionary proletariat because, far from rejecting the most valuable achievements of the bourgeois epoch, it has, on the contrary, assimilated and refashioned everything of value in the more than two thousand years of the development of human thought and culture. Only further work on this basis and in this direction, inspired by the practical experience of the proletarian dictatorship as the final stage in the struggle against every form of exploitation, can be recognised as the development of a genuine proletarian culture.

5) Adhering unswervingly to this stand of principle, the All-Russia Proletcult Congress rejects in the most resolute manner, as theoretically unsound and practically harmful, all attempts to invent one’s own particular brand of culture, to remain isolated in self-contained organisations, to draw a line dividing the field of work of the People’s Commissariat of Education and the Proletcult, or to set up a Proletcult "autonomy" within establishments under the People’s Commissariat of Education and so forth. On the contrary, the Congress enjoins all Proletcult organisations to fully consider themselves in duty bound to act as auxiliary bodies of the network of establishments under the People’s Commissariat of Education, and to accomplish their tasks under the general guidance of the Soviet authorities (specifically, of the People’s Commissariat of Education) and of the Russian Communist Party, as part of the tasks of the proletarian dictatorship.

(Lenin: the first draft resolution on proletarian culture, Volume 31)

On July 10, 1924 a meeting of representatives of the proletarian writers of the Soviet Union with delegates to the Fifth World Congress of the Comintern was held in Moscow. It was considered necessary the merger of proletarian writers of all countries and to create a union of the countries' associations for an International of proletarian literature.

In November 1927 the first conference of proletarian and revolutionary writers was held.

At the Paris conference, the International Writers' Association was founded to defend the culture. In attendance were 120 representatives from 35 countries. Romain Rolland was one of them.

In December 1935, the International Union of Revolutionary Writers (1) ceased to exist. The dissolution is one of the results of the treacherous crimes of the leaders of the VII. World Congress of the Comintern. Romain Rolland also took a critical stance to this turning point in the international communist movement.

It is noteworthy that Romain Rolland nor mid thirties expressed his sympathy for IURW (to which he had never formally consulted as a member). In a letter to Gorky of 28 December 1934, he wrote:

"Barbusse informed me about the dissolution of the International Union of Revolutionary Writers and that it should be replaced by a new organization with wider access, and which will be based in Paris (!) -. I regret this ... in my opinion Moscow should remain the center of the great new movement. All attention should be directed to Moscow as the center of free and brave minds in the world ... And I myself am not a big fan of a widening of cadres. We live in a period of crisis, under which conditions it would be reckless to dilute the precision of thought. " (Maxim Gorky, Volume 8, page 353 f - Russian).



(1) International Union of Revolutionary Writers

was an organization of proletarian and revolutionary writers throughout the world. It was founded in 1925 as the International Bureau of Revolutionary Literature (IBRL). The first conference of the IBRL, held in Moscow in 1927, adopted a political program and founded the journal Vestnik inostrannoi literatury (Journal of Foreign Literature) in Russian. Membership was open to any writer who opposed fascism, imperialist war, and White terrorism.

The second conference of revolutionary writers, held in Kharkov in 1930, reorganized the IBRL into the International Union of Revolutionary Writers (IURW). In 1931 and 1932 the union published the journal Literatura mirovoi revoliutsii (Literature of the World Revolution) in Russian, German, French, and English. The work of the IURW was conducted through national sections and groups, and among its prominent members were L. Aragon, J. Becher, T. Dreiser, H. Barbusse, and B. Brecht. In 1935 the IURW was replaced by other international organizations of progressive writers, such as the International Congress of Writers in Defense of Culture (Paris, 1935). The archives of the IURW are preserved in the M. Gorky Institute of World Literature in Moscow.








































































































































Romain Rolland

Beethoven - the creator










A musical tour through the land of the past




Essays on Music



The Forerunners



Above the Battle



The People's Theater






The 14th of July






Pierre and Luce







Colas Breugnon

















by Stefan Zweig






Video: Romain Rolland (in French language)

Works by Romain Rolland



Jean-Christophe (1904–1912). Edition définitive. Paris, 1966.

Colas Breugnon, bonhomme vit encore (1919). Paris, 1969.

Clérambault. Histoire d'une conscience libre pendant la guerre (1920). Geneva, 1971.

Pierre et Luce (1920). Geneva, 1971.

L'Ame enchantée (1922–1933). Paris, 1967.




Les Tragédies de la foi: Saint-Louis (1897), Aërt (1898), Le Triomphe de la raison (1899). Paris, 1913.

Les Vaincus (1897). Paris, 1922.

Le Théâtre de la Révolution: Le 14 juillet (1902), Danton (1900), Les Loups (1898). Paris, 1909.

Le Théâtre du peuple . Paris, 1903.

Le Temps viendra . Paris, 1903.

La Montespan . Paris, 1904.

Les Trois Amoureuses . Paris, 1906.

Liluli . Paris, 1919.

Le Jeu de l'amour et de la mort . Paris, 1925.

Pâques fleuries . Paris, 1926.

Les Léonides . Paris, 1928.

Robespierre . Paris, 1939.





François Millet . London, 1902.

Beethoven . Paris, 1903.

Vie de Michel-Ange . Paris, 1906.

Haendel . Paris, 1910.

Vie de Tolstoï . Paris, 1911.

Empédocle d'Agrigente et l'âge de la haine . Paris, 1918.

Mahatma Gandhi . Paris, 1924.

Beethoven. Les Grandes Epoques créatrices . 7 vols. 1928–1945. Paris, 1966.

Essai sur la mystique et l'action de l'Inde. 1. La Vie de Ramakrishna . Paris, 1929. 2. La Vie de Vivekananda et l'évangile universel . 2 vols. Paris, 1930.

Péguy . 2 vols. Paris, 1944.




"La Décadence de la peinture italienne au XVIe siècle." Thesis, University of Paris, 1895.

Les Origines du théâtre lyrique moderne. Histoire de l'opera en Europe avant Lully et Scarlatti . Paris, 1895.

Paris als musikstadt . Berlin, 1905.

Musiciens d'aujourd'hui . Paris, 1908.

Musiciens d'autrefois . Paris, 1908.

Au-dessus de la mêlée . Paris, 1915. Republished in L'Esprit libre . Geneva, 1971.

Les Précurseurs . Paris, 1919. Republished in L'Esprit libre . Geneva, 1971.

Voyage musical au pays du passé . Paris, 1919.

La Révolte des machines, ou La Pensée déchaînée . Paris, 1921.

Ceux qui meurent dans les prisons de Mussolini . Paris, 1934.

Quinze Ans de combat . Paris, 1935.

Par la révolution, la paix . Paris, 1935.

Compagnons de route. Essais littéraires . Paris, 1936.

Comment empêcher la guerre? Paris, 1936.

Valmy . Paris, 1938.

Les Pages immortelles de J.-J. Rousseau . New York, 1939.

Le Voyage intérieur (Songe d'une vie) . Paris, 1942.

Le Périple . Paris, 1946.

Lettres de Romain Rolland à un combattant de la Résistance . Paris, 1947.

Souvenirs de jeunesse (1866–1900) . Paris, 1947.

"Gabriel d'Annunzio et La Duse." Les Oeuvres libres , no. 20, 1947.

Inde. Journal 1915–1943 . Paris, 1951.

Journal des années de guerre . Paris, 1952.

Mémoires . Paris, 1956.



Cahiers Romain Rolland


Cahier 1. Choix de lettres à Malwida von Meysenbug . Paris, 1948.

Cahier 2. Correspondance entre Louis Gillet et Romain Rolland . Paris, 1949.

Cahier 3. Richard Strauss et Romain Rolland. Correspondance et fragments du Journal . Paris, 1951.

Cahier 4. Le Cloître de la rue d'Ulm. Journal de Romain Rolland à l'Ecole Normale (1886–1889) . Paris, 1952.

Cahier 5. Cette Ame ardente. Choix de lettres d'André Suarès à Romain Rolland (1887–1891) . Paris, 1954.

Cahier 6. Printemps Romain. Choix de lettres de Romain Rolland à sa mère (1889–1890) . Paris, 1954.

Cahier 7. Une Amitié française. Correspondance entre Charles Péguy et Romain Rolland . Paris, 1955.

Cahier 8. Retour au Palais Farnèse. Choix de lettres de Romain Rolland à sa mère (1890–1891) . Paris, 1956.

Cahier 9. De la décadence de la peinture italienne au XVIe siècle. Thèse latine de Romain Rolland. Paris, 1957.

Cahier 10. Chère Sofia. Choix de lettres de Romain Rolland à Sofia Bertolini Guerrieri-Gonzaga (1901–1908) . Paris, 1959.

Cahier 11. Chère Sofia. Choix de lettres de Romain Rolland à Sofia Bertolini Guerrieri-Gonzaga (1909–1932) . Paris, 1960.

Cahier 12. Rabindranath Tagore et Romain Rolland. Lettres et autres écrits . Paris, 1961.

Cahier 13. Ces Jours lointains. Alphonse Séché et Romain Rolland. Lettres et autres écrits . Paris, 1962.

Cahier 14. Fraülein Else. Lettres de Romain Rolland à Elsa Wolff . Paris, 1964.

Cahier 15. Deux Hommes se rencontrent. Correspondance entre Jean-Richard Bloch et Romain Rolland (1910–1918) . Paris, 1964.

Cahier 16. Romain Rolland et le mouvement florentin de "la Voce." Correspondance et fragments du Journal . Edited by Henri Giordan. Paris, 1966.

Cahier 17. Un Beau Visage à tous sens. Choix de lettres de Romain Rolland (1866–1944) . Paris, 1967.

Cahier 18. Salut et fraternité. Alain et Romain Rolland . Paris, 1969.

Cahier 19. Gandhi et Romain Rolland. Correspondance, extraits du Journal et textes divers . Paris, 1969.

Cahier 20. Je commence à devenir dangereux. Choix de lettres de Romain Rolland à sa mère (1914–1916) . Paris, 1971.

Cahier 21. D'une rive à l'autre. Hermann Hesse et Romain Rolland. Correspondance, fragments du Journal et textes divers . Paris, 1972.

Cahier 22. Pour l'honneur de l'esprit. Correspondance entre Charles Péguy et Romain Rolland (1898–1914) . Paris, 1973.

Cahier 23. L'Indépendance de l'esprit. Correspondance entre Jean Guéhenno et Romain Rolland . Paris, 1975.

Cahier 24. Monsieur le Comte. Romain Rolland et Léon Tolstoy textes . Paris, 1981.



Other Published Correspondence


De Jean-Christophe à Colas Breugnon. Pages de Journal . Paris, 1946.

Hermann Hesse-Romain Rolland Briefe . Zurich, 1955.

Jean-Christophe et Armel. Correspondance de Romain Rolland et de Jean Bodin . Lyons, 1955.

Romain Rolland—Lugné Poe, correspondance (1894–1901) . Edited by Jacques Robichez. Paris, 1957.

Richard Strauss and Romain Rolland, Correspondence . Edited by Rollo Meyers. Berkeley, California, 1968.

Bon Voisinage. Edmond Privat et Romain Rolland . Edited by Pierre Hirsch. Neuchâtel, 1977.

Correspondance Panaït Istrati-Romain Rolland (1919–1935). Cahiers Panaït Istrati . Valence, 1987.



Works on Romain Rolland


Georges Anquetil. Essai sur Romain Rolland. La Beauté de son oeuvre et ses erreurs . Paris, 1918.

René Arcos. Romain Rolland . Paris, 1948.

V. E. Balakhonov. Romain Rolland, 1914–1924 . Leningrad, 1958.

Jean-Bertrand Barrère. Romain Rolland par lui-même . Paris, 1955.

Jean-Bertrand Barrèe. Romain Rolland, l'âme et l'art . Paris, 1966.

Charles Baudouin. Romain Rolland calomnié . Paris, 1918.

Jean Bonnerot. Romain Rolland. Sa Vie, son oeuvre . Paris, 1921.

René Cheval. Romain Rolland, l'Allemagne et la guerre . Paris, 1963.

Paul Colin. La Vertu d'héroïsme et Romain Rolland . Brussels, 1918.

Ernst Robert Curtius. Die literarischen Wegbereiter des neuen Frankreich . Potsdam, 1918.

Maurice Descotes. Romain Rolland . Paris, 1948.

Marcel Doisy. Romain Rolland (1866–1944) . Brussels, 1945.

R. Dvorak. Das Ethische und das Aesthetische bei Romain Rolland . Bottrop, 1933.

M. Elder. Deux Essais: Romain Rolland-Octave Mirbeau . Paris, 1916.

Pierre Grappin. Le Bund neues Vaterland (1914–1916), ses rapports avec R. Rolland . Lyons and Paris, 1952.

Otto Grautoff. Romain Rolland . Frankfort am Main, 1914.

H. Hatzfeld. Paul Claudel und Romain Rolland . Munich, 1921.

Werner Ilberg. Traum und Tat. Romain Rolland in seinem Verhältnis zu Deutschland und zur Sowjet Union . Halle, 1950.

Werner Ilberg. Der schwere Weg. Leben und Werk Romain Rollands . Schwerin, 1953.

Pierre-Jean Jouve. Romain Rolland vivant (1914–1919) . Paris, 1920.

Zofia Karczewska-Markiewicz. Teatr Romain Rollanda . Warsaw, 1955.

Marcelle Kempf. Romain Rolland et l'Allemagne . Paris, 1962.

Josef Kopal. Romain Rolland . Prague, 1964.

B. Krakowski. La Psychologie des peuples allemand et juif dans les romans de Romain Rolland . Toulouse, 1931.

Miriam Krampf. La Conception de la vie héroïque dans l'oeuvre de Romain Rolland . Paris, 1956.

Walter Küchler. Romain Rolland, Henri Barbusse, Fritz von Unruh . Würzburg, 1920.

Joseph Kvapil. Romain Rolland—Son Itinéraire, sa place dans la littérature générale . Prague, 1967.

Joseph Kvapil. Romain Rolland et les amis d'Europe . Prague, 1971.

Fr. Laichter. Romain Rolland et Charles Péguy . Prague, 1956.

Eugen Lerch. Romain Rolland und die Erneuerung der Gesinnung . Munich, 1926.

Arthur R. Lévy. L'Idéalisme de Romain Rolland . Paris, 1942.

M. Lob. Un Grand Bourguignon, un grand européen . Auxerre, 1928.

Harold March. Romain Rolland . New York, 1971.

Maurice Martin du Gard. Feux tournants . Paris, 1925.

Marcel Martinet. Pages choisies de Romain Rolland . Paris, 1921.

Henri Massis. M. Romain Rolland ou le dilettantisme de la foi . Paris, 1913.

Henri Massis. Romain Rolland contre la France . Paris, 1915.

Jean Maxe. "Le Bolchevisme littéraire. 'L'Idole, l'européen,' Romain Rolland." Cahiers de l'anti-France . Paris, 1922.

W. Michel. Essays über Gustav Landauer, Romain Rolland . . . . Hanover, 1920.

T. Motyleva. Tvorcestvo Romena Rollana . Moscow, 1959.

Jean Perus. Romain Rolland et Maxime Gorki . Paris, 1968.

Jacques Robichez. Romain Rolland . Paris, 1961.

Alphonse Séché. Romain Rolland, l'humble vie héroïque . Paris, 1912.

Paul Seippel. Romain Rolland, l'homme et l'oeuvre . Paris, 1913.

Christian Sénéchal. Les Grands Courants de la littérature française contemporaine . Paris, 1934.

Christian Sénéchal. Romain Rolland . Paris, 1933.

S. Södermann. Romain Rolland . Stockholm, 1916.

Paul Souday. Les Livres du temps . 3 vols. Paris, 1913–1930.

William T. Starr. Romain Rolland and a World at War . Evanston, Ill., 1956.

William T. Starr. Romain Rolland: One Against All . The Hague, 1971.

R. A. Wilson. The Pre-War Biographies of Romain Rolland and Their Place in His Work and the Period . London, 1939.

J. Ziegler. Romain Rolland im "Jean-Christophe" üiber Juden und Judentum . Vienna, 1918.

Stefan Zweig. Romain Rolland, der Mann und das Werk . Frankfurt, 1920.

Stefan Zweig. The World of Yesterday . Lincoln, Neb., 1964.



Special Studies, Anthologies, Articles


Maxim Gorky, Georges Duhamel, and Stefan Zweig, eds. Liber Amicorum Romain Rolland . Zurich, 1926.

Der Romain Rolland Almanach zum 60 . Frankfort am Main, 1926.

"Le 60e Anniversaire de Romain Rolland." Europe , February 1926.

"Romain Rolland." Europe , January–February 1955.

"Gorki." Europe , February–March 1960.

"Romain Rolland." Europe , November–December 1965.

Romain Rolland. Sa Vie, son oeuvre, 1866–1944 . Archives de France. Paris, 1966.

Pierre Abraham, ed. Romain Rolland . Neuchâtel, 1969.

Bulletin de l'Association des amis du fonds Romain Rolland. Edited by Marie Romain Rolland. Paris, 1946–1984.