James P. Cannon

An Open Letter
to the Central Committee
of the Communist Party

(March 1933)

Published: The Militant, Vol. VI No. 19, 18 March 1933, p. 1.
Source: PDF supplied by the Riazanov Library Project.
Transcription/Mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: This work is in the under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Marxists’ Internet Archive/Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors, translators, proofreaders etc. above.

To the Central Executive Committee,
Communist Party of the U.S.A.


Events in Germany are moving with break-neck speed. There is very little time left. The German proletariat, facing the bloody avalanche of Fascism, stands in desperate need of international aid. In the first place, it needs the aid of the Communist International in guiding it to a correct policy. A tremendous responsibility rests on the Comintern in this fateful hour. As a section of the Comintern, the American party bears a full share of this great historic responsibility. The Left Opposition, which is a faction of the party and the Comintern, turns to you now once more with concrete proposals for a line of action which in our opinion must be followed without delay.

Our proposals are the following:

  1. That the American party openly demand of the Comintern and the German C.P. that they adopt completely and unambiguously and carry out in practise the policy of the united front.
  2. That the American Party demand the convening of the 7th congress of the Comintern immediately, with the participation of the International Left Opposition, and that Trotsky and Rakovsky be especially summoned to Moscow to take part in the Congress.
  3. That the German question be put as the most important question before the party, that systematic discussion on it be organized in every unit of the party from top to bottom, and that it be the first point on the agenda of the forthcoming party convention.
  4. That the Left Opposition be readmitted to the party on the basis of party democracy; that the American C.P. support in the Comintern the readmission of the Left Opposition on an international scale, and the release and return of the imprisoned Bolshevik-Leninists in the Soviet Union.
  5. That the party call for a united front conference of all workers organizations, including the Socialist party and the A.F. of L., to formulate a concrete program for united front demonstrations in solidarity with the German workers. This action to begin on a national scale, and proceed from that to local actions along the same line.

For several years now, week in and week out, the Left Opposition has been warning of the very things that are happening now in Germany as the consequence of a false policy, it has predicted and its predictions are literally verified. The Left Opposition has pointed out the way and the events nave confirmed its prognosis, it is time now to turn the helm. There is very little time left.

We hope you will realize it, and do your part to help the Comintern and the German party to realise it, before it is too late. The way to do this has been outlined above. The Left Opposition for its part stands ready, now as always, to help the party find its way on the path of international duty. Our agitation, our criticism, and our warnings are all directly loyally to this end. And in any actions which will be undertaken, to rouse the American working class and form a united front of international support with the German proletariat, all the members of the Left Opposition will put themselves at the disposal of the party for any service required of them.


With Communist Greetings
J.P. Cannon, Secretary

Last updated on 23 July 2015