Albert Inkpin

C. E. Ruthenberg

Source: Workers’ Life, March 11, 1927
Transcription/HTML Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2008). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

We regret to have to report the death from appendicitis of Comrade C. E. Ruthenberg, General Secretary of the Workers (Communist) Party of America.

Comrade Ruthenberg, as leader of the Left Wing of the Socialist Party of America in 1919, was instrumental in founding the Communist Party. During the exceptionally difficult period of the Party’s illegality, his efforts were to a large degree responsible for keeping the Party machinery afloat.

Appreciating the importance of Comrade Ruthenberg’s work, the U.S. authorities did their utmost to put him in jail, and during the last three years Comrade Ruthenberg was making a series of appeals against a sentence of many years’ imprisonment for “criminal syndicalism.”

Owing to the extreme complication of the Party’s work, caused by the number of different nationalities inhabiting the U.S.A., the strength of reformism amongst the privileged minority of the workers organised in the American Federation of Labour, and factional differences within the Party over many years, Comrade Ruthenberg had an exceptionally difficult task.

His death comes at a time when the American Party, with the help of the Communist International, had begun definitly to heal its internal differences and win the first big successes amongst the masses (notably in the Passaic strike).

The Central Committee of the C.P.G.B. has sent the following telegram to the Workers (Communist) Party, on behalf of British Communists:

The Communist Party of Great Britain sends condolences to the American comrades on the death of Secretary Ruthenberg, and deeply regret loss to American and International Movement of courageous proletariat fighter.

for Secretariat