J.R. Johnson

What Russia Wants in Germany

(July 1944)

From Labor Action, Vol. 8 No. 30, 24 July 1944, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for MIA.

The Red Army is on the borders of Germany and Mike Gold, the Stalinist columnist, writes as follows in the Daily Worker of July 17:

“What can be our duty but to disarm them once and for all? Unless – unless the German Revolution first disarms and destroys this cancer in the heart of Germany, Europe and the world.”

This gives the impression, and is intended to give the impression, that the Stalinists favor a German revolution to destroy fascism. At the same time Stalin and the Stalinist diplomats are collaborating closely with Anglo-American imperialism, working out the most abominable plans for the suppression of the German people. This is a carefully-worked-out tactic, and is a valuable example of the role the Stalinist bureaucracy, the Stalinist Red Army and the Stalinist parties in the various countries are playing in international relations. It is worth some examination.

What Happened Before

In 1918 there was a revolution in Germany. The revolution, however, did not touch the foundations of imperialist Germany, the ownership by a small group of capitalists of German heavy industry, the ownership of the large landed estates by the Junkers, the grip on the state-machine by the German bureaucracy, dominated and controlled by these very Junkers. A republic was established but the capitalist system remained.

Fifteen short years saw Hitler in power and the same capitalist interests took the German people along the same road which had led to the catastrophe of 1918.

We therefore face the question: What kind of revolution is needed in Germany? First of all, a revolution which would tear out and crush the Nazi regime. But this revolution cannot merely repeat the errors of 1918. It must stamp out capitalist property and create a socialist society. The Krupps, Thyssens, Stinneses and the other heavy industrialists, the German aristocracy, the von this and von that and von the other must be thrown out of power once and for all. The disasters these people have brought to Germany within the last thirty years, the tortures they have inflicted on the German workers, the barbarism which they and their imperialist rivals have imposed on Europe, these repeated crimes make it a pressing necessity not only to punish them but to break their economic power.

This is the revolution Germany needs. And even a few liberals (with much chattering of teeth and stammering) sometimes go so far as to say that the power of the Junkers (at least) should be destroyed.

Is this the revolution the Stalinists are for? No such thing!

It is known that Stalin in Moscow has been nursing a committee of Germans captured in battle. This committee organizes, pulishes propaganda and agitation and broadcasts to Germany. Many of its most important members are Junkers. They are generals, colonels, colonel-generals, and the head is a relative of the German statesman Bismarck, who was a Junker of Junkers. These people call upon the German people and the German army to overthrow Hitler. But that is all. They are Junkers. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to expect them to lead a revolution against themselves and their own property?

With them on that committee are some Stalinist bureaucrats, old members of the Communist Party of Germany. In their journal they publish articles which say that although there must be a revolution against Hitler, what took place in 1918 must at all costs be avoided.

What took place in 1918 was that the workers formed Soviets and the leaders of the German Social Democratic Party had such power in their hands that they could have done what they pleased with the German economy. But, as we saw, they did nothing. Even this is too much for the Stalinists today. If there is a revolution they want it under the control of anti-Hitler German officers and the German army. If there is no revolution, then British imperialism, American imperialism and Stalinist imperialism will be able to “disarm” the German people at their ease.

So the Stalinist government plots with Roosevelt and Churchill for the suppression of the German and the European people. Meanwhile, Stalin’s committee, packed with Junkers, gets ready to bridle the German revolution and leave the bridle in safe hands. Meanwhile, as the Red Army approaches East Prussia, the stronghold of the Junkers, Mike Gold says that the Germans will have to be disarmed – UNLESS there is a revolution. Thus the American workers are being prepared for any situation which may arise.

In Germany itself the Stalinists can incite agitation, against the Hitler regime and point to those workers who hate the Junkers, the old communists who are members of Stalin’s committee. They serve as guarantee to the workers and peasants that they can have confidence in it.

That is the Stalinist international organization, with its representatives both in the councils of capitalism and in the councils of the worker. They cannot fool Roosevelt or Churchill. But they can do untold mischief among the workers. One of the most important needs of working-class leadership is a vigilant eye on them, not only for their reactionary, anti-working class policies on the national scene, but for the inexhaustible variety of the ways and means by which they plot to deceive the workers.

Last updated on 15 December 2015