From Labor Action, Vol. 8 No. 35, 28 August 1944, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for MIA.
The Soviet government and its American satellite, the Communist Political Association, are now carrying on a campaign against the German workers which is as shameless and criminal as anything the war has so far produced in that line.
This is Mike Gold in the Daily Worker of August 18:
“... The blind, bloody German ass is visibly weakening under the terrific load piled upon him by his mystic Fuehrer and mule-driver.”
A little later he says:
“Hitler and Goebbels tried to make the Teuton jackass at home and abroad believe that they could take a sort of tragic pride in the Stalingrad debacle, as much as did the British after Dunkirk.”
The article is short, but Gold found room for this:
“This week from a Russian prison the field marshal [Von Paulus] spoke over the radio to all the punch-drunk German fools in the army or struggling against dark doubts on the home front.”
“Blind, bloody German ass; Teuton jackass at home and abroad; punch-drunk fools in the army or on the home front.”
Few of the columnists in the capitalist press have ever sunk to this level. But even if they did, it would only be another proof of the degradation of capitalist society. This Gold, a Communist, once a member of Lenin’s Third International, in a paper called the Daily WORKER, abuses the German, workers in terms comparable to those Hitler has used about the Jews, and takes exceptional care to show that he means not only the soldiers in the field but the workers at home. Mike Gold is only following Ilya Ehrenburg, the Russian author and war correspondent. A few weeks ago this Stalinist “ace” writer said that there were no longer real men and women in Germany but only Fritzes and Gretchens.
The Russian state and its agents abroad are not behaving like this merely because they are no longer socialists, and no longer have any use for the international solidarity of the working class. No; they have long lost all connection with international socialism. But this wild-eyed, foul-tongued abuse of the unfortunate German workers is to whip up the lynch spirit on a national and international scale. They want to have the German people completely at their mercy.
The same Ilya Ehrenburg recently wrote a long dispatch, published in PM on August 13. It was a list of atrocities and it ended with this:
“We want to carry a sword through Germany so as to kill the Germans’ love of the sword forever. We want to go to their country so they never again will come to ours.”
And as if this were not enough, he rises to a scream of sadistic anticipation: “And I know that soon we will be on a spree.”
Yes, those are the words: “on a spree.” This is the Stalinist solution to the German problem!
How official it all is receives further proof in this same article. It ends: “And when I, like all of us, am filled with intolerable grief, I support myself with the splendid heartening words: ‘Stalin won’t forget this.’”
An ancient Hebrew would more easily have uttered the name of Jehovah than would Ehrenburg take the name of Stalin so pointedly in this connection, without consciousness that he was following an official line. Such sacred names are not taken in vain.
On Sunday, August 20, Ralph Parker, PM correspondent, published a long dispatch dealing with the “Soviets’ first war aim: Destroy Prussianism.”
The writer gives the latest doctrine of these Russian rulers, enemies of socialism, and shows their criminal responsibility. He says:
“It was not easy for the Soviet mind to grasp the conception that the German people more or less as a whole bore the responsibility for the war. I remember that when I arrived in the Soviet Union in the fall of 1941 there were many people who raised their eyebrows when Ilya Ehrenburg omitted the word Hitlerite when he referred to Germany as the enemy.”
But the crimes of the Nazi war machine gave the rulers of Russia their opportunity. The argument, according to Parker, is that the German people have talents and gifts, but that they have a fatal tendency to follow reactionary leaders. They showed it when the middle classes turned against the peasant revolt in the sixteenth century. They showed it, so the argument runs, in the barbarism of the Thirty Years’ War of the seventeenth century; they showed it by maintaining conscription after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815; they showed it after the revolution of 1848; after 1918; and in 1933 by following Hitler.
Thus the German people are condemned for their behavior during the last four hundred years. The Stalin regime therefore proposes to destroy the main enemy, Prussianism.
Only Vansittart in Britain has sunk so low. When the British Labor Party in 1943 so far forgot itself as to condemn the German workers, bracketing them with Hitler as being responsible for the war and the Nazi crimes, such a protest arose in Britain that the party had to retreat.
The American working class, whatever, its internal political differences, should utter a resounding protest against the degradation of all social values and common decency represented by writing of the type now practiced by Ehrenburg and Mike Gold. It is an imperative duty above all to let the full weight of working class indignation fall upon Mike Gold, the Daily Worker and the Communist Party for dragging the best traditions of American labor into the mud and filth of Stalinism.
Those who work at one bench or on one production line should hot tolerate for one single moment a so-called Communist Association calling workers on another bench or another production line “mule, bloody German, ass, Teuton jackass, punch-drunk German fools” and, worst of all, look forward to the torture of a whole nation as going “on a spree.”
Last updated on 15 December 2015