Karl Radek


The Danger of Intervention against Germany

(13 September 1923)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 3 No. 60 [30], 13 September 1923, pp. 660–661.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2023). 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.

A few days ago we issued a warning on the danger of intervention against Germany on the part of the allies in the event of a Fascist upheaval or of the German revolution. But even before the present Great Coalition government is threatened with any real danger of overthrow from either the Left or Right, the danger of Allied intervention against Germany looms continually nearer. We have no need to speak of the feverish preparations being made by the separatists in the Rhine country, and carried on in one part of the Rhine country under cover of the French, in Cologne under cover of the English. Two extremely characteristic press organs may serve to show in what direction the thoughts of the Entente and its vassals are tending.

The English weekly: The Outlook of August 18, publishes an article on the situation created by the exchange of notes between the Allies This periodical casts scorn at Baldwin’s note to Poincaré. “The reply”, declares this paper, “is like an invitation to dinner addressed to a man whose coffin is just being carried out of the house”. This journal does not believe that Poincaré will permit himself to be ejected from the Ruhr area by means of notes. It speaks against a division of the Ruhr booty between France and England, for it would not be proper for England to carry off the lesser amount of the spoil. It therefore demands that France be informed by England beforehand that England will not recognize any alteration of the present German frontiers; secondly it demands that England occupy the German North Sea and Baltic ports with or without Germany’s agreement. In this manner England obtains control of Germany’s exports, she can impose duties, and thus secures for herself her share of Germany’s reparation debt. At the same time the English warships in the North Sea and Baltic ports of Germany form a counterpoise against the French tanks and cannon in the Ruhr and on the Rhine. In conclusion the paper observes that it rejects all the drivel on ethics and unselfishness, for “our country, loaded with debts and confronted by a desperate unemployment crisis, has to be selfish.”

The paper which we thus quote is no rabid anti-German organ. It is a sober liberal organ reflecting the opinions held in business circles. This paper suggests the dividing up of Germany into zones and the occupation of German ports as the reply to an occupation of the Ruhr area against which England is powerless.

It is characteristic that the paper devotes not a single word to revolution in Germany as a reason for intervention. German weakness, the incapacity of present-day Germany to defend herself against the French – these constitute a sufficient reason for inducing this organ of the humanity-loving bourgeoisie to declare that it wants its slice of cake too. This is the best reply to those who assert that a revolution in Germany would afford the Entente an opportunity of dismembering Germany. The bourgeoisie of the Entente has already torn Germany to pieces. France occupies the Ruhr area and the Rhine district. She is preparing to convert her actual occupation into a legal one. In England the bourgeois world is contemplating counteracting France’s occupation of Germany by the occupation of some other part of the country on the part of England.

And now a second voice in the press: In the Polish newspaper Glos Lubelski Colonel Josef Schavinsky writes as follows:

“We have no real access to the sea. Our corridor cannot be seriously defended until East Prussia is occupied. It will always be Germany’s endeavor to unite with Russia – we must calculate with Germany’s exercising every effort, to this end, to occupy Polish Pomerania, and at the same time to annihilate us by a blow dealt from the stronghold represented by East Prussia in the midst of Polish territory. This blow will be directed against the adjacent capital of Poland, Warsaw. Either the Germans will take away Pommerania and cut us off from the Baltic, or we shall take from them the Polish part of East Prussia with the line Warsaw, Mlava, Danzig, on the right bank of the Vistula, and neutralize the rest of Prussia in this or another manner. Some decision has to be come to in one way or another, and the next Polish-German conflict may settle the question.”

This article is quoted on the 15th. August by the Gazeta Warschawska and this paper, the organ of the most powerful Polish government party and of its minister for foreign affairs M. Seida, expressed itself in agreement with the article. And again we must stress the absence of a single word regarding revolution in Germany. Germany’s weakness exposes her to the danger of further dismemberment. The German revolution will have to combat dangers which the German bourgeoisie and the German social democrats have created in weakening Germany to such a tremendous extent. It is already incumbent on the Communist Party of Germany to train the will of the German working masses to be ready to defend the Germany which they will inherit. And the German revolution will perform the task of teaching the German people the art of defence.

Last updated on 30 April 2023