Karl Radek

In the Camp of Our Enemies

A Reply to M. Faure and the
Other Socialist Agents of Poincaré

(10 October 1923)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 3 No. 69 [45], 1 November 1923, pp. 785–786.
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.

We take the appended article by Comrade Radek from the Pravda of October 10, No. 234.Ed.

M. Poincaré has gained the victory in the Ruhr war. He has not only vanquished Stinnes and Krupp, but also the miners of the Ruhr. M. Poincaré triumphs, for he holds in his hands the pledge for the German payments. This pledge consists not only of the mines, but of the German miners themselves. Without the miners the mines are of no value. It is only by means of the work done by the miners, by their hard labor, that M. Poincaré can obtain what he wants.

The French Socialists, headed by Messieurs Renaudel, Faure and Longuet, and the French Right Syndicalists under the leadership of M. Jouhaux, “protested” at the Hague World Congress against the occupation of the Ruhr which had already begun at that time. At the Hamburg Amalgamation Congress of the Second and Vienna Internationals they welcomed the Passive Resistance of the German workers. But did they summon the French working masses to decisive battle against that French Imperialism which overran Germany’s frontiers as far as Ems, and seized the Ruhr miners by the throat? No! Today they are telling the French proletariat, through their spokesmen Grumbach and Faure, that “Today there exist two dangers to peace: Radek and Poincaré imagine this: It is above all Radek who threatens peace, Poincaré only in the second place. It must be realized mat it is here not a question of Radek, but of the German Revolution and Soviet Russia. These form the chief source of danger to peace. M. Poincaré is, to be sure, also dangerous, but if it were not for this confounded German Revolution, contrived by Soviet Russia (we learn from a report published in the Populaire on September 28, that no fewer than 2,000 Bolshevist agents have been sent from Moscow, and are engaged in propaganda work in Germany), then Poincaré would not be able to fight, for nobody can fight without having some one to fight against. He would simply continue to press his knee on the chest of the German proletariat, and everything would be in the best of order.

Since the time when the idea of Socialism first arose, the world has never been confronted on any single occasion by a like piece of impudence, by a baseness so immeasurable. 20,000 French bayonets are on German soil, French courts martial are shooting German citizens, the German Communist press is prohibited by French military authorities, and the French Socialists become panic-stricken at tie thought that there might be people among the German proletariat who would venture to think of defending their lives and country – a country of which they will assume the government tomorrow. Renaudel, who but yesterday was defending his fatherland against the attacks of the Kaiser, is today raising an outcry because the German Communist workers threaten to destroy peace by declaring that – after they have taken over power in Germany – they will defend the country to the utmost of their ability. Faure and Longuet, who discovered the secret of happiness in Wilson’s 14 Points, are preaching peace today to the German workers, though at this very moment there are 200,000 French soldiers on German soil.

But we did not take up our pen for the purpose of once more expressing our profound contempt for these despicable traitors. We wish to examine a few facts.

The Populaire tries to show an antagonism between myself and Comrade Humbert-Droz. Humbert-Droz – so is the Populaire – declares that the German Revolution will exert every endeavor to prevent a war with France – Radek, on the other hand, preaches war. You lie, M. Faure, you lie deliberately! In the year 1919, in view of the piratical peace forced upon Germany at Versailles, I conducted a public polemic against my then Party Comrades Wolfheim and Lauffenberg, who had demanded that the Party should undertake to repudiate the Versailles obligations immediately after seizing power. In the year 1923, in the course of a public discussion with the Nationalist newspaper Gewissen, I twice repeated that the Communist Party, on coming into power, would seek every possible means of avoiding war. My Comrade Humbert-Droz and I are in complete agreement. But can M. Faure prove that such an agreement exists between the German Revolution and M. Poincaré? M. Poincaré permits M. Faure to lick the dirt off the former’s boots. But Poincaré pays about as much attention to all these attentions on the part of Messieurs Renaudel and Faure. as Buddha pays to the prayers of his worshippers. Therefore the German Communist Party declares to the French people, and the whole world may hear it: We want peace at any price. But if M. Poincaré is going to take our lives, then the German proletariat will show that we are no Renaudels, no Faures, no old women, but men, who defend their homes, their children, their lives, and their land. This is all the war propaganda that we preach. You may denounce this to M. Poincaré, M. Faure; perhaps he will lend your expiring Populaire a little aid in return.

But – thus Faure and Company continue their denunciation – it is a beautiful Revolution tnat is made with the assistance of Nationalists and Fascists! M. Faure, you are not only a second-rate informer, but a chuckle-head as well! [1] Your party comrades, your Hilferdings and Sollmanns, sat until recently, and some of them are joint sitting in a joint Government with General Seeckt, the real leader of German Fascism. You helped him to attain power. Only recently your Comrade Severing dissolved the Red Proletarian Centuries in Berlin, precisely at the moment when the White bands of Bavaria were arming to the teeth. At the moment at which I write these lines, your comrades are demanding from the German Government the disarmament of the Red Centuries in Saxony, and our comrades entered the Saxon Government for the purpose of organizing resistance to Ludendorff. And therefore you deserve to be called a chuckle-head; for what French workers will still believe you, in the face of these facts? You say that all this has nothing to do with the fact my German friends and I carry on a discussion with the Fascists, and offer to join forces with them against France. But here you lie again. There live in Germany 9 million petty bourgeois, and the Hohenzollerns and Wittelsbachers, the Ludendorffs and Stinneses, are trying to utilize these for the organization of a fighting guard of counter-revolution. The French General Staff, speculating on a White coup in Germany, which it hopes will enable it to occupy and dismember that unhappy country, is expending millions of francs on financing German Fascism.

But the German Communists approach the impoverished and sufferings masses of the petty bourgeoisie, and say to them: Your sufferings are not caused by the Versailles Peace alone, but also by the Reparation hyenas Stinnes, Klöckner and Krupp, and the Prussian junkers. They are exploiting you. And they are not satisfied with this – they want to use you as cannon fodder. Leave them and join the working class in a common struggle for the future of the German people, for the fight against world reaction, again world imperialism – but also against reaction and robbery at home! That is the nature of the alliance between Communists and Fascists. In reality it is an alliance between the German working class and everyone in Germany who suffers, and seeks for emancipation.

And Soviet Russia? – inquires M. Faure finally. We can settle this matter very quickly. Soviet Russia is a land of work, a land of peace. Soviet Russia, which receives no aid from any other country in its work of reconstruction, would be mad if it were to aim at a war which would retard this reconstruction. But we may inform M. Faure, and he may tell it to Poincaré, that Soviet Russia is a land of armed workers and peasants, and those who seek to facilitate the strangulation of the workers of Germany by letting loose upon them the vassals of France, those who seek to push the French frontier across Germany to the Beresina, will discover that Russian bayonets have not yet grown rusty.

Tell all this to Poincaré, you contemptible and still unpaid hirelings and informers of French Imperialism! We are not afraid, for our cause can bear the light, and we have nothing to conceal.

* * *


1. M. Faure apparently is not the only chuckle-head. Mr H. N. Brailsford, the Editor of The New Leader, the organ of the English Mensheviki, wrote some weeks ago in that journal: “If the democratic republic collapses, the alternative is either a Monarchist or Communist Workers’ and Peasants’ Germany. That I think impossible, but it might just be possible as the last and maddest invention of red strategy some sort of alliance, however temporary, between left and right.” – Ed.

Last updated on 30 April 2023