Max Shachtman


National Committee Issues Call
to Party on Stalin-Hitler Pact

(29 August 1939)

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. III No. 63, 29 August 1939, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.


The Hitler-Stalin Pact, and the world war danger, enormously increases both the tasks and the opportunities of our party.

More than ever must our energies be bent towards extending and deepening the campaign against war which we have launched. We are now in a better position to carry it through successfully than we ever were before.

The Pact is not merely a striking confirmation of the prediction we made after Munich. It is a mortal blow, delivered by Stalin himself, against all the Stalinist parties, the American included. The rank and file Stalinist workers, cruelly duped by the paid agents of the Kremlin bureaucracy, regimented in advance for war “for the democratic front against the fascist aggressors”, are everywhere in a state of confusion. Some of them

have had their eyes opened to Stalinist perfidy at a single blow. Others, and they number thousands, are beginning to ask critical, imperious questions which all the base sophistry of the Browders cannot dispose of so easily.

Reach The C.P. Ranks!

As part of our campaign, we must now make an exceptionally concentrated effort to reach the ranks of the Stalinist party and those influenced by it with what they are so anxiously seeking – an explanation of what has happened, of how the Pact came to be signed, of what it means in world politics and to the working

class in particular. Patient explanation of our point of view must go hand in hand with a merciless offensive against Stalinism, the most virulent poison in the labor movement.

All branches must make special efforts to establish contact with the Communist Party and Young Communist League membership to their localities.

The special editions of the Socialist Appeal, devoted to an analysis of the shameful Pact, must be distributed widely among the Stalinist workers.

Every effort must be made to bring the largest number of Stalinist workers to the mass meetings of the party on this subject and –

Fight Against Imperialist War

Every locality should hold at least one large-scale meeting at which the party position on the Pact is expounded.

Now is the time to concentrate on winning the betrayed Stalinist militants, those who are honestly devoted to the cause of socialism, to the banner of the Fourth International.

Now is the time to press harder the struggle against imperialist war, to expose the fraud of the “democratic peace front”, to popularize the slogan of “Let the People Vote on War! Take the War-Making Power Away from Congress!”


Socialist Workers Party
Max Shachtman,
Acting Nat’l Secretary.

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