Max Shachtman

The “Big Three” – Hitler’s Aids

Washington, Moscow, London Help Nazis Keep Power

(August 1944)

From Labor Action, Vol. 8 No. 35, 28 August 1944, pp. 1 & 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

One thing is pretty clear: Germany will not win the war. Hitler’s “new order in Europe” was built on sand from the very beginning and was held together only at bayonet point. Fortress Europa has been breached at several vital points. Germany is unmistakably on the defensive. The cry, “On to victory!” is sounded only feebly by the Nazis, where it is uttered at all. In actual fact, it has been replaced by the plea, “We must hold out.”

If victory is not the goal for which the Germans are now called upon the “hold out,” then what is? A “negotiated peace.” That is, a war settlement which will yield Germany the most favorable terms, or the least unfavorable terms, she can expect under the circumstances. How is it possible, according to the Nazi masters, to accomplish such a goal? By making such a stubborn defensive fight as will cost the Allies the heaviest possible casualties and the most stupendous expenditure of national wealth, and reconcile them to some sort of negotiated peace.

Morale Is Hitler’s Problem

Such a fight, however, is not the easiest thing in the world to make. It requires great military-economic strength. But right now it requires more than anything else a readiness of the German people to continue pouring out its blood on the battlefield. This “readiness” is often, and rightly, referred to as “morale.” Hitler’s problem boils down to the heightening or at least the maintenance of the morale of the German people. The greater his success in solving this problem, the longer he and his henchmen remain in power and the longer the war lasts, with its attendant blood-letting and devastation.

If this is understood, the matter of the recent purge in Germany becomes comparatively simple to grasp. We do not know the real truth about the “attempt to bomb” Hitler. It would not be surprising if the attempt were genuine. Nor would it be surprising to learn that the whole affair was concocted for political purposes by Hitler’s own underlings. In either case, the uses to which Hitler has put the alleged occurrence would be the same. Reactionary regimes – Stalin’s is only one example – have made use of such situations before.

Objects of the New Purge

By crushing the “assassins” and hanging the Junkers officers who “confessed,” Hitler sought to accomplish these objectives: (a) place the responsibility for Germany’s defeats on elements outside the highest circles of the Nazis themselves, where, of course, it primarily and properly belongs; (b) turn the discontentment of wide sections of the population against the never popular Junkers who, the Nazis have suddenly and profitably discovered, were always “swinish aristocrats”; (c) extract new declarations of loyalty to the Fuehrer from those officers who have flirted with the idea of cutting loose from the Nazis; (d) rally the Nazi machine closer to the gang at the top; (e) decimate in advance any potential combination of leaders who might serve, tomorrow or the next day, as a substitute for the present regime; (f) carry through the most totalitarian possible mobilization of physical strength, with the greatest possible imposition of burdens on the people, for the last-ditch fight

To what extent will the Hitlerites succeed in this new super-mobilization? For how long will they succeed in holding power in their iron claws? We do not know, because totalitarian regimes do not make it possible to acquire the data on which a reasonably realistic reply could be given to such questions.

Allies Prolonging the War

But this we DO know: the Allied governments are doing EVERYTHING they can do to keep Hitler in power and to prolong the war. They are not giving him military aid, to be sure; that they cannot do. But, we repeat, everything they CAN do, they are doing.


If you understand the problem in the simple terms in which it exists, you understand that for Hitler it is a problem of how to keep the German people fighting. If not fighting enthusiastically, then at least stubbornly. If not fighting with love of Hitlerism in their hearts, then at least with hateful acceptance of it as an evil which is not more to be feared than an alternative evil that stares them in the face.

What the Allied governments have done is to supply Hitler and his propaganda machine with this alternative evil. To facilitate its last-ditch mobilization of the Germans, Hitler need only cite to them what the Allies have already said they plan for Germany and its people on the day they are defeated.

Hitler’s grotesque lies before the Nazis took power in Germany, and before the war broke out, were believed only by a minority of the German people, and not by the intelligent or informed minority. But a German, be he Nazi or anti-Nazi, intelligent or ignorant, has, no ground for hesitating to believe – not what Hitler and Goebbels say about Allied plans, b ut what the Allies themselves say about them, in vague outline form, or as rumors in the beginning – at Casablanca, at Moscow, at Teheran, at Cairo.

Demagogues All

What the Allies said, in the Atlantic Charter served no other purpose than to throw a veil of hypocritical, high-minded phrases over their actual plans. Like Hitler’s lofty, speeches about the “new order in Europe,” it merely concealed the real aims, and was meant for gullible people. The real aims began to appear, at first in vague outline, in the form of rumors, and then more clearly, as the Allies went from conference to conference: Quebec, Casablanca, Moscow, Teheran, Cairo, London, and now at Dumbarton

What the Allies are beginning to say bluntly now only confirms our predictions:

Germany is to be occupied militarily by the three big powers. She is to be dismembered, carved up into a number of small, helpless states incapable of sustaining life on a decent plane. Parts of Germany are to be detached altogether and incorporated under the rule of other countries. Millions upon millions of Germans are to be sent to other countries as slave-laborers. A back-breaking tribute is to be imposed upon, the German people. Their industries are either to be taken from them whole and transported elsewhere, or their operations suspended altogether. The Allies aim to accomplish by sheer military force what American imperialism sought to do by its great economic; power after the First World War, namely, reduce Germany to a Balkanized colony.

This mad plan can mean only one thing: chaos, not order, in Europe, and fertilizing the soil of a Third World War even more surely than the infamous Versailles Treaty fertilized the soil of a second.

Allies Feed Goebbels’ Mill

We shall dwell on this on another occasion. What is to be emphasized here is that this madness has not been concealed from the German people. On the contrary! Hitler-Goebbels are working night and day to drum it into the minds and hearts of the Germans. They say: “This is the fate in store for you if we are defeated. It is not just us leaders the Allies are after, but all of us. The Allies only confirm what we, Hitler & Co., have been saying all along, that the fates of you, the people, and we, the masters, are interlinked. They mean to cut us all to pieces, to paralyze us economically, to reduce us to slavery, misery, poverty and alien rule. Against this, we must fight to the bitter end.”

Hitler’s greatest aids sit in Washington, London and Moscow! They are doing everything in their power to delay the inevitable revolution in Germany which can not only bring real peace, prosperity and freedom to that land, but contributes mightily to the peace and freedom of the whole world. They are doing everything they can to prolong the war. Hitler could not ask them to play into his faltering hands more completely than they are doing now.

Shachtman button
Max Shachtman
Marx button
Marxist Writers’

Last updated on 15 December 2015