Walter Ulbricht

How Do We Combat Fascism?

(25 November 1930)

Source: Walter Ulbricht, Zur Geschichte der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung, Vol. I (1953).
Translation: The Red Path.
HTML Mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Who is the biggest enemy of the working class? Every worker will reply: The fascism. The social democracy and the Reichsbanner [1] have another opinion. The social-democratic police president, Grzesinski, declared in district Kreuzberg, the fascists would be no danger, but the communists. On the wicked murder by the Nazis in Charlottenburg Grzesinski replied, that he does not think about banning the NSDAP. On the same day the dissolution of the “Young Socialist Steward Service”, which was arranged by Künstler, took place.

Who are the fascist forces? Not just the Nazis. Also Stahlhelm [2], Young German Order, Landbund [3] and other reactionary organizations, Reichswehr and police also are in decisive situations under order of fascism. Also the Brüning government, which is labeled correctly by the communists semi-fascist. Where is a difference in the practical politics of Brüning and Frick? It is just a question of time until Brüning adds the Nazis to his government. Yes, so close is already the fascist danger in Germany. And this government of the direct preparation of fascist dictatorship is supported by the social-democratic leaders.

This support can cost the head of the proletariat, when the helper role of Severing and Grzesinski for Brüning succeeds. Think of the metal workers strike! The SPD leaders will betray their “own republic”, when she gets conquered by fascism. How can they fight against fascism, when they just flattened the way by their coalition politics, when they directly supported it by their practical Burgfrieden politics [4] with the Brüning government and prevent the struggle of the workers against fascism?

The rift between the social-democratic leaders and the proletarian part of their followers is becoming bigger daily. It is unbridgeable anymore. The main directorate of SPD already asked the question of splitting. Tomorrow the Severing police will shoot on the social-democratic workers, just like today on the communists. Between social-democratic workers and communist workers is no hindrance anymore, when the SPD workers free themselves from the influence of baiting by their leaders against us, from the wrong opportunist ideology, that the capitalist republic would already be the republic of the workers. Who still believes that today, that with the Reichsbanner and its semi-fascist members from Zentrum and with the exchange speculators from the State Party [5] fascism could be combated, will only get the last realization of it by the murdering and burning fascism.

Decide: With or against Grzesinski? When the workers struggle united, when they do not care about the agreements of the bourgeoisie with the social-democratic leaders and stand tightly together, then they are an invincible power. Ten thousands of social-democratic workers and members of the Socialist Workers Youth [6] want to struggle against fascism. But the SPD directorate decrees like a police president the expulsion of the members of Young Socialist Steward Service. Why? Because a true struggle against fascism is not compatible with supporting the semi-fascist Brüning program by SPD members in Prussia and the social-democratic police president. In this serious hour, where Brüning again threatens with Article 48 [7] and the situation in Germany increasingly exacerbate, where the Nazis lay on lurk, to attack, we ask every SPD worker:

Do you want the struggle against fascism and by that the struggle against the supporting of the Brüning dictatorship by the SPD or do you want the support of fascism, like it happens by Wels, Severing, Grzesinski & Co.?

Struggle against fascism, that means also the forming of appropriate organizations. Therefore it is necessary, that all workers, social-democratic, partyless and communist, in the enterprises and residential zones elect struggle committees against fascism and support with all forces the combat league against fascism. Struggle against fascism, that means: Struggle for bread, work and liberty, that means: Struggle against capitalist exploitation.

The smashing of fascism, that means: Hunting down the factory owners, the landowners and all exploiters, that means: All power to the working class and the buildup of a free, socialist republic!


1. Paramilitary of SPD, Zentrum and DDP (Weimar Coalition).

2. Paramilitary of DNVP (fascist more like Mussolini-type).

3. Far-right agricultural league; close to DNVP.

4. “Castle Peace Politics“; In First World War it was that SPD plotted with the imperialist parties and supported the war; later it was used for the general betrayal of SPD by plotting with bourgeois parties and acting against the goals they self proclaimed (SPD was formally a Marxist party till 1959).

5. Deutsche Staatspartei (German State Party) was the name of DDP 1930–1933.

6. Youth wing of SPD 1922–1933/45.

7. Weimar Constitution’s Article 48 granted the Reich President absolute power in case of an emergency. However, it was abused to de facto rule Weimar Republic 1930–1933 as a dictatorship of Hindenburg.


Last updated: 28 October 2017