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Fourth International, November 1945


The New Versailles and the German Revolution


From Fourth International, Vol.6 No.11, November 1945, pp.336-341.
Transcribed, marked up & formatted by Ted Crawford & David Walters in 2008 for ETOL.


The following article was written by an old German Communist, at one time a leading member of the Communist Party of Germany. As his article indicates, he has broken with Stalinism and has come over to the position of the Fourth International.

The article was written in March 1945, before the final downfall of the Nazi regime. It is interesting to note how accurately the author predicts the ensuing events. His broad outline of the tasks facing the German proletariat retains all of its importance today. Our translation is based on the French text, printed in the March-June 1945 number of Quatrième Internationale, organ of the European committee of the Fourth International.

* * *

Whichever way the war ends, one thing is certain: judging from the plans and intentions that are known up to the present time, the Versailles treaty will appear as mere child’s play, in comparison to the “peace” that is being prepared. It is true that threats are hurled at the German fascists, but the decisive measures on the social and political plane, such as the dismemberment of Germany, reparations and deportations, are directed against the German people themselves. These measures unequivocally prove that the German masses are to be made to pay for Hitler’s crimes. Once Hitler is beaten on the military plane, he will disappear as the slave-driver of the German people in the service of German finance capital, but only to be immediately replaced from without by the new imperialist slave-drivers. A change in slave-drivers, that is what the new “peace” will bring the German people.

In the propagandist preparation for this “peace” it has become the fashion to portray the German people as utterly contaminated by Nazism. To assure justification in advance they must make the German people responsible for all the fascist crimes.

There is nothing abnormal in such practices on the part of the imperialists. Far more important and dangerous is the fact that the official Communist parties and the Soviet Union, under the guidance of Stalin, no longer make any distinction between Hitler and the German people and take no further interest in the German revolution.

At the time of the Versailles treaty there was at least the Communist International which made it obligatory for the Communist parties of the victorious powers to unceasingly struggle against the imperialist, exploitation embodied in that treaty. But to clarify the situation for the proletariat today it is necessary to carry on a difficult struggle against the chauvinist current of the official Communist parties. The international working class must understand thoroughly the tremendous importance of a German anti-fascist movement and of a German revolution in spite of the sabotage of the official Communists. We must condition the international proletariat so that it will fraternize with the German proletariat not only against Hitler but also against the imperialist slave-drivers of tomorrow, against the masters of the second super-Versailles treaty now in preparation.

For what follows in this article it is necessary to call to mind certain historical facts. In the first place it must not be forgotten that the German proletariat bled terribly in its numerous heroic attempts at revolution in the period between the two world wars and one must not make an attempt to picture a homogeneous German people which is confounded with Hitlerism.

The German militants were the first to know the horrors of Hitler’s domination.

To ignore, for example, the thousands of revolutionists who were shot, beheaded or killed in the concentration camps by the fascists, would be to insult the dead.

These innumerable martyrs who have done – and are still doing today – their proletarian duty to the end, are they not the bet proof that there was a popular anti-fascist movement in Germany, that Hitler and the German people cannot be considered as one and the same thing?

One could, of course, sympathetically analyze the faults and weaknesses of the German workers’ movement with the intention of doing better and of discovering the causes that gave rise to the victory of Fascism. One might blame the Social Democracy for the methods of Noske and for its coalitions with the bourgeoisie which were a betrayal of the working class. One might reproach German Communism its failure to avoid a schism in the German working class by a united Front truly capable of combating fascism. But to simply ignore the antifascist movement of the German workers and to picture the German people as entirely influenced by Hitler, is to aid Goebbels, the chief liar of the Reich.

Confronted with this situation, surely one cannot blame the author of these lines if at first he feels himself obliged to recall certain elementary Marxist truths concerning the birth of fascism in Germany and the unleashing of the second world war.

It is of course completely false to consider German fascism as a specifically German phenomenon. To pretend as much would be to indulge in racialism pure and simple. In reality the German people is neither better nor worse than other peoples. Only the particular economic and political circumstances of Germany brought in their wake fascism as the historical result. Within the limited scope of this article we have to content ourselves merely with mentioning that the national unification of Germany, its capitalist evolution and its appearance on the world market was belated. But Germany very rapidly caught up with and surpassed its competitors, developed in the most striking manner a monopoly capitalism endowed with formidable expansive power, and by virtue of this became the most aggressive of the imperialists clamoring for a division, and after Versailles for a re-division, of markets and spheres of world influence. Herein lies the principal cause of German militarism and its aggressive character, and not in the militarist character of the people, as those who take the outward form for the real cause would have us believe.

It is incontestable that Hitler as the representative of a famished imperialism which was forced to expand because of its high degree of technical and organizational development, but curbed by Versailles, provided the pretext for the second world war. But that does not convert the other imperialists into “peace-loving democracies.” If in 1939 the American, English and French imperialists appeared more pacifistic the reason is that satiated and feeling themselves sure of their possessions, they were not disposed to risk at that moment a new world war for a new division of the world.

The world war has lasted long enough to have demonstrated meanwhile the equally imperialist character of the “Allies.” The bloody conflict we are witnessing is in effect nothing but an attempt to obtain a new division of the capitalist spheres of interest. The imperialist rivalries among the “Allies” are already becoming quite clearly outlined for example on the question of the partition of Germany.

The “democrats” are in no mood for joking whenever their interests appear to be menaced by proletarian action, or even by genuine anti-fascist action. The bloodshed perpetrated by the English “liberators” in their semi-colony Greece proves this.

In short, it must not be forgotten that fascism is nothing but the legitimate child of capitalism, even though in this case German fascism appears as the aggressor, as the principal culprit.

Capitalism Engenders Fascism

Capitalism engenders fascism as well as war. Consequently it would be a dangerous illusion to think that there will be no war danger if only German fascism is beaten. Wars will disappear only with the disappearance of the capitalist order. As long as this order exists a relapse into fascism is inevitable. This is one more reason why the international proletariat should not only fight for the overthrow of German fascism, but must combine this struggle with the struggle against every other fascist tendency, against every reactionary attempt, against every imperialist enterprise of its own bourgeoisie.

If we want to understand why fascism attained its most perfected form in Germany, we must take into consideration its specific economic development. In Germany the normal road of fusion of banking capital and industrial capital into finance capital of a monopoly character was particularly devious. There was a wide breach between social production and private appropriation. On the one side there was the overwhelming and incontestable majority of the whole people, on the other side an ever diminishing layer of bankers and industrialists, that fused more and more with the government and showed ever clearer its parasitic character, collecting ever higher monopoly profits at the expense of their own people.

Bourgeois democracy and liberalism corresponded essentially to a capitalism of free competition. Hand in hand with monopoly capitalism went the abolition of democracy and parliamentarianism, the invention of the theory of the master race, social and political reaction all along the line. To the same degree that the governing minority of monopoly capitalists became less numerous, decrees and measures of compulsion were applied and all democratic rights were abolished. Dictatorship, totalitarianism and finally the totalitarian state of Hitler are only the political consequences of monopoly capitalism pushed to the extreme.

Of course, this capitalist evolution toward fascism was not fatalistically determined in advance. A force existed which could have swerved this evolution toward socialism: the German proletariat. But the German proletariat was beaten. The formidable sacrifices in human lives of the German workers were in vain, for the following reasons: division in the working class, reformism, treachery of the Social Democracy, decapitation of the Communist vanguard, and later, the incapacity of a mass Communist party and of the Communist International to form a workers’ united front capable of struggling against fascism.

Moreover, every new defeat of the working class represented for the bourgeoisie an opportunity (which they learned to appreciate more and more) to reinforce their fascist guards, the SA and the SS, and to even create a fascist mass movement, composed of elements from the lumpen-proletariat, certain layers of the petty bourgeoisie and of the peasantry. Until the moment when the greatest catastrophe that ever occurred in the history of the international workers’ movement became a reality: the advent of Hitler.

Hence, if one wants to talk of the responsibility of the German people for fascism, one would have to consider in an objective manner all the reasons for the defeat of the German proletariat. But to look for the causes of fascism in the character of the German people itself is the last word in absurdity. We must look for the cause of fascism in the specific development of Germany. This fascism has all the less affinity with the German people as a whole, since it is on the contrary the most brutal; most reactionary, technically and organizationally the most perfected tyranny that any small group of exploiters ever exercised against the German people.

The Causes of Fascist Resistance

But, if this is the case a new problem immediately arises. Why did the German people tolerate for such a long time this bloody tyranny of a minority, why did it not overthrow fascism and why did it not attempt at least to escape from the frightful butchery of the last round of a lost war at a moment when the military defeat of Hitler was already certain?

If such questions are posed, we must ascertain first who poses them and why he poses them. If militarists and imperialists such as the English capitalist lords, who acclaimed the advent of Hitler and who supported German fascism for years on end, today speak of the necessity of overthrowing Hitlerism, it is of course clear that they envisage something quite different than a real extermination of the fascist system. This kind of anti-fascist has already proven in Greece, Belgium, Italy and France – and they will yet prove it in other countries – that they are above all against the popular masses, when the latter are really determined to root out fascism once and for all. The slogans of these “democrats,” allegedly aimed at provoking the fall of German fascism, are in reality merely a weapon for the realization of their own militaristic and imperialist aims. Their reproach to the German people for still tolerating Hitler is sheer hypocrisy, for at bottom they are basing themselves exactly on this supposed alliance between Hitler and the people in their preparations for the punishment of the German people and the installation of their imperialist exploiting power over all of Germany.

But we are obliged to provide clarification on the problem in question if it is the popular masses of all countries who pose it. In that case we must say: if one wanted to explain why the German people have not yet driven out Hitler and why up till now there are only small groups and isolated individuals who have sacrificed themselves in the struggle against Hitler then one must make a profound analysis of the destruction of the German workers’ organizations, the systematic annihilation of the revolutionary vanguard of the German proletariat, the enlistment of the popular masses in technically perfected fascist organizations, which did not permit anyone in Germany to live outside their radius of operation, the effect of the social demagogy of Hitler (at least during the period preceding the war) and above all the effect of the most formidable, brutal and technically perfected police apparatus, developed constantly by the greatest war machine in world history, both of which hold the German people as in an iron straitjacket.

It is precisely this confusion of Hitler with the German people, maintained by the official Communists as well as by the most reactionary imperialists, which prevents the overthrow of Hitler by the German people. And if there are groupings which pretend to desire the fall of German fascism, as for instance the “Free German Committee,” could such an organization, which is completely denuded of principles and comprises generals and marshals who pretend to have discovered their anti-fascist sentiments during captivity, find an echo among the anti-fascist popular masses in Germany itself? It is self-evident that this question must be answered in the negative.

But are there not in Germany several million deported workers of all countries? At least one will not suspect them of having a natural penchant for fascism. Why do not these millions revolt against fascism? Because they too are caught in the same iron grip. In the first place Hitler’s gigantic machine of repression has up till now always succeeded against the German people, and at the same time against the foreign workers, in crushing the slightest anti-fascist activity.

But one day this dam will break. And the day of the break-through will be brought all the closer if the wall of non-comprehension and chauvinist hatred, that they are trying to systematically build up between the German people and the popular masses of the other countries, will be destroyed.

The Imperialist Plans

Here is the situation as it presents itself today: independently of any attempts at revolt against Hitler that might still occur at the last moment in Germany itself, the “Allied” imperialists want to finish off this business exclusively by military means. Their plans are the following: after unconditional surrender they would in the first place like to keep the German people from all possibilities of self-government and themselves exercise governmental power through the intermediary of a military regime or rather a dictatorship of generals. They envisage at the present time the division of Germany into four parts – a Russian zone in the east, an English zone in the north-west, an American zone in the south-west and a French zone in the south. It is interesting to note that as yet it is not definitely known for whom the most important morsel – the Ruhr – is reserved.

As regards the plans concerning the social and political structure of vanquished Germany the following solutions, all equally monstrous, are proposed: The Englishman Vansittart demands the complete dismemberment of Germany; the American Morgenthau recommends the transformation of the industrial German state into a purely agricultural country; and Varga, the “eminent” economist of Stalin, proposes a combination of these measures; dismemberment of the territory, de-industrialization, payment of many billions in reparations and the deportation of at least 10 million German workers to the east.

And what is happening to the abolition of the racial laws, the punishment of the SS hangmen, the dissolution of the National Socialist organizations, the punishment of the innumerable war criminals? We still hear, though less loudly, whispers of such propaganda but on the other hand information reaches us at the same time from the Russian, American, English and French front according to which it is strictly forbidden for soldiers to respond to attempts of fraternization by the population, that is to say, to any anti-fascist activity. A communication from the Moscow press informs us that when workers in upper Silesia attacked the palace of the Nazi bigwigs the Russians hastened to re-establish order. This was justified about as follows: the supposed anger of the people against the fascist hangmen was nothing but a maneuver of the Germans to escape from being held responsible for all the fascist crimes.

All these signs are only forerunners of the situation to come. But today we can already conclude that there will be no rooting out of fascism, no punishment of Nazi hangmen and war criminals, no destruction of the Gestapo and of the SS unless the anti-fascist forces of the German people themselves are mobilized and organized. And this is a very difficult task.

Without ambiguity, all the imperialist plans, aiming at dismemberment, deportations, payment of reparations, etc., stand in the way. These plans call for a population of slaves without power or will and not for a free and proud people capable of freeing itself from fascism. After a few measures intended to throw sand in the eyes, we must even expect that the new slave drivers of the German people will employ a large part of the old fascist State apparatus and police in order to oppress the popular anti-fascist masses. If what the Swiss press has reported during the last few days is correct, that the Americans are holding re-education courses for the SS, one can already form an opinion on what is going to happen. In any case, the new wielders of power, like Hitler, will see the main danger in the internationalism of a proletariat which consciously fights for socialism to escape from the hell of a new super-Versailles after the hell of Hitlerism.

One can already predict today what lying propaganda will then be given to the world. They will babble about neo-fascist influences, they will suspect the German workers of working again for a national renaissance, and for a resurrection of German militarism. It will be up to the German proletariat to prove through action its internationalism and its disdain for all racialism. It will not be the fault of the proletariat but of the “Allied” occupation authorities if many fascists escape punishment and even attempt to penetrate into the ranks of the proletariat. To drive out these provocateurs can be the task only of the proletariat, the organized proletariat which has learned to handle the weapon of internationalism. But – we cannot repeat this cardinal point too often – this proletariat must find aid and assistance in the international working class itself.

The Question of the Revolutionary Party

Just as after the first world war the Versailles treaty and its consequences (Hitler’s advent to power included) could have been prevented only by a German proletarian revolution, so this time only a victory of the proletariat and a federation of socialist peoples can prevent the second Versailles with its germs of another world war. Where are we so far as the preliminary conditions leading toward this goal are concerned? And what are the perspectives especially for the German proletariat in its two-fold struggle for the wiping out of German fascism on the one hand and against the new imperialist exploitation on the other hand?

In general, one can immediately state that the objective conditions for a German revolution are absolutely favorable, maybe even over-ripe. This holds good from every point of view; whether one considers the inevitable economic post-war crises in the era of a new super-Versailles, or whether one takes into account the fact that radicalization today takes place much more rapidly than in 1918 and on a world scale, or whether one simply limits oneself to the technico-organizational development of German capitalism to ascertain that the concentration of German monopoly capital and its close relationship to the state organs have laid the first foundations for a general socialization.

It is manifestly the subjective factor which lags furthest behind. Not that there is in Germany still a fascist majority or even a strong fascist minority. From now on it is absolutely certain that the experience of the masses under fascist domination and above all the terrible sufferings brought on by total war, have isolated Hitler and his clique for all time from the overwhelming majority of the German people.

The subjective factor should rather be understood as the organizational forces, the leading elements, which could lead a mass movement towards the socialist goal.

It is certain that, tomorrow in Germany, after such a bloodletting, profound apathy and equally great fatigue will reign, but also that desperate revolts will break out at times which will have as their point of departure the social consequences of the second Versailles. It is possible that even neo-fascist tendencies will become mixed up in these outbreaks of despair. It is consequently all the more important that there be forces which will know how to immediately eliminate the harmful elements and which moreover will know how to coordinate the isolated struggles and give them a class meaning and a socialist leadership. In other words: tomorrow’s situation in Germany will demand the creation of a true revolutionary mass party with a clear program corresponding to the situation. That is to say, a real communist party, a party which knows how to fight in the spirit of Liebknecht and Luxemburg and which can apply the teachings and experiences of Lenin.

What remains of this party in Germany? It is true that small groups still exist which work according to the method of total decentralization corresponding to the most complete illegality. But let us have no illusions: in Germany the Communist Party must be completely rebuilt. The old experienced revolutionary cadres have been almost completely liquidated. They died under the axe of the executioner, they perished in the concentration camps, they disappeared in the general butchery of this war. To the physical extermination one may add – an even worse thing for a party – the spiritual degeneration in emigration. Torn from their country, the remainder of the leading cadres of the party became more and more the victims of political corruption. Whatever still exists of them no longer counts in the history of the German revolution. They are easy clay for the chauvinist hand of Stalin to mold. It is only too natural that those who remain no longer bear the name “communist” but ally themselves, in the framework of a “free Germany,” with old generals and marshals of Hitler.

Thus, just as in 1918, when the communist party under Liebknecht was represented above all by the working class youth, must we again make a vibrant appeal to this youth. But at this point still other problems arise which will not be easy to solve. The youth more than anyone else in Germany has been the victim of National Socialist propaganda, corruption and violence. Spartacus and the young Communist Party was the party of the young revolutionists. This time fascism has had a monopoly on the youth and a considerable process of re-education and clarification is first necessary before the youth can again lead a real communist party and thereby the proletarian masses. But we must not depict this process of re-education in the petty bourgeois manner or in the manner in which the imperialists today talk of the re-education of the youth. The school we have in view is the struggle itself. The masses learn at a thousand times faster rhythm in the course of revolutions than in periods of stagnation. This will considerably facilitate our task of winning the youth and organizing a Leninist revolutionary party.

The creation of this party obviously constitutes the first and most important paragraph of the program for the Germany of today and tomorrow. For a revolution does not come of itself, it is organized; and a party whose revolutionary theory corresponds to revolutionary practice – and vice versa – is the most important lever of this organization.

If we seriously reflect on all this, one cannot have a short perspective so far as Germany is concerned. And indeed, although objectively everything speaks in favor of an accelerated revolutionary process, there are subjective factors which hold it back. We must clearly analyze them and view them correctly in order all the better to neutralize them.

Nevertheless it is necessary to return anew to a question we have already mentioned several times in this article. That is the question of internationalism. Whoever has lived through the year 1917 and knows the radiating power of October cannot underestimate the importance of a truly internationalist sentiment for the development of all proletarian revolutions inside national boundaries. But where is this all-powerful pole of attraction today which could attract and fertilize the revolutionary movement in Germany and in the world? True, even in Germany there is still a vestige of revolutionary faith based on the work of Lenin. But what will the situation be when under the leadership of Stalin the land of the October revolution will punish the workers for Hitler’s crimes by forced labor and mass deportations, in the manner of all the imperialists? How could the idea of the October revolution develop in such an atmosphere, an idea which radiated throughout the world?

To pose such questions is to answer them with the declaration that the German revolution is not only in urgent need of a communist party, but also of a genuine communist International. The Third International was dissolved after all the ideas of Lenin had been extirpated from its ranks. It is the great historical merit of the Fourth International to have again lit the spark of the International of Lenin which was about to be extinguished. Even if we German communists encounter in Germany a certain discouragement on the question of aid from a real International we will not have to hang our heads. On the contrary, we will be able to say: the International lives, in spite of Hitler, the war, imperialism, the degeneration of the party and in spite of Stalin; the International lives and wants to help you, you German workers, so that you may at last fight victoriously for your October! We can be almost certain that the foreign workers in Germany will be messengers of the internationalist idea as soon as they return to their countries. They have been in contact with the German proletariat and for that reason are in a better position to evaluate the lie that is being spread about the alleged common views of Hitler and the German people. This will be of great aid to the German proletariat, in the absence of an international pole of attraction.

If we must now formulate the second paragraph in the program of the German revolution, we can say without hesitation that it should extol the existence and the ever-widening and deepening influence of a true Communist International such as Lenin envisaged it.

Perspectives of the Revolution

The objective conditions are so ripe that it is hard to imagine that after the fall of Hitler anything else could occur in Germany but the seizure of power by the proletariat. But due to the specific circumstances under which the fall of Hitler will take place, his fall and the German revolution will not coincide. Probably Hitler will fall as the result of military defeat, i.e. he will not be overthrown by the conscious revolutionary action of his mortal enemies, the German proletariat, but by his rival class brothers of the other countries. Immediately a new system of imperialist exploitation will replace the dictatorship of Hitler. Then the conditions for a German revolution, under military occupation and in a dismembered country, will certainly mature. Hence, the third great paragraph in the program of the German revolution will then be to launch slogans that must correspond to this particular situation. That is to say above all slogans impregnated with internationalist spirit. Already today it is time to make the proletarians in uniform who occupy the different sections of Germany understand that they should not lower themselves to playing the role of executioners of the German proletariat.

It is equally necessary, and on an international scale, to undertake a struggle against the dismemberment of Germany and against the other imperialist measures of colonization which are aimed not at fascism but at the German people. This struggle for the preservation of the economic and political unity of Germany is for the German proletariat not only a means to prevent the resurrection of a new chauvinism and militarism, but it above all offers a chance for the victorious revolution to win a large country for socialism.

The program of action itself, designed for the struggle on the plane of internal politics, must have a transitional character. After the fascist dictatorship the masses in Germany are looking for a democratic way out. The question is to help them overcome, as quickly as possible certain vague illusions about the possibility of creating under the imperialist yoke something that would be a true democracy.

Real action against the fascist executioners, real punishment of the crimes of the Gestapo and the SS, complete purge of all elements infected by fascism, real confiscation of the fortunes of the Nazi Bigwigs and their utilization for the social aims of the proletariat, all this will constitute the main school of the German proletariat. The question is to lead the masses to the point where by their own action they will begin to understand the necessity of seizing power. This will be achieved all the more quickly since they will soon become convinced that punishment of Nazis and war criminals, promised by the imperialists, will end as soon as the occupying powers begin to direct their main attack against the proletarian danger.

The struggle against deportations will undoubtedly play a big role. If the proletariat does not as yet have the forces to prevent them directly, slogans of the following kind should be launched: fair pay, trade union organization, individual freedom, humane treatment, etc.

While they still had to fight their rival Hitler, the imperialists proclaimed that they would re-establish all democratic rights in Germany. They will be taken at their word, although no democracy can exist under an imperialist yoke. Consequently the German proletariat will again take up the struggle for true freedom of the press, of assembly and of speech, for the right to form political parties, trade unions and the right to strike. The motive force will be the struggle against rising prices by means of control organizations, against fascist sabotage by means of surveillance committees, against capitalist anarchy by means of factory committees, against technical sabotage and for a purge of fascist elements from the factories by armed factory militias. Demonstrations against famine, strikes etc. – such will be the main weapons in this struggle.

Finally, an important task will be to take hold of the promise of the imperialists to destroy fascism and the causes of war in Germany. But only in order to demonstrate that the foreign imperialists prefer to align themselves with the German capitalists against the proletarian masses rather than take decisive measures to drain the economic sources of German militarism. Expropriation without indemnity of war profiteers, socialization of key industries, confiscation of junker property for the benefit of agricultural labor and the poor peasant, all this must become the main point of the proletarian struggle for the wiping out of fascism and militarism.

It is exactly this socialist extension of a simple democratic program against war and fascism that the imperialists seek to avoid in Germany, as it touches the very nerve center of the capitalist system. On this point they will clearly be unmasked as the slave drivers who are taking Hitler’s place.

A Transition Program

We have spoken about a transitional program because it is certain that, in the struggle for all these demands, the German proletariat will overcome its apathy and become a force capable of re-establishing the equilibrium between a favorable objective situation and unfavorable subjective preconditions.

We must here stress that all we have done in this article is to propose general revolutionary demands. They have no value other than as general directives. In reality the period following the military collapse of Hitler will of course not be an epoch of normal and regular development. We must expect unforeseen events, sudden changes. Masses of men, millions strong, armed by the imperialists themselves, for the struggle against Hitler, certainly have the intention of finishing off fascism once and for all. This anti-fascist will of millions of human beings in all the countries noticeably affects the regroupment and the redivision of the imperialist spheres of influence. The events in Greece are perhaps much more symptomatic than we all think. After six years of world war we are apparently entering upon a long period of civil wars which will turn Europe and the world topsy turvy.

However this may be, the question of the German proletariat will always play a big role as a touchstone for the international working class. Its activity will always be the special thermometer of the general maturity of the proletarian revolution.

If this is so, if Germany remains an essential point, if one takes into account at the same time the fact that this second world war is the last great opportunity for the proletariat in the course of this century to seize power, then, truly it is no exaggeration to conclude that the German proletariat has a responsibility toward all humanity. For if this opportunity, which contains the greatest objective possibilities, such as accumulate only once in centuries, is missed, if the Germans and international proletariat prove again to be unable to establish their power and to form the Union of Socialist Nations, we will inevitably sink into barbarism.

On the other hand one cannot overestimate the importance of a victorious German revolution. It would above all have an immediate and profound repercussion among the Russian proletariat. The Russian proletariat, made aware of its own force by the success of the German proletariat, would turn against its own bureaucracy. The degeneration brought on by the theory of socialism in one country could thereby be halted. The October Revolution of Lenin, whose foundations still stand, could thus be saved. Otherwise it is impossible to foresee to what new disasters the path of Stalin will yet lead humanity.

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