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International Socialism, Autumn 1961


[The Editors]

Letter to readers


From International Socialism (1st series), No.6, Autumn 1961, p.14.
Thanks to Ted Crawford & the late Will Fancy.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


IS condemns and hopes that its readers condemn the Daily Mail and other newspapers’ witchunt of our comrades in the Solidarity group. We value very much our cooperation with these as with other groups of comrades and we deeply regret that a member of our editorial board, Peter Cadogan, behaved with total irresponsibility in this matter. Peter Cadogan’s association with IS has therefore come to an end by decision of the Board.

We are happy to welcome a new face in our editorial ranks, Eric Preston. Eric was a member of the Young Communist League; broke with Stalinism and joined the Independent Labour Party. He now edits the ILP youth journal, New Generation. He is active in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. He lives in Leeds.

At just over twenty-one pounds, our South African Solidarity Fund has proved relatively successful. We have been able to cover the costs of reproducing the Ten Years of the Stay-at-home published in our last issue in pamphlet form and of getting it there. Some money still remains to form the nucleus of a fund for more ambitious ends. The need is still there. Readers who have not delved into their pockets are asked to do so.

We cannot report the same response to our advertisement for Serge Simon’s booklet, La Greve Generale Belge. Surely there are more readers of French who can pay 4 shillings for this interesting 62 page account!

Readers might be able to help Heinz Brandt, captured by the East German secret police while visiting Western Berlin on behalf of his trade union. Brandt joined the Communist youth movement in 1928 and the Communist Party in 1930. His anti-Nazi activities earned him 5 years in Hitler’s gaols and a stay in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. In 1945 he became an official of the East German Communist Party and was, from 1950 to 1953, secretary of the East Berlin Party. After the June revolt he was dismissed and later, in 1958, fled to West Germany to escape arrest. He worked as editor of the Metal Workers’ journal until his abduction on 16 June this year. We do not believe that the East German authorities are especially sensitive, but neither are they impervious to pressure. The extent of Brandt’s maltreatment, his chances of release can certainly be influenced by the volume of international protest directed to East Germany. Please write directly to Ulbricht, President of the German Democratic Republic, protesting at the kidnapping and demanding Brandt’s release. More important, ensure that the organizations of which you are a member either do likewise or, at the very least, request information and direct contact with Brandt.

At the end of May International Socialism was represented in Brussels at a meeting of socialist journals sponsored by the Imre Nagy Institute for Political Research. Amongst those that partook of the excellent hospitality provided were Arguments (Paris), Clarion (London), Correspondances Socialistes (Paris), Critica Sociale (Milan), Etudes – The Review (Brussels), La Nouvelle Revue Marxiste (Paris), La Verité (Paris), New Politics (New York), Sozialistische Politik (Cologne), Tempi Moderni (Rome), The Socialist Leader (Glasgow), Tribuna Socialista (exiled in Paris from Spain) and Tribune (London). A number of decisions regarding practical cooperation between the journals were taken, including the exchange of articles, of distribution facilities, of contacts with writers and so on. It was also decided to try to coordinate research on two major themes – problems of working class independence and the significance of the Cuban revolution – and arrange a follow up conference in London. The latter has now been convened for 11-12 November (further information may be obtained from George Stone, The Socialist Leader, 48 Dundas Street, Glasgow C1, Scotland). Our letter to readers in future will contain a summary of contents of those of the partipants’ journal received in the period before we go to press.

But it is not only in Europe that International Socialism is fulclling the promise implicit in its name. Japanese comrades have translated and published Tony Cliffs Stalinist Russia, a Marxist Analysis to be used as a text book for political study by the Zengakuren student organization and have translated, and are about to publish, his political biography of Rosa Luxemburg which appeared as Nos.2 and 3 of IS (old series). Back to Europe, we hear that comrades in Germany are to republish the bulk of Ten Years of the Stay-at-home by the Socialist League of Africa which appeared in our last issue. It appears we are of some service to the world socialist movement; we are glad and proud of it.


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Last updated on 20 February 2010