Main NI Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

The New International, January 1938


Hands Off in Spain!

From New International, Vol.4 No.1, January 1938, p.2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


THE international proletariat has cried “Hands Off Spain!” to Hitler and Mussolini. It is high time that the irresistible demand be made to the Stalinist GPU – “Hands Off the Revolutionists in Spain!”

The terror, intimidation, suppression, imprisonment and murder practised against revolutionary militants in Loyalist Spain continues unabated. While the leaders of the People’s Front lead the masses from one inexcusable defeat to another, and conduct secret negotiations with the fascists for a fatal compromise, while Litvinov proudly announces in Geneva that Spain has been sacrificed in the interests of “peace”, the best soldiers in the struggle against reaction are being hounded by the imported GPU.

Like so many others, Andres Nin, the leader of the POUM, was lynched by the Stalinist secret police. The whole POUM leadership, including Juan Andrade and Julio Gorkin, and scores of members, are kept in prison for months without a trial. Literally thousands of anarchist and left wing socialist militants of the Caballero group are kept in the private dungeons of the GPU or the government’s own prisons.

Foreign militants, by the score, have disappeared or are held in prison, some without charges, all without trial. Our own Harry Milton was kept in prison for months before his release, forced by protest. Even the American right wing socialist, Sam Baron, was only recently freed from imprisonment as a “Trotskyist”. Marc Rein, son of the Menshevik leader Abramovich, has disappeared – to Russia, it is feared. Erwin Wolf, the Czech militant, has met the same fate. The whereabouts of Kurt Landau, well-known Austrian revolutionist, and V. Vitte, leader of the Greek Archiomarxists, are unknown.

The champions of “democracy” in Spain deprive working class militants of the most elementary democratic rights. The infamous outrages of the GPU must be answered by a storm of international proletarian protest. Only in this way was Harry Milton’s life saved. Hundreds of other lives are in danger. The Spanish Ambassador Fernando de los Rios at Washington, and the government at Barcelona, must be inundated with the sharpest protests from every labor organization and meeting.

Top of page

Main NI Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Last updated on 4.8.2006