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The Militant, 16 December 1933

Unser Wort

On the Death of Max Hoelz

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 55, 16 December 1933, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


On September 15th, Max Hoelz met with an accident in a boating trip on the Oka River (Soviet Union) and drowned. And with that the life of a fighter was extinguished, a militant who will continue to live on in the hearts of the revolutionary proletariat as the courageous revolutionist who fought with determination and strength against capitalism and for the proletarian revolution.

The lessons of the revolutionary struggles of 1920 and 1921, which were led by Max Hoelz, have not yet been eradicated from the consciousness of the revolutionary proletariat. If there was only one member of the C.C. of the C.P.G. imbued with the spirit of Max Hoelz the disgraceful, capitulatory defeat of the C.P.G. could not have been possible. The functionaries who are whispering among themselves that Max Hoelz was not a Marxist, that his deeds and those of his group had little in common with the fundamentals of the class struggle are well answered by the fact that he was not that kind of a “Marxist” who hides his cowardice behind Marxism.

An Enemy of the Stalinist Bureaucracy

The news of the death of Max Hoelz shocked all the friends of the militant. It is not true, as the social democratic and Communist papers write, that his political career came to an end with his release from prison in 1918. Max Hoelz wanted to struggle on. He was an enemy of the Stalinist bureaucracy. The German C.C., covered with guilt for Hitler’s victory – he hated and despised it with a violent passion.

During the prison years and the years of his stay in the Soviet Union Max Hoelz, through intensive study acquired a comprehensive Marxist education. These were to be a strong weapon for him in the coming struggles of the German proletariat. Max Hoelz’s mind was set on returning to Germany to engage in new struggles. As late as last February, after Hitler had become Chancellor, Max Hoelz addressed a request to the Comintern to permit him to return to Germany. The Stalinist bureaucracy did not allow him to do so. In order to prevent him from leaving, he was forced to become a Soviet citizen.

Stood for a New Party

Max Hoelz shared the views of his friends Wolf and Wollenberg on the collapse of the German C.P. and the Comintern. And also, as early as March he proclaimed the necessity for the creation of a new party of struggle. At the beginning of March there were many discussions in his hotel room on the situation created in Germany and in the Comintern by Hitler’s victory. Max Hoelz repeatedly expressed himself in this connection that the defeat of the German C.P. and the Comintern was caused in the first place by the false policy of the Comintern in recent years and particularly by Stalin’s false policy in the Soviet Union, which has brought with it the exclusion of the best revolutionary elements in the Soviet Union as in the Comintern. He repeatedly declared that the expulsion of Trotsky and his friends was one of the greatest crimes of the C.C. of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

The revolutionary strength of Max Hoelz was shackled by the Stalinist bureaucracy. His passionate will to struggle could not bear the tedious bureaucracy. He was kept in inactivity for many years through the chicanery of the bureaucracy. They refused to give him any productive work in order to paralyze his revolutionary energy.

He was a fighter for the emancipation of the proletariat whose militancy will be a pattern for us.

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