Main NI Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

The Militant, 5 May 1945

Bill Morgan

The Difference Between
Blue Blood and Red

From The Militant, Vol. IX No. 18, 5 May 1945, p. 6.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Red blood or blue blood? There’s a difference. A big difference. You got to know your stuff on this question – especially when it comes to dealing with the Germans or the Japanese.

Take plain, ordinary red blood for instance. Working-class blood. The kind that stains the sand of South Pacific islands, the decks of destroyers and the mud of European battlefields. It’s tricky stuff. Can’t be trusted. It has a powerful tendency to recognize itself despite different uniforms and languages.

That’s why American soldiers are fined sixty-five bucks for exchanging a word or so with German soldiers and workers. That’s why American and British and Australian troops are taught that the Japanese soldiers, workers and peasants in uniform, are not human beings but monkeys. That’s why German bosses and Nazi officials howl that the Russian soldiers are butchers, that the French workers are dogs, that the American and British troops are stupid. That’s why the Japanese warlords and industrialists chant songs of hate and nationalism to their slaves.

The Kaiser’s Widow

“Kill the bastards!” yells Wall Street. “Shoot the swine!” growl the Himmlers and Krupps. “Destroy the white dogs!” scream the Togos and Mitsuis.

But what happens when blue blood meets blue blood? Ah, fellow worker, there’s a difference. Blue blood is exempt from all the hate, prejudice and nationalism.

Take for instance Princess Hermine, widow of Kaiser Wilhelm, “the Beast of Berlin” in the first World War. She is now a “prisoner” of the American Army along with half a dozen other Hohenzollerns and former royalty. She is permitted to remain in her eighty-four room castle. When she asks for coffee and cigarettes no one laughs or growls at her.

Ah, no. She is allowed to tell American readers of the press her sad story.

“The Americans have been so attentive to me,” she said. “They have not bothered us at all. I was walking in my garden April 12 when I heard American convoys running past. The next thing was an American lieutenant. He walked in and said: ‘We must take this for a command post.’ He was very nice. He was attentive to us, and so are all you Americans.”

Her Sad Story

By “us” she meant her sister, Princess Ida; the Princess Carmo Hartung, her niece; Prince Christoph-Martin; the Countess Therese of Stolberg and the Countess’ children, Prince Franz Joseph and Prince Fritz.

She had been living in tranquillity at her Silesian castle ... But let her tell her own sad story:

“I was ordered to move by the German Army. That was Feb. 21. I left in such a hurry that I had to leave behind many of my precious personal souvenirs.

“I had to leave some of my jewels and some of my horses. I didn’t want to go ... We had only a few cars left. There were thousands of refugees on the road. It was a terrible sight ...”

That’s the way to treat a blue-blooded prisoner. Be nice. Be attentive. Attend to her comforts. Spread her sob story all over the front page. And, above all, don’t sneer when she asks for American coffee. And don’t forget her poor, blue-blooded grandchildren and nieces.

Blue blood is precious stuff. Something to be conserved. Red blood is cheap and expendable.

Top of page

Main Militant Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Last updated on 7 November 2018