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Reva Craine

World Politics

(16 April 1945)

From Labor Action, Vol. IX No. 16, 16 April 1945, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

A Matter of Interpretation

World War II was started ostensibly to keep Poland free. That is, England declared war on Germany because the latter together with Russia (Russia’s participation is now conveniently forgotten) had violated Poland’s territorial integrity, which the British were pledged, to defend.

Many things have happened since then. Old friendships have been broken, new alliances have been formed. Poland was conquered, “liberated” reconquered and divided up again. But the loyal allies stick to the guarantee made to Poland. Never let it be said that the British rulers have reneged on a promise.

The London Poles, whose government is still recognized by Downing Street, demanded that, since Britain had guaranteed to defend Poland’s borders, this promise be made good now that Russia has encroached upon them. They forgot, only, one small detail which is brought to their attention by a recently issued “White Paper.” The British government points put in the “White Paper” that what was really meant on August 25, 1939, when the Anglo-Polish pact was signed, was that England would defend Poland from Germany, not Russia.

Although the treaty clearly states “against aggression by a European power,” the “White Paper” explained that “by the expression ‘a European power’ employed in the agreement is to be understood Germany.” Just a small matter of interpretation, all of which leaves His Majesty’s government with a clear conscience.


Hate Propaganda

In order to carry out their, designs against the German people, the Allies, through the press and other propaganda means, have carried on a continuous campaign against the German people to prove that all of them are “mad dogs,” “beasts” and worse. This campaign is directed primarily at the people back home for the purpose of making them swallow the drastic measures which will be taken against the German people. Most vicious, of course, has been the propaganda of the Stalinist press, since it is their contention that all Germans, including all the workers, are Nazis. This campaign has fooled many people, but it certainly has not fooled the Nazis themselves, who know quite well what the German people think of fascism.

What better way to disprove this anti-German, not anti-Nazi, propaganda than by reading what the Nazis in their confidential reports have to say! The following excerpts are taken from a confidential report dated November 20, 1944, sent by the Security Service in Mannheim to the Gestapo headquarters in Strassbourg. (Reprinted from the International Federation of Transport Workers Bulletin)

“It should not be overlooked that in many circles, especially among practicing members of the two church denominations and among evacuated women incapable of appreciating the necessity of the fight, the Fuehrer is looked on as nothing less than the cause of all the trouble. For these citizens the Fuehrer is responsibble both for the outbreak of the war and its disastrous outcome.”

The report goes on to state that the people have lost confidence in the Nazi leaders, Goebbels, Ley, Goering, Himmler and Ribbentrop. And further:

“It is recognized what the party has done in many places in the way of social and political work and how many honorary party officials devote their leisure time to the service of the community. Also deep respect is felt for the all-powerful party, whose power is constantly increased. But this respect is based on fear rather than esteem.” (Our emphasis.)

”There are both soldiers and workers, and especially evacuated women and war widows, who have had more than enough of the war and would rather see it end today than tomorrow, But such despondency is at present still in a minority.”


Foreign Workers in Germany

Another revealing document is one issued by the Labor Front (Hitler’s organization which organized the slave labor) which states that the army high command on May 20, 1944, had addressed a circular to all military service points stating:

“The Fuehrer has received repeated complaints which show that soldiers assigned to the duty of supervising prisoners of war with a view to increasing their labor output, have not cooperated sufficiently or have counteracted measures taken by factory managements in order to increase productivity or sheltered the prisoners. All concerned are enjoined once more to make it their first duty to apply themselves everywhere to achieving a higher output of the war prisoners and, to cooperate and participate actively in this. Whoever in the future offends against this principle or is negligent in respect of It will be severely dealt with.”

Here, out of the mouth of the Nazi officials, comes proof that the elementary class solidarity which they have sought to destroy by their race-hate doctrines, and in which they are being aped today by the Allied imperialists, cannot be wiped out by decree. German soldiers, at the direct threat of severe punishment, are protecting and sheltering their class brothers who have been taken prisoners.


In a Berlin Factory

A Swedish worker, returning from Berlin, relates in the Svenska Morgenbladet of February 1:

“The Germans are not National-Socialists. I worked in an enterprise employing 300 workers, among whom there were three National-Socialists; all the others were anti-National-Socialists, We call ourselves PG, but that does not mean ‘party members’ but ‘enemy of the party’ (Parteigegner). The National-Socialist bosses are hated and despised by the population, which cannot rebel because the power of the Gestapo and SS is terrible. If anybody raised a finger it would mean that thousands would be murdered in cold blood. Today the German people consider themselves the nation worst treated by the National Socialist criminals. On the trains and trams one hears more often than before openly expressed displeasure at the regime.”

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