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Some Stalinist Activities in Czecho-Slovakia

(June 1930)

From The Militant, Vol. III No. 26, 12 July 1930, p. 5.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The struggle of the Centrists against the Left Opposition Communists develops its own objective logic. Where there is default of principled policy, there precarious maneuvers arise, where revolutionary integrity is throttled, bureaucratic slander flourishes. Where the capacity to think is bankrupt, crude violence is the substitute. The Stalinists in Russian do not hold back from the abuse of revolutionary justice against the Oppositions proletarians and likewise they do not hesitate in Western Europe to make a united front with the police against Opposition worker-Communists. The facts are strong enough in themselves to make every commentary superfluous. We draw the attention of the workers to the following facts.

The Soviet Diplomats and the Police

A delegation of Communist workers made a demand upon the representatives of the Soviet Union in Prague, Arosew, for an explanation of the shooting of Blumkin. He thereupon alleged that he would make a direct inquiry of Moscow. After several futile interventions this successful Communist declared in the course of a debate on being driven into a tight corner by a worker, that the shooting of a Communist did not come within his diplomatic “jurisdiction”. The comrades, on leaving the building, were surrounded by secret service men, detained and subjected to a severe cross-examination: the above-mentioned worker was then arrested. The bold Arosew had displayed his finished diplomatic “art” having arrived at a secret understanding with the bourgeois police for the handing over his Party comrade to them.

A “Communist” as State Attorney Some time ago, two worker-Communists, members of the Opposition who had a long revolutionary past behind them, were hailed before the bourgeois court on the charge of having distributed illegal leaflets of the Opposition. As they belonged to the Red Aid, a comrade demanded that they supply a lawyer for their defense. The latter, a certain Dr. Bartoschek, refused to assume the duties of defense counsel as soon as he learned that it was a “counter-revolutionary Trotskyist” who was up on charges. Apart from the formal aspect of this affair, that is, that he was an official of the Red Aid who was supposed to defend every worker against the persecutions of class Justice, the following is noteworthy: These were two Communists who had been hailed up for their revolutionary consciousness and activity, for their struggle against imperialism, and for the revolutionary defense of the Soviet Union (the leaflet they distributed left no doubt on that score). But still they were at the same time Oppositionists and therefore this would-be Communist Attorney, who is a leading member of the League of the Rights of Man, the Anti-Imperialist League, the Anti-Fascist League, etc., simply refused to take up the defense and stood by passively while these workers were being condemned to jail. A sorry picture indeed!

How the Workers Think

The bureaucrats have also not hesitated to exploit the confidence of the workers and their belief in the authority of the Comintern and the Russian workers’ state. Under these colors they have often enough tried to rouse a pogrom sentiment against the Opposition. But the deeper one penetrates into the Party ranks, the more evident it becomes that the rank and file of the workers have a strong aversion to beating up their fellow workers. In Zizkov, one of the working class quarters of Prague, our comrades arranged a discussion evening on the lessons of the Canton insurrection. A Party official who learned of this meeting, thought that the best method of carrying it on would be by smashing in Opposition workers’ heads. He demanded at one Party meeting that energetic measures be taken to break up our meeting. But the workers have their own opinion and were guided by their own instinct. Not a single man among them signified his assent to the proposal of the bureaucrats.

Prague, June 17, 1930


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