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Albert Gates

U.S. Workers: Aid Our Anti-Hitler German Brothers

(October 1944)

From Labor Action, Vol. 8 No. 40, 2 October 1944, pp. 1 & 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The plans of the Allied powers for Germany are coming out into the open. The United States, Great Britain and Stalinist Russia have evolved a “plan which calls for the dismemberment of the German nation, its division into at least three parts, the destruction of its industries and the transformation of the country into an agricultural, potato-eating land!

This is an act of simple revenge, not against the fascist beasts alone, but against the German people in general and in particular against the German workers. How is this act of imperialist vandalism justified against seventy to eighty million people who inhabit the country? By identifying the people, especially the German working class, with their fascist rulers, the national oppressors, with the very party and government which for the past twelve years have ruled through a reign of terror against their opponents and the entire working class of Germany.

The rulers of the Allied countries are fostering a great lie, a lie as great and detestable as any invented by one of the arch-liars of our time, Adolph Hitler. The overwhelming majority of the German people, including practically every single worker, were anti-Hitler.

Hitler – Agent of Capitalism

Hitler and his bloody party, acting as the paid agents of Germany’s industrialists and financiers, yes, the German capitalist class, never won a majority in any election held before his party seized complete power.

Hitler and his party followers were nursed by the direct assistance of the German steel owners, the chemical industrialists, the bankers, the boss class of that country, as a weapon against the German labor movement and for the purpose of warring against .the “have” nations.

Hitler and his party were hailed by the capitalists of other countries, by capitalists in Great Britain and the United States. Not a few of them rendered financial assistance to the German fascists.

Hitler and his party were hailed by every labor-baiter, open-shopper and enemy of the workers in all countries, because his first act was to destroy the German labor movement, the most powerful in all the world.

Hitler was made Chancellor and his party put into power by German capitalism against the opposition of the great majority of the German people and the whole German working class. Even as Chancellor, when he held the reins of government, controlled the press and the radio, and dominated the police, Hitler could not win a majority in the last “free” election which the country held.

The workers of Germany never ceased their opposition to the fascists. They were ready to fight at a moment’s notice, at the first sign given them by the leaders of their many organizations.

German Labor Wanted to Fight

The German trade unionists wanted to fight. The German working class as a whole wanted to fight. They knew the meaning of fascism, they understood its national and international consequences.

They knew that a victory for Hitler meant the end of the labor movement; ‘they knew that a victory for Hitler meant a new world war, more bloody, more catastrophic than ever before.

They knew that such a war could and would benefit only the German capitalists and the capitalists of all countries. They knew that such a war could bring only increased misery, poverty, death and destruction for the overwhelming majority of the workers of the world.

But the German working class was betrayed by its leaders. The workers in the unions were betrayed by their leaders, who did not take a single step to organize the struggle against the Brown Shirts.

The Social Democratic Party and its leaders betrayed the workers by playing the game of capitalist politics, taking not a single serious step to organize a fight against the fascists, pleading with Stalin’s Communist Party to join with them in some kind of fight.

Stalinist Crimes

But the worst culprit of them all was Stalin’s Communist Party of Germany. It fought against a united front of all labor to give battle to Hitler and his beasts. Yet it was this potential united front which the fascists feared above all else. They knew they could not stand up against the united will of the German labor movement. But the German Communists stood like a stone wall, blocking the path’ of the workers who desired, begged and cajoled their leaders to do something before it was too late.

The worst crime that Stalin’s German Communist Party committed against the German workers, as well as the people, as a whole, was the theory they espoused that it would be a good thing if Hitler and the fascists won, because that would make it easier for the workers to come to power! They advocated this theory up to the very day that the fascists won out. And it was only after Hitler came to power that they issued a call for a general strike! They issued a call to struggle when it was too late!

It was Stalin personally who admonished the revolutionary German workers as early as 1923 not to make a struggle for power, otherwise they might incite the German fascists. Imagine! Struggle by the German workers would “incite” the fascist horde which was determined to take power anyway. Yet the fact was that the only real fear of the fascists was action by the working class.

The Stalinists consummated this policy of betrayal when Stalin signed a pact with Hitler which opened up the Second World War. Stalin helped divide Poland with the German Hitlerites, and Molotov, Stalin’s Foreign Minister, made public the statement that “fascism was a matter of personal taste!”

The capitalist powers were playing a game with Hitler. France was trying to line up countries against Germany. This was the official government policy. But in France, the bulk of the French ruling class favored Hitler as against their own working class.

England was playing Germany against France and Russia in order to keep her balance of power on the Continent.

The American capitalists played at politics with a big section of them greatly admiring the German fascists because they destroyed the labor movement.

Russia played its own game, first calling for collective security against Hitler and then making a pact with him.

And since the bloody Second World War broke out, the Allied powers, the inventors of the Four Freedoms and the Atlantic Charter, which they never meant seriously, did not once make the kind of appeal to the German people that would hasten their struggle against their own rulers, the fascists. Quite the contrary, they made every conceivable threat to the German people and the German workers, telling them, in effect, that no matter what they did, whether they overthrew Hitler or not, the Allies were preparing a fate for them even worse than fascism.

Thus the overwhelming majority of the German people stand on the edge of an abyss with dismal alternatives. They face either continued misery under fascism, or dismemberment, poverty and revenge at the hands of the Allies.

Thus the German masses, living under a police regime, under the worst kind of torture, now face new police regimes and new tortures under the rule of the United States, Great Britain and Stalin’s Russia.

Germany’s great industries will be destroyed! The country will be reduced to an agricultural status! And the Allies expect eighty million Germans to live under such conditions! Would it not be better just to shoot every single German? Would that not be more humane?

What the capitalist rulers of the Allied powers want is to exploit the German people for profit! That’s what Great Britain wants, that’s what the United States wants and that’s what Russia wants.

These powers are holding the German masses responsible for their rulers, the same rulers who now terrorize and exploit them. Russia pursues the same policy as the other imperialists, even more ruthlessly. Russia wants to make the German working class pay for the crimes of Stalin in betraying the German masses to fascism and for making the infamous pact with Hitler.

The crowning point of Allied policy is to prevent the resurgence of the German masses, their organization and their struggle for power that would free them from the exploitation of capitalist private property and the profit system as a whole.

The Allies are united in their determination to prevent any socialist rebellion of the German workers which would sweep away the whole rotten edifice of capitalist barbarism which rules the world today.

The Allies are afraid to let the German people loose on their fascist exploiters. While the Allied diplomats sit in their foreign offices, gambling with the lives of the people of the world, the German masses could really take care of their fascist exploiters.

That is exactly what the Allies fear. They fear the “anarchy” of workers’ revenge! They fear that this revenge will include the German ruling class, the industrialists and financiers who put Hitler into power and should suffer the same fate as the black-hearted murderers. And, to repeat, they fear that the German masses will go beyond this revenge to set up their own state power, a workers’ government that will put an end to capitalism in Germany, a capitalism which has brought them nothing but repeated wars, exploitation and, finally, fascism.

If the Allied powers get away with their plan to exterminate the German working class which has not forgotten its past and which undoubtedly understands its future and what has to be done, a blow will be dealt to the workers of all countries, yes, even to the workers of the United States.

Defend German Labor!

The interests of American labor dictate that we rise to the support of German labor. Against dismemberment of Germany! For the right of the German masses to set up their own democratic government of toilers, a workers’ government!

Hand over the task of settling with Hitler and his satellites to the German working class rather than to a War Crimes Commission which does not even have Hitler’s name on its list!

If the German workers are crushed a second time by the Allied powers, the European workers will suffer another terrible blow, a blow which could not fail to have its repercussions in this country. That is just what American big business wants. It would gain heart by such ail event; it would be strengthened in its constant anti-labor offensive.

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