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Sam Gordon

Lausanne Conference Near Collapse

German Reaction Aggressive

(July 1932)

From The Militant, Vol. V No. 27 (Whole No. 123), 2 July 1932, pp. 1 & 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The entire Lausanne Conference, looked upon with the greatest anxiety by a European bourgeoisie caught in the throes of impending convulsions, has so far stood under the sign of the Hoover proposals on disarmament. The power of the American colossus is more in evidence than ever. The Germans see in it the hand of a magnanimous benefactor against the adamant French enemy. The French in so far as they are inclined to view it favorably, hold it up as a prop for the maintenance of their cherished Versailles Treaty. As is known, the Hoover plan proposes the reduction of armaments by one third pressing for a reduction in the arms output of the Gallic rival for European domination and at the same time restricting German war preparations to the present limit.

As was to be expected, the Conference has yielded no results. The only positive thing it has achieved, is the indefinite prolongation of the Hoover moratorium which was to end on June 30. The French are holding out, using the old lever of “security necessities” and holding fast to their refusal to consider cancellation of German reparations. In the struggle between the Americans and the delegation from the Quai D’Orsay, the Von Papen delegation grasps a good opportunity to jockey for position, with an eye on the requirements of foreign aid from all quarters in the event of a Fascist seizure of power in Germany and the prospect of bitter and protracted civil war that this envisages.

While the German reactionaries are negotiating for the best possible conditions for future domestic and foreign imperialist aims – they talk of revision of the Eastern frontiers – steering a course that heads for a generally approved aggression against the country of the Soviets, the government at home proceeds with drastic force against all opposition forces at home.

The protests of the local governments – Bavaria, Baden – against the lifting of the ban on the Nazi Storm Troops have been of no avail. The Von Papen cabinet is sticking to its guns. In the meantime, the Fascist forces are forging ahead with full speed and with the best wishes of the present rulers. Attacks upon workers’ organizations continue unabated. The toll of proletarian victims of Hitlerite attacks is mounting skyward. The Brown Shirts’ pressure upon affairs – domestic as well as foreign – goes on in all openness and with remarkable success.

The Communist press is already half suppressed. The Nazis are demanding the suppression of the Communist party. But the onslaught of the black hundreds is wedging in on even the more moderate opposition. A late dispatch reports that the Federal authorities have demanded of the Prussian government the proscription of the Berlin Vorwaerts, the central organ of the German social democracy and – of the Rhineland organ of the Catholic Centre party, the Koelnische Volkszeitung.

These further indications of the dark intentions of the Von Papen regime make evident the need of haste in countering the action of the Fascists’ scouts. Once more, it must be emphasized that a successful repulsion of the reaction – which is spreading its fangs towards the borders of the Russian Workers’ State – depends only upon correct and timely united front action on the part of the German Communist Party and the Communist International.

The Communist International is maintaining an ominous silence. At a time, when black dangers face the European working class and the whole proletarian revolutionary movement of the world, the Communist International, the general staff of the revolutionary forces, finds it possible to do without a word of advice, without a word of direction to the international ranks that are behind it. Workers, Communists, demand in your organizations that the Stalinist leadership speak up. Demand that they tell you what they intend to do in this all too fateful situation!

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Last updated: 21.12.2013