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Paul G. Stevens

In the World of Labor

(8 June 1940)

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. IV No. 23, 8 June 1940, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Gestapo Seizes Our Comrades in the Occupied Countries

Our German comrades have been hard-hit by the advance of the Nazi war machine. Norway, Belgium, Holland – these were centers from which our comrades were able to operate. They owed little thanks for that to the governments of these “democracies,” which made life miserable for the German refugees and, above all, for the revolutionary refugees. Almost invariably our comrades had to operate in these countries under illegal conditions, concealing their identity.

When the Nazis came in, the Gestapo demonstrated its dread efficiency. Its stool pigeons appear to have had prepared lists of anti-Nazi Germans. In addition, however, they seem to have seized every German they could find. Let us hope that our comrades were seized primarily in the general dragnet and the Gestapo doesn’t know just whom they have. Because of this hoped-for possibility it is necessary to conceal the names and number of comrades who were in those countries. All comrades and friends please take note.

French Trotskyists Sent to Prison by the “Democratic” Government

The French press reports that nine Trotskyists who were arrested on the 13th of February, were brought before the 2nd military tribunal presided over by Colonel Jammes on May 7th.

The following sentences were passed, for “activities of a nature to hinder national defense”:

Charles MARGNE, post office employee, 5 years prison, 5,000 fr. fine; Pierre BOUSSEL, post office employee, 3 years prison, 1,000 fr. fine; Bruno NARDINO, student, 3 years prison, 2,000 fr. fine; Marie COSTS, post office employee, 3 years prison, 2,000 fr. fine; Mineille FOIRIER, teacher of physical culture, 2 years prison, 1,000 fr. fine; Suzanne SIMKHOVITCH, stenographer, 5 years prison, with reprieve; Jerzy MILNYNARZ, tailor, 3 years prison, 100 fr. fine, with reprieve; Andre CORSET, student, 3 years prison, 200 fr. fine; Maurice GUIGNET, turner, 3 years prison with reprieve, 1,000 fr. fine.

Repressions, American apologists for the Allies have said, are being directed only against Russia’s agents. This latest report, coupled with recent prosecutions of leaders of the PSOP – Socialist Party of Workers and Peasants – show what a fraud these apologies are. French “democracy” ferociously persecutes all militant workers.

Canada Outlaws “Communism”; Our Comrades Fight On

A Canadian comrade has sent some clippings showing the lengths to which the war-time dictatorship in Canada has already gone. Dated from Ottawa, May 15th, one article states:

“Communism came beyond the pale of the law throughout Canada today ...

“Under the broad powers of the Wartime Defense of Canada regulations, Mr. Justice E.R.E. Chevrier of the Ontario Supreme Court declared formally that the Communist Party of Canada is an illegal organization ...

“The regulation provides that once an organization has in such manner been declared illegal, not only are all persons continuing as members or officers deemed guilty of an offense against the regulations, but anybody advocating or defending the acts, principles and policies of such an organization is also guilty.

“The ban on Communism followed conviction and imprisonment of three Ottawa men on indictments charging publication and circulation of anti-war pamphlets tending to prejudice the safety of the state and efficient prosecution of the war.”

The Socialist Workers League of Canada, section of the Fourth International, was unable to get a printer to publish its paper from the very first day of the war, and has been functioning on an illegal basis since then. But, despite all obstacles, they fight on.

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Last updated: 2 February 2019

Gordon Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index   |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 2 February 2019