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George Stern

On the War Fronts

(8 February 1941)

From The Militant, Vol. V No. 6, 8 February 1941, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

On Jan. 30 the warlord Hitler stood up to make another of his speeches to the peoples he has enslaved. It was the eighth anniversary of the victory of Fascism in Germany. It was the eighth anniversary of the most crushing defeat suffered by the world working class in our times. It was the eighth anniversary of the opening of a fateful epoch in world history.

It was eight years ago that stunned workers all over the world learned that Hitler’s hordes had assumed power without encountering resistance.

It was so inconceivable that for days afterward one waited for the resurgent struggle that never came. The great mass of the German workers, ready to fight for a Soviet Germany, were deserted by the organizations and the leaders whom they looked to at this time of great decision.

And Hitler stood up on this Jan. 30 after eight years and hurled new taunts at his British rivals. He laughed, in effect, at the British support which had helped him arrive so swiftly at his present apparent eminence.

He also bluntly announced that Germany had discounted in advance the probability of American entry into the war. “We have considered and weighed coolly every conceivable possibility,” he said. He will meet Roosevelt’s all-out aid with torpedoes. Hitler indicated his confidence that he could complete his conquest of England in time to meet the American challenge.

War leaves little time for looking back. But it is well to remember that the horrible reality of the war that is and the specter of the war that is yet to be, stem in the immediate sense from the initial Fascist “victory” of Jan. 30 eight years ago.

It was a “victory” won because of the cowardly capitulation of the Second and Third International – a “victory” that bowed the German working class in defeat and passed over to the new Fascist instruments of capitalist power the leadership that could lead only to war and barbarism.

(See Harry Frankel’s article on Hitler’s rise to power, page 5 of this issue.)

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