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George Stern

On the War Fronts

(3 May 1941)

From The Militant, Vol. V No. 18, 3 May 1941, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Twenty-two years ago in these very weeks the diplomats and politicians of the victorious Allied Powers were in full conference at Versailles. The “war for democracy” haying been won, these representatives of imperialism were carving up the continent in accordance with strategic necessities and secret treaties. Out of Versailles came the monstrous patchwork of divided nations and peoples. Out of Versailles flowed the grinding conflicts which led – in so short a time – to a fresh revision of the continent by force of arms.

Versailles slashed Europe into pieces. Hitler has taken those pieces, crushed them into bloody pulps and brought them one by one into the new German imperialist empire. He stands now at the jumping-off places for the Middle East – for Britain’s rich holdings in. the Mosul oilfields, for Palestine, and for Suez.

But the difference between the system of Versailles and the system of Hitlerism is of degree rather than of kind. Both represent forms of imperialist domination. Neither offers any road to a hopeful future for the peoples of Europe.

Hitler is not stamping out national “freedom” for the small nations of Europe ... because such freedom has never existed.

He has simply substituted his own form of enslavement for that imposed by Versailles on the Austrians, the Slovaks, the Croats, the Hungarians, the Rumanians, the many races cut into sections and ruled by hostile peoples in the crazy patchwork of Versailles Europe.

Toward a Soviet United States of Europe

The “unification” in Hitler’s chains is the precursor to new divisions, new upheavals, new conflicts. Through this immense ordeal by blood, the thrice-oppressed peoples of Europe will have to find their slow, costly way toward a true unification based upon the socialist reconstruction of society ... toward a real, a Soviet United States of Europe.

Let no one now talk to us of “realism” which involves surrender, capitulation, acceptance of this bloody capitalist order of things. Our realism ... the realism of the fight for the future of mankind consists in holding fast and firm to the struggle against capitalism and all its works. That’s the road to the Socialist United States of Europe – the Socialist United States of the World. It’s the only kind of realism that will sunder the military machines of imperialism into pieces when the right time comes.

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