French Trotskyism 1937

A Soldier Comrade from Strasbourg Addresses His Pals

Source: La Jeune garde, published by the Autonomous Federation of Socialist Youth, Organ of Revolutionary Combat and Education of Young Workers, Saturday, October 16, 1937 (found at;
Translated: for by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2012.

Dear Comrades:

It might seem surprising to you that having been far from you for more than a month and not having been an activist in civilian life since that time, that I allow myself to give you my opinion and, even more, ask you to show ever more proof of your militancy. Our means of information are extremely feeble here. I can only read the “Petit Parisien,” which I receive because no other newspaper can enter the barracks

I see that things are moving quickly:

Think of the comrades who, like us, are forced to serve the capitalism that the Popular Front defends.

I firmly believe that in the Socialist Party, as in the Communist Party, there are still healthy elements with revolutionary sentiments who remain attached to their party, either from sentimental ties or from fear of cutting themselves off from the masses, and who for this reason resign themselves to not leaving them only with difficulty.

Our role should not be to systematically denounce all the (often anti-revolutionary) acts of these two parties, but to impartially and forcefully affirm our positions on all the problems of the moment.

Once again, comrades, I implore you not to remain inactive; think of those who are far from you and who are impatiently waiting news that will show that the organization is functioning. I know that the fight is hard, but do you think it’s easy for us soldiers? Do you think we are carrying out tasks that are not dangerous? Courage! Let it not be said that we wasted the best of our youth for no purpose.

I confidently address you my revolutionary greetings.